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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Despite Effort, Chippy Is Still Zip for 86

March 24, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Zippy Chippy, the losingest horse in the history of U.S. thoroughbred racing, has lost again--and there wasn't even a race. Officials at Garden State Park in New Jersey turned down a request by the owner of the 9-year-old gelding to enter a race Wednesday.

The Zipster is still on the list of ineligible horses at Finger Lakes Race Track in Farmington, N.Y., where, on Sept. 8, 1998, he failed to leave the gate with the rest of the field for the third consecutive time.

The loss at Finger Lakes was Zippy Chippy's 85th in a row--tying the record for the most consecutive losses to begin a racing career. A year later, Zippy Chippy set the record with his 86th loss at a county fair in Northampton, Mass.

Owner-trainer Felix Monserrate is supportive of his horse: "He's been losing real close. He's a strong horse. He'll get it in his mind to win."

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Trivia time: Who holds the men's single-game scoring record in the NCAA basketball tournament?

It only gets better: Greg Cote of the Miami Herald on Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds, who will compete regularly with Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs in a National League home run festival:

"It's sort of like William Shakespeare and Ernest Hemingway giving a seminar on writing . . . and Mark Twain walked in.

"Like Beethoven and Chopin were jamming in the concert hall . . . and Mozart joined them."

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Early exit: Arizona was eliminated by Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA tournament--but at least it was the second round.

Arizona Coach Lute Olson is tied with New Mexico State's Lou Henson, the former Illinois coach, for most first-round losses, nine, in NCAA history.

Splendid idea: Woody Paige of the Denver Post writes that the name of golf should be changed to "Mulligan."

"On my course, you get to choose from the better of two shots. In tennis you get two serves. In baseball a batter can foul off 50 pitches until he puts the ball in play.

"But hit one golf shot on a tree root, and nobody says, 'That's OK, you get another. Just smooth it out this time.' "

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It figured: The Sandbox.com Web site's contest offering $10 million to anyone who could pick the winner of every NCAA tournament game didn't last long.

When Wisconsin beat Arizona last Saturday, all 610,705 contestants had a loser. No surprise, of course with odds of 5.7 billion to 1 against.

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Looking back: On this day in 1975, Muhammad Ali knocked out Chuck Wepner in the 15th round to retain the world heavyweight boxing title in Cleveland.

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Trivia answer: Austin Carr of Notre Dame, 61 against Ohio in 1970.

And finally: Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle points out that if Tulsa reaches the Final Four, the Golden Hurricane's coach, Bill Self, "would have the name that launched a thousand quips."

A sampling:

Houston Chronicle: "Tulsa Benefits From Self-Help Course."

Nashville Tennessean: "Tulsa Can Really Make Big Name For Its Self."

And the coach's own assistants have been wearing shirts that promote: "Self-Defense."

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