Curlin will defend Breeders' Cup Classic title

Curlin will defend his title in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. Majority owner Jess Jackson announced the decision Tuesday, when an initial entry payment was due. A second and final entry payment for the Classic is due Oct. 21.

Curlin, the reigning Horse of the Year, is expected to take on undefeated Casino Drive of Japan and some of Europe's top horses in the first Breeders' Cup to be run on a synthetic track.

Curlin will go into the Classic as North America's all-time leading thoroughbred money earner with more than $10 million. He will try to become only the second horse to win consecutive Classics.

• New York toughened its steroids policy for racehorses, following the lead of the two other states that hold Triple Crown races, Kentucky and Maryland. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board said the new rules set limits for steroids that are permitted: stanozolol (Winstrol), boldenone (Equipose), nandrolone (Durabolin) and testosterone.


Nadal gains third round in Madrid Masters

Rafael Nadal moved within two victories of clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking, defeating Ernests Gulbis 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the second round of the Madrid Masters. Next up for Nadal, the 2005 Madrid champion, will be 15th-ranked Richard Gasquet, who beat Mardy Fish 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-3.

In other second-round matches, U.S. Open finalist Andy Murray advanced, but 11th-seeded James Blake and 13th-seeded Fernando Verdasco lost.

• Sixth-seeded Patty Schnyder and seventh-seeded Anna Chakvetadze lost in the first round at the Zurich Open in Switzerland.



Belgian team cuts Kohl for drug use

Third-place Tour de France finisher Bernhard Kohl will be dropped from the Silence-Lotto team after becoming the latest cyclist caught using the new blood booster CERA.

Kohl, a climbing specialist, rode for Gerolsteiner this season but has since signed with Silence-Lotto through 2011. The Belgian team had hoped he would be a key support rider for Cadel Evans as the Australian challenges for the Tour victory next year.

"I'd much rather finish fourth in an honest way than win with the least bit of suspicion," team chief Marc Coucke told VRT network. "Fortunately it happened now," he said, noting that Kohl had yet to ride for the team.


Honored: Gymnast Nastia Liukin was honored as the Women's Sports Foundation's Individual Sportswoman of the Year in New York.

College basketball: Highly regarded USC guard Jacki Gemelos has suffered another season-ending knee injury, depriving one of the country's top recruits coming out of high school of a third consecutive season with the Trojans. Gemelos injured her left knee during a workout Monday, suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus tear. Previously, she tore the ACL in her right knee twice.

Soccer: UEFA ordered Atletico Madrid to play its next two home Champions League games -- against Lilverpool and PSV Eindhoven -- at a neutral venue because of violent and racist behavior by the club's fans during a recent match against Marseille. The Spanish club was also fined $204,600.