Big Cuz shines with 26 points in All-Stars exhibition
Big man DeMarcus Cousins scored 26 points to lead a team of mostly former Kentucky stars in an exhibition game against Pikeville at the East Kentucky Expo Friday night. The Big Blue All-Stars whipped the Bears 103-82 in front of more than 4,000 fans in the first of five such contests featuring ex-Cats against Kentucky NAIA teams. One of two non-Cats in the game, former Morehead State forward Kenneth Faried impressed the crowd with several dunks en route to 23 points and 13 rebounds. The All-Stars also got 14 points from UK point guard Brandon Knight and 13 from former Butler and Bryan Station star Shelvin Mack. The All-Stars will take on Alice Lloyd on Sunday at Knott Central High School.
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Nakatani rides six Belmont winners
Corey Nakatani rode a record-tying six winners at Belmont Park on Saturday, including My Miss Aurelia in the Grade I Frizette Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Nakatani also took the $250,000 Jamaica Handicap for 3-year-olds aboard Western Aristocrat. He became the 15th rider to have six wins in a single day at a New York Racing Association track. My Miss Aurelia improved to 3-for-3 with her win in the $300,000 Frizette, leading all the way to beat even-money favorite Stopshoppingmaria by 5½ lengths. Trained by Steve Asmussen, My Miss Aurelia paid $6.50 to win as she ran the 1 mile in 1:35.22. Union Rags took the co-feature, the Grade I, $300,000 Champagne for 2-year-olds to also remain undefeated in three starts. Javier Castellano was aboard for trainer Michael Matz as Union Rags beat Alpha by 5 lengths. He paid $4.40 to win the mile clocked in 1:35.55.
Amazombie secures Breeders' Cup bid
Amazombie circled the field at the top of the stretch and took the lead on his way to a three-quarter-length victory in the $250,000 Ancient Title Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, while The Factor faded to fourth. Amazombie ran 6 furlongs in 1:08.24 to earn an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint next month at Churchill Downs. He paid $8.60, $3.60 and $6.60 at 3-1 odds. Jeranimo won the $150,000 Oak Tree Mile, which could lead to a start in the BC Mile.
Sent off as the 2-5 favorite, The Factor had the lead approaching the quarter pole only to fade down the stretch. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert wasn't happy when The Factor drew the No. 1 post, a spot in which he has faltered before.
"The post position was a killer for him," Baffert said. "They had him trapped. When it was 21 (seconds) flat for the first quarter, I knew it was over. They had to rush him."
The Factor's reputation for speed allowed him to duel 45-1 pacesetter Sirocco Strike on the backside before he took a narrow lead heading toward the stretch turn under jockey Martin Garcia. The Factor owns the track record of 1:06.98 for 6 furlongs.
"I guess they wanted to press us early," Baffert said. "You never know what jockeys are going to do; it's always the long shot that gets you. They have nothing to lose, so they just go for it."
■ Headache won the 75th running of the Grade II $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup, beating Where's Sterling by a half-length Saturday. Headache, ridden by Paco Lopez, ran 1¼ miles in 2:043⁄5 and $12.60, $6 and $4.40.
Dempsey's goal lifts U.S. over Honduras
Clint Dempsey scored in the 36th minute, and Tim Howard made several nice saves to help lift the U.S. Men's National Team past Honduras 1-0 on Saturday night and give the team its first victory in four games under Coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The U.S. had scored once while going 0-2-1 in Klinsmann's first three games as coach. The U.S. had several scoring chances in the first half, during which a frog was seen on the wet field.
Tiger out of contention despite low rounds
Tiger Woods put together back-to-back rounds in the 60s for the first time since the start of the season. It wasn't enough Saturday at the Frys.com Open. After making a mess of the par-3 holes, Woods had to settle for a 3-under 68 that put him in the middle of the pack. He was the first to tee off — on the back nine — and while two straight birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 pulled him within three shots, the leaders were in the group ahead of him and just getting started.
It was a beautiful day at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., with bright sunshine and barely a breeze. The pins were accessible. Everyone was making birdies. Woods didn't make enough.
"The golf course could have been had today," said Woods, playing in his first PGA Tour event in seven weeks — and his last official PGA Tour event of the year. "Guys can take it deep out there."
Briny Baird was one of them. Despite a bogey from the hazard on the final hole, Baird had a 7-under 64 to give himself a small cushion over Ernie Els and Paul Casey. Baird has gone 347 tournaments over 12 years without hoisting a trophy on the PGA Tour. This is only the third time he has been atop the leader board going into the final round, the last occasion at Disney seven years ago.
■ South Korea's Soo-Jin Yang matched the course record with a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Yani Tseng and two-time defending champion Na Yeon Choi in the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.
■ Brad Faxon moved into position for his first Champions Tour title, shooting a 7-under 65 in windy conditions to take a one-stroke lead in the Insperity Championship at The Woodlands, Texas. Faxon, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour who turned 50 on Aug. 1, had a bogey-free round to reach 10-under 134.
■ England's Lee Slattery extended his lead at the Madrid Masters to 2 strokes after shooting a 3-under 69 in the third round on Saturday. Slattery led by 1 overnight and produced a steady round of three birdies without dropping a shot to finish the day at 14 under for the tournament. He's two shots ahead of Italian Lorenzo Gagli (69) and Australian Brett Rumford (68).
UK men's soccer comeback not enough
The Kentucky men's soccer team's rally fell short, and Alabama-Birmingham beat the Cats 3-2 Saturday night at the UK Soccer Complex. Kentucky (7-7-1, 0-4-0 Conference USA) broke out of a 350-minute scoreless streak in the second half after going down 3-0. Brendan Murphy, who led UK with five shots, got his second goal of the year, and fellow sophomore Tyler Riggs scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season. He also got the assist on Murphy's goal.
■ UK men's tennis senior Eric Quigley continued his march through the singles consolation bracket Saturday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. Quigley, who is ranked No. 3 in the nation in singles by the ITA, beat No. 8 Evan King of Michigan in the quarterfinals and No. 19 Finn Tearney of Pepperdine in the semis. Quigley will face No. 10 Sebastian Fanselow of Pepperdine on Sunday in the consolation finals.
■ Olympic champion Nastia Liukin said Saturday that she has resumed training in hopes of making the U.S. team for next summer's London Olympics. She plans to focus on uneven bars and balance beam, her best events, and isn't ruling out floor exercise. Meanwhile, the American team responded to the loss of Beijing Olympic captain Alicia Sacramone with a commanding performance Saturday that topped qualifying at the world gymnastics championships and secured a spot at the 2012 Games. Team finals are Tuesday night.
The last word
Scottish golfer Elliot Saltman after winning his body weight in ham for shooting a hole-in-one during his second round Friday at the Madrid Masters:
"I've been trying to lose weight, but now I'm thinking I should have just kept it."