Morning briefing

Times Staff Writer

This one's going down to the wire

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has made the run for the rose garden a horse race, and apparently is going to great lengths (even a few furlongs) to get to the finish line first.

She threw her support behind the only filly in today's Kentucky Derby, Eight Belles, ABC reported. The race (the presidential one) must be getting tight. Candidates are now trying to make hay with stable boys and jockeys, a small, but powerful, lobby.

Clinton even dispatched a trusted emissary to put two (or more) on the nose, sending her daughter, Chelsea, off to Churchill Downs.

"I hope that everybody will go to the Derby on Saturday and place just a little money on the filly for me," Clinton reportedly told the crowd. "I won't be able to be there this year -- my daughter is going to be there and so she has strict instructions to bet on Eight Belles."

Ah, politics and horse racing. One involves a lot of manure. The other has horses.

Trivia time

Who have been more successful, the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series or the fillies in the Kentucky Derby?

Lost in translation

The New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr seemed a little confused following a 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins that kept the Rangers from being swept in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Jagr told reporters, "The next game will be Game 7 for us just like this was a Game 7. Pittsburgh was playing Game 4 and we were playing Game 7. Maybe next time they'll be a little more nervous. Hopefully they will be. I don't know. Now we have a chance. We know that. Maybe they do too."

Translation: Someone will win Game 5 and Jagr hopes it's the Rangers, though it could also be the Penguins. Spin it as a reality Czech.

Doubting Thomas

When Bo Jackson and Frank Thomas were Auburn teammates, it was clear who had lightning and who was limited to lumber. So when the sloth-like Thomas tripled against the Angels on Monday -- his first triple since 2002 -- it stunned his Oakland Athletics teammates.

After the game, pitcher Chad Gaudin told CBS Sportsline, "He told me a couple of days ago, 'I can run now.' I'm thinking to myself, 'Really, after 15 years, you can run now?' "

Now that's a big hurt.

Big Hurt II

With Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart getting lit up in his major league debut, pitching coach Mike Butcher had to make several trips to the mound Thursday.

On one such visit, television broadcaster Steve Physioc asked colleague Rex Hudler, "Hud, what's Butcher telling Adenhart now?"

Replied Hudler, "Do you prefer a window or aisle seat on your flight back to [triple-A] Salt Lake City?"

Wow, the Wonder Dog has some bite to go with his bark.

Trivia answer

Fillies 3, Phillies 1. Of the three fillies to win the Derby, two really capture the all-too-frequent feelings of Phillies fans -- Regret and Genuine Risk.

And finally

Rick Dutrow Jr., the trainer of Derby favorite Big Brown, wrote in his Derby diary for the New York Post, "I can't say I'm looking forward to the media crush that's coming up this week. I'm just looking forward to watching Big Brown run."

Pssst, got a hot tip, Rick. If Big Brown doesn't run, the media won't crush.


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