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Published Sep. 21, 2009


TORONTO - Ventura rallied from well back in the field Sunday to become the first female to win the $1 million Woodbine Mile at Woodbine Racetrack. The 5-year-old mare claimed her second victory of the year after a 4-year-old campaign in which she won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

The win gives Ventura an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 7 at Santa Anita. Ferneley was 1 length back and Sterwins finished third.

Ventura was sent off as the 2-1 co-favorite with Metropolitan Handicap winner Bribon and covered the 7 furlongs over a firm turf course in 1 minute, 32.04 seconds.

Also, 15-1 shot Princess Haya upset 1-5 favorite Forever Together by a nose in the $300,000 Canadian Stakes, and Just As Well won the $750,000 Northern Dancer Turf via disqualification of first-place finisher Marsh Side.


Ex-Gator Lochte wins top annual U.S. honor

Two-time Olympian Ryan Lochte, who starred with the Gators and trains in Gainesville, was named USA Swimming's athlete of the year for winning five medals - four gold - at the world championships in Rome.

The awards, voted on by coaches, athletes and media, were presented at the annual convention Saturday in Chicago.

Michael Phelps, a 14-time Olympic gold medalist, earned the performance of the year award for his dramatic win in the 100-meter butterfly at the worlds.

Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, was chosen coach of the quadrennial, and Eddie Reese was named coach of the year.


South African official may lose job over lies

South Africa's government received support for its demand that the country's top athletics official be axed after he admitted lying about gender tests conducted on 800-meter world champion Caster Semenya.

Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene had apologized, saying he had lied to protect the 18-year-old's privacy.

The sports ministry called on the ASA to fire Chuene. "If they fail to do so, they run the risk of being led by a liar," Gert Oosthuizen, the deputy sports minister, said in a statement.

Chuene had repeatedly said tests were only done abroad. On Saturday, however, he said he knew of tests conducted at a Pretoria hospital on Aug. 7. He insisted he would not resign.

Et Cetera

Basketball:Candace Parker scored 22 and Los Angeles beat host Seattle 75-64 in the deciding third game of the WNBA Western Conference semifinals. The Sparks advanced to the West final to face the winner of tonight's Phoenix-San Antonio, Texas, matchup. ... Pau Gasol scored 18 as Spain beat Serbia 85-63 in Poland to win the European championship for the first time after six runnerup finishes.

Cycling: Calling it a signature win in his career, Spain's Alejandro Valverde, 29, took the 21-stage Spanish Vuelta by 55 seconds over Samuel Sanchez.

Soccer:Michael Owen struck six minutes into injury time to give Manchester United a 4-3 victory over Manchester City, halting the rival's 4-0 start to the Premier League season in England.

Tennis:Shahar Peer of Israel won her first WTA Tour title in three years, beating Alberta Brianti 6-3, 6-4 of Italy in the Guangzhou Open final in China.

Running: Top-ranked U.S. marathoner Ryan Hall beat three Kenyans to become the first American-born runner to win the 13.1-mile Philadelphia Distance Run since 1986.

Times wires