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Rick Samuels

Flight Carrying BC Horses Able to Leave NY

The plane was rescheduled for 1 a.m. Oct. 29 from Islip, N.Y., and left on time.

A flight carrying a contingent of Breeders' Cup horses from New York to California was rescheduled to 1 a.m. EDT Oct. 29 and was able to take off as Hurricane Sandy approached the Northeast, Breeders' Cup officials said.

The Tex Sutton plane left the airport in Islip, N.Y., carrying horses trained by Christophe Clement, Shug McGaughey, Bill Mott, and others, Breeders' Cup chief operating officer Bob Elliston said. The plane stopped in Louisville, Ky., to pick up more horses and was scheduled to land at the airport in Ontario, Calif., well before noon.

The Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita Park.

Another plane carrying horses trained by Todd Pletcher is scheduled to leave New York Oct. 30, though it could be postponed to Oct. 31, Elliston said.

"It's expected that, due to weather and the potential closing of bridges by the Port Authority of New York, the horses might not be able to get to the plane," Elliston said.

Hurricane Sandy was battering the Mid-Atlantic region Oct. 29, particularly along the coasts of Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.

Breeders' Cup has a rule requiring all horses to be on the grounds within 72 hours but will make an exception should several be delayed. Elliston said provisions will be made "to have all horses under surveillance no matter where they are" so they comply with the regulations before they arrive at Santa Anita.