Originally created 11/26/05

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Horse Racing

Pletcher sets mark for yearly earnings

Todd Pletcher broke the single-season record for earnings by a trainer Friday when he sent Spin Factory out to victory in the second race at Aqueduct in New York.

Pletcher broke the North American record of $19,147,129 set by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel in 2003.

Pletcher, who trains top horses such as Ashado, Travers winner Flower Alley and Blue Grass winner Bandini, trailed Frankel's mark by $29,873 through Thursday.

On Friday, the Pletcher-trained Acadiano won the first race at Calder Race Course in Miami and earned $9,000 for his owner. Then, Spin Factor earned $24,600 for the win at Aqueduct.

- Hall of Fame jockey and three-time Kentucky Derby winner Gary Stevens said it took the retirement of Rock Hard Ten to confirm it was time for him to step down.

"I said, 'That's it. He's retiring, I'm retiring,'" Stevens said at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Stevens, who called Rock Hard Ten the best horse he'd ever ridden, ends a riding career of more than 25 years.

His last mount will be today in the final race of the fall meet aboard trainer Patrick Biancone's Louve Royale.

Rock Hard Ten retired Nov. 18 after an examination detected worn cartilage in his left front foot. Among other races, Stevens rode Rock Hard Ten in the Preakness on May 15.

"Over the years I've had a wonderful career, but it's time to hang it up," Stevens said. "There is a piece of my heart that would love to continue riding, but my body can't take it anymore."

The retirement was announced less than a month after the 42-year-old rider picked up his 5,000th win, which came aboard Joint Aspiration at Belmont. He's the 20th jockey to reach 5,000 wins.

Pro Football

Thomas is latest Eagle to go down

Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Tra Thomas will miss the rest of the season after he was placed on injured reserve, the team's third Pro Bowler added to the list this week.

Thomas, who battled back problems most of the season and missed part of training camp while taking medication for a blood clot in his leg, will undergo disc surgery.

He will be replaced in the starting lineup by Todd Heremans, a rookie fourth-round draft pick who worked with the first team during the preseason when Thomas was sidelined.

- Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Lional Dalton was jailed after an alleged fight with his estranged wife.

Dalton, 30, was released on $2,500 bond after being arrested for grabbing his estranged wife by the hair and pulling her down.

Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison said the woman was visiting from Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday when the incident was reported.

Cycling

Heras' second drug test is also positive

Roberto Heras' second doping test was positive, and the four-time Spanish Vuelta winner might now be banned from cycling for two years.

The test showed Heras had used the performance-enhancing drug EPO in capturing this year's Vuelta, one of the top races of the European season.

Heras could be stripped of the title, with runner-up Denis Menchov declared the winner.

Heras said he will appeal.

College Football

Trio selected as Mackey finalists

UCLA's Marcedes Lewis, Maryland's Vernon Davis and Notre Dame's Anthony Fasano are the three finalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end.

Davis, a junior, has 43 receptions for 763 yards, a 17.7-yard average per catch, and five TDs.

Fasano, a senior, has made 42 catches for 545 yards with two touchdowns.

Lewis, a senior, had 55 catches for 711 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The winner will be announced the week of Dec. 5.



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