Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Sports in brief

horses

pharoah voted horse of the year

HALLANDALE BEACH — American Pharoah is the horse of the year, and the vote was unanimous.

The Triple Crown winner and Breeders' Cup Classic champion received all 261 votes for top honors at the Eclipse Awards, handed out Saturday night at Gulfstream Park.

American Pharoah was also the unanimous winner of 3-year-old male honors. He's the first horse to get every vote in both divisions under the current balloting system, which has been in place since 2003.

In all, American Pharoah and his connections combined to take five Eclipse Awards. Zayat Stables won as top owner and top breeder, the first time it prevailed in those categories. Trainer Bob Baffert got his fourth Eclipse, his first since 1999.

It wasn't a sweep for American Pharoah's team. Victor Espinoza finished a distant second to Javier Castellano in the race for top jockey. Castellano prevailed for the third straight year.

autos

Police examine Stewart-fan scrap

Police in Tulsa, Okla., were investigating after an off-duty officer heckled NASCAR star Tony Stewart and was confronted by the driver.

The confrontation happened Friday night at the weeklong Chili Bowl dirt-track event at the Tulsa Expo Center. The heckler was Cpl. Kyle Hess with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. The investigation likely would finish after the weekend and a statement would be released then, Sheriff's Deputy Justin Green said.

Cellphone videos from fans posted online showed Stewart and Hess locking hands and engaging in heated conversation. The videos showed Stewart going into the stands. Hess fell backward after a security guard stepped between the two. Stewart continued to talk to a seated Hess. After looking at the video, Green said, he doubted charges would be filed against either.

Stewart works on track preparation during the event, which he won as a driver in 2002 and 2007. The three-time NASCAR Cup champion, who will retire from NASCAR after this season, couldn't be reached for comment.

In 2014, Stewart struck and killed a racer, Kevin Ward Jr., who had left his car during a sprint car race in New York. Stewart wasn't charged, but he faces a civil suit from Ward's family.

ET CETERA

Soccer: A dreary opening 45 minutes in the Chelsea-Everton match made way for a thrilling second half that started with John Terry's own goal and ended with the captain scoring in the right net in the eighth minute of stoppage time to clinch a 3-3 draw in the English Premier League. Leicester tied 1-1 with bottom-place Aston Villa and kept the lead by a point. Second-place Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 4-0.

Weightlifting: Leonid Zhabotinsky, a record-breaking Ukrainian-born Soviet weightlifter who picked up Olympic gold medals in 1964 and 1968 and was Arnold Schwarzenegger's teenage idol, died Thursday in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. He was 77. His son Ruslan did not specify a cause, the International Weightlifting Federation said.

Times wires

Comments
NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 15: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Week 15 starts and ends with disappointment — a Thursday night meeting of two of the more disappointing teams (Denver at Indianapolis) and a Monday night game that once had held high hopes locally (Atlanta at Tampa Bay). Once.Here's our picks f...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Former USF star Courtney Williams makes national team pool

Former USF star Courtney Williams makes national team pool

Former USF women's basketball sensation Courtney Williams is one significant step closer to becoming an Olympian.Williams, who just completed her first full season with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, is among 29 players who have been chosen for the 2017...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Rays officials headed back across I-4 this afternoon, leaving the winter meetings while working toward resolution of "advanced" trade talks that could include some of their biggest name players.Most of the attention and speculation has been on on the...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

TAMPA — It is one of the most honest moments of the season, captured in the first Hard Knocks episode. Jameis Winston is having a frank conversation with coach Dirk Koetter, seated behind his desk in his office at One Buc Place."I just want to have a...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

Jones: If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?

What would you do?If you were Jon Gruden, what would you do?Well, you could go to Hooter’s and order a pitcher of beer and dozen wings. Then, Monday, you could go be inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor.I’m talking about after that.Would you stay i...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
River Ridge grad Chris Schwarz on brink of Division II title with West Florida

River Ridge grad Chris Schwarz on brink of Division II title with West Florida

Two years ago, Chris Schwarz was mulling over his college choices. The former River Ridge High standout had offers from Valparaiso, Florida Tech and West Florida. West Florida?That one baffled Schwarz, mostly because he knew nothing about the school....
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Updated: 1 hour ago