Originally created 09/11/05


Auto Racing

McCune 1st woman to take series pole

In Joliet, Ill., Sarah McCune became the first woman to capture the pole in an Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series event, taking the top spot in her first race on the circuit during qualifying on Saturday.

The 26-year-old McCune claimed the top spot for today's Chicagoland 100, turning a fast lap of 187.795 mph.

McCune hopes to eventually move up to the IRL's IndyCar Series, where former star Sarah Fisher and current driver Danica Patrick have each won poles.

Travis Gregg was second, with a lap of 186.770 mph.

- In Spa-Francorchamps, Bel- gium, Juan Pablo Montoya, of Colombia qualified first for today's Belgian Grand Prix.

Montoya, driving a McLaren-Mercedes, was timed in 1:46.391 at the 4.334-mile Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps road course.

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen was second and Giancarlo Fisichella of Italy qualified third.

Horse Racing

Saint Liam claims wacky Woodward

In New York, Saint Liam won a wacky Woodward Stakes on Saturday - a race that turned into a showdown between two trainers who saddled all five horses in the field.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.'s Saint Liam came out on top of trainer Nick Zito's Commentator, rolling to an easy victory in a most unusual running of the $500,000 Woodward at Belmont Park.

Dutrow sent out three horses, two of whom were used as "rabbits," speed horses entered for the purpose of making sure of an honest pace.

Show Boot and Crafty Player did exactly that, preventing Commentator from gaining an easy lead like he did in beating Saint Liam in the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 6. When the field turned for home, Commentator had nothing left, while Saint Liam came on strong under jockey Jerry Bailey and beat Sir Shackleton, Zito's other horse, by two lengths.

Saint Liam, now considered a top contender for the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 29 at Belmont, earned $300,000 with his third win in five starts this year.

- In Doncaster, England, Frankie Dettori led all the way on favorite Scorpion to win the St. Leger for the third time.

Dettori, who won on Classic Cliche in 1995 and Shantou a year later, won the $828,000 race, the world's oldest classic, by a length from The Geezer.

- In Dublin, Ireland, Oratorio captured the $1 million Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown by a half length, making a late run to catch English Derby winner Motivator.

Motivator, with Kevin Darley aboard, opened a two-length lead with 400 meters to go. But Oratorio won in a sprint.


Sun, Monarchs to meet in finals

In Uncasville, Conn., the Connecticut Sun are back in the WNBA Finals for the second straight year but needed an extra five minutes to get there.

The Sun got 15 points from Taj McWilliams-Franklin and a key 3-pointer from Nykesha Sales in overtime to sweep the Eastern Conference finals with a 77-67 win over the Indiana Fever.

They will take on Sacramento, which beat Houston 74-65.

"I think it was great that it went to overtime, it sort of refreshed us," Sales said.

World Cup

Australia forced to road in final playoff

In Marrakech, Morocco, Australia will begin its two-game playoff for a berth at next year's World Cup at the fifth-placed team from the South American zone.

Australia, which has not qualified for the World Cup since 1974, could face a repeat of its 2002 loss to Uruguay, which holds fifth place, one point more than Colombia and Chile.

Uzbekistan and Bahrain must replay the first leg of their playoff - which Uzbekistan won 1-0 last week - after FIFA voided the game because the referee awarded Bahrain a free kick rather than making Uzbekistan retake a penalty kick following an encroachment.


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