Student Council shocked the field to win Sunday’s $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
Student Council, a 23-1 long shot making his first trip to the West Coast, stunned defending champion Lava Man and won the $1 million Pacific Classic by a half-length Sunday at Del Mar. Sent off as the even-money favorite, Lava Man faded to sixth in front of 34,000, the largest crowd since 2002 and third-largest in the race’s 17-year history.
Greg’s Gold accelerated in the stretch turn, passed pacesetter Bordonaro, then held off Surf Cat by 1 1/2 lengths to win Sunday’s $300,000 Pat O’Brien Handicap at Del Mar. Crossing the Line won the $400,000 Del Mar Mile by three-quarters of a length over Becrux. Both winners earned guaranteed spots in the Breeders’ Cup as part of a new selection process.
By Bruce Martin PA SportsTicker Contributing Editor
Sebastien Loeb won the Germany Rally for the sixth straight year and closed in on series leader Marcus Gronholm for the world title on Sunday. Loeb picked up his 33rd rally win in his Citroen and finished 20.3 seconds ahead of Belgium’s Francois Duval with Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen third. “I am delighted to have won again,” Loeb said.
Carlos Beltran didn’t take very long to get comfortable at the plate after a trip to the disabled list. Beltran homered twice and drove in four runs as the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 8-2 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep. The switch-hitting center fielder is batting .294 (10-for-34) with five homers and 13 RBIs in nine games since he came off the 15-day DL Aug.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy believes his team hasn’t gotten its share of breaks this season. The Giants got plenty Sunday. San Francisco scored three times off a trio of seventh-inning errors, then watched Florida match a season-high by stranding 14 runners — five in the last two innings — in a 6-5 victory over the Marlins, who’ve lost all three games of this series.
John Smoltz wasn’t content with 12 strikeouts, a Braves franchise record and a lead through eight innings. He wanted more, telling manager Bobby Cox he was in a groove. “I said ‘Groove? You’re completely unhittable. Nobody stands a chance,”‘ said Cox, who still brought in Bob Wickman to close out the Atlanta Braves’ 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
A veteran position on a young Bills team has taken a major hit with the loss of defensive end Ryan Denney, who broke his left foot in Buffalo’s 13-10 preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Friday night. Denney, who was injured on the opening kickoff, is scheduled for surgery Monday and will be out indefinitely.
Conserving Steven Jackson for the regular season serves two purposes for the St. Louis Rams. Last year’s NFL leader in combined rushing and receiving yards is fresh for the games that count, and his rookie backup, second-round pick Brian Leonard, is getting a lot of work. While Jackson had a ceremonial start in Saturday night’s 30-13 loss to the Chargers, lining up for the first play and then…