Originally created 04/08/00

Overtime: Trippi early favorite in Flamingo Stakes



Trippi will open as the 9-5 favorite in a field of 11 3-year-olds today in the Flamingo Stakes, which will be run at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., for the first time in the 69-year history of race.

The 1 1/8 -mile, $250,000 race is the showcase event in Hialeah Park's 58-day meeting, which this year moved to Gulfstream. But there's little chance any horse in the Flamingo will be a major factor in the Kentucky Derby.

From 1975 to 1979, the Flamingo winners, including Derby champs Foolish Pleasure, Seattle Slew and Spectacular Bid, were heavy favorites at Churchill Downs. But it has been 21 years since the Flamingo winner won the Derby.

In the most recent Daily Racing Form rundown of Derby contenders, the only Flamingo starter on the list of 25 top 3-year-olds is Trippi, owned by Dogwood Stable in Aiken. Trippi is unbeaten, but rated a 50-1 shot.

The Flamingo will be Trippi's first race around two turns and if he does make it to the Derby, he'll attempt to become the first horse in 117 years to win the race without running as a 2-year-old.

Tahkodha Hills is second choice at 4-1. He and longshot Zammie carry 122 pounds; the rest carry 119. Mr. Livingston and Fajardo are third choices at 6-1. The rest of the field includes Perfect Cat, 10-1; American Bullet, 10-1; Skip A Grade, 12-1; Kombat Kat, 15-1; Zammie, 20-1; Malagot, 20-1; and Bravo Bull, 30-1.

TENNIS:

For the first time in years, Pete Sampras didn't know what to do on a tennis court.

The Czech Republic dealt the United States a severe jolt in Davis Cup when Jiri Novak swept Sampras 7-6 (1), 6-3, 6-2.

Andre Agassi, the world's No. 1 player, leveled the best-of-5 World Group quarterfinal at 1-1 when he defeated Slava Dosedel 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in the second singles.

Today's doubles pits Jared Palmer and Alex O'Brien against Novak and David Rikl, although Czech captain Jan Kukal has up to an hour before play begins to change his lineup.

Sunday's reverse singles will send Agassi against Novak and Sampras against Dosedel, although either team can substitute before the start of play.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL:

USC Aiken freshman Jami Cornwell was named to the Division II Bulletin 12-player all-freshman team. She was the Peach Belt Athletic Conference's Freshman of the Year after averaging 15.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists for the Lady Pacers.

Even without an opportunity to shine in this spring's NCAA tournament, Cincinnati's Kenyon Martin continues to be acknowledged as the men's college basketball player of the year. The 6-foot-9 senior, who broke his right leg in Cincinnati's first-round game of the Conference USA tournament, was a runaway winner of the 24th John R. Wooden Award, presented at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

GOLF:

USC Aiken is ranked No. 12 in the latest MasterCard Collegiate Rankings for NCAA Division II schools. Florida Southern is ranked No. 1. In addition to the Pacers, the Peach Belt Athletic Conference has three other members in the top 25 -- Columbus State (3), Georgia College and State (16) and Francis Marion (21). In District III North, USC Aiken is tied for second with Catawba. Pfeiffer is ranked No. 1.