Originally created 08/14/04

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Horse Racing

Smarty to make last public appearance

Smarty Jones is ready to hoof it out of Philly.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner who electrified the sport and brought Philadelphia its long-awaited champion before his retirement is set to move out of his home turf.

First, though, comes the retirement party today at Philadelphia Park. It will be the 3-year-old colt's last public appearance in Bensalem before leaving to stand stud at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.

While the occasion is meant to honor Smarty, trainer John Servis has mixed feelings. He wished it could have been delayed a few years.

"As a trainer, I'd love for him to run until he was about 7 or 8," Servis said Friday. "But I think it's great for the fans."

The colt is retiring after he was diagnosed with bone bruises in all four hoofs.

In nine career starts, Smarty Jones - with jockey Stewart Elliott - won eight races and earned $7,563,535, including a $5 million bonus from Oaklawn Park for victories in the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby and Kentucky Derby. Owners Pat and Roy Chapman recently syndicated him for about $48 million.

College Football

Wolfpack reassigns assistant Hunter

In Raleigh, N.C., North Carolina State has reassigned assistant strength coach C.J. Hunter due to his connection with the investigation of steroid use by track and field athletes.

In a statement, athletic director Lee Fowler said Hunter was moved to another position in the athletics department "after evaluating recent allegations" involving the former world champion shot putter. The statement did not specify Hunter's new duties nor the specific allegations against Hunter.

Hunter is the ex-husband of track star Marion Jones, who won five medals in the 2000 Sydney Games.

Published reports said in July that Hunter told federal investigators he personally injected Jones with banned substances and saw Jones inject herself with performance-enhancing drugs in Australia.

Hunter retired from track and field after testing positive four times for steroids in 2000.

Hunter was entering his fourth season with the Wolfpack football program, according to the school's media guide. Hunter has a contract with the school until March 1, Fowler said.

NASCAR

Weather postpones Watkins qualifying

In Watkins Glen, N.Y., a wet track from earlier rain prevented qualifying Friday at Watkins Glen International, giving NASCAR Nextel Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson the pole for Sunday's Sirius at The Glen.

Teammate Jeff Gordon will start second in a field set by car-owner points. Gordon, coming off a victory in the Brickyard 400, will be seeking his unprecedented fifth victory on the Watkins Glen road course.

The rest of the top 10 starters, also set by points, will be Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Kurt Busch, Bobby Labonte, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman.

Johnson holds a 97-point lead over Gordon with five races remaining until the standings for the top 10 are reset at five-point intervals for the final 10 races to decide the Nextel Cup title. Gordon leads the circuit with five victories, including three in the past six races, and Johnson is second with four wins.

Rain could be a factor Sunday with Hurricane Charley approaching.

Hockey

Niedermayer scores arbitration victory

Defenseman Scott Niedermayer of the New Jersey Devils was awarded a record-tying $7 million contract for next season by an NHL arbitrator.

The award matches the $7 million given to Philadelphia Flyers forward John LeClair in 2000.

Niedermayer, last season's Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenseman, had requested a five-year contract reportedly worth $45 million.