Hoff takes gold in 400 free at short-course championships
Katie Hoff, who spent most of her swimming career at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club while growing up in Towson, won the 400-meter freestyle at the short-course world championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Friday. Hoff, who moved to California slightly more than a year ago to continue her training, captured the event in 3 minutes, 57.07 seconds, beating Kylie Palmer of Australia (3:58.39) and Federica Pellegrini of Italy (3:59.52). With NABC, Hoff swam in two Olympics in a number of events, including the 400 free. She has won the 400 free at the U.S. championships and finished second at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Hoff struggled at the 2008 Olympics while her NABC teammate Michael Phelps won a record eight gold medals. Before Friday's first-place finish, Hoff had not won an international gold medal since 2007.
Boyce on verge of winning 2010 riding championship
After a two-win day Friday afternoon at Laurel Park, 26-year-old Forest Boyce is one day away from capturing the year-round riding title at the major Maryland tracks. Boyce (Garrison Forest) has 103 wins at Laurel Park and Pimlico in 2010, five more than Erick Rodriguez. Boyce scored aboard Green Wave Girl ($6.40-fourth) and Capixaba ($6.20-eighth). At the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meeting in late May, Boyce had only 18 victories in Maryland. It was the sixth time since Sept. 18 that Boyce and the son of Wildcat Heir have visited the winner's circle. "That was the best he's been by far," Boyce said. Linda Albert claimed the Capixaba from Ferris Allen after the Sept. 18 victory and saddled the 3-year-old gelding to claiming wins on Oct. 11, Oct. 20, Nov. 18 and Dec. 1 before stepping up to the allowance ranks this afternoon where he defeated 11 rivals by 23/4 lengths in wire-to-wire fashion. "I am really proud of Forest," said Albert, a former apprentice rider. "She's come a long way. It is an amazing story. She has won more on this horse than I have so I leave her in charge." Boyce is named to ride horses in eight of the nine races today, while Rodriguez has five scheduled mounts. Boyce has wrapped up the riding title for the Laurel fall meeting with 70 scores. Boyce has 23 multiple-win days during the stand, including a career-best four trips to the winners' circle on Dec. 2 and Dec. 16. Richard Small and John Rigattieri are tied atop the trainer standings for the fall meet, which began Sept. 11. Both have 18 victories. Hamilton Smith (17 wins) and Ferris Allen (16) still have a chance to win or share the title. All four conditioners will saddle horses in today's closing card. Chris Grove has secured the year-round training title with 56 first place finishes, three more than Scott Lake, who does not have any starters on today's nine-race program.