Horse racing: Verrazano took command at the three-quarter mile mark and blew away the rest of the field to win the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational by a race-record 9 3/4 lengths Sunday in the 46th annual running at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.
Sent off at even money, Verrazano allowed Preakness winner Oxbow to set the early fractions in a slow pace. Oxbow, sent off as the second choice at 5-2, led through the half-mile mark, with Verrazano a half-length back.
The two stakes winners went head-to-head for 200 yards, then Verrazano, ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher, pulled away from a fading Oxbow to win, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.3.
It was Pletcher’s third winner at the Haskell and Velazquez’s second win.
Power Broker, ridden by Rosie Napravnik and trained by six-time Haskell winner Bob Baffert, finished second. Baffert was attempting to win the Haskell for the fourth straight time. Micromanage finished third and Oxbow faded to fourth. Micromanage also is trained by Pletcher.
Isner tops Anderson in tall Atlanta Open
Tennis: Top-seeded John Isner won the Atlanta Open, beating second-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) in the tallest final in ATP history.
The 6-foot-10 Isner, who lost in the Atlanta final in 2010 and ’11 to fellow American Mardy Fish, won his seventh career title. Anderson is 6-foot-8.
Isner rallied to win two tiebreakers, pushing his ATP-best tiebreaker record to 27-6.
All three sets were played on serve, and Anderson lost serve only once in four matches.
In the third tiebreaker, however, Isner scored off Anderson’s first, third, fourth and fifth serves to win 7-2. The last point came when Anderson sent a backhand into the net.
Isner will move up from his world rank of 22 and likely pass Sam Querry (20) as the top American. Isner is 6-3 against Anderson, who began the tournament ranked No. 21.
• Cibulkova outlasts Radwanska: Dominika Cibulkova avenged one of the worst losses ever in a WTA Tour final, outlasting Agnieszka Radwanska 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to win the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif.
Seven months after failing to even win a game against Radwanska in the Sydney final, Cibulkova came out aggressive and put the top-seeded Radwanska on the run. The third-seeded Cibulkova overcame two service breaks in the final set – both on double-faults – to win the final four games.
The victory gave Cibulkova her third career singles title and first win against Radwanska in four tries.
• Robredo dispatches Fognini: Tommy Robredo won the Croatia Open clay-court event in Umag, beating Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-0, 6-3 for his 12th career title and second this year.
• Youzhny tops Haase: Mikhail Youzhny won his first Swiss Open title in his eighth attempt, beating Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4 in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Franklin swims to gold at world meet
Miscellany: Missy Franklin has claimed gold in the first of her eight events at the world championships in Barcelona, Spain.
She can thank teammate Megan Romano.
Romano chased down the Australians with a powerful anchor leg, leading the United States to gold in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. Franklin was far behind in second after a blistering start by Cate Campbell, but Natalie Coughlin and Shannon Vreeland chipped away at the deficit before Romano finished the job.
She touched in 3 minutes, 32.43 seconds, edging Alicia Coutts by 0.12. The Netherlands finished in third place.
• Team New Zealand beats Italy: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Italy’s Luna Rossa by 3 minutes, 21 seconds in their final meeting in the round-robins in the America’s Cup challenger trials on San Francisco Bay.
Team New Zealand, led by skipper Dean Barker, had a slight lead at the start and built its lead at every turning mark on the seven-leg course.
• UNC suspends Hairston: North Carolina has suspended leading scorer P.J. Hairston indefinitely after the guard was cited for reckless driving.
The suspension was the latest off-court misstep for Hairston, who had been cited twice in the span of a month while driving a rental vehicle linked to a convicted felon.
• America completes sweep: Olympic silver medalists April Ross and Jennifer Kessy beat top-ranked Brazilians Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima 15-21, 21-18, 17-15 in the inaugural World Series Cup volleyball final in Long Beach, Calif.
Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson completed the U.S. sweep, beating Latvia’s Alesandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins 22-20, 20-11 in the men’s final.
• USA wins gold: Behind a stifling defensive effort, the 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team held France to eight points in the second half en route to a 61-28 victory and the USA’s fifth straight FIBA U19 World Championship of Women gold medal in Klaipeda, Lithuania.
The Canadian Junior Women’s National Team defeated Japan 75-64, giving Team Canada a 4-5 record in the tournament and a seventh-place finish overall. Gonzaga University incoming women’s basketball freshman Emma Wolfram had 12 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and one steal in the victory.
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