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This day in sports: Spectacular Bid keeps rolling with 1979 win at Keeneland

Rain falls as a horse makes its way around the track at Keeneland during Breeders' Cup workouts on Oct. 28, 2015, in Lexington, Ky.
Rain falls as a horse trains at Keeneland during Breeders’ Cup workouts in 2015. On April 26, 1979, Spectacular Bid won at the racetrack as part of a big year.
(Dylan Buell / Getty Images)

Spectacular Bid gets into the race on the backstretch after breaking last in the Bluegrass Stakes on this date in 1979, and the Kentucky Derby favorite cruises to a seven-length victory over three rivals at Keeneland racetrack in Lexington, Ky.

It is the 10th consecutive win for the dark gray colt, ridden by jockey Ronnie Frankel in the 1 1/8 mile race. Spectacular Bid’s time is nearly three seconds off the track mark set by Round Table.

“He’s getting smart, too smart,” trainer Bud Delp says afterward of the horse, which would go on to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 1979. “When he got the lead, he relaxed. He was loping today.”

In baseball games postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodgers would have closed out a six-game trip Sunday with a day game in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. The Angels were set to play the Chicago White Sox in the last of four games at Angel Stadium.

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Here is a look a memorable games and outstanding sports performances on April 26:

1905 — Center fielder Jack McCarthy of the Chicago Cubs throws out three runners at the plate, each the second out of a double play, setting a major league record. The Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1.

1950 — Miami ends the longest winning streak in college tennis by defeating William & Mary 8-1. William & Mary, unbeaten in five years, had won 82 consecutive matches.

1964 — The Boston Celtics secure their sixth consecutive title with a 105-99 victory over the San Francisco Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Wilt Chamberlain outscores and outrebounds Bill Russell with 30 points and 27 boards, but Boston has six players in double-figure scoring, with Tom Heinsohn’s 19 points leading the way.

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The third and fourth episodes of “The Last Dance” showcase the methods of Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson and the oddities of Dennis Rodman.

1995 — The Colorado Rockies beat the New York Mets 11-9 in 14 innings, tying the National League record for innings played in a season opener. Dante Bichette hits a three-run home run in the 14th as the Rockies inaugurate their new ballpark, Coors Field.

2002 — Odalis Perez of the Dodgers faces the minimum of 27 batters in his first career shutout. Perez, 23, is perfect for six innings in a 10-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The left-hander loses a no-hit bid in the seventh when Corey Patterson beats out an infield single.

2005 — Alex Rodriguez hits three home runs and drives in a career-high 10 runs off starter Bartolo Colon to lead the New York Yankees over the Angels 12-4. Rodriguez’s home runs come in the first, third and fourth innings, No. 3 with the bases loaded. It was one of the few poor outings for Colon, who would go on to win the Cy Young Award that season.

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2008 — Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long is selected by the Miami Dolphins as the top pick in the NFL draft. The St. Louis Rams use the second pick to take Virginia’s Chris Long, the son of Hall of Famer and former Raiders defensive end Howie Long. Quarterback Matt Ryan of Boston College is selected third by the Atlanta Falcons.

2009 — France’s Frederick Bousquet sets a world record in the 50-meter freestyle, the first swimmer to break the 21-second barrier. His mark of 20.94 comes at the French championships at Montpellier. Bousquet beats Australian Eamon Sullivan’s mark of 21.28, set in 2008.

2012 — In no surprise, quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford is picked first overall in the NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He is followed by Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who is taken by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins moved up in the draft to get Griffin, who had beaten out Luck for the Heisman Trophy, by trading high draft choices to the St. Louis Rams.

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2012 — The Charlotte Bobcats finish the season with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. The Bobcats’ 23rd consecutive loss, 104-84 to New York, leaves them at .106 (7-59) in the lockout-shortened season. The previous record was held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished 9-73 (.110) in a full season.

2014 — Wladimir Klitschko, 38, toys with Alex Leapai and knocks him out with a left hook in the fifth round to retain his four heavyweight belts in Oberhausen, Germany.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press


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