Rachel Alexandra prepping for Churchill's La Troienne
Rachel Alexandra, the reigning Horse of the Year, will prepare for Friday's Grade II $400,000-added La Troienne Stakes, with a work early Monday at Churchill Downs.
Majority owner Jess Jackson said earlier in the weekend the breeze will be a "light" one and "it's not going to be a bullet."
Rachel Alexandra has typically gone out with the second group of horses from trainer Steve Asmussen's barn but was out with the first set Sunday, completing her exercise by 6 a.m. She galloped 2 miles, and Scott Blasi, Asmussen's assistant, said the effort as "great."
The La Troienne, formerly known as the Louisville Stakes, is a 11⁄16-mile race for older fillies and mares on Kentucky Oaks Day.
In her 4-year-old debut, the New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds on March 13, Rachel Alexandra finished second to Zardana, who is also probable for the La Troienne. The loss snapped a nine-race win streak for Rachel Alexandra. Other probable starters for the La Troienne, according to the Churchill Downs racing office, include Be Fair, Careless Jewel, Distinctive Dixie, Morena and Unrivaled Belle.
Emmy Darling wins at Churchill Downs
Emmy Darling cruised to a three-length victory over She's Extreme to win the $47,740 feature race at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Emmy Darling, ridden by Calvin Borel and trained by John Sadler, moved to challenge She's Extreme at the quarter pole and then surged to the lead and was never threatened. Owned by Dawn and Ike Thrash, Emmy Darling covered the six furlongs in 1:10.23 in her first start on dirt.
Dominguez takes Aqueduct's riding title
Ramon Dominguez won his eighth straight riding title on The New York Racing Association circuit and Steve Asmussen emerged atop the trainer standings for his first meet title at the conclusion of the 19-day Spring Meet at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York.
Dominguez finished with 27 victories, eight more than David Cohen. Asmussen, the 2009 Eclipse Award-winning trainer, sent out a pair of winners Saturday and one Sunday to edge Gary Contessa 12-10. Bruce Golden was the meet's leading owner with four winners from seven starters.
Gallant Son wins Inglewood Handicap
Gallant Son took the lead on the final turn and held off a stretch rally from long shot Quindici Man for a 1¾-length victory in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap on Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Ridden by Mike Smith, who won the same race last year aboard Madeo, Gallant Son sat fifth in the field of nine older horses in the early going, and despite going four-wide on the second turn came out of it with a two-length lead and won handily, covering 11⁄16 miles on turf in 1:39.67. Quindici Man was second, followed by Glowing Praise.
Mambo Meister opens Calder with win
Mambo Meister caught favored Pinckney Hill in the final stride Sunday to win the $100,000 Grade 3 Miami Mile, the opening day feature at Calder in Miami. Mambo Meister, ridden by Manoel Cruz, ran a mile on the turf in 1:35. The 5-year-old son of King Cugat, has eight victories in 27 starts. He won three stakes at Calder last year, including the Grade III Spend A Buck.
Bohn wins Zurich Classic by two shots
Jason Bohn won the Zurich Classic for second PGA Tour title, birdieing three of the final four holes at TPC Louisiana for a 5-under 67 and a two-stroke victory over Jeff Overton. Bohn, who completed a third-round 71 in the morning in the weather-plagued tournament, finished at 18-under 270.
Overton mounted a persistent challenge, twice tying Bohn on his way to a 66. Overton birdied the 18th, but Bohn, who made birdie putts of 5½ feet on No. 15 and 22 feet on No. 16, had to only tap in on 18 for his fifth birdie of the round.
The 37-year-old Bohn also won the 2005 B.C. Open.
■ Mark O'Meara and Nick Price teamed to beat Joey Sindelar and John Cook on the second hole of a playoff Sunday in the better-ball Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. O'Meara, the 1998 Masters and British Open winner, won for the first time since the PGA European Tour's 2004 Dubai Desert Classic. Ken Green, making his first Champions Tour start since having his lower right leg amputated after an auto accident in June that killed his brother and girlfriend, teamed with Mike Reid and tied for 26th at 12 under.
UK softball swept at home by LSU
Kentucky's softball team stranded 15 runners combined and Louisiana State swept a doubleheader — 9-3 and 3-1 — at the UK Softball Complex on Sunday. It was Senior Day for the Wildcats, who honored Molly Johnson, Amber Matousek, Destinee Mordecai, Natalie Smith and Jennifer Young between games. The Wildcats dropped to 29-21 overall and 11-14 in the Southeastern Conference.
■ A walk-off grand slam by Monte Ketchum in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Western Kentucky's baseball team a win in the first game of a doubleheader against visiting Florida International on Sunday. Jake Wells, an Apollo graduate, broke a tie in the bottom of the seventh of game two with a two-run single to help the Hilltoppers complete the sweep.
■ Louisville's baseball team was unable to overcome a slow start and dropped Sunday's series finale to visiting Seton Hall 8-6 at Jim Patterson Stadium. The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Cardinals (32-7).
■ Top-seeded Tennessee's men's tennis team defeated second-seeded Florida 4-0 in the Southeastern Conference Championship at the Hilary. J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington. It was the third conference title for the Volunteers.
Coyotes force Game 7 against Red Wings
The Phoenix Coyotes scored their first three goals on special teams and Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves in a 5-2 win over the host Detroit Red Wings on Sunday that forced Game 7. Phoenix will host the final game of the first-round series on Tuesday night.
Lauri Korpikoski scored a short-handed goal 4:10 in to spark the win and keep the Coyotes alive. Mathieu Schneider snapped the Coyotes' 0-for-19 skid on the power play with a goal early in the second for a 2-0 lead, and Radim Vrbata scored with the man advantage midway through the period to restore the two-goal edge.
■ Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber sent the United States into the Fed Cup finals with a 6-3, 6-1 doubles victory over Russia's Elena Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva on Sunday at Birmingham, Ala. The Americans will meet defending champion Italy for the second straight year in the finals in November at an undetermined site in the United States. The U.S. has won a record 17 times.
Mattek-Sands beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 earlier Sunday to keep the U.S. title hopes alive. Dementieva's 7-6 (7-4), 0-6, 6-3 win over Melanie Oudin had put the Russians up 2-1.
■ Minnesota Lynx star Seimone Augustus will miss at least the start of the WNBA season after having non-cancerous tumors removed from her abdomen and lower back. Augustus, who starred in college at Louisiana State, only played in six games last season after tearing the ACL in her left knee.
The last word
Denny Hamlin, who finished fourth in NASCAR's Sprint Cup race at Talladega, Ala., on Sunday said there was a good reason for a record 88 lead changes among 29 of the 43 drivers:
"It was the biggest yo-yo effect that I've ever seen, as far as the front to the back to the middle. As hard as you tried to stay up front, there's nothing you could do to stay up there. ... From the competitive standpoint, I don't know what else you can ask for. Anybody can win this race. There's no doubt about it."