Sports briefs: March 25

March 25, 2013 

Horse racing

Baffert's Govenor Charlie wins Sunland Derby in record fashion

Govenor Charlie, trained by Bob Baffert, dominated eight 3-year-old opponents to win the $800,000 Grade III Sunland Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico, USA Today reported.

Govenor Charlie won by 5 lengths and set a track record by running 11⁄8 miles in 1:47.54. He gained 50 points in the Kentucky Derby points standings.

As for the Derby, Govenor Charlie's owner/breeder, Mike Pegram, said: "That will be (Baffert's) decision. "This was only his third start, so I don't know if there's enough experience."

"I felt like I had a lot of horse early in the race," jockey Martin Garcia said. "At the top of the stretch, he took off and exploded. I feel that he is a special horse."

■ A shortened racing schedule Turfway Park this winter has been difficult for horse owners, trainers and riders. "In the wintertime, you're just scraping by, trying to make ends meet, waiting for the spring and other tracks to open," trainer Susan Anderson told The Courier-Journal.

Turfway cut back from three-day race weeks to two days in February and March because the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission gave the track's September dates to Churchill Downs.

Trainer Doug Coyle has wintered at Turfway since 1978 and said the decreased racing dates are difficult to deal with.

"Five days to three was bad enough," he said. "Three to two was a major difference, too. ... It's hard to tread water in this situation.

"A lot of the owners have downsized, backed out for the winter. An agent said a couple of days ago, 'Well, we only have 12 more racing days here. But the bad part is it's going to take a month and a half to do it.'"

More Kentucky outfits are leaving the state during the winter.

Trainer Bill Connelly, who lives nearby, said he decided this year to keep four horses at Turfway, but he sent the rest to Florida.

"I want to be at home if I could," he said.


Golf Thunderstorm puts brakes on Tiger

Tiger Woods had to wait one more day to try to reclaim No. 1 in the world. Moments after Woods made a 10-foot birdie putt on the second hole, a vicious thunderstorm packing gusts that topped out at 62 mph interrupted the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and wiped out play until Monday at Orlando, Fla.

The storm dumped nearly 1½ inches on Bay Hill and formed small ponds in the fairways — there was even a fish in the middle of the 18th fairway. The wind toppled the TV tower behind the 10th green, which was a pile of metal poles, wood, mesh netting and had a stationary camera in the middle of it all.

About an hour after a tornado warning expired, officials said they would need time to clean up the course and let it drain. The final round was to resume at 10 a.m. Monday.

Woods is going after his eighth win at Bay Hill, which would return him to No. 1 in the world ranking for the first time since the last week of October in 2010.

He hit all of six shots on Sunday, enough to build a three-shot lead over Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, John Huh and Ken Duke.

Michael Allen rallied to win the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic for his fourth Champions Tour title, shooting a 5-under 67 to leapfrog a crowded leader board at Saucier, Miss. Allen started the day two shots behind the leaders.

Beatrtiz Recari sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with I.K. Kim to win the Kia Classic at Carlsbad, Calif.


NFL

Broncos lose out to Ravens on Dumervil

Elvis Dumervil spurned the Denver Broncos for Baltimore, agreeing to a five-year deal, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome announced Sunday. Dumervil, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who starred at the University of Louisville, is expected to be in Baltimore on Tuesday to take his physical and sign the paperwork.

Dumervil had 63½ sacks in seven seasons in Denver. He agreed to reduce his 2013 salary from $12 million to $8 million but the paperwork didn't reach the NFL offices in time and the Broncos were forced to release him on March 15. The sides continued negotiating but the Ravens swooped in.


Baseball Reds' Arroyo hit on hand by line drive

Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo left his start after getting hit on his pitching hand by David Murphy's line drive Sunday in Cincinnati's 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. Preliminary X-rays detected no break. Arroyo allowed three runs and nine hits in 51⁄3 innings before being led off the field by a trainer. Lance Berkman homered and drove in three runs for Texas, while Alexi Ogando pitched six scoreless innings. Ogando, set to be a starter this season after spending last year in the bullpen, limited the Reds to three hits.

Ubaldo Jimenez allowed three runs in seven innings of the Cleveland Indians' 4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs. He gave up three hits, including back-to-back doubles to Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano in fourth inning. Former University of Kentucky standout Chris Rusin shut down the Indians in 51⁄3 innings. The left-hander allowed singles by Mike Aviles and Nick Swisher. He walked three and struck out three.


UK sports

Rossi knocks off top-10 opponent

Kentucky's Anthony Rossi, ranked 31st nationally, earned one of the biggest wins of his career on Sunday as he defeated No. 7 KU Singh of Georgia 6-3, 6-3, but the Cats lost 4-2 at home.

■ UK's women's tennis team lost 7-0 at No. 5 Georgia.


Etc.

Western Kentucky loses in Women's NIT

Auburn ended the Western Kentucky women's basketball team's season with an 84-66 victory in the second round of the Women's NIT. Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year Michelle Clark-Heard, in her first season as Western's head coach, led her team (22-11) to 13 more wins than last season, a conference record for improvement from one season to the next. Sophomore Alexis Govan led the Toppers with 23 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Chastity Gooch had 19 points and 12 rebounds — her 26th double-double.

Hinchcliffe takes IndyCar opener

James Hinchcliffe, the Canadian driver poised to become IndyCar's next star, grabbed his first career victory Sunday at St. Petersburg, Fla. Hinchcliffe passed Helio Castroneves on the final restart to take the lead and held on to win by 1.09 seconds over the defending race winner.


The last word

Sergio Garcia provided an amazing highlight Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he climbed some 15 feet into an oak tree and played a shot back out to the fairway. He was already having a rough time at Bay Hill — he made a 9 on the par-5 sixth hole — when his tee shot at No. 10 sailed right into the trees. Not only did it get stuck in the tree, it came to rest at the base of two large limbs. Garcia looked up in the tree, stood on a cart and leapt to pull himself up into the tree. Playing partner William McGirt said:

"I knew they were looking around the tree. I didn't know they were looking in the tree. I looked over and Sergio is up in the air, and I'm trying to figure out what in the hell he's going to do. He called for a club. He's hugging the tree. And the ball comes flying out. ... Are you kidding me?"

Garcia studied his options before playing a one-handed, back-handed shot out to the fairway. Sadly for Garcia, he chunked his next shot and wound up with a double bogey.

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