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Around & about / News and notes

Sharapova wins Pacific Life

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Maria Sharapova was rock solid in the wind against Elena Dementieva in the Pacific Life Open title match.

The 18-year-old Sharapova, her blonde pony tail whipping in the gusts, defeated Dementieva, 6-1, 6-2, Saturday in an all-Russian final. The title was her first of the year.

In the men's semifinals, No. 12 James Blake beat No. 2 Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3 to move into the championship match today (2, ESPN2) against two-time defending champion Roger Federer. No. 1 Federer cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Paradorn Srichaphan.


Shirreffs wins with 'Warrior'

Trainer John Shirreffs is back on the Kentucky Derby trail.

A year after winning the Derby with 50-1 long shot Giacomo, Shirreffs' A.P. Warrior won the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita and appears on his way to Churchill Downs.

A.P. Warrior, who finished fourth in his last two races before owner Stan Fulton sent his $1.3 million colt to Shirreffs' barn, held off two 3-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert -- Point Determined was second and Bob and John was third.

In other Derby preps Saturday, 36-1 long shot Like Now upset Achilles of Troy in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, Deputy Glitters surprised 2-5 favorite Bluegrass Cat in the Tampa Bay Derby and Lawyer Ron won the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.



*Jeff Xavier scored a career-high 31 points, Jason Wingate added 21, and Manhattan (21-10) bounced Maryland (19-13) from the NIT with an 87-84 victory in College Park, Md.

*Chris Taylor scored one goal and set up three, as the Rochester Americans defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs, 5-1, in AHL action.

Compiled from wire service reports.

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