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Big Brown is a close winner

September 14, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Big Brown set up a potential showdown with Curlin, last year's horse of the year, with a front-running victory over older horses in the $500,000 Monmouth Stakes on Saturday at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

"I can't wait to run against Curlin," Big Brown co-owner Michael Iavarone said. "If he's gonna show up, he should show up in the Breeders' Cup. That's where we are going to be. That would be a great place for us to run against each other."

Curlin is set to run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Sept. 27, but majority owner Jess Jackson has not committed to running the 4-year-old in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

Big Brown, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, opened a big early lead and held off Proudinsky to win by a neck for his seventh victory in eight starts.

Big Brown covered the 1 1/8 miles on grass in 1:47.41. Shakis finished third, half a length behind.

"If the Breeders' Cup were today, he would be ready," jockey Kent Desormeaux said. "He has come full circle since whatever happened in the Belmont Stakes."

GOLF

Jenkins ties Eaks for lead in Champions Tour event

Tom Jenkins shot a seven-under-par 65 for a share of the second-round lead with defending champion R.W. Eaks in the Greater Hickory Classic at Conover, N.C.

Jenkins, in contention for his first Champions Tour victory in two years, matched Eaks at 15-under 129.

Eaks shot a bogey-free 68 after opening with a 61, the best score on the tour this year.

The 54-year-old Jenkins, who opened with a 64, made up ground with eight birdies, including five straight between Nos. 7 and 11.

The run of birdies put Jenkins in the lead briefly before Eaks made his final birdie on No. 14. Jenkins then dropped a stroke behind with a bogey on No. 16, but made it up on No. 18 with a birdie.

Angela Stanford shot her second straight five-under 67 to take a four-stroke lead after the third round of the Bell Micro LPGA Classic at Mobile, Ala.

Stanford had seven birdies, including four in a row on the back nine, to reach 12-under 204 on the Crossings course at Magnolia Grove.

Canadian Women's Open winner Katherine Hull was eight under after a 68, and Angela Park (69) and Shanshan Feng (70) were tied for third at six under.

Cristie Kerr, two strokes ahead of Stanford after a second-round 66, shot a 76 to drop seven shots back.

TENNIS

Russia takes 2-0 lead

over Spain in Fed Cup

Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova gave defending champion Russia a 2-0 lead in the Fed Cup final at Madrid by winning the opening singles matches against Anabel Medina Garriques and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

Zvonareva defeated Medina Garriques, 6-3, 6-4, and Kuznetsova beat Suarez Navarro, 6-3, 6-1.

Tamira Paszek beat top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, and second-seeded Patty Schnyder beat fourth-seeded Nadia Petrova, 7-5, 6-1, in the semifinals of the Bali Open at Indonesia.

Sixth-seeded Carlos Moya defeated top-seeded Richard Gasquet, 6-2, 6-4, and second-seeded Gilles Simon beat eighth-seeded Jose Acasuso, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, in the semifinals of the BCR Open Romania at Bucharest.

TRACK AND FIELD

Spotakova sets women's javelin world record

Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic set a world record in the women's javelin with a throw of 237 feet 2 inches at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Olympic champion surpassed the mark of 235-3 set by Osleidys Menendez of Cuba at the 2005 world championships in Helsinki, Finland.

Jamaicans swept the men's 100 meters, with Asafa Powell winning in 9.87 seconds, followed by Nesta Carter in 10.07 and Michael Frater in 10.10.

LaShawn Merritt beat Jeremy Wariner at the line to win the men's 400 meters in 44.50, repeating his victory over his fellow American at the Beijing Olympics.

Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius of South Africa, who runs on carbon-fiber blades, earned his second gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, winning the men's 200 meters in 21.67, nearly a second faster than second-place Jim Bob Bizzell of the United States. Pistorius, 21, had also won the 100 meters.

SOCCER

Babel's goal lifts Liverpool over Manchester United

Host Liverpool secured its first Premier League win over Manchester United in four years after Ryan Babel scored a late goal for a 2-1 victory.

The Netherlands winger scored in the 77th minute after going into the game as a substitute as Liverpool rallied after allowing Carlos Tevez to score for Manchester United in the third minute.

Babel had gone into the game six minutes before the goal as a replacement for Albert Riera, who played his first game for the Reds.

Manchester United defender Wes Brown scored an own-goal after a mix-up with goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar in the 27th minute.

It was the first league victory for Coach Rafa Benitez over Manchester United Coach Alex Ferguson.

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