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BRIEFLY FUNNY CIDE TO SKIP BREEDERS' CUP RACE.

Byline: - Daily News Staff and Wire Services

Funny Cide, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, will miss the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic and instead run against other New York-breds in the $250,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park on Oct. 18.

The decision is a blow to the Classic, which will be held Oct. 25 at Santa Anita, especially after the sudden retirements because of injury of Mineshaft, one of the top older horses, and Empire Maker, the 3-year-old who defeated Funny Cide in the Belmont Stakes.

Funny Cide's trainer Barclay Tagg, did not think the horse would be ready for the 1 1/4-mile race.

--Perfect Drift, the nation's leading active older thoroughbred in the wake of other horses' recent retirements and injuries, will race in the Breeders' Cup Classic, trainer Murray Johnson told the Daily Racing Form.

Perfect Drift jockey Pat Day committed to Ten Most Wanted for the Classic

BASKETBALL: The Spark' Lisa Leslie was among the first seven players selected for the U.S. women's national basketball team that's expected to compete at the 2004 Athens Games. Also named to the team was DeLisha Milton-Jones of the Sparks.

TENNIS: A man accused of killing the half-sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges. The suspect, Aaron Michael Hammer, was scheduled to return to court Oct. 22.

BASEBALL: One day after the fourth surgery on his right elbow, Atlanta Braves right-hander John Smoltz, 36, said he would retire before facing another such procedure.

--Mark Grace divulged his new career plans, signing a one-year contract to join the Arizona Diamondbacks' broadcast team.

--Houston right-hander Roy Oswalt had surgery for a strained right groin and will rest for four weeks before starting strengthening exercises.

SOCCER: England's national soccer team dropped its threat to boycott a key 2004 European Championship qualifying game because of star defender Rio Ferdinand's suspension.

ETC.: Stuart Appleby birdied the last six holes for a 10-under-par 62 and a share of the lead with Steve Flesch after the first round of the Las Vegas Invitational. ... French middle distance runner Fouad Chouki was suspended for two years for failing a drug test at the World Championships.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 9, 2003
Words:372
Previous Article:DAY IN SPORTS: NAKANISHI SHARP IN LOSS TO CITY CHAMPS.
Next Article:ORACLE MESS AT THE ROOT OF RECALL CLAMOR.


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