Sports Briefs: April 2

April 2, 2013 

Horse racing

Shanghai Bobby ruled out of Kentucky Derby

Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby won't run in next month's Kentucky Derby because his energy level isn't where trainer Todd Pletcher thinks it should be.

The colt finished fifth in the Florida Derby on March 30, and he appeared to come out of the race in good shape.

But Pletcher said Monday that Shanghai Bobby will be given time off to fully recover from last year's campaign, when the colt was undefeated as a 2-year-old.

The trainer says Shanghai Bobby will be sent to Payton Training Center in Florida for some vacation.

Jack Wolf, managing partner of the colt's owner Starlight Racing, says it's time to freshen up Shanghai Bobby and if all goes well, point him toward a late summer or early fall return to the races.

Orb's on top. The colt moved to the head of the 3-year-old class in the AP's latest Run to the Roses' Top 10 list of Kentucky Derby contenders with a convincing win in the Florida Derby over the weekend. Orb was No. 4 last week.


High school basketball

Miss Basketball Epps headlines All-Stars

Makayla Epps (Miss Basketball), Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and Logan Powell of state champ Marion County were among 12 girls named to Kentucky All-Stars team that will play Indiana in June.

Larryn Brooks and Ashton Feldhaus of Madison Central, along with Becca Greenwell of Owensboro Catholic, also made the team, which will be coached by Chris Souder of Mercer County.

Rounding out the roster: China Dow of Louisville Christian, Jessica Hardin of Wayne County, Whitney Hartlage of Mercer County, Michaela Hunter of Rockcastle County, Taylor Porter of Lawrence County and Beth Rates of Hancock County.

Kentucky's boys and girls will play Indiana on June 14 in Louisville's Freedom Hall and June 15 in Indianapolis' Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

A group of Kentucky junior all-stars will play their Indiana counterparts on June 7 in Louisville and Indianapolis on June 8.


Administration

WKU's Conference USA move official

Western Kentucky is moving to Conference USA.

C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said Monday that the Hilltoppers are set to officially join the league July 1, 2014.

Western Kentucky will be the fifth Sun Belt Conference school in a year to move to C-USA. Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and North Texas are leaving the Sun Belt this summer for Conference USA. Conference USA is expanding to 14 football teams in time for the 2013 season, even as four of its current teams are leaving for the Big East this summer.


College soccer

UK's Gilliland makes U.S. U-23 roster

University of Kentucky soccer player Arin Gilliland, a graduate of West Jessamine High School, has been added to the roster for the United States' Under-23 National Team Camp, U.S. Soccer announced Monday.

The U-23 team is the oldest competing youth team in U.S. Soccer and one step away from the U.S. National Team.

"This is really all just so surreal to me," said Gilliland, who will enter her junior season at Kentucky this fall. "This is the opportunity I have been waiting my whole life for and I am excited to be able to go prove myself with the best players in the nation. I feel like I am back to the level I need to be at following my ACL injury a year ago. It is really nice to know after all this time, they still have the faith and confidence in me as a player and a person that I can compete at the highest level. I am going to go out there and give it my all and show them what I can offer to the team."

Gilliland is one of 21 players taking part in the camp for the U-23 squad, which is under the direction of Notre Dame Coach Randy Waldrum. Since several U-23 players are now with their pro clubs, the camp roster consists largely of collegiate players. The roster also includes former Western Kentucky goalkeeper and Louisville native Libby Stout. Gilliland led the Wildcats in scoring a year ago, tallying seven goals and seven assists for 21 total points.


UK sports

Bat Cats face Louisville on the road

Fresh off its third series win to open Southeastern Conference play, Kentucky will step out of league action to face host Louisville in a top-10 showdown on Tuesday, with the first pitch at 6 p.m.

The Wildcats will send freshman right-hander Kyle Cody (2-1, 6.48 ERA) to the mound for his fourth career start. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound native of Chippewa Falls, Wis., has tossed 162⁄3 innings, allowing 17 hits and six walks, striking out 16. In his last outing, Cody worked a shutout inning in his SEC debut vs. Georgia. Louisville will counter with freshman right-hander Kyle Funkhouser (2-1, 1.59 ERA). Funkhouser has started two games and pitched in eight, tossing 222⁄3 innings, allowing only 20 hits and seven walks, striking out 21.


NFL

RG3 expected to run on field within week

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is expected to receive clearance to resume running on the field within the next week, his father said. The details of Griffin's rehabilitation had largely been kept under wraps aside from a few vague updates from Coach Mike Shanahan, orthopedic surgeon James Andrews and most recently, Griffin himself.


NBA

Grizzlies tie franchise win record

Mike Conley drove for a layup with 0.6 seconds left, and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied to beat the San Antonio Spurs 92-90 Monday night for their third straight victory.

The Grizzlies matched their franchise record with their 50th win this season. They pulled out a win in a game where Conley's bucket gave them their first lead since 18-16 late in the first quarter.

Conley scored the final five points and finished with 23. Jerryd Bayless had 17 points, Marc Gasol 16, Zach Randolph 11 points and 10 rebounds, and former Wildcat Tayshaun Prince had 11 points.

Tony Parker had 25 points for the Spurs. Parker tried to beat the buzzer with a jumper that was too late.


College baseball

Asbury gets grant for field improvements

Asbury University has received a $1.5-million gift for major additions and upgrades to its baseball and softball facilities.

The donation honors Dr. Jiles E. Kirkland, a 1950 Asbury graduate who spent 46 years as a United Methodist pastor and also served on the university's Board of Trustees.

According to Asbury officials, baseball-softball improvements will include state-of-the-art lighting for night games, a new scoreboard, new concession stand and locker rooms, a new press box, a new indoor batting facility, and new dugouts and bleachers. The overall facility will be called the Kirkland Complex.


The last word

Ex-NFL star Joe Theismann understood exactly what Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware was going through. Like Ware, he'd suffered a compound fracture in his leg. Said Theismann on seeing the injury:

"I got sick to my stomach, and I'm kind of the resident authority on broken legs."

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