Proposed series would pit top fillies
The owner of Rachel Alexandra said his horse won't run against Zenyatta in a $5 million race in Arkansas but proposed a three-race series between the sport's top fillies.
If training, schedules and purse money can be worked out, the three races would conclude in November and "rival the Triple Crown," Jess Jackson said in a news release issued Wednesday.
"The fans have spoken. The media has spoken. Everyone wants to see Rachel race against Zenyatta, including me," Jackson said. "In fact, I want it to happen several times this year."
Jerry Moss, Zenyatta's co-owner, was surprised by Jackson's proposal, saying, "I have no idea what he's even talking about."
A week ago, Oaklawn Park said it would boost the purse of the Apple Blossom on April 3 from $500,000 to $5 million if both horses competed. Jackson passed because trainer Steve Asmussen said the 4-year-old would not be in top form. Jackson said he asked for the race to be moved back a week, but Oaklawn officials declined.
Rachel won all eight of her starts last year, including against males in the Preakness, Haskell Invitational and Woodward Stakes. Zenyatta improved her career record to 14-0 by becoming the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Tampa Bay Downs: Rule drew the No. 1 post and faces six 3-year-olds in the Grade III $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes on Saturday. The Grade III $125,000 Endeavour has a 12-horse field with Coulee on the rail in the turf race for older fillies and mares. In the $75,000 Suncoast, Jardenia starts from the No. 1 stall against nine 3-year-old fillies.
Cup's opener delayed for the second time
Race 1 of the America's Cup was postponed for the second time, this time because of waves 4-6 feet high on the Mediterranean Sea off Valencia, Spain. Monday, it was because of light winds. Oracle (United States) and Alinghi (Switzerland) will try to begin the best-of-three Friday. Race director Harold Bennett asked for patience. He said Valencia in February "is not the best place" for a race because there are only five or six days every three weeks that produce racing conditions.
Former Jesuit star can't handle Roddick
Andy Roddick beat Ryler DeHeart, a standout at Tampa's Jesuit High, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1) in the first round of the SAP Open in San Jose, Calif. It marked the third upper-tier event for DeHeart, 26, in 2010. He also lost in the first round of the Australian Open and Qatar Open. He's 1-2 on the second-tier Challenger Tour.
Braves reportedly try to sign Damon
The Braves have made an offer to free agent OF Johnny Damon, the Associated Press reported. The offer is reportedly for one year, but Damon's agent, Scott Boras, previously said he wants at least a two-year deal.
Mariners: Former Rays RHP Jesus Colome signed a minor-league deal. Last year, he went 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA in 21 games for the Nationals and Brewers.
NFL: Texans coach Gary Kubiak's two-year extension through 2012 became official.
Soccer: Portsmouth got a seven-day reprieve over unpaid taxes to avoid becoming the first English Premier League team to go out of business. The 112-year-old team has had four owners this season but said it has two offers that would clear its debts. The issue comes two years after it won its first FA Cup since 1950. But it spent heavily on salaries to do so.
Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires
Americans name 27 to preliminary roster
USA Basketball announced the pool of players that will be used for this summer's world championships and 2012 Olympics:
LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers
Carmelo Anthony * Nuggets
Chauncey Billups Nuggets
Carlos Boozer * Jazz
Chris Bosh * Raptors
Kobe Bryant * Lakers
Kevin Durant Thunder
Rudy Gay Grizzlies
Eric Gordon Clippers
Danny Granger Pacers
Dwight Howard * Magic
Andre Iguodala 76ers
LeBron James * Cavaliers
Al Jefferson Wolves
David Lee Knicks
Brook Lopez Nets
Kevin Love Wolves
O.J. Mayo Grizzlies
Lamar Odom Lakers
Chris Paul * Hornets
Kendrick Perkins Celtics
Derrick Rose Bulls
Amare Stoudemire Suns
Dwyane Wade * Heat
Gerald Wallace Bobcats
Russell Westbrook Thunder
Deron Williams * Jazz