Baffert’s horse is Breeders’ favorite
• Game On Dude was made the early 8-5 favorite in an impressive field of 12 for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race he has failed to win in two previous tries for trainer Bob Baffert. For the second straight year, the gelding will be running on his home track, where he is 8-1.
Game On Dude’s only loss at Santa Anita came in last year’s 1¼-mile Classic, where he finished seventh behind winner Fort Larned.
Baffert is winless in the Classic, but he has trained Game On Dude to a 5-0 record this year heading into Saturday’s race. Joe Torre, the former Dodgers and Yankees manager, co-owns the gelding, which will be ridden by Mike Smith. The 48-year-old Hall of Fame jockey has mounts in 13 of 14 Breeders’ Cup races.
Baffert sent Game On Dude out for his final workout Monday.
Fort Larned, who won last year’s Classic by three-quarters of a length over Mucho Macho Man, is back to defend his title. Mucho Macho Man returns, too, with Gary Stevens in the saddle.
Game On Dude drew the No. 9 post.
Baffert also will saddle Paynter, who will start from the No. 2 post at 12-1 odds.
Fort Larned drew the No. 7 post and was listed at 6-1 odds. Mucho Macho Man will break from the No. 6 post at 5-1 odds.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has Will Take Charge in the Classic. The Travers winner drew the No. 10 post and was listed at 12-1 odds. Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice is 10-1 and drew the No. 8 post.
Michigan tight end suspended 1 game
• No. 23 Michigan will be without tight end A.J. Williams against No. 24 Michigan State. Wolverines coach Brady Hoke announced Monday the sophomore has been suspended for one game for an unspecified violation of team rules. Hoke says in a statement that it’s disappointing when a player makes a poor decision. Hoke adds that Williams realizes he has let a lot of people down, including himself. Hoke says as families do, the Wolverines will help Williams as he learns a valuable lesson. Williams is from Cincinnati and started the last four games. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Williams is used as a blocking tight end.
Sliders extend lead in U.S. team trials
• Noelle Pikus-Pace and Matt Antoine both won again Monday in the third race of the U.S. skeleton national team trials at Park City, Utah, each moving one win away from sweeping the series. Pikus-Pace had a two-run time of 1 minute, 41.29 seconds to again enjoy an easy win in the women’s race. Annie O’Shea (1:42.26) was second and Kimber Gabryszak (1:42.6) was third. They were the only two sliders within 1.7 seconds of the time posted by Pikus-Pace, a former world champion and one of the top contenders for gold at next February’s Sochi Olympics. Antoine won the men’s race in 1:39.53, topping John Daly (1:39.77) and Brad Stewart (1:40.03). The trials end Tuesday. The national skeleton team will be picked Wednesday.
Brazilian leader not expecting protests
• Brazil’s sports minister is not expecting waves of protests during the World Cup next year. He says the Brazilian people will be more interested in celebrating the tournament than complaining about its cost. Aldo Rebelo doesn’t think Brazil will face anti-government protests similar to those that took place during the Confederations Cup this year, when demonstrators used the World Cup warmup event to draw attention to a wide range of causes. Among their complaints was the amount of money spent on the World Cup while millions of Brazilians continue to struggle financially.
Walsh Jennings breaks wins record
• Kerri Walsh Jennings has broken the record for most tournament wins by a female beach volleyball player. She and partner April Ross won the FIVB Grand Slam in Xiamen, China, on Sunday, giving Walsh Jennings the 113th title of her career. She broke the old mark set by her retired partner Misty May-Treanor. Walsh Jennings says it’s a special record to own because most of the victories came with May-Treanor as her partner. Walsh Jennings and Ross won 21-14, 17-21, 15-12 over the Brazilian pair of Taiana Lima and Talita Da Rocha Antunes. It was the Americans’ third title in five events since joining forces.
Croatian wins first match after ban
• In his first match since returning from a four-month doping ban, Marin Cilic beat Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 Monday to reach the second round of the Paris Masters in Paris. The Croatian served 22 aces and hit 42 winners to only 17 for Sijsling. Cilic tested positive for a banned stimulant in May but claimed he had not intended to ingest it in a glucose tablet bought at a pharmacy. Feliciano Lopez, Lukas Rosol, Robin Haase and Santiago Giraldo also advanced to the next round. Lopez outlasted Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (1). The Spaniard failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set but he recovered in the tiebreaker of the third set by winning the last six points. Rosol beat Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4, Haase defeated Denis Istomin 7-6 (8), 6-3, and Giraldo edged wild card Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
— From wire reports