Itsmyluckyday upsets early Derby favorite Shanghai Bobby
Itsmyluckyday won the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes on Saturday, overtaking Eclipse Award-winning favorite Shanghai Bobby in the stretch and breaking the Gulfstream Park record for 11⁄16 miles. Shanghai Bobby won the Eclipse Award as 2-year-old champion at Gulfstream a week earlier.
"The winner was very good today, we were second-best," said trainer Todd Pletcher, whose horse lost for the first time in six career races. "We got a good trip. You just don't expect you're going to have to break the track record by three-fifths of a second in order to win the first trip of the year."
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Ridden for the first time by Elvis Trujillo, Itsmyluckyday won by 2 lengths, finishing in 1:41.81 and paying $11.40, $4.40 and $3.80 in the Grade III Kentucky Derby prep race.
"I'm not going to say he's the best 3-year-old, I'm going to say he was the best 3-year-old here today," trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said.
Shanghai Bobby, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, returned $3 and $2.80 in his season debut. Clearly Now paid $11.40 to show.
Shanghai Bobby broke well from the rail and grabbed the early lead. He set the pace in the backstretch until being challenged nearing the quarter pole. That's where Itsmyluckyday went to the leader's outside, shook free at the eighth pole and drew clear in the final sixteenth.
Phelps' horse wins at Gulfstream
Cerro, a 3-year-old colt partly owned by 18-time Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps, won the $54,500 third race at Gulfstream Park. Phelps and his former coach, Bob Bowman, share an ownership interest in the Ireland-bred colt, which runs in the colors of Team Valor International. Cerro is trained by Graham Motion, who oversaw 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Cerro's next scheduled start at Gulfstream is March 3 in the Palm Beach Stakes. The colt is being pointed toward the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on March 24, a race won the last two years by Team Valor and Motion.
Azarenka repeats at Australian Open
Victoria Azarenka won her second consecutive Australian Open title, beating Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a final that included two medical timeouts and a nasty fall to the court by Li. The Chinese star first tumbled to the court after twisting her left ankle in the fifth game of the second set. She later fell over again and slammed the back of her head on the court. Azarenka, who broke down in tears and sobbed into her towel when the match ended, won five of the next six games to claim her second major title and retain the No. 1 ranking. Serena Williams, who lost in the quarterfinals, will become the new No. 2 in the rankings.
■ Americans Mike and Bob Bryan won their record 13th Grand Slam doubles title, defeating the Dutch team of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling 6-3, 6-4. They had been tied with the Australian greats John Newcombe and Tony Roche with 12 major titles.
Wall helps Wizards beat Bulls
Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 16 rebounds, helping the surging Washington Wizards beat the visiting Chicago Bulls 86-73 on Saturday night. Former Kentucky star John Wall and Nene each scored 16 points for Washington, which won consecutive games for the second time this season. The Wizards have won five straight at home for the first time in five years, and seven of 10 overall. Nate Robinson scored 19 points for the Bulls, and Joakim Noah narrowly missed a triple-double with nine points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, which equaled his career high.
■ Kyrie Irving made a three-pointer with 0.7 seconds left to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 99-98 victory over the host Toronto Raptors. Headed to his first All-Star game, Irving added to his credentials by calmly draining a pull-up jumper from the top of the arc to send the Cavaliers to their third straight win. He had 32 points.
■ Jrue Holiday scored a career-high 35 points, Nick Young had 20 and the host Philadelphia 76ers cruised to a 97-80 victory over the New York Knicks. Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points for the Knicks. He has 28 straight 20-point games, tied with Patrick Ewing for the second-longest streak in franchise history.
■ Gerald Henderson hit a three-pointer from 25 feet with 4.6 seconds left to lift the host Charlotte Bobcats to a 102-101 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, snapping a 16-game home losing streak. The Bobcats' streak was stopped two short of the NBA record held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.
■ The Rockets reinstated suspended rookie forward Royce White, and he's due to report to the team's developmental league affiliate on Feb. 11. The 6-foot-8 White, the 16th overall pick in the draft, has been on the inactive list all season as he worked on an arrangement with the team to balance his anxiety disorder with the demands of the NBA schedule.
Mumme resigns at McMurry
Former Kentucky football coach Hal Mumme resigned Friday after four seasons as head coach at McMurry University, the Reporter-News of Abilene, Texas, reported. Mumme, the architect of Kentucky's "Air Raid" offense in the late '90s whose UK tenure ended amid an NCAA investigation, took over McMurry's lifeless NCAA Division III program in 2009 and quickly turned it into a winner. McMurry moved up to Division II this past season. Mumme told the Reporter-News that he is leaving to pursue other career opportunities. "It's time to move," he said. "I've done everything I can do at McMurry." Mumme's 22-year collegiate coaching record is 135-118-1.
■ Florida State's E.J. Manuel passed for a touchdown and rushed for another on the South's first two drives in a 21-16 victory over the North in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday. Manuel was named Most Outstanding Player in the game for senior NFL prospects. Brigham Young defensive end Ezekiel Ansah received the honors for the South team.
Fog delays third round at Torrey Pines
Tiger Woods is going to have to wait to pursue a seventh win at Torrey Pines. Three players completed one hole Saturday before fog wiped out virtually the entire day at the Farmers Insurance Open. Players are to resume the round Sunday morning and play as long as daylight allows, and then finish Monday. Woods, who had a two-shot lead over Billy Horschel, never came to the golf course.
■ Chris Wood eagled the 18th hole to win the Qatar Masters for his first European Tour victory, overtaking Sergio Garcia and George Coetzee, who finished a shot back.
Gymnastics team loses to Alabama
Two-time defending national champion Alabama beat UK's 15th-ranked gymnastics team 196.575-194.8 on Friday in Tuscaloosa. It was Kentucky's first loss in a Southeastern Conference dual meet this season. Kentucky (4-2, 2-1) set or tied four career highs in the meet, including three on balance beam.
The last word
After watching 50-year-old computer technician Michael Drysch make a half-court hook shot to win $75,000 from the LeBron James Family Foundation on Friday, LeBron James sprinted at Drysch and bear-hugged him as they both tumbled to the court. Said James:
"I was excited. I would have probably air-balled that one in that situation."