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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

'I Now Pronounce You Trainer and Trainer'

March 26, 1998|RANDY HARVEY

At that point in the wedding ceremony when anyone who had an objection was asked to speak or forever hold his peace, Jenine Sahadi and Ben Cecil had prepared themselves for an unusually long pause while the California Horse Racing Board considered a ruling.

Happily for bride and groom, they were informed before the March 14 wedding that the union of two of Southern California's most prominent thoroughbred trainers had withstood an inquiry.

The issue was a CHRB regulation prohibiting a trainer "from sharing in the purse won by another trainer."

The rule obviously is intended to discourage rival trainers from entering into a mutually beneficial agreement to collaborate on race preparation and strategy. But the CHRB wondered whether it could be argued in this case that its rule was superseded by California community property laws.

Sahadi and Cecil solved the dilemma by signing a prenuptial agreement, declaring that neither had an interest in the other's stable.

"We were satisfied that their stable accounts will be completely separate," Santa Anita steward Pete Petersen said.

"What they do with their household accounts, we didn't feel pertained. I don't think we want to get into the sleeping habits of our trainers."

The alternative would have been to require their horses to be coupled as entries in wagering.

Racing as separate interests, Cecil's Captain Collins beat Sahadi's Blackwater by a nose in the third race Sunday at Santa Anita.

The intensity of the competition was was not believed to have caused any stress in the newlyweds' marriage. They are still honeymooning in Jamaica.

*

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who was in Santa Monica on Wednesday, is bewildered that King defenseman Rob Blake hasn't become a bigger star in Los Angeles. . . .

One reason, he was told, is that Blake is completing his first full season after three in which he sat out more games than he played because of injuries. . . .

Another is that Blake doesn't promote himself like some stars here. I mean, can you imagine him rapping? . . .

The other is that he's a defenseman, which might be more appreciated in a traditional hockey market such as Boston, Detroit or Montreal. . . .

"You mean Bobby Orr wouldn't have been a star here because he was a defenseman?" Bettman asked.

Well, Bobby Orr, that's different. . . .

Even if the Ducks sign goaltender Patrick Lalime, fans shouldn't get attached to him. . . .

All teams have to make at least one goalie available to the new team in Nashville in June's expansion draft. . . .

My guess is they traded for Lalime before Tuesday's trading deadline so they can protect Guy Hebert and Mikhail Shtalenkov. . . .

I'm not optimistic about the investigation by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) into boxing. . . .

If the federal government can't figure out what to do about Saddam Hussein, how does it figure it matches up with Don King? . . .

We should be getting ready for the heavyweight unification bout between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. . . .

Instead, Lewis is fighting Saturday night against Shannon Briggs and Holyfield is fighting in June against Henry Akinwande. . . .

Muhammad Ali was in the lobby of the Santa Monica Loews hotel Wednesday, reminding me of how good boxing fans used to have it. . . .

Coliseum supporters returned from the NFL meetings not only believing they can bring a team to the stadium in the not-too-distant future but also a Super Bowl by 2002. . . .

If not then, maybe 2003. Although the game that year has been awarded to San Francisco, the NFL is concerned about the squabble there over the proposed new stadium. . . .

Dodger veterans say Bill Russell was more assertive this spring. . . .

He'd better take charge because his job will be in jeopardy if the Dodgers don't contend in the division, even though they're starting the season without a proven first baseman, center fielder, fifth starter or closer. . . .

They were encouraged by Antonio Osuna's numbers as a closer in spring training--a 1.80 earned-run average and three saves in three chances. . . .

But I keep going back to this one--one strikeout in 10 innings. . . .

Jerry Tarkanian told the Associated Press: "We haven't had a felony recruit this year." . . .

Don't you just love him?

*

While wondering if anyone could have guessed a year ago that the Smith coaching in the Final Four wouldn't be Dean, I was thinking: Someone who doesn't follow basketball would be surprised to learn that the coach in San Antonio named Tubby isn't from Utah, it's hard to believe New England let Curtis Martin get away, and to Bill Parcells of all coaches.

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