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A chance to bet it on Beckham

Times Staff Writer

Ladbrokes, the British betting and gaming company, is listing odds on a variety of David Beckham specials.

Among them:

Odds Beckham will score in his debut for the Galaxy in a July 21 exhibition against Chelsea: 3-1.

Odds he will win the most valuable player award in his first season with the Galaxy: 9-2.

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Odds he will win an MLS title at some point during his stay with the Galaxy: 1-2.

Odds he will receive a red card in his first season: 3-1.

Odds he will fulfill his five-year deal with the Galaxy: 4-1.

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Trivia time

Who is Frank Yallop?

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Not everyone cares

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Just to confirm that interest in Beckham’s arrival in Los Angeles has its limits, here were the most active discussions on aljazeera.net Friday:

* What impact did the 1967 [Middle East] war have?

* Pakistan mosque standoff: Your views

* Lebanon: One year on. Your views.

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* Should Britain withdraw Salman Rushdie’s honour?

* Asian Cup 2007: Your views.

But granted, even Al Jazeera posted a wire story on Pele’s advice for Beckham on the potential challenges of U.S. soccer.

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Back to American football

Mike Jemison, a former practice squad player for the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, is one of three men accused by police in a home-invasion robbery just before midnight Wednesday in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Township.

Police told the Harrisburg Patriot-News the only item stolen was a .25-caliber handgun, which officers found in a bag near a trash receptacle near the crime scene -- along with a .45-caliber pistol, a New York Giants official identification card and team apparel.

Add that one to the stupid criminal file.

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Take a plane, take a train ...

We know, you’ll probably take a car. But at a time when there seemingly is a Fan Fest for every occasion, here’s one that’s a little different.

For starters, it’s free.

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Besides that, it’s Del Mar.

In an effort to introduce fans to the new synthetic racing surface known by the brand name Polytrack, Del Mar officials are inviting people to a Fan Fest Sunday morning from 9 to 11, with free muffins and juice and a Q and A with Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone, who lives nearby with her husband and young daughter.

In addition to a chance to watch the horses in their morning workouts -- one of the best free events in sports -- the folks at Del Mar will let people walk onto the track afterward to see what this Polytrack stuff feels like.

Synthetic tracks are believed to reduce injuries to horses, a popular cause in the wake of so many injuries as well as the death of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.

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Still, the best description of the wax, sand and fiber mix we’ve heard came from a Daily Racing Form writer who put it simply: “Greasy hairballs.”

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Asterisk, please

Tim Murphy, writing at Slate.com, thinks Atlanta Braves Manager Bobby Cox’s march toward the all-time ejection record has been too easy:

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“Welcome to the juiced-thumb era.”

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Trivia answer

Yallop is coach of the Galaxy.

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Just checking.

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And finally

Former NFL great Jerry Rice, playing in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, doesn’t have his sights on the title, just on beating Michael Jordan.

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“Michael and I always go after each other. This year, my main goal is I want Michael to be really devastated,” said Rice, who shot a first-round 79 to Jordan’s 85.

Rice dismissed another former NBA player, Charles Barkley, out of hand.

“I’m not really worried about Charles. I feel he is not going to be much of a factor here.”

Probably not. Barkley shot a 109.

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robyn.norwood@latimes.com


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