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Breeders’ Cup: Modern Games wins Juvenile Turf before controversy erupts after drama-filled start

Controversy rages at the Breeders’ Cup after Modern Games won Juvenile Turf after pre-race drama meant the win would NOT count for betting purposes, leaving disgruntled attendees booing the result at Del Mar.

  • Modern Games won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Saturday night
  • However, the victory at Del Mar was not allowed to be counted for betting purposes.
  • The drama occurred before the race with Modern Games retired after being dangerously upset when Albahr reared up in the stables, dislodging Frankie Dettori.
  • The Charlie Appleby winner was declared fit to compete and was reinstated, but the prize money only drew boos from frustrated race attendees.


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Charlie Appleby’s modern games fueled Breeders Cup youth turf glory under extraordinary circumstances at Del Mar, but returned to a chorus of boos Saturday night after his victory was not allowed to count for betting purposes.

All of the drama happened before the stall race, with stablemate Albahr, ridden by Frankie Dettori, dangerously upset and subsequently retired.

Racing favorite Modern Games, who was in the stable next to Albahr, was also scratched by officers after exiting from the front of the stalls.

Modern Games won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on Saturday, but returned to a chorus of boos after their victory was not counted for betting purposes.

Modern Games won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Saturday, but returned to a chorus of boos after their victory was not counted for betting purposes.

Confusion reigned when veterinary staff subsequently ruled that Modern Games was fit to compete.

While it was decided that the William Buick mount would be reinstated, California rules dictated that he could only be entered for cash prizes and not for gambling purposes.

The race was uneventful, and when William Buick put into full gear, Modern Gams went ahead to beat Tiz The Bomb and Mackinnon. However, unhappy race fans expressed their frustration with boos.

Appleby was delighted with the end result, and equally pleased to report that Albahr had what were thought to be only superficial cuts and that Dettori was unharmed.

The drama occurred before the race, in which Modern Games initially withdrew after he became dangerously angry after his stablemate Albahr reared in the stables, dislodging pilot Frankie Dettori.

The drama occurred before the race, in which Modern Games initially withdrew after he became dangerously angry after his stablemate Albahr reared in the stables, dislodging pilot Frankie Dettori.

The drama occurred before the race, in which Modern Games initially withdrew after he became dangerously angry after his stablemate Albahr reared in the stables, dislodging pilot Frankie Dettori.

It was a third race win and a fourth Breeders’ Cup win overall for Appleby, who said: “ It was a very quirky and mentally challenging chain of events for the horse, but I always felt like I had the experience.

“The most important thing is that both horses are fine, and thankfully Modern Games pulled it out of the fire for us. It was actually under the bomb a bit earlier than normal, but he scooped up and kept looking.

Albahr has some minor cuts and my vets are examining him. We expected the worst, but luckily it’s okay. ‘

He added about the winner: ‘He will join our team of (2,000) Guineas for next year. We will ship it back to the UK and spend the winter with it.

Buick said: ‘There was a lot of confusion back there, but the horse did nothing wrong. They opened the front door and he jumped; It should have come from the back instead of the front.

The Charlie Appleby winner was declared fit to compete and was reinstated, but only for a cash prize, prompting boos from frustrated race-goers after winning at Del Mar

The Charlie Appleby winner was declared fit to compete and was reinstated, but only for a cash prize, prompting boos from frustrated race-goers after winning at Del Mar

The Charlie Appleby winner was declared fit to compete and was reinstated, but only for a cash prize, prompting boos from frustrated race-goers after winning at Del Mar

‘The guy who opened my door pulled me out the front and told the officers what he did. Perhaps there was a bit of confusion and panic, but my horse did not suffer any damage. It was never touched.

“You could see how professional he was and he took it easy …”

He added: ‘I don’t know why they scratched him, they told me later.

‘I knew I was going to run, so I don’t want to focus on the whys and whys. It was out of my control.

“The boos were disappointing because he did a very good performance.”

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