Meadow Court was the 4-to-11 favorite to win the St. Leger Classic at Doncaster, England, but PROVOKE, a 28-to-1 long shot ridden by Joe Mercer, ran away with the race by 10 lengths. Meadow Court came in second.
The world's richest single horse race, the $419,460 All-American Quarter Horse Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, N. Mex., was only 400 yards long and was over in 20.3 seconds, but it earned its winner, SAVANNAH JR. ($14.80), $192,730. Art's Model finished second, 2� lengths back.
MOTOR SPORTS—DON PRUDHOMME's elapsed time of 7.505 seconds set a record in the National Hot Rod Association's fuel eliminator competition at Indianapolis Raceway Park and also gave him his second straight NHRA championship. The Granada Hills, Calif. car painter covered the quarter mile .313 of a second faster than Tommy Ivo of Burbank, Calif. and reached a top speed of 207.33 mph.
Jim Hall's Chevrolet Chaparrals came in first and second in Road America's 500-mile sports car race at Elkhart Lake, Wis., but GEORGE FOLLMER of Pasadena, Calif., driving a Lotus Porsche, gained the U.S. road-racing championship with his fourth-place finish. Hall, the 1964 champion, began the race driving the car that eventually won and received credit for the victory. For the last third of the 125-lap race, however, he switched to his other Chaparral, taking the wheel from Bruce Jennings of Towson. Md., and drove it to a second-place finish. The winning Chaparral averaged 89.526 mph.
With every other top contender knocked out of the Southern 500 at Darlington, S.C. by wrecks or mechanical failures, NED JARRETT of Camden, S.C. drove a 1965 Ford to an easy victory, finishing 11 laps ahead of Buddy Baker of Charlotte, N.C. in a new Plymouth. His average speed was 115.878 mph. The win virtually clinched the 1965 NASCAR Grand National Championship, worth $25,000, for Jarrett.
SWIMMING—An East German 880-yard freestyle relay team (ALFRED MULLER, UDO POSER, HORST-GUNTHER GREGOR and FRANK WIEGAND) swam to a world record of 8:07.3 in Leipzig, bettering by one second the mark set by four West Germans in London five weeks earlier.
TENNIS—Spain's MANUEL SANTANA defeated Cliff Drysdale of South Africa 6-2, 7-9, 7-5, 6-1 to gain the U.S. men's singles title at Forest Hills, while MARGARET SMITH of Australia beat the U.S.'s Billie Jean Moffitt 8-6, 7-5 for the women's championship (page 36).
MILEPOSTS—PROMOTED: To head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers following Buddy Parker's resignation, MIKE NIXON, an assistant coach with the Steelers the past four seasons and head coach of the Washington Redskins in 1959 and 1960. During Parker's eight years with the Steelers the team had a record of 51 wins, 47 losses and six ties. Pittsburgh's best finish under Parker was in 1962, when it placed second in the NFL's Eastern Division. The Redskins under Nixon won four games, lost 18 and tied two.
HIRED: To serve as public-relations director for the Detroit Lions of the NFL, LYALL SMITH, who has been sports editor and columnist for the Detroit Free Press since 1945. He replaces Bud Erickson, who moved to Atlanta as assistant to the president of the new NFL team there.
SIGNED: By the Kansas City Athletics to pitch during the remainder of the 1965 season, the legendary LEROY SATCHEL PAIGE, who is "a shade over 50," according to Paige, or close to 60, according to the record books. Paige began his career in 1926 in the Negro leagues and finally was brought to the majors in 1948 by Cleveland President Bill Veeck. After helping the Indians win the pennant that year with a 6-1 record in relief, Paige pitched one more season for Cleveland (4-7) before going back to the Negro leagues for a year. In 1951 Veeck, by then the owner of the old St. Louis Browns, gave him another fling in the big leagues and Paige played for three more seasons (18-23). In the 12 years since he left the Browns in 1953, Paige has pitched in the minor leagues and barnstormed. "It isn't getting the ball over the plate that might give me trouble," said Paige, who is noted for his hesitation pitch and his razor-sharp control. "When I warm up, I'll simply drop a bubble gum wrapper on the ground and use it as home plate. It's what happens to the ball after it gets up there. I still think I can keep it off the fat part of their bats, though."