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Sports briefs for Sept. 13, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Sanford harness racing driver hits milestone

MONTICELLO, N.Y. — Sanford native Zeke Parker won a pair of races at Monticello Raceway Thursday and in doing so he passed Walter Case Jr. in career-driving victories and became the sixth winningest driver in the sport.

Parker now has driven 11,039 winners in his career one better than Case’s total.

A 2:01.1 victory with trotter Hardrock Kid in the fifth race brought Parker even with Case and Parker’s milestone triumph MD Bee Bee gave him sole possession of sixth place on the North American career leaderboard.

The pacer, owned by John Stubits of nearby Liberty, N.Y., was sent off the prohibitive favorite in the race in which a sudden cloudburst, with thunder and lightning, sent the parading horses back to the paddock until the downpour passed.

Back on the track the pacers headed for the starting gate and when the race was off Parker and MD Bee Bee paced to the front and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:56.2 triumph.

Bonds’ obstruction of justice conviction upheld

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds’ 2011 conviction for obstructing a U.S. investigation of steroid use by professional athletes was upheld Friday by a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco unanimously upheld the home-run record-holder’s conviction because “there was sufficient evidence to convict” him.

Bonds, 49, was the first Major League Baseball player to be charged in a years-long federal probe of steroid use in professional sports. He was found guilty in federal court in San Francisco of making evasive statements to a 2003 grand jury examining performance-enhancing drug use among athletes and the role that his trainer, Greg Anderson, had in distributing steroids.

Bonds’ lawyers said the conviction had to be thrown out. While the ex-San Francisco Giants outfielder may have used a lot of words responding to a question about whether Anderson ever gave him anything that needed to be injected with a syringe, Bonds eventually answered the question, they argued.

Matthews fined $15,000 for Kaepernick hit

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was fined $15,000 for his late hit against San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last Sunday.

Matthews was penalized 15 yards for hitting Kaepernick after he ran out of bounds with about 9:30 left in the first half.

Tackle Joe Staley retaliated against Matthews, which drew a penalty. Officials incorrectly made the teams replay the down after calling offsetting penalties. NFL rules stipulate that offsetting dead-ball penalties do not result in replaying the down.

The league also said that Staley should not have been flagged on the play.

Kaepernick threw a touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin on the next play to push the 49ers ahead 14-7. They went on to win 34-28.

Matthews said this week that he is not a dirty player when asked about the hit on Kaepernick.

“I’m an awesome player,” he said.

Vikings DT Williams expected to play

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is expected to play Sunday against the Chicago Bears, according to coach Leslie Frazier.

Williams, a six-time Pro Bowler, did not play the season opener against the Detroit Lions due to a hyperextended right knee. He sustained the injury in a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. Williams had not missed a regular-season game since 2005.

“We’ll have to monitor how he’s doing in between series, just talk to him sometimes,” Frazier said. “Based on what happened after practice (Thursday), he was feeling good.”

Williams is listed on the team’s injury report as probable. He missed practice on Friday to tend to a personal matter.

IndyCar drops Baltimore event

IndyCar announced the circuit will not return to Baltimore in 2014.

“After a successful visit to Baltimore, which included record attendance, we are disappointed that our schedules will not align to host an event in 2014,” said Mark Miles, chief executive officer, Hulman & Co., the parent company of IndyCar. “This was simply a matter of trying to find the best date that worked for all parties, since Labor Day weekend was not an option in 2014. We are thankful to the city of Baltimore, Race On and Andretti Sports Marketing for their support and enthusiasm for the event over the years.”

Simon Pagenaud won the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sept. 1 of this season.

IndyCar plans to announce the full 2014 schedule before the end of this season.

Giants CB Amukamara cleared to play

New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara was cleared to play Friday after sustaining a concussion in the team’s season opener.

Amukamara fully practiced for the first time since the concussion occurred Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. He is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Denver Broncos but expects to play.

Safety Antrel Rolle was added to the team’s injury report as questionable but should play. He has a sore groin stemming from Thursday’s practice. He did not practice Friday as a precautionary measure.

Center David Baas will make his season debut after recovering from a left MCL injury. He practiced Friday and is probable for Sunday.

Backup running back Da’Rel Scott is also probable after hurting a knee in practice Wednesday.

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