- The Washington Times - Monday, June 9, 2008

WEEKEND REWIND - In case you missed it

Big Brown misses out on Triple Crown: It’s trendy to make sweeping generalizations about what the last-place finish means for horse racing. But next year people still will gather to watch the Kentucky Derby and hope for a Triple Crown winner, as if it will help breathe life into the struggling sport. Drugs and safety emerged as dominant story lines the past few weeks, but horse racing’s decline is rooted in its lack of compelling personalities. This year, the biggest personality to emerge was the acerbic Rick Dutrow Jr., and as anyone who has listened to his boasting the last month will attest, the sooner he goes back to irrelevance, the better.

Nadal, Ivanovic win French Open:The only surprise in Rafael Nadal’s win over Roger Federer was the ease by which he dismantled Federer. Meanwhile, Ana Ivanovic’s first Grand Slam may signal a shift away from the Williams sisters toward the younger generation of Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova. The upside to Venus and Serena spending more time away from the sport is allowing stars like Ivanovic to shine. With Federer and Nadal dominating the men’s circuit, it’s difficult for a Novak Djokovic to break through.

TWT FIVE - IF SPORTS WERE SCRIPTED

1. Big Brown wins Belmont. Then, in a shocking development, reveals he can talk and tells PETA protestors to shut up.

2. Capitals, Penguins meet in Stanley Cup playoffs next season. The hype for Ovechkin vs. Crosby would help put hockey back in the spotlight - until ESPN goes back to ignoring it.

3. Michelle Wie, not Lorena Ochoa dominates the LPGA Tour. Unfortunately for Ochoa and the retiring Annika Sorenstam, the moment Wie returns from college, she will garner twice the attention.

4. Elijah Dukes wins MVP, donates winnings to battered women’s clinic. It’s worth noting his game-winning home run Thursday came on Ladies’ Night at Nationals Park.

5. Lakers meet Celtics in NBA Finals. Oh wait, the NBA already is scripted.

HE SAID WHAT?

“I love this horse. I’ve grown tremendously attached to this horse emotionally. I wanted him to know he could run dead last or first and we would still love him.” - Big Brown co-owner Michael Iavarone

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