MIDWAY, Ky. - Smarty Jones could become known as Arty Jones if his new career takes off.
The 2004 Derby and Preakness winner has taken up painting, with assistance, to help ReRun Inc., a retired thoroughbred adoption nonprofit organization, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
The organization started the idea of getting famous racehorses to paint with their noses, whiskers, tails and hooves to create "Moneighs" - a whimsical idea that's turned into serious cash.
The online auction service eBay has opened up a whole new market for the paintings, said Mary Simons, who works for ReRun. The average cost for a painting is $300 to $400, but a work by Smarty went for $3,250 on eBay in December.
The highest price ever paid was $6,000 for an Old Trieste in 2002.
ReRun estimates it's raised about $20,000 in three years from works by horses such as Funny Cide, Giacomo, Distorted Humor, Holy Bull and Silver Charm.
To create the work of art, Simons maneuvered a paper plate of blue and white nontoxic paint up to Smarty's face outside his stall at Three Chimneys. Smarty snorted as the paint coated his long whiskers and part of his nose.
Then, Simons held up a sheet of white paper and waited until Smarty wriggled his nose against it. A large blob of white, and more delicate streaks of blue appeared on the page.
"Albert the Great's latest looks like fireworks," she told the newspaper. "Gulch makes big swooshes with his nose. Point Given is a minimalist."
On Friday, Smarty finished two paintings, one in his colors of blue and white, and one in red, white and blue because of his status as America's horse. As he finished, Hatfield held up one of his forelegs so Simons could cover the bottom of a hoof with blue paint. She then pressed one of the paintings up against the foot.
Simons' next idea is to get a jockey's handprint next to the footprint of a horse they rode.
SHANGHAI, China (AP) - Former NBA center Mengke Bateer received the heaviest fine in Chinese professional basketball history, a $3,000 penalty for arguing with a referee during a league game late last month.
Head referee Song Yanping called a disqualifying foul on Bateer after the 6-foot-11 star spoke to him while leaving the court during a Dec. 28 game against a team from Henan province. It wasn't known what Bateer said, although Song was quoted as describing his words as insulting.
The previous record fine was $1,200, awarded against Shanghai player Liu Wei for kicking an opponent during the 2004-2005 season.
Bateer received a one-game suspension alongside the fine, awarded for insulting or threatening a referee and incurring a technical foul, the reports said. Despite Bateer's departure, his Beijing Ducks team went on to win the game 131-114.
Along with Wang Zhizhi and Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, Bateer was one of the first Chinese players to join an NBA team, playing with the Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors in his three-year career in the United States. He was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers in October.
Bateer is considered one of the front-runners for the Chinese Basketball Association's MVP award this season.
TROY, Mich. (AP) - A suburban Detroit mall plans to show highlights from the first 39 Super Bowls as the area gets ready to host this season's NFL championship game on Feb. 5.
The grand court at the Somerset Collection is a construction zone for a temporary stadiumlike theater to exhibit selections from previous games, The Detroit News reported.
It is sponsored by General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac brand and is being put up free by the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. The theater will have room for 75 people.
The $2 admission will let visitors see a 20-minute movie of Super Bowl highlights, titled "Defining Moments." Proceeds will go to "Caring for Kids," a charitable project of the NFL Alumni Association, Somerset marketing director Linda McIntosh told The Detroit News.
Outside the theater, the subscription satellite channel NFL Network will be broadcast.
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