A deadly tornado that ripped through the Henderson, Ky., area early yesterday hit Ellis Park, killing three horses and hurting others, injuring track workers and destroying large sections of the grandstand.

At Ellis Park, the tornado damaged horse barns and several buildings, said Paul Kuerzi, track vice president and general manager. Three horses died and some workers at the track suffered minor injuries, Kuerzi said.

Three or four other horses have "pretty substantial" injuries and are being cared for by veterinarians. It was uncertain if they would survive.

"The power of the storm, it's just amazing. I don't know any other way to put it," Kuerzi said.

Ellis Park's 2005 racing season ended Sept. 5, but about 150 horses were in training on the track's grounds.

Kuerzi said parts of the track's grandstand, infield tote board and parts of the safety rail were damaged. A starting gate lay twisted and overturned. . . .

Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex hasn't recovered from an ankle injury, and won't race again until next year.

* TENNIS: Amelie Mauresmo rallied to win her third straight Advanta Championships, defeating Elena Dementieva, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, in Villanova, Pa.

"It's a great effort to win this three times in a row," Mauresmo said. "It doesn't happen a lot. I'm proud of what I've done." . . .

Unseeded Tomas Berdych upset sixth-seeded Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in five sets to win the Paris Masters, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4.

* GOLF: Annika Sorenstam birdied four of the last five holes and closed with an 8-under-par 64 in a steady drizzle at the Mizuno Classic in Otsu, Japan, winning by three shots to become the first player in LPGA Tour history to win the same tournament five straight times. . . .

Heath Slocum shot a 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory at the PGA Tour's Southern Farm Bureau Classic in Madison, Miss.

* COLLEGES: Maryland's football game at North Carolina next Saturday will start at noon and be televised by WDCA-20, the ACC announced yesterday. . . . Susie Rowe scored with 44 seconds left to give third-ranked Maryland a 3-2 win over No. 1 Wake Forest in the ACC field hockey final in College Park. The Terps improved to 19-2 while giving Coach Missy Meharg the 300th win of her career. Wake Forest fell to 19-1. . . . No. 7 American won its third straight Patriot League championship with a 4-2 home win over Holy Cross.

* AUTO RACING: Justin Wilson won the Mexico City Grand Prix, securing third place in the ChampCar season series.

Holding an 11-point lead over Paul Tracy entering the season's final event, Wilson took advantage of his second career pole and two good pits. He led almost the entire race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track.

Wilson finished in 1 hour 58 minutes 23.479 seconds, followed by his RuSport teammate A.J. Allmendinger in 1:58:27.415.

Tracy was third in 1:58:30.263, followed by Oriol Servia (1:58:33.113). Tracy steadily gained ground from last place and made his pivotal move in the 64th lap, jumping from sixth place to third. Sebastien Bourdais, who entered with the season title in hand, didn't finish after crashing.

* BASKETBALL: Former NBA rebound king Dennis Rodman had a team-high 17 points for ToPo in the Finnish League.

Rodman, 44, added six rebounds in the 80-74 loss to Honka. A Finnish League-record crowd of 7,500 was in attendance. Rodman made 5 of 13 three-pointers.

"I haven't touched a ball for four months, so I did a pretty good job," he said.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports