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In Brief


O’Neill suspended for 45 days,
but won’t miss Belmont Stakes

Despite vigorously denying he gave one of his horses an illegal performance-enhancing mixture, trainer Doug O’Neill was suspended Thursday for 45 days – a ban that won’t take effect until after his superstar colt, I’ll Have Another, tries to win the Triple Crown.

After a nearly two-year legal battle, California racing officials agreed with O’Neill but still found fault because of a rule that says trainers are ultimately responsible for horses in their care. The ruling doesn’t prevent O’Neill from saddling his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

The suspension and $15,000 fine – which O’Neill can appeal – come in the final weeks of I’ll Have Another’s attempt to become horse racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed 34 years ago.

“I plan on examining and reviewing all of my options following the Belmont Stakes, but right now I plan on staying focused on preparing for and winning the Triple Crown,” O’Neill said in a statement.

The seven-member California Horse Racing Board met in closed session at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., to consider the recommended decision of a hearing officer in O’Neill’s case. The board agreed with the officer’s recommendations, which included the maximum punishment and fine for O’Neill, who turned 44 on Thursday.

While elevated carbon dioxide is associated with “milkshaking,” the officer agreed with O’Neill that his horse Argenta had not been fed a mixture of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and electrolytes that enhances performance and combats fatigue. The officer did not indicate what might have caused the overage.

Also: Los Angeles Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have partnered in owning a racehorse that will make its first start Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park. The 4-year-old gelding named Siempre Mo is entered in the sixth race, a $54,000 allowance, and will be ridden by Joy Scott.

Bryant and Gasol purchased 25 percent of the gelding at a team charity auction in April. Siempre Mo, who won a $25,000 claiming race in his last start, is trained by Doug O’Neill.


Giants’ Nicks could miss three
months with broken right foot

New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks is expected to be sidelined up to three months after breaking his right foot at a team organized activity.

Nicks, who caught 76 passes for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns last season, fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot while running a route during individual drills in East Rutherford, N.J.

Nicks is scheduled to have surgery today to have a screw inserted into the broken bone. The procedure will be performed by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. The fifth metatarsal generally takes a long time to heal because there isn’t a lot of blood flow to the area.

Also: Nevada high school football schedules for the 2012 season are available on Nevadapreps.com. Schedules have been posted for all Division I and I-A teams, as well as those Division III and IV teams that have submitted schedules. A story on the home page details how to access each team’s schedule.


Heat’s James tops voting for
All-NBA team; Kobe nears mark

Miami Heat forward LeBron James was the leading vote-getter for the All-NBA team, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant received his 10th first-team selection, tied for second on the career list.

Bryant, a first-team pick for the seventh straight season, joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Bob Cousy, Michael Jordan, Bob Pettit and Jerry West with 10 selections to the first team. Karl Malone is the leader with 11.

James, who won his third Most Valuable Player award, received 118 of a possible 120 first-team votes from a panel of writers and broadcasters. Joining James and Bryant on the first team were forward Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, guard Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers and center Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.

Guards Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Russell Westbrook of the Thunder, forwards Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Blake Griffin of the Clippers and center Andrew Bynum of the Lakers made the second team.

Also: The Charlotte Bobcats will interview Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan today for their coaching position. Sloan, 70, spent 23 seasons with the Utah Jazz before resigning in February 2011.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. June 1 for the NBA Summer League, which will be played from July 13 to 22 at Cox Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack Center. A record 24 teams will be participating, including 11 that made the playoffs. Each team will play five games.

Daily session tickets, priced at $25 for adults and $15 for children, can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack box office or at UNLVtickets.com.


Bogey-free 64 propels Johnson
to one-stroke lead at Colonial

Zach Johnson shot a bogey-free 6-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the PGA Tour’s Colonial at Fort Worth, Texas.

Johnson began his round by making a 40-foot birdie putt at the 396-yard, 10th hole on his way to his 13th consecutive under-par round at Hogan’s Alley. Johnson set the Colonial scoring record with his 21-under 259 in 2010, when he had two 64s in his last PGA Tour victory.

Jason Dufner, rookie Harris English, Tom Gillis and Kyle Reifers were tied for second on a day where 20 to 30 mph wind with higher gusts whipped through the big oak trees lining the fairways. Dufner won the Byron Nelson Championship last week, and both of his PGA Tour victories have come in the past four weeks. He started at Colonial with three consecutive birdies, was 5 under after a 10-foot birdie putt at the 174-yard eighth hole, then overcame two bogeys in a three-hole stretch.

Defending champion David Toms had only one birdie in his round of 74.

Also: Roger Chapman shot a 3-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Mich.

The Englishman is playing in only his second tournament of the year after tying for 16th this month in the European Senior Tour’s Mallorca Open.

John Cook was in second.

Peter Lawrie and David Drysdale each shot 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over five players after the first round of the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship in Virginia Water, England.

Top-ranked Rory McIlroy had five bogeys and a double bogey in his round of 74 to go with three birdies and an eagle. On the par-5 12th, he threw his club after a poor provisional shot, which came after he sent his second shot out of bounds en route to a bogey 6.

Alabama has a two-stroke lead over Southern California after the third round of the NCAA Division I women’s golf championship at Franklin, Tenn. The Crimson Tide, who entered the round with an 11-stroke lead, shot 18-over 306 for a 13-over 877 total. USC shot 6-over 294.

Oklahoma’s Chirapat Jao-Javanil and Arizona State’s Giulia Molinaro share the individual lead at 4-under 212.

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