New Mexico senator wants national standards for sport
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall on Monday revived his push for uniform federal standards aimed at making the horse racing industry safer following a New York Times investigation into a deadly and debilitating year — for both horses and jockeys — at tracks in New Mexico and elsewhere around the country. Udall, D-N.M., said the newspaper's findings paint a "very disturbing" picture of the industry in the United States and New Mexico in particular.
The senator pointed to the need for a federal role in a sport where problems of doping and euthanizations have been exacerbated by inconsistent regulations at the state level.
The Times' analysis showed that on average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America. A computer analysis of data from more than 150,000 races, along with injury reports, drug test results and interviews, showed an industry mired in a culture of drugs and lax regulation and a fatal breakdown rate that remains far worse than in most of the world.
Udall and Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky introduced legislation last spring seeking to impose a national ban on performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing.
Mark Valeski, Mr. Bowling favored in La.
Mark Valeski and Mr. Bowling were 2-1 morning-line favorites for Sunday's $1 million Louisiana Derby in New Orleans. The two favorites, both trained by Larry Jones and owned by Brereton Jones, are among 14 3-year-olds slated to run the Grade II, 11⁄8-mile race that serves as one of the top prep races for the Kentucky Derby.
Mark Valeski was second by a nose to El Padrino at the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds Race Course in February, and he will start from the eighth post position. Mr. Bowling, starting from the seventh post position, won the Lecomte Stakes on the same track in January. Cigar Street will start from the fifth post position at 7-2.
BCS leaders meet for third time this year
BCS leaders finally are starting to get into some specifics in their discussions about possible — maybe even likely — changes in college football's post-season and how to determine a champion.
"The complexity is phenomenal, the level of details requires a great deal of time," BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said Monday, after the 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame's athletics director met for about 7½ hours in Grapevine, Texas.
This was the third meeting this year, coming just more than a month after the group met over two days at the same hotel connected to a terminal at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
"There's no consensus yet on anything," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. "The first couple of meetings, we talked a lot about just college football in general, the regular season. This time, less of that and more about how we need to start getting closer to where the rubber meets the road. And there's lots of different options, and start to analyze each one of those and the pros and cons that go with them."
While the commissioners have acknowledged a four-team playoff is among the options being considered, and there seems to be considerable talk about that, Hancock cautioned that isn't a done deal. "There's a long way to go and a lot of people still to hear from," he said.
Men's golf 2nd heading into final round
Led by sophomore Cody Martin and freshman David Snyder, Kentucky's men's golf team was in second place to Auburn through two rounds of the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in Awendaw, S.C. Martin and Snyder shot 68 and 69, respectively, on Monday to help the Wildcats post their lowest opening two-round total at the Hootie in the seven years UK has competed in the tournament. Martin and Snyder are both tied for third at 5-under overall, and the Wildcats are tied for second at 9-under, seven shots behind the Tigers.
"We played solid golf all day but have our work cut out for us tomorrow," UK Coach Brian Craig said. "The good news is we are in the final pairing and have a chance with one round to play. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, this team is flat out getting better."
Gymnastics earns NCAA regional bid
The 24th-ranked Kentucky gymnastics team has earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Championship in Champaign, Ill., on Saturday, April 7. Kentucky (11-10) secured the spot with a regional qualifying score of 195.49, the second-highest RQS in school history.
Joining UK at the regional will be No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 11 Stanford, No. 14 Denver, No. 22 Illinois and Illinois-Chicago. The Cats faced three of the five teams already this season, including a win over Illinois in Champaign. UK also posted a road win at Illinois-Chicago. The Cats lost to Oklahoma in Memorial Coliseum.
Bat Cats play host to Western Kentucky
Kentucky's baseball team will put its 18-game home winning streak on the line when it plays host to Western Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK (24-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) will start freshman right-hander Chandler Shepherd (2-0, 3.15 ERA). WKU (10-14, 2-4 Sun Belt) will have sophomore lefty Austin Clay (3-2, 4.01 ERA) on the mound.
Career highs for Patterson, Cousins
Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson scored a career-high 24 points and Earl Boykins hit four free throws for Houston late in overtime to lead the Rockets to a 113-106 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings. Patterson was 10-for-16 from the field. Former Western Kentucky star Courtney Lee added 16 points for the Rockets.
DeMarcus Cousins, another former Wildcat, scored a career-high 38 points and had 14 rebounds.
■ Ryan Anderson made a career-best eight three-pointers and finished with 28 points to help the Orlando Magic win their third straight game, beating the host Toronto Raptors 117-101.
■ The New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire has a bulging disk in his back and is out indefinitely.
El Salvador ends U.S. Olympic hopes
Jaime Alas scored in stoppage time, and El Salvador ousted the United States from Olympic qualifying Monday night with a 3-3 tie in Nashville. The Americans had to win to reach Saturday's semifinals in Kansas City, Kan., and they led 3-2 on Joe Corona's goal in the 68th minute. But Alas scored his goal off the hands off keeper Sean Johnson to stun the Americans, who missed the Olympics for the second time since 1976.
Court refuses to revive Mayfield's lawsuit
A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., refused to reinstate former race car driver Jeremy Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR over his 2009 suspension for failing a random drug test at Richmond International Raceway. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a federal judge did not abuse his discretion in dismissing Mayfield's complaint against NASCAR; its owner, Brian Zachary France; and a drug testing company.
The last word
Tiger Woods is back to winning, and back to being the British bookies' favorite to win the Masters. Rupert Adams, a spokesman for British bookmaker William Hill, said of Woods being a 4-1 favorite to win his fifth major title:
"He's putting well. He's chipping well. He's driving well. The armor looks to be back in place again, and actually possibly the aura. Once again he's got the swagger back in his step."