Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sports digest


Athens on agenda for Prez's parents

The Enquirer and wire reports

Former President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, plan to attend the Athens Games. The parents of President Bush notified Athens 2004 committee president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki of their plan by letter last week.

New video game draws criticism

A new video game, "NBA Ballers" has some of the league's players wondering about the message it sends. The game lets wannabe pros "acquire" women as well as guy pals for their posse. They also can pick up a mansion-sized "crib," Cadillacs, gold chains and tattoos.

"It's a little too much," Miami Heat forward Lamar Odom said. "Some professionals don't like being stereotyped."

The game comes out at a sensitive time for the league, as Kobe Bryant's rape trial goes on, but the NBA and manufacturer Midway Sports say there's no sex or violence and the female characters are intended as nothing more than colorful members of an entourage.

Bejarano rides Zito trainee to Trial win

Sir Shackleton, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, held off Courageous Act by 1 3/4 lengths in Saturday's Grade III Derby Trial for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Winning trainer Nick Zito's Kentucky Derby week is off to a fast start. Zito will saddle possible favorite The Cliff's Edge and Birdstone next Saturday. The two-time Derby winning trainer said the Trial was one of the traditional races he has coveted.

The Trial field dropped to five when Kentucky Derby hopeful and favorite Rock Hard Ten was scratched.

Bejarano, 21, earned his nation-leading 161st win. He was also aboard Sir Shackleton in a 7-furlong April 9 Keeneland allowance win.

"I had all the speed I needed," said Bejarano, the record-breaking rider at Turfway Park. "The horse moved very, very good."

DERBY SCRATCH: Sinister G will not run in Saturday's Derby because of a lingering cough, reshuffling the list of automatic qualifiers, trainer John Toscano said.

Sinister G, upset victor in the Lane's End Stakes March 20 at Turfway Park, was 16th on the list of graded stakes earnings. Only the top 20 earners qualify for the Derby. The colt's withdrawal moves Song of the Sword into the field. Value Plus, 17th on the graded stakes list, is another likely Derby defection after a sixth-place finish in the Wood Memorial. If that happens, Pro Prado would move up to 20th.

Boxing

KLITSCHKO WINS: Vitali Klitschko both staked his claim to the heavyweight title and avenged his brother's defeat Saturday in a dominating performance that left Corrie Sanders battered and bloodied and unable to fight back in the eighth round.

Klitschko showed that he belonged among the heavyweight elite, winning the WBC title vacated by the retirement of Lennox Lewis when referee John Schorle stopped the fight at 1:46 of the eighth round with Sanders helpless along the ropes.

Klitschko's younger brother, Wladimir, who was knocked out by Sanders last year, rushed into the ring and embraced his brother.

Amateur golf

AJGA TOURNAMENT: Moeller High junior Rob Chappell shot a 1-over 72 and was tied for fourth, two strokes off the lead, after the first round of the 36-hole Ashworth Junior at Cannon Ridge in Fredericksburg, Va.

FREE LESSONS: Ohio PGA pros will be participating in the PGA's free lesson program throughout the month of May. The Buckeye pros are giving free 10-minute lessons to help golfers improve their games, or get started in the game. For more information, log in to www.playgolfamerica.com. Area venues:

Bel-Wood Country Club, Crooked Tree Golf Course, Dick's Sporting Goods, Fairfield Golf Center, Fairfield Greens, Glenview Golf Course; Golf Galaxy-Springdale, Golf Galaxy-Cincinnati, Hamilton Elks Country Club, Heatherwoode Golf Club, Heritage Club, Indian Ridge Golf Club, Little Miami Golf Center, Meadow Links & Golf Academy, Miami View Golf Club, Neumann Golf Course, O'Bannon Creek Golf Club, Reeves Golf Club and Driving Range, Rocky Fork Golf Course, Royal Oak Country Club, Sharon Woods Golf Course, Shawnee Lookout Golf Club, Southwest Golf Ranch, The Golf Ranch-Tri-County, The Mill Course, The Vineyard Golf Course, University of Cincinnati, Weatherwax Golf Course, Xavier University.

--Jack Murray

Tennis

FED CUP: Venus Williams routed Katarina Srebotnik 6-1, 6-2 to pull the Americans to pull even with host Slovenia after the first day. Slovenia won the opener in the best-of-5 first-round series when Tina Pisnik defeated Lisa Raymond 7-5, 7-5.

MONTE CARLO: Guillermo Coria reached his second straight final, winning again on clay - 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 over Marat Safin. The third-seeded Coria, a runner-up last year, will play fourth-seeded Rainer Schuettler today. The German defeated Carlos Moya 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Soccer

MARADONA UPDATE: Argentine Diego Maradona, 43, was put back on a respirator in intensive care while he battles serious heart and lung problems.




BENGALS / NFL DRAFT
Bengals pick up their missing pieces
First pick Perry has all the tools
Team was impressed by instincts, smarts
Bengals get ton of talent in pick
Speed, versatility attract club
Johnson fits team's new mold of linebacker
Gold and black fits RedHawk
A day in the life of Ben
After tense hour, Giant victory for No. 1 pick
Three Buckeyes selected in first round
Tagliabue honors fallen hero

COLLEGE SPRING FOOTBALL
Dantonio sets new course
Bearcats are waiting for receivers to step up
Zwick holds slight advantage as starting QB
Pittman tosses helmet into Buckeyes' RB derby
UK spring game: QB Boyd continues to shine

HORSE RACING
Horse racing's dirty little secret
Adding to family's grief are the debts
'Jockey' moving but lacking in context

REDS / BASEBALL
Bad start, big finish for Reds
ONLINE EXTRA: Photos of Saturday's game
Freel is OK after beaning
Reds chatter
Kelly: Marlins managing Phillies
Time to ride out April hot streaks
Prior throws 50 pitches off mound
NL: Astros, Cubs keep pace
AL: Boston now 5-1 vs. Yanks
AAA: Toledo 6, Louisville 3

RUNNING
More runner-friendly course awaiting increased Pig field

PREP SPORTS
Confident Kings makes statement
Groeschen: Coach has Maupin on mind
Ernst: Kentucky high school insider
Prep sports results, schedules

BASKETBALL
Dow: Recruit Odia says visa the issue
NBA: Davis leads Hornets to take series lead

HOCKEY
Ducks take pivotal Game 3 with shutout
Marleau scores again as Sharks jump Avs

SUNDAY PAGE TWO
Thoman hopes summer schedule includes Olympics
What's up with that?
A quick chat with ... Mike Battaglia
Seton graduate Becca Brinker part of top-ranked Ohio State rowing team
This week's poll question
All thumbs

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Golf: Morgan stays atop Legends by stroke
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