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King leads Iditarod

RUBY, Alaska -- The dog team of three-time Iditarod winner Jeff King pulled to the front of the field Saturday after leaving the Yukon River town of Galena.

King took the lead from Kasilof musher Paul Gebhardt, who halted his dogs in Galena for a mandatory 24-hour rest after leading since the halfway point, about 140 miles earlier in Cripple.

King said he's just following his own schedule for the 1,100-mile race from Anchorage to Nome.

"I'm very happy about it, but I didn't do anything to make it happen," said King of Denali. "I'm just running them the way I think they should be going."

Meanwhile, Iditarod officials said a second dog in the race died Saturday morning between the checkpoints of Cripple and Ruby.


Silver medalist Bleiler wins

LAKE PLACID -- Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler and 2002 Olympian Tommy Czeschin won the 2006 State Farm U.S. Snowboard Cup halfpipe competition Saturday at Whiteface Mountain.

Bleiler, from Aspen, Colo., scored 47.3 to beat Manuela Laura Pesko of Switzerland by 4.7 points.

"I'm just super excited to work on my tricks for the rest of the season, rather than just competing, competing, competing," Bleiler said.

Czeschin, from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., had a first run score of 44.1. Jan Michaelis of Germany was second followed by Takahiro Ishihara of Japan.



*James Blake overcame foul weather and a strong challenge from high school senior Sam Querrey to move into the third round of the Pacific Life Open with a 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory.

*Heather O'Reilly scored twice and the U.S. women's soccer team beat Denmark, 5-0, in the Algarve Cup in Faro, Portugal. Captain Kristine Lilly, Abby Wambach and Natasha Kai also scored for the U.S.

*Kentucky Derby prospect Cause to Believe easily defeated five 3-year-old rivals to win the $100,000 California Derby by four lengths at Golden Gate Fields. With Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze up, Cause to Believe ($3) covered the 1 1/1 6 miles in 1:41.07.

Compiled from wire service reports.

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