Zenyatta wins 16th consecutive race

Wire and staff reports

Zenyatta came to Oaklawn Park as visiting royalty. After romping to victory in the Apple Blossom Invitational, her 16th win in a row, racing’s queen stood before her adoring public and bowed her head twice.

Zenyatta high-stepped her way to the starting gate Friday in her distinctive Radio City Rockette style. She lagged behind early as usual before making a sweeping move through the stretch turn on her way to a 41/4-length victory at Hot Springs, Ark.

“It’s kind of hard to say if she’s getting better and better because she’s so good,” jockey Mike Smith said.

The 6-year-old mare tied the modern mark shared by 1948 Triple Crown winner Citation and 1995-96 Horse of the Year Cigar in unrestricted races. Peppers Pride, who retired last year with a 19-for-19 record, and Hallowed Dreams, who won 16 consecutive races, achieved some of their success in state-bred stakes.

Personal Ensign, the filly who capped a brilliant unbeaten career with a stirring victory in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, died in Lexington, Ky. She was 26.


Turner is hired by UC Irvine

Russell Turner, an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors who also worked at Wake Forest and Stanford, has been hired as head coach at UC Irvine, the school announced.

Turner, 39, replaces Pat Douglass, who was fired last month after compiling a 197-191 record in 13 seasons with the Anteaters.

The university said Turner agreed to a five-year contract with an annual base salary of $205,000. Turner takes over a program that finished 14-18 last season.

—Gary Klein


Arenas begins serving sentence

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas began serving his sentence Friday for bringing guns into the team’s locker room.

According to Arthur Wallenstein, director of Montgomery County (Md.) Corrections, Arenas arrived at the county jail at 7:40 p.m. EDT. Arenas must spend two days there for medical screening and classification before being transferred to the county’s Pre-Release Center, a halfway house.

Arenas was sentenced March 26 to 30 days in a halfway house for bringing weapons into the Verizon Center.

Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s brother has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and assault in the death of their father.

Prosecutors in Massachusetts say 70-year-old Daniel Kerrigan died after a Jan. 24 fight with 45-year-old Mark Kerrigan in the family home in Stoneham. The family insists that Mark Kerrigan is not responsible for his father’s death.

Former NBA player Isaiah Rider has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting his fiancee and reneging on a $150 cab fare.

Police in Mesa, Ariz., said Rider, 39, was taken into custody Thursday after an officer spotted him driving erratically in a vehicle with three small children inside.


Gymnastics event at UCLA

Third-ranked and top-seeded UCLA will host the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Los Angeles Regional at 6 p.m. Saturday at Pauley Pavilion, facing No. 9 Arkansas, No. 17 Iowa State, No. 21 Arizona, No. 26 Brigham Young and No. 32 Arizona State.

The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors not from an advancing team will receive a berth in the NCAA Championships, to be held in Gainesville, Fla., on April 22-24. Individual event winners who did not already advance with their team or as an all-around will also advance.

— Baxter Holmes

Wisconsin forward Blake Geoffrion, the grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, received the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s top player.

Wisconsin plays Boston College on Saturday in Detroit for the NCAA title.

Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky had surgery on his broken right hand, which was injured in Tuesday’s game. Recovery time is estimated at six weeks, though the Ducks are out of playoff contention.