Champion, sire Pleasant Tap euthanized at age 23
Champion and top sire Pleasant Tap was euthanized on October 8 due to laminitis at Mr. and Mrs. William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm. The son of Pleasant Colony was 23.
Bred and raced by Thomas Mellon Evans, Pleasant Tap was a half-brother to 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin and carved out a notable career of his own on the track. In 1992, he captured the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Grade I Suburban Handicap en route to earning the Eclipse Award for champion older male. He retired with nine wins from 32 career starts and earnings in excess of $2.7 million.
After beginning his stud career in 1993 at his owner's Buckland Farm, Pleasant Tap was relocated to Lane's End in 1997. At stud, he has sired 53 stakes winners and has had a presence both domestically as well as overseas. In addition to siring Grade I winners Premium Tap, Tap to Music, and Tiago - a half brother to Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo - Pleasant Tap also had English champion David Junior and Tap Dance City, a multiple Grade I winner in Japan.
"We are saddened by the loss of Pleasant Tap," Will Farish said in a statement. "He was an outstanding racehorse and an extremely successful sire."
Pleasant Tap has progeny earnings of $51,544,649 from 15 crops of racing age to date.
Fasig-Tipton chairman to retire
Walt Robertson, who has been the principal feature of Fasig-Tipton's auction stands for more than thirty years, will retire at the end of November from his day-to-day involvement in the company's Thoroughbred sales and from his role as senior auctioneer, the company announced in a release on Monday.
Robertson, who will turn 62 on October 22, started with Fasig-Tipton as a bid-spotter in 1975 and, shortly thereafter, progressed quickly up through the management and auction team. He was general manager of the Kentucky division of the company under John Finney and later succeeded C. Timothy Cone as the company president in 1992. Robertson held this position for 17 years and, after the acquisition of the company in 2008 by Dubai-based Synergy Investments, he was appointed chairman of Fasig-Tipton's Board of Advisors. Robertson holds the distinction of having sold four Kentucky Derby winners through Fasig-Tipton sales
Red Wings ink Babcock to extension
The Detroit Red Wings signed coach Mike Babcock to a four-year extension Monday.
"His stock as a head coach is probably as high as anybody's and he could've gone on the open market next summer," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told The Associated Press. "We started talking about it in June and July, went our separate ways, and we knew this would get done. He loves it in Detroit."
Babcock helped the Red Wings hoist the Stanley Cup in 2008 and coached the host team to the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics earlier this year.
Pavelec suffered fainting spell
The Atlanta Thrashers say preliminary tests on goalie Ondrej Pavelec show he suffered a type of fainting spell in the season opener, which caused him to collapse on the ice.
Pavelec is back at home after spending two nights in the hospital following the scary incident last Friday night. In the end, it turned out the most serious injury he sustained was when he fell backward, hit his head on the ice and suffered a concussion.
Djokovic, Wozniacki take China Open
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic defeated David Ferrer of Spain 6-2, 6-4 on Monday to defend his China Open title and claim his second championship of the year heading into this week's ATP Masters in Shanghai.
In the women's final, top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki beat No. 3 Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Djokovic, ranked No. 2 in the world, cruised through the first set of the match that had been postponed because of rain Sunday, but fell behind 4-2 in the second.
Woods parts ways with Wake Forest
Junior center Tony Woods has received a release from the Wake Forest basketball program. The school said Monday that Woods asked for a release so he could pursue other options.
Woods was suspended indefinitely from the program last month after he was arrested on assault charges. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeamor charge of assaulting a female and was given a suspended 60-day sentence.
WKU gets commitment from Fant
Warren Central standout George Fant, a 6-foot-6 power forward, is ready to take his services just down the road to Western Kentucky University next year.
Donning a WKU basketball polo and hat at a signing ceremony Monday at Warren Central High School, Fant announced his intention to sign with the Toppers, who offered him a scholarship during his freshman season.
"I sat in bed, and I was like, 'Do I want to stay at home or go nine hours away?'" Fant told the WKU Herald after his announcement. "I really just didn't want to leave."
Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Fant led Warren Central to a 4th Region title as a junior last season, averaging 15.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
LA developers seek World Cup
Developers of a new NFL stadium on a hilly strip of land east of Los Angeles are sketching out plans for a second high-profile use for the venue: World Cup soccer.
Architects for Majestic Realty Co. said Monday they were tweaking the design of the stadium to incorporate field measurements and bleacher configurations based on guidelines from World Cup organizer FIFA. The news came amid possible competition from sports and entertainment powerhouse AEG, which is deciding whether to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles to lure an NFL franchise.
Dan Meis, principal stadium architect for Majestic, said he can adjust his plans further to include additional guidelines FIFA may release ahead of the 2018 and 2022 games that are being sought by the United States. Los Angeles is among 12 U.S. cities that would vie to host soccer matches if FIFA's executive committee votes on Dec. 2 to give the games to the United States.
The last word
In the aftermath of defending BCS champion Alabama's upset loss at the hands of South Carolina on Saturday, coach Nick Saban figures that when he points out the little things his players are doing wrong now, he'll have an attentive audience.
"It's not a new lesson It just happens to be after a loss, when everybody's willing to listen. You all (the media) are just like the fans, (thinking) 'They're just saying that because he's the coach. They're doing everything they're supposed to do. They won.' That doesn't mean you're doing what you're supposed to do. That doesn't mean you're playing the best you can play."