IN BRIEF

HORSE RACING

Filly Rachel Alexandra ready for Preakness

Rachel Alexandra looks ready to challenge the boys in the Preakness.

And after a day of jostling among owners of other Preakness hopefuls, it appears she’ll get the chance.

Owner Jess Jackson declared the Kentucky Oaks winner primed for the second jewel of the Triple Crown following an easy four-furlong workout Sunday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Rachel Alexandra covered the half-mile in 48.40 seconds under exercise rider Dominic Terry, a workout that trainer Steve Asmussen called “beautiful.”

It was all the evidence Jackson needed to send the 3-year-old filly, whom he purchased last week for an undisclosed sum, to Pimlico for Saturday’s 1 3/16th-mile race.

However, the Preakness is limited to 14 starters, with preference given to horses pre-nominated to the Triple Crown.

While Jackson is willing to pay the $100,000 supplemental fee required to make Rachel Alexandra eligible for the race, she could get bumped if 14 horses already nominated to the series are entered.

Also: Banrock rolled to an easy win in his comeback, beating Mission Approved by 43/4 lengths in the $108,500 Kingston Stakes at Belmont Park in New York.

Trained by Tom Bush, the 6-year-old gelding ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.68 on the soft course.

The 6-5 favorite, Banrock paid $4.70, $2.90 and $2.60. Mission Approved returned $11.60 and $6. Stormy Success paid $8.80 to show.

Witty pulled away from Carlsbad in the final sixteenth to win the $100,000 Railbird Stakes by 11/2 lengths at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.

Under Victor Espinoza, Witty covered seven furlongs in 1:21.74, paying $4.80, $2.60 and $2.40. Carlsbad returned $2.60 and $2.40, while the show payoff on Will O Way was $4.20.

MISCELLANEOUS

UNLV softball team lands spot in NCAAs

The UNLV softball team earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Rebels (31-19) will play Fresno State (36-18) at 1 p.m. Friday in Los Angeles.

The other two teams in UNLV’s regional are Long Beach State and host UCLA. The winner of the four-team, three-day tournament will advance to a best-of-3 Super Regional.

Also: Alessandro Petacchi edged Mark Cavendish to win the second stage of the Giro d’Italia in a mass sprint in Trieste, Italy.

Cavendish leads the overall standings by 14 seconds. Lance Armstrong crossed 42nd with the same time as Petacchi and moved from 15th to 10th overall, 27 seconds behind Cavendish.

Russia retained its gold medal at the hockey world championship in Bern, Switzerland, beating Canada 2-1 in a rematch of last year’s final.

Oleg Saprykin had a tying power-play goal in the first and Alex Radulov scored late in the second for Russia.

Sweden won the bronze medal, beating the United States, 4-2.

The Chicago Blackhawks will play the European champion Zurich Lions in the Victoria Cup in Switzerland this fall. The game is scheduled for Sept. 29 at the Hallenstadion arena.

Instant replay has been approved starting next season for last-second shots in high school basketball championship games.

The rule change by the National Federation of State High School Associations allows replay for review of a shot attempt at the end of the fourth quarter or overtime, and only when the last-second shot would affect the outcome of the game.

College of Southern Nevada softball shortstop Amy Aicher, pitcher-outfielder Janice Damo and pitcher Mandy Tapia were named first-team NJCAA All-Region 18.

Outfielder Berlynn Bagley was named to the second team.

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