Afleet Again surprise winner in Withers at Aqueduct
Afleet Again pulled off the upset Saturday in the Grade III $147,000 Withers Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.
The 24-1 gray colt trained by Robert Reid Jr. rallied down the center of the track to beat Ibboyee by 1½ lengths in a race that set up perfectly for his late-running style.
Castaneda set a sizzling pace with the D'Funnybone, the 1-2 favorite, following closely in second. After a half mile in 43.82 seconds and three quarters in 1:07.45, those two were done.
"He just didn't have the finish," said jockey Edgar Prado of D'Funnybone. "The mile got him."
Afleet Again, with Abel Mariano aboard, picked up the pieces for his first stakes victory, and third in 10 starts.
The time was 1:34.05 for the one mile on the fast track.
"My only instructions to the jockey were to take hold early on, and hopefully the speed might back up," Reid said. "He's a big, giant horse, and you don't want to get him checked. Abel took him to the outside and gave him a clear run, and that's what made the difference."
Afleet Again, the second-longest shot in the five-horse field, paid $51, $9.90 and $46.60. Ibboyee, the 8-5 second choice, returned $3.90 and $10. Spangled Star, the outsider at 28-1, paid $54 to show.
D'Funnybone was fourth followed by Castaneda.
"We really hadn't considered this race before Wednesday," said Reid, who trains Afleet Alex for Cash is King Stable, which campaigned his sire, 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex. "(But) it was a small field, and I love the one-turn mile for him and the big sweeping turns here. ... We were concerned the race was a little too short for him; I believe he's a legitimate mile and an eighth, mile and a quarter horse, but that said, he's not eligible for the Triple Crown races."
Reports: Oregon hires Creighton's Altman
Multiple media outlets are reporting Creighton Coach Dana Altman has agreed to take over at Oregon. Fox Sports was the first to report that Altman had been hired to replace Ernie Kent, who was dismissed last month after 13 seasons with his alma mater.
Altman has spent 16 seasons at Creighton with a 327-176 record. He led the Bluejays to 11 consecutive 20-win seasons before they went 18-16 this year. Altman also went 68-54 in four seasons as Kansas State's head coach from 1990-94.
Oregon was 16-16 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10 this past season.
Cardinals get their eighth straight win
Freshman right-hander Matt Koch earned his first career win with three scoreless innings of relief, and Phil Wunderlich (Owensboro Catholic) and Stewart Ijames each hit home runs in the Louisville baseball team's 3-1 win against visiting Seton Hall on Saturday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium. It was the eighth consecutive victory for the Cardinals (32-6). Neil Holland (Owensboro Catholic) got the final five outs without allowing a hit to get his 10th save.
Doubleheader on tap for Cats, Auburn
After Kentucky and Auburn began the top of the first inning and played 11 minutes Saturday, the game was suspended because of inclement weather at Plainsman Park in Auburn, Ala. The teams will play a doubleheader Sunday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Kentucky (22-16) loaded the bases with one out before play was suspended.
LSU wins rain-shortened softball game
Louisiana State's softball team defeated Kentucky 5-2 in a rain-shortened five-inning game Saturday at the UK Softball Complex. The two teams will play a doubleheader Sunday with the first game starting at 10 a.m. LSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a three-run home run from Rachel Mitchell in the top of the first inning.
Penguins' OT win eliminates Senators
Pascal Dupuis scored 9:56 into overtime for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who erased a three-goal deficit and eliminated the Ottawa Senators from the playoffs with a 4-3 road victory in Game 6 on Saturday night. The Senators led 3-0 in the second period and appeared to go up 4-1 in the frame, but lost a goal to video replay when it was determined the puck crossed the line after the net was knocked off its moorings.
Matt Cooke scored his second of the game with 7:36 left in regulation to tie it at 3. Bill Guerin had a goal earlier in the third, a period in which Pittsburgh held an 18-4 shots advantage.
Matt Cullen and Daniel Alfredsson each had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, which won Game 5 at Pittsburgh in triple overtime to stave off elimination.
Hossa's goal gives Chicago series lead
Patrick Kane's short-handed goal tied the game with 13.6 seconds left in regulation and Marian Hossa came out of the penalty box to score the winner 4:07 into overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 5-4 on Saturday to take a 3-2 lead in the first-round series. The Blackhawks blew a 3-1 lead, and the Predators went ahead 4-3 with two third-period goals by Martin Erat. Andrew Ladd, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Tomas Kopecky also had goals for Chicago in regulation. Nashville was 0-for-4 on the power play. The Predators played their fourth straight game without leading goal scorer Patric Hornqvist, who has been out with an upper body injury.
Bohn leads suspended Zurich Classic
Jason Bohn had a three-stroke lead Saturday when third-round play in the weather-plagued Zurich Classic was suspended because of darkness. Bohn, celebrating his 37th birthday, shot a 5-under 67 in the completion of the second round and was even par through six holes in the third at Avondale, La. Greg Chalmers and Alex Cejka were tied for second at 9 under. Chalmers played seven holes in the third round, and Cejka completed six at TPC Louisiana.
■ Andy Bean and Lu Chien-soon teamed to shoot a better-ball 12-under 60 in a steady, light rain to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds in the Champions Tour's Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf at Savannah, Ga. Bean and Lu, 19 under overall, played the final 10 holes in 10 under.
American Oudin rallies for Fed Cup win
Melanie Oudin had emotion and a hometown-flavored crowd on her side. Those advantages just took some time to kick in. Oudin beat Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday at Birmingham, Ala., after slow starts in both sets. Then Russia's Elena Dementieva evened up the Fed Cup semifinals matchup with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The 18-year-old Oudin, ranked a career-best 31st, rallied from two games down in each set. She fell behind 1-3 and 0-2 to the Russian, who was making her Fed Cup debut.
Rain forces doubleheader for Legends
The Lexington Legends' game against the Greenville Drive on Saturday night in Greenville, S.C., was rained out. The Legends and Drive plan to play a doubleheader Sunday, starting at 4 p.m.
The last word
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Jeff Gordon had this to say after golfer Brian Davis recently self-reported a penalty, costing him a possible PGA Tour victory:
"Could you imagine LeBron James ever calling a charging foul on himself with the game on the line?"