Medaglia d'Oro owner Gann dies at 86
Edmund Gann, a prominent Thoroughbred owner who campaigned Medaglia d'Oro and several other major stakes winners, has died. He was 86. Mr. Gann died at his home Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in San Diego said Tuesday. The cause of death was cancer, according to Mr. Gann's family.
Mr. Gann began his career in racing in the mid-1960s. Among other top horses he owned were Denon, Midas Eyes, Peace Rules, Timbora, You, and You and I. Mr. Gann won the 1988 Japan Cup with Pay the Butler. Many of his horses were trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, who died in November.
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Medaglia d'Oro earned more than $5.7 million during a career in which he won the 2002 Travers Stakes and the 2003 Whitney Handicap. The horse finished first or second in 15 of 17 career starts. Mr. Gann was born in Gloucester, Mass., and became the owner of a commercial fishing operation when he moved to Southern California. A business deal involving Mr. Gann and another person failed, and he was given a horse as compensation. The filly named Bold Producer won her first three starts for her new owner, according to Bloodhorse.com.
Curlin's first foal was euthanized
The first foal by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin was euthanized on Jan. 29 after suffering a paddock accident days earlier. The filly out of the Hawkster mare Zophie was born at Lyn Burleson's Burleson Farms in Midway on Jan. 12. Burleson said that the accident happened on Jan. 24 and that the filly's injuries "just couldn't be brought around."
Summer Bird owners switch trainers
Tim Ice is out, and Tim Ritchey in as the new trainer of Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird. Ice was fired as trainer of the champion colt and 24 other horses owned by Drs. K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman. The owners cited "lack of communication" as the reason for the change. K.K. Jayaraman said Tuesday from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., that Ritchey will take over handling Summer Bird, who is recovering from leg surgery and is expected to return to training in six weeks. Ritchey trained 2005 Preakness Stakes and Belmont winner Afleet Alex. Ice, 35, was in his first full year of training in 2009.
Webb throws off mound, says he's pleased
Arizona ace Brandon Webb threw off the mound on Tuesday for the first time since undergoing right shoulder surgery. The former Kentucky star said he was pleased with how he felt after throwing between 20 and 25 pitches in the Chase Field bullpen. Webb made one start last year, then underwent surgery on Aug. 4. The club exercised an $8.5 million option for 2010 in hopes that the former NL Cy Young Award winner would return to dominance.
A's release former Red Taveras
Speedy outfielder Willy Taveras was released Tuesday by the Athletics, eight days after he was acquired from Cincinnati with infielder Adam Rosales for infielder Aaron Miles and a player to be named. Taveras had been designated for assignment immediately following the Feb. 1 trade. The Athletics owe his $4 million salary in the final season of a $6.25 million, two-year contract that he signed with the Reds, but that would be reduced by the $400,000 minimum if he signs with another team. Taveras hit .240 with one homer and 15 RBI for Cincinnati last season.
■ Former Twins shortstop Greg Gagne was elected Tuesday to the team's Hall of Fame. Gagne spent 10 seasons with the Twins and was part of the World Series-winning teams in 1987 and 1991. He'll become the 22nd member of the Twins Hall of Fame when he's inducted Sept. 4.
Former Lady Topper Pope dies at 24
Former Western Kentucky women's basketball player Cacie Pope died Sunday at her home in Lakewood, Calif., after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. Pope, 24, died with her family and WKU Coach Mary Taylor Cowles by her side.
"It really is hard to believe that Cacie is gone," Cowles said in a statement. "She was a very talented young lady and one that you wanted on your team because she was a fighter. ... We will miss her but we will never forget her."
Pope was diagnosed with a brain tumor before her freshman season in 2003 but returned to play nine games in 2004-05. Her season ended when she had an operation to remove a second tumor in January. She returned to play seven more games in 2005-06 before another tumor ended her career.
Pollio retiring as Mid-South commissioner
Mike Pollio announced his retirement Tuesday after eight years as commissioner of the Mid-South Conference. He is set to step down July 1. A national search will be conducted to find Pollio's replacement. Under Pollio's leadership, MSC football grew from nine to 14 members, making it the NAIA's largest football conferenceand giving it two automatic bids to the playoffs. Before becoming commissioner, Pollio spent 27 years as head basketball coach at Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky Wesleyan and Virginia Commonwealth. He also spent time as associate athletics director for external affairs at Louisville.
Kerrigan's father's death ruled homicide
The family of Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan insisted Tuesday that they do "not blame anyone" for her father's death and criticized a medical examiner's finding that Daniel Kerrigan died of a heart rhythm problem after a fight with his son. Daniel Kerrigan's death was ruled a homicide by a state medical examiner. The findings could prompt new charges against Nancy Kerrigan's brother, Mark Kerrigan, 45, who has pleaded not guilty to assault and battery on an elderly person and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said Tuesday that an autopsy determined the cause of death was "cardiac dysrhythmia" after a physical altercation with neck compression that damaged Kerrigan's windpipe. Several hours later, Kerrigan's family issued a statement through their attorney calling the findings "premature and inaccurate."
■ Kentucky's men's soccer team set a record for average attendance in 2009, the school announced Tuesday. UK went 13-6 and averaged 1,150 fans per match, 19th in the NCAA. And the women's team (5-10-4) accomplished a first by averaging more than 700 fans per game for the second straight season.
■ The Kentucky women's tennis team plays its first home match of the season against Marshall Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Admission is free.
■ Federal prosecutors say the man who stalked ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and shot nude videos of her through a hotel-room peephole ran background checks on 16 other female sports reporters and TV personalities. According to a sentencing memo filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the Internet background checks Michael Barrett conducted can produce birthdays and home addresses, but it's unclear what information he obtained and how he may have used it.
The last word
Larry Beinfest, the Marlins' president of baseball operations, said Tuesday that aside from an encounter with a boastful Yankees fan, his team's players enjoyed their recent goodwill tour of Iraq and Kuwait:
"We're doing a meet-and-greet. They set up a table and we're signing. This guy comes up with a '27 championships' T-shirt. He's a nice guy, so we gave him a Marlins T-shirt. He said, 'I'm not putting it on. Everything's right with the world, the Yankees are on top.' This guy is in the middle of Iraq, and everything's right with the world? But he was a nice guy."