No 2-year-old thoroughbred champion has gone on to win the Kentucky Derby as a 3-year-old since Spectacular Bid, owned by Marylanders Harry and Tom Meyerhoff, in 1979. But another one is going to do it Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Fly So Free, the 1990 2-year-old king, is the pick here in the 117th Derby. The colt won the Florida Derby but caused some doubts recently when he finished second to Strike The Gold in the Blue Grass Stakes. The track was a little muddy that day. It should be fast Saturday.
* These eyes popped when they got a look at a diver at the Johns Hopkins pool the other day. When the coach, Kym Stine, was asked how Hopkins had landed a diver of such extraordinary talent, she answered:
"He doesn't go to Hopkins. His name is Jamie Edwards and he goes to high school at Gilman. He's the MSA champion and a three-time All-American. Jamie's going to Stanford in the fall. Before that, he'll compete in the first-ever national high school diving championships in June in Indianapolis."
* A lot of people who know college basketball are surprised that Georgia Tech's Bobby Cremins and Xavier's Pete Gillen, Irish Catholics who grew up in New York, have turned down the Notre Dame coaching job. Says Nap Doherty, an Irish Catholic who grew up in Brooklyn (as Gillen did) and coached Loyola College and Johns Hopkins: "The only place any kid like us ever wanted to go was Notre Dame."
* The folks at Towson State learned yesterday that a representative from the Kuwaiti embassy will attend the school's "Gridiron Gala" fund-raiser next Wednesday evening at the Towson Center. Also in attendance will be Gov. Schaefer and Art Donovan. Hmmm. Schaefer, Donovan and the Kuwaiti embassy. This I gotta see. For tickets, call David Hoard at 830-2234.
* Despite Towson State's widely publicized problems in paying for football, UMBC wants to take up the sport. Says Retrievers athletic director Charles Brown:
"It depends on the NCAA legislation next January. If a no-scholarship, Division I-AAA is created, we'd be interested. That doesn't mean we'd field a team in '92. The process would take longer than that."
* Every college football coach says what Ohio State's John Cooper has just said about the shortening of spring practice: "You won't see as polished a product. You're asking us to accomplish the same things in less time."
The truth is, not one spectator in 10,000 will notice the difference, and not one in 1,000 would see the difference if all colleges dropped spring football.
* Absolutely no one outside Geneva, N.Y., has shed a tear because Hobart (4-7) is having a losing season in lacrosse. Though its teams have been good enough to play with anybody in Division I, Hobart has chosen to stay in Division III and win 11 straight national championships. No fair. Hobart's lacrosse resources are as great as anyone's. The school should have moved up to play with the big boys long ago.
* No wonder Charles Barkley gets hurt so much. His team, the Philadelphia 76ers, plays more than anybody else. The Sixers this season played 14 overtime games, an NBA record. They won eight of them.
* Loyola High and St. Paul's are wonderful schools with fine lacrosse teams and handsome blue and gold uniforms, but I wish both would get rid of those gold shoes. They make the players look like Ronald McDonald. Also, they sometimes make players think an official has dropped a penalty flag.
* If Washington gets a National League franchise, a Triple A team in Annapolis would be a bad idea. The Washington, Baltimore, Frederick, Hagerstown, Annapolis corridor would be over-baseballed. But if D.C. doesn't get in the NL, an Orioles' farm club in Annapolis would be dynamite. Certainly it would be an improvement over Rochester.
* A great place for a minor league would be the Mid-Atlantic ocean resorts -- Ocean City, Rehoboth, Cape May, Wildwood, etc. Thousands upon thousands roam around those places every summer evening with nothing better to do than walk on a boardwalk. Ball games would average 10,000.