Big Brown to race in Haskell in August

Et cetera

June 20, 2008

Big Brown is going back to the races, his next start set for the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 3.

Less than two weeks after Big Brown's Triple Crown attempt ended with an inexplicable last-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, co-owner Paul Pompa Jr. said the Haskell on the Jersey shore will mark the colt's return.

Big Brown has been training daily at Aqueduct Racetrack, while his poor performance in the Belmont remains a mystery to the owners and trainer Rick Dutrow, a Hagerstown native.

"Big Brown is healthy, and our plan right now is to keep racing him this summer and fall," Dutrow said in a statement to a congressional committee investigating horse racing safety.

More horse racing -- The president and chief executive of Churchill Downs said he's willing to sit down with members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to talk about safety issues facing the horse racing industry. Robert Evans said the company will do everything in its power to promote the safety and welfare of its horses after the death of Eight Belles.

College football -- NBC renewed its TV contract with Notre Dame through the 2015 season despite the Fighting Irish last year drawing their lowest ratings since the network began broadcasting their games in 1991. The current contract that expires in 2010 is reported to be worth $9 million a year. ... Delaware signed coach K.C. Keeler to a new contract through the 2017 season.

Gymnastics -- With reigning Olympic champion Paul Hamm recovering from a broken hand, Sasha Artemev and Jonathan Horton finished 1-2 in the first of two competitions at the U.S. Olympic trials in Philadelphia. The finals are tomorrow night, after which two gymnasts will get spots on the six-man team. One of the six spots on the Beijing team is almost sure to go to Hamm, who broke his hand last month. David Sender, who won the national title, couldn't compete after spraining his ankle Wednesday. He also petitioned for a spot on the team.

Diving -- Christina Loukas earned mostly 9s on her final dive to increase her lead in the 3-meter springboard semifinals at the U.S. Olympic trials in Indianapolis. Loukas totaled 729.85 points, well ahead of second-place Nancilea Foster (681.40). David Boudia earned four perfect scores on one dive, Thomas Finchum matched him with four 10s and the pair went 1-2 in the 10-meter platform semifinals. Boudia totaled 1,091.90 and Finchum had 1,065.25.

College World Series -- The game between North Carolina and LSU was suspended because of rain and will be resumed this evening. North Carolina led 2-0 with one out in the top of the first inning. Games originally scheduled for today - Georgia against Stanford and Fresno State against the winner of the North Carolina-LSU game - will be moved to tomorrow.

High school football -- DeMatha offensive line coach Tim Breslin and Northern offensive coordinator Jim Esposito and offensive-defensive line coach Greg Horning were among six coaches selected for the International Federation of American Football Coaching Development Tour. The tour, designed to strengthen the sport beyond the United States, will reach approximately 300 youth and junior-level football coaches in Denmark, France, Great Britain and Sweden from tomorrow to July 6.

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