Sports briefs: April 23

April 23, 2013 

Horse racing

Lukas' Oxbow puts in his first work at Churchill Downs

Calumet Farm's Oxbow, with three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Gary Stevens up for four-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas, worked 5 furlongs on his own in 1:01 after the morning renovation break at Churchill Downs on Monday.

Fractions for the work were :12, :24.20, :36.20 and :48.80 with a gallop out of 1:14.40 for 6 furlongs and 1:28.40 for 7.

"He's a happy horse," said Stevens, who teamed with Lukas to win the Kentucky Derby in 1988 with Winning Colors and in 1995 with Thunder Gulch. "Wayne wanted him to finish strong and he did it on his own. I didn't have to ask him."

"This horse is a good fit for Gary," Lukas said. "He has a high cruising speed and he will put himself in the race. I just wanted Gary to get acquainted with him some more. When I let him go, he got right into it, but that's OK because he is so aggressive. I like the way Gary got him to relax."

It was Oxbow's first work since finishing fifth in the Grade I Arkansas Derby. "These works are like a barometer as a gauge to see where we are at," Lukas said. "We have almost two weeks to tweak what we have to."

■ Pick Six Racing's Vyjack was one of the first horses on the track Monday morning, jogging a mile under trainer Rudy Rodriguez before 6 a.m. "He was good this morning and seemed to handle the track well," Rodriguez said. He was not sure when Vyjack would work next. The Grade III Gotham winner worked a half-mile at Fair Hill, Md., in :51.60 last Friday. "I will gallop him the next three or four days and figure out what to do," Rodriguez said.

■ Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni is to attend a British Horse Racing Authority disciplinary inquiry after prohibited substances were found in samples taken from 11 horses at his stables in Newmarket, England. Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said "this is a dark day for Godolphin. We are all shocked by what has happened." Godolphin confirmed late Monday on its corporate website, godolphin.com, that Al Zarooni had admitted making a "catastrophic error." Al Zarooni has trained some high-profile winners, including Monterosso in the 2012 Dubai World Cup — the world's richest horse race — since joining the racing organization of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.


Conference Realignment

ACC schools give TV rights to league

The Atlantic Coast Conference presidents agreed for the league to retain media rights for a school that leaves the conference.

The league said Monday that each of the current and future schools have signed the deal, which is effective immediately.

The grant of rights would appear to make the league more stable by essentially locking all 15 schools into the ACC through the length of a TV deal, including eventual new arrivals Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville. Awarding control of those TV rights — and, more importantly, the money that comes with them — to the league means that a school would have to leave its TV rights behind if it chose to go elsewhere.

Those rights would stay with the ACC, meaning the departing school wouldn't bring any added TV value to a new league's broadcast package.

The ACC is the fourth major conference to approve a grant of TV rights, joining the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12.

College basketball

Junior college center signs with WKU

Daouda Soumaoro sent in his letter of intent to Western Kentucky on Monday. The 6-foot-9, 205-pound center averaged 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds at Iowa Western Community College before a knee injury ended his season. Soumaoro, who has three years of eligibility remaining, also had offers from Villanova and Nevada.

■ Rutgers is set to introduce Los Angeles Lakers assistant Eddie Jordan as the new coach of the Scarlet Knights' scandal-marred basketball program. The athletics department announced a basketball press conference for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

■ Alabama reassigned women's basketball coach Wendell Hudson to an administrative role. Athletics director Bill Battle said that it was a mutual decision after several weeks of discussions with Hudson. The Crimson Tide went 68-87 and 14-64 in Southeastern Conference games during Hudson's five seasons. Hudson was Alabama's first black scholarship athlete. He played forward under coach C.M. Newton from 1970-73 and was SEC player of the year as a senior.

■ Kansas State men's basketball point guard Angel Rodriguez decided to transfer so that he can be closer to his mother and two younger brothers in Puerto Rico. Rodriguez played through several injuries during his sophomore season, averaging 9.8 points and 4.2 assists in helping the Wildcats win a share of their first conference championship in 36 years. He has two years of eligibility remaining.


Bowling

N.C. man rolls PBA's first 900 series

Joe Scarborough of Charlotte, N.C., rolled the first 900 series in Professional Bowlers Association history — three straight perfect games. Scarborough, a 50-year-old self-employed electrical contractor, opened the first round of qualifying in the PBA50 Sun Bowl on Sunday at The Villages, Fla., throwing 36 consecutive strikes.

Scarborough was competing in his second event in the renamed PBA Senior Tour. He said his previous high three-game series was an 838, and he had bowled 14 prior 300 games.


The last word

On the flight back to Atlanta on Sunday, Hawks Coach Larry Drew watched tape of his team getting pushed around in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs. Drew said Monday:

"I couldn't believe my eyes, to be perfectly honest. It becomes a little bit mind-boggling, particularly when you get to the playoffs. You're going to come up with schemes and ways to defend things ... but the last thing you think you need to come up with is any kind of motivating to get the guys to compete and play at a high level."

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