Azeri, Horse of the Year in 2002 and one of the top females in Thoroughbred racing history, was retired from competition and will be sent...

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Horse racing

Azeri retired from racing: Azeri, Horse of the Year in 2002 and one of the top females in Thoroughbred racing history, was retired from competition and will be sent to Kentucky to be bred.

The 6-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter won three Grade I races this year, raising her career total to 11. She finished fifth in her final race — the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 30 when she competed against males.

Owner Michael Paulson said the decision to retire Azeri was made in consultation with trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

“Champion horses like Azeri are what every owner and breeder of these magnificent animals strives for, and I have been very blessed and fortunate to have campaigned this exceptional horse,” Paulson said in a statement. “I am very excited about her prospects as a broodmare, and look forward to the opportunity of seeing her foals with their mother’s champion qualities.”

Azeri will be moved from Lukas’ barn at Santa Anita sometime next week. It was not immediately clear where she will board in Kentucky.

Before this year, Azeri was trained by Laura de Seroux and moved to Lukas’ barn after Paulson disagreed with her recommendation that the mare be retired because of a tendon injury.

After winning her only two races as a 3-year-old, Azeri had seven straight graded-stakes victories in 2002, capping her streak by winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Arlington Park.

She ends her career with 17 wins and four second-place finishes in 24 lifetime starts and earnings of $4,079,820.


Ex-Blackhawk tries to get ring back: Eddie Litzenberger’s stolen Stanley Cup ring from the 1961 Chicago Blackhawks popped up on eBay, and police are trying to help him get it back.

“I have three other Stanley Cup rings from my days with the (Toronto Maple) Leafs in 1962, 1963 and 1964, but the ’61 ring was special because it was my first,” Litzenberger, 72, told the Toronto Sun.

Police said the ring is being auctioned in New York, and they are working with Nassau County police to recover it.

“If I could get it back by Christmas I would give it to my son as a special Christmas present,” Litzenberger said.


MacArthur loses advantage in round-the-world bid: Ellen MacArthur’s advantage over solo round-the-world sailing record holder Francis Joyon has slipped to about three hours after southern ocean storms buffeted her 75-foot trimaran and forced her to change course.

MacArthur, 28, is seeking to better Joyon’s mark of just less than 73 days for the 26,500-mile journey. About 10,530 miles in, her lead over Joyon’s record-setting pace has dropped by more than 17 hours in two days.

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