Sports briefs: March 25

March 25, 2014 

Horse racing

Zayat removes all its horses from trainer Asmussen's care

The fallout over allegations lodged against trainer Steve Asmussen by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) continued Monday when owner Ahmed Zayat announced on Twitter he was transferring the 12 horses he had with the Eclipse Award winner to other conditioners.

Zayat's son Justin confirmed on Twitter that upstart trainer Michael Wilson would receive some of the Zayat Stables horses. Daily Racing Form reported that Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas would take over the horses Asmussen had for Zayat currently based at Oaklawn Park and that Zayat's Fair Grounds-based horses would go to fellow Eclipse Award winner Dale Romans.

The decision by Zayat to part ways with Asmussen comes on the heels of a story published in the New York Times last week that detailed the findings of an investigator for PETA that worked undercover in Asmussen's barn for four months last spring and summer.

PETA has filed complaints in New York and Kentucky alleging charges of cruelty by Asmussen and his now former top assistant Scott Blasi. The callous treatment of Zayat Stables' Nehro, runner-up in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, was a main focus of a 91/2-minute video PETA posted on its website regarding its findings.

UK sports

Men's golf slides to seventh place tie

Kentucky's men's golf team had a challenging second day of the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate and shot a 22-over 310 to sit tied for seventh place with 18 holes to play.

Virginia sits atop the team standings at 2-over 578.

Seniors Ben Stow and Stephen Powers remain in the hunt. Stow shot a 1-over 73 to remain in third place. Powers is two strokes behind Stow at a even-par 144, and tied for ninth.

• The UK gymnastics team earned its program-record 10th consecutive NCAA Championship berth and will compete in the NCAA Regionals on April 5 in State College, Pa. UK will make its 26th NCAA Championship appearance after the Wildcats finished fourth with a school-record regional score of 195.575 last season. Along with UK and No. 15 Penn State, which will host the regional, the regional field includes No. 1 Florida, No. 12 Oregon State, New Hampshire and Maryland.

• Kentucky fifth-year senior catcher Micheal Thomas — who hit .412 last week with two home runs — was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week. The Elizabethtown native hit .412 with five runs, two doubles, two homers and six RBI across games against South Carolina and Western Kentucky this week. Thomas hit two huge homers in the series win over the Gamecocks, including a three-run, go-ahead homer on Friday night. Thomas then cranked a go-ahead homer in UK's 2-1 win to clinch the series win. He also went 3-for-5 on Tuesday vs. WKU, with a go-ahead RBI single.

NBA Bledsoe leads Suns over Hawks

Eric Bledsoe scored 20 points to lead five Phoenix players in double figures and the Suns won their fourth in a row, beating the Atlanta Hawks 102-95 on Monday night to pull even with Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Suns buried the Hawks from three-point range, knocking down 12 of 24 beyond the arc.

Mike Conley had 23 points and six assists, Marc Gasol added 14 and 12 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies built an early lead and easily dispatched the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves 109-92 on Monday night. Former Cardinal Gorgui Dieng, in the starting lineup because of injuries on Minnesota's front line, finished with 11 points and 17 rebounds.

James Harden scored 31 points, Dwight Howard had a double-double in his return to the court and the Houston Rockets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 100-89 Monday night for their fourth straight win. Harden had 14 points in the pivotal third quarter and finished 11-of-19 from the field. Terrence Jones added 18 points and seven rebounds in the victory. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added six points and seven rebounds for the Bobcats.

MLB

Raburn leads Indians past Reds

Ryan Raburn played the field for the first time since running into an outfield wall and homered Monday as the Cleveland Indians beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3.

Raburn also had a sacrifice fly while driving in three runs. He made a nice play at first base, too, on a low liner by Brayan Pena.

Raburn had been limited to designated hitter duty since crashing into the right-field wall on March 7.

Lonnie Chisenhall found out earlier in the morning that he had earned a spot on the Indians' opening-day roster. He celebrated with his second homer this spring, connecting off starter Alfredo Simon.

NFL

Bengals sign cornerback Stanford

The Bengals have signed free-agent cornerback R.J. Stanford from the Dolphins, giving them a player with a lot of experience on special teams.

Stanford was Carolina's seventh-round pick in 2010. Miami acquired him off waivers in 2012. He has appeared in 41 games in his career and has one interception.

He played in the first 13 games last season and was sixth in tackles on special teams. He missed the last three games because of an ankle injury.

Stanford became a free agent when the Dolphins decided not to make him a tender offer.

• Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington has pleaded guilty to charges that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

Washington had a change of plea hearing Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and a judge set sentencing for April 23.

Washington had been facing an April 30 trial in the case after originally pleading not guilty to aggravated assault and trespassing charges.

He was accused of grabbing his ex-girlfriend, the mother of the couple's daughter, by the throat and shoving her to the ground during an argument at her apartment last May.

His ex-girlfriend told police that Washington pushed her with two hands, causing her to fall and break her right collarbone.

Athletics

Penn hires its first female AD

Penn has made M. Grace Calhoun its first female athletic director, effective July 1. Calhoun has been the athletic director and assistant vice president at Loyola of Chicago since 2011.

Penn AD Steve Bilsky had already announced he would retire on June 30. She is the first female AD in Philadelphia's Big 5 history, made up of Penn, Villanova, Temple, Saint Joseph's and La Salle.

The last word

Former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox toured the Baseball Hall of Fame before his induction weekend. Said Cox:

"It's starting to hit home right now for me for the first time — how much this means to a person that spent their entire life in the game of baseball. This is the top of the hill. It's hitting hard today."

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