Pletcher: Uncle Mo might return to racing in August
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday that Uncle Mo could return to racing in August at Saratoga Race Course in New York after being knocked off the Triple Crown trail by an inflamed liver. The colt has been recovering at WinStar Farm in Versailles and is expected to leave Monday for Pletcher's stable at Saratoga.
Pletcher said Uncle Mo is being pointed toward the King's Bishop on Aug. 27. It would be his first start since finishing third in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in April.
Last year's 2-year-old champion colt was scratched from the Kentucky Derby and was later found to have an inflamed liver.
Pletcher said Uncle Mo has been galloping on the farm in Kentucky. The trainer has been keeping up with the colt's progress via video and said Uncle Mo's coat is bright and glossy, he's put on weight, and his blood work is normal.
New leader after crash-filled Tour stage
Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez won the ninth stage of the Tour de France on a wild day of crashes, and France's Thomas Voeckler finished second to take the leader's yellow jersey from Thor Hushovd. Among those caught in the mayhem was defending champion Alberto Contador, who overcame another crash, banging his troublesome right knee after an early spill.
"I had a problem with my handlebars, which knocked into another rider's saddle," Contador said after safely completing the stage in 12th place. "It pushed me toward the spectators on the side, and I went into them, and the bike hit me on the right knee again."
Sanchez moved into second place overall, followed by Australia's Cadel Evans. Veteran Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov fractured his right thigh bone and withdrew after crashing near the halfway point of the 129-mile route from Issoire to Saint-Flour in the Massif Central. He was to be taken by helicopter to La Pitie Salpetriere hospital in Paris and will undergo immediate surgery, his team said.
Spain's Juan Antonio Flecha was hit by a car late and took down Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland with him as he flew sideways off his saddle. Both got up and kept riding. Defending champion Contador fell early on, but the Spaniard was unharmed and rode on.
"Even before the accident, a lot of cars brushed right past us," Sanchez said. "I understand that guests want to have a close look at the race, but we need to get a message across to the organizers so that the drivers are more careful."
Organizers said they have excluded the car that caused the incident from the rest of the race, without providing further details.
■ No American has ever won the red-and-white spotted jersey awarded to the race's best mountain climber. But Tejay van Garderen is showing indications that he could become the first. Van Garderen spent Sunday in the distinctive shirt for the first time, leading out the peloton's ceremonial start alongside the yellow, green and white jersey holders. The 22-year-old nabbed the polka dot jersey a day earlier as reward for his nearly daylong breakaway with nine other riders in Saturday's stage in the mountains of France's Massif Central. He only got to wear it for a day — at least this time. Johnny Hoogerland of the Netherlands took the jersey after being part of an early breakaway that stayed in front over the day's eight categorized climbs, scooping up all the points.
Van Garderen, a Tacoma, Wash., native, is the third-youngest rider in this year's Tour and downplayed his chances of earning the title as best climber this year.
"The team has other goals, with (Mark) Cavendish, and Tony (Martin) and Peter (Velits) for GC, so you can't do too much," Van Garderen said.
Franchitti gets 4th win in a 'wild one'
It took a lot of skill and a little luck for Dario Franchitti to avoid multiple collisions, difficult restarts and a challenge by a tenacious rival to win his third title on the 25th anniversary of the Honda Indy Toronto. Franchitti survived a crash-filled Sunday that knocked out Will Power and several other drivers at Exhibition Place for his fourth IndyCar victory of the season, giving the Scottish driver a little breathing room atop the series points standings.
"That was a wild one, wasn't it?" he said. "That was an absolute wild one."
Spain sweeps U.S. in Davis Cup singles
Everything was set up for Andy Roddick and the Americans to win. A Davis Cup quarterfinal match against Spain set deep in Austin, Texas, a hard surface that was supposed to complement their big hitters and a rowdy crowd of 16,000 ready to cheer them on.
Spain was even missing superstar Rafael Nadal, who skipped the matches to rest after losing the Wimbledon finals. None of it mattered to the feisty, passionate and inspired Spaniards, who tore through the singles matches undefeated to build an insurmountable 3-1 lead, denying Roddick a chance to win it in front of his hometown fans. Spain's David Ferrer, the No. 6 player in the world, beat No. 8 Mardy Fish 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-6 (5) in a 4-hour, 11-minute reverse singles match Sunday that clinched Spain's victory.
The win — its first on U.S. soil — sends the Spain to the semifinals, where it will host France on Sept. 16-18. Spain is seeking its third Davis Cup championship in four years.
Powell wins 100 meters in England
Asafa Powell overcame a difficult start to win the 100 meters in 9.91 seconds Sunday at the Aviva Grand Prix Diamond League meet in Birmingham, England. He was delayed by a false start and then a faulty start before striding to victory ahead of fellow Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Michael Frater. After a 9.95 in the heats, Powell recorded his 71st sub-10 second run at a damp Alexander Stadium. Powell set the fastest time in the world this year with a 9.78 in Lausanne 10 days ago.
■ Paul Dunbar senior-to-be Lee Kiefer starred Saturday as the U.S. men's saber and women's foil teams both won fencing gold at the Pan American Zonal Championships, which completed a U.S. sweep of all 12 gold medals awarded during the six-day event. Kiefer, the two-time Pan American Champion in the individual event, anchored the final bout against the Canadians. And With a score of 40-26, she held off Kelleigh Ryan to finish the win for Team USA, 45-31.
The last word
Golfer John Daly bemoaning the 13 he carded on the par-4 fourth hole Friday at the John Deere Classic:
"Two-putted. Had 20-footer for 12."