Frankel wins QEII at Ascot, but won't run in Breeders' Cup
Unbeaten Frankel won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes by four lengths Saturday in Ascot, England, giving the world's top-ranked Thoroughbred a ninth straight victory on the inaugural British Champions Day.
With Queen Elizabeth II watching at Ascot, Frankel bolstered his reputation on the richest day in the history of British horse racing.
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"He's the horse of a lifetime for the public, let alone the jockey," rider Tom Queally said after being cheered by a crowd of 27,000.
Saudi Arabian owner Prince Khalid Abdullah added: "Many people think he is the best horse they have ever seen."
The 3-year-old colt won in 1 minute, 39.45 seconds, beating 6-1 shot Excelebration. The French filly Immortal Verse was third.
"He was as good as ever and is getting more professional with every run," Queally said. "He's getting stronger and he's the real deal — not that he wasn't before."
Henry Cecil's Frankel is named after Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who died in 2009.
"He's a terrific horse," Cecil said. "He's done everything we asked of him, and next year he will easily get a mile and a quarter.
"It's been a long year and I'm looking forward to getting a winter over him. He's a champion, he's out of the ordinary and hopefully he will continue to prove himself next year."
But Cecil ruled out taking Frankel to the Breeders' Cup next month at Churchill Downs.
"He won't run again," he said. "He'll be put away for the winter."
■ Boisterous and Denomination captured the $100,000 turf stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park. Boisterous surged in deep stretch to edge Sleepless Knight by a half-length in the Knickerbocker. Denomination beat even-money favorite Unbridled Humor by 2¾ lengths in the Athenia for fillies and mares.
Jockey Eddie Castro had a spill during the fourth race and was taken to the hospital, but the New York Racing Association said he was in stable condition and able to move his extremities. X-rays on his neck were negative.
Report: Big East ready to invite 6 schools
The Big East knows which schools it wants to add. Now it's just a matter getting those programs to come aboard.
To help convince some of the candidates — such as Boise State — that the Big East will be stable in the long run, the conference has a plan in place to double its exit fee to $10 million.
An official in the Big East told The Associated Press that conference leaders are slated to vote Monday on raising that fee, which will clear the way to invite six new members.
Along with Boise State, which would be invited only to play football in the Big East, the league also wants to invite Air Force and Navy as football-only members and Conference USA members Central Florida, SMU and Houston to join in all sports.
Women's soccer on ESPNU today
Kentucky's women's soccer team will attempt to complete a weekend sweep Sunday when it hosts Georgia (11-4-0, 5-2-0 Southeastern Conference) in a match that will air on ESPNU at 4 p.m. Kentucky (11-4-0, 4-3-0) defeated No. 14 Tennessee 1-0 in double-overtime on Friday night. Natalie Horner scored the in the 106th minute.
Couples surges to seven-shot lead
Fred Couples birdied six of the first seven holes and finished with a course-record 10-under 62 on Saturday to take a seven-stroke lead in the Champions Tour's AT&T Championship in San Antonio. Couples had 12 birdies — six in a back-nine 30 — and a double bogey to reach 17 under at TPC San Antonio's Canyons Course, the first-year venue after nine years at Oak Hills.
Mark Calcavecchia was second after a bogey-free 66. He made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
The seven-stroke lead is the largest 36-hole margin on the 50-and-over tour since 1998 when Isao Aoki, Hale Irwin and Larry Nelson led events by eight shots.
Couples broke the tournament record of 130 set by Mark McNulty in his 2004 victory, and the 62 tied the event record set by Gil Morgan in 2004 and matched by John Harris in 2005.
■ Webb Simpson shot a 1-under 69 and is tied for third heading into the final round of the McGladrey Classic in St. Simons Island, Ga. Simpson and world No. 1 Luke Donald are vying for the PGA Tour money title and both have said they will play next week at Disney. Simpson trails Donald by $68,971, but could move into the top spot with a strong round Sunday. Simpson also is looking for a tour-leading third win this year.
Michael Thompson had three early birdies and finished with a 67 to move into the lead, one shot better than Billy Horschel.
■ Rafael Cabrera-Bello shot an 8-under 64, giving him a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the European Tour's Portugal Masters. Cabrera-Bello had two eagles and five birdies.
■ Na Yeon Choi took a one-stroke lead over Brittany Lang in the LPGA Malaysia, finishing off a 4-under 67 in fading light after a long rain delay. Choi birdied the par-3 15th and par-4 16th and closed with two pars to reach 12 under.
Ex-WKU star wins gold at Pan Am Games
Former Western Kentucky swimmer Claire Donahue took the gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly Saturday night at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Donahue, who won with a time of 58.73 seconds, swam the distance in 58.59 seconds in the preliminaries to set a Pan American Games record. Lexington's Elaine Breeden won the bronze.
The last word
IndyCar's best two drivers don't particularly like each other. Dario Franchitti and Will Power act friendly in front of the camera, will make idle chitchat without coming to blows, and profess a mutual respect for each other. But both are focused on trying to beat each other on the track — and that doesn't stop when they climb out of the cockpit. Power, who called Franchitti a princess earlier in the season, said:
"I'm sure if we weren't competing against each other that we would be friends — good friends . You just can't be friends with someone that you so fiercely compete with. It's impossible. It is for me, anyway. I respect him on the track and we're friendly off the track in a way, and that's just how it's always going to be. It's just the way it is when you're competing against someone."