Trainer has one horse win, one die — Richard Mandella experienced the highest high and lowest low at Santa Anita on Saturday, with Omaha Beach successfully winning his comeback after a six-month layoff while another of the trainer’s horses died of a suspected heart attack. Former Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach rallied to beat 1-5 favorite Shancelot by a head in the $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Hours earlier, Ky. Colonel dropped dead after a jog on the training track, Mandella confirmed. It was the 33rd horse death at the track and second in Mandella’s barn since December. “It was devastating,” Mandella told the AP by phone. “I can only remember one other heart attack in 40 years of training.” Ky. Colonel, a 5-year-old gelding, had five wins in 20 career starts and earnings of $138,505. He last raced in May at Golden Gate Fields in Northern California. He was owned by Preston Madden. Ky. Colonel returned to Mandella’s barn about 10 days ago after being turned out at a farm for some rest, the trainer said. The gelding was not involved in a timed workout when he collapsed. Ky. Colonel will undergo a required necropsy to confirm the cause of death.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Adesanya KOs Whittaker to claim middleweight title — Charismatic fighter Israel Adesanya dethroned UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker with a stunning knockout in the second round of their highly anticipated 185-pound unification bout that headlined UFC 243 at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium on Sunday. New Zealand-based, Nigerian-born Adesanya landed a booming right hook that floored Whittaker in the final seconds of the first round. The interim middleweight champion then ended the fight in the second of the five-round contest with a left hook. Adesanya was interim champion before claiming the title against Whittaker on Sunday and improving his UFC record to 7-0. The attendance of 57,127 set a new world record for UFC, surpassing the 56,214 at the same venue in 2015.
U.S., Canadian women’s teams to square off — The national teams of the United States and Canada, the two superpowers of women’s hockey, will face off at Honda Center in Anaheim, California, on Feb. 8 to conclude their 2019-20 Rivalry Series. The U.S. women defeated Canada to win Olympic gold in 2018 at Pyeongchang, South Korea, reversing the outcome of the gold-medal games at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the 2010 Games in Vancouver. The Rivalry Series was initiated last season to give the women’s teams more chances to compete instead of relying on practices to stay sharp between major tournaments. The game at Anaheim will be part of the Ducks’ planned “We Play Weekend,” which will include initiatives designed to help popularize girls’ and women’s hockey. The Rivalry Series will start in Hartford, Connecticut, on Dec. 14 and end in Anaheim.
TRACK & FIELD
Desisa wins men’s marathon at worlds — Lelisa Desisa won the men’s marathon, narrowly beating fellow Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew at the finish. Desisa, the 2013 silver medalist, won in 2 hours 10 minutes 40 seconds in the heat of Qatar, edging out Geremew by four seconds. Amos Kipruto of Kenya held on to take bronze ahead of Britain’s Callum Hawkins, who has now finished fourth in two successive world championship marathons. The weather conditions were slightly cooler and less humid than for last week’s women’s marathon, when 28 of 68 competitors failed to finish. This time, there were 18 non-finishers from 73 starters.
— Bulletin wire reports