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THE DAY IN SPORTS

Quality Road wins Florida Derby

Victory in the Grade I race at Gulfstream Park stamps Quality Road as a Kentucky Derby favorite.

March 29, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

Quality Road pulled away in the stretch, holding off previously unbeaten Dunkirk on Saturday to win the $750,000 Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, giving the colt his second graded stakes win in as many starts.

Next up for Quality Road is the Kentucky Derby on May 2, where he surely will be one of the top choices.

"It's a lot of pressure," said trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who is taking a horse from his barn into racing's most famed race for the first time. "But it's good to be in that position."

Quality Road, under John Velazquez, finished in a track-record 1 minute 47.72 seconds for nine furlongs. Dunkirk, who needed a win to clinch a spot in the Kentucky Derby, was second by nearly two lengths, and Theregoesjojo was third.

Well Armed, ridden by Aaron Gryder, won the $6-million Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates by a record 14 lengths. . . . Alysheba, winner of the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness and the 1988 horse of the year, was euthanized Friday night after a fall in his stall in Lexington, Ky. He was 25. Alysheba retired as horse racing's all-time leading money winner with more than $6.6 million in earnings from 11 victories in 26 starts.

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TENNIS

Serena Williams cruises in opener

Top-seeded Serena Williams defeated fellow American Alexa Glatch, 6-2, 6-3, in her opening match at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Williams, who is looking for a record sixth Key Biscayne championship, is 48-5 in the tournament.

Fifth-seeded Venus Williams won her opening match, defeating Shahar Peer of Israel, 6-3, 6-3.

In men's play, No. 14 David Nalbandian of Argentina lost to Viktor Troicki of Serbia, 6-1, 6-3, and American Sam Querrey was eliminated by No. 32 Feliciano Lopez of Spain, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-2.

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GOLF

Shin takes lead in LPGA event

Jiyai Shin moved into position for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year, shooting a six-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the J Golf Phoenix LPGA International.

She was at 10-under 206. Im-Kyung Kim, the leader after two rounds, shot a 71 and dropped into a second-place tie with Karrie Webb (69).

Mark O'Meara moved into position for his first Champions Tour victory, shooting a seven-under 65 for a share of the second-round lead in the Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic. Eduardo Romero and Keith Fergus each shot a 68 to join O'Meara at eight-under 136.

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ETC.

Armstrong gets back to training

Three days after surgery for a broken right collarbone, Lance Armstrong posted a photo of himself training on his Twitter feed.

Armstrong, 37, a seven-time Tour de France winner, said he got on the bike for half an hour.

He was expected to resume training almost immediately to meet his goal of racing in the Giro d'Italia, which begins May 9. He also plans to ride in the Tour de France in July, his first since 2005.

Armstrong broke the collarbone during a fall Monday at the Vuelta of Castilla and Leon race in northern Spain.

Brawn driver Jenson Button earned the pole position for today's Formula One season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne, with teammate Rubens Barrichello qualifying second.

It is the first time since 1954 that a team has taken the pole in its first grand prix.

Nick Joanides of Woodland Hills took the lead from Andrew Myers and went on to win the NASCAR Auto Club Late Models 50-lap season opening feature race at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale. Joanides' margin of victory over Tim Huddleston was 0.575 seconds. Myers finished third.

James Stewart won his series-leading ninth Monster Energy AMA Supercross race of the season, a victory in Toronto that moved him to within eight points of overall series leader Chad Reed.

Kaylin Richardson finished in 1:10.18 to beat Julia Mancuso (1:10.53) and Stacey Cook (1:10.72) at Girdwood, Alaska, for her second U.S. Alpine Championships downhill title and Marco Sullivan finished in 1:08.07, ahead of Erik Fisher (1:08.44) and Jeremy Transue (1:08.51) to win the men's title.

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