© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2003
HALLANDALE BEACH -- Trust N Luck is more than a local star now -- the colt is a Kentucky Derby contender.
With the lead throughout, Trust N Luck ran away with the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream on Saturday and stamped himself as a horse to be reckoned with on the road to the Derby on May 3.
A winner in four of eight starts -- all at Miami's Calder Course -- as a 2-year-old, Trust N Luck got his 3-year-old season off to an impressive start. He won by 51/4 lengths over 30-1 shot Supah Blitz.
Trained by Jamaican-born Ralph Ziadie and ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, Trust N Luck won the first Grade I race of the season for 3-year-olds and will train next for the Florida Derby on March 15. He returned $11.80, $7.20 and $5.
"I know this horse is very good. I was real confident," Ziadie said after Trust N Luck ran the 1 1/16-mile course in 1 minute, 43.33 seconds.
In the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes, a 7-furlong Derby prep run, favored Lion Tamer pulled away inside the eighth pole for a 6-length victory in 1:22.60 over Strength Within. Lion Tamer won for the third time in four starts and paid $4.60, $3.40 and $2.60.
SAN LUIS OBISPO: The Tin Man won by 91/2 lengths over Special Matter in the $200,000 event at Santa Anita. The 5-year-old gelding returned $3, $2.40 and $2.10.
Mike Tyson is ailing, has a bad back and missed two training sessions last week. But his comeback fight with Clifford Etienne in Memphis on Saturday remains on for now. Tyson and his handlers decided not to pull out of his first fight since a loss to Lennox Lewis in June. Tyson's trainer, though, said he doubts the fight will come off as planned.
"It doesn't sound like he's fit to fight to me," Freddie Roach said. "He's missed a crucial week of training." Roach said he has not seen Tyson since Wednesday and has been given no ticket or itinerary for today's flight to Memphis.
WHITAKER ARRESTED: Former champion Pernell Whitaker was held without bond after being charged for driving under the influence. Whitaker was arrested about 3 a.m. Friday in Virginia Beach. A hearing is scheduled March 11 for Whitaker, who was a world champion in four weight classes before retiring in 2001.
South Florida soccer standout Tia Opliger of Riverview was one of 13 invited to a weekend tryout with WUSA's San Jose. If Opliger is invited to the CyberRays' preseason camp, she will be the second Bull in two years to make a WUSA camp. Carlene Stinson was invited to New York's camp, then drafted as the 52nd overall pick in 2001. At USF, Opliger has 67 points, 25 goals and 17 assists, third among all-time Bulls.
AREA PRODUCTS HONORED: Division III's Upper Iowa honored Boca Ciega graduates Brad Baker and Nathan Naumann as scholar student-athletes. Baker, a sophomore, is a catcher for the Peacocks. Naumann, a freshman, wrestles at 125 pounds.
Top-seeded Andre Agassi won four of seven break points en route to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Tampa's James Blake at the Siebel Open in San Jose, Calif. Agassi faces Italy's Davide Sanguinetti in the final. Blake had 24 unforced errors, 14 winners and was at 46 percent on his first serve.
DIAMOND GAMES: Defending champ Venus Williams coasted to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Daniela Hantuchova in Antwerp, Belgium. She faces Kim Clijsters, who topped Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-2, 7-6 in the final. Williams also pulled out of the Dubai Open, which starts Monday, citing a change of schedule.
RUNNING: American Alan Webb faded on the backstretch of the final lap and finished third in the New York Road Runners Challenge Cup at the Armory Collegiate Invitational. On the same track where he became the first high schooler to run a mile indoors in less than four minutes, Webb lost by 1.71 seconds to James Thie of Wales (3:57.71).
WINTER SPORTS: American Travis Cabral won his third moguls World Cup title of season in Inawashiro, Japan. Cabral leads the overall standings with 512 points, followed by Canadian Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau with 504 and American Travis Mayer with 500. In the women's final, Norway's Kari Traa won, and American Michelle Roark was second.
OBITUARY: Rudy Sablo, a leading athlete, coach and administrator in American weightlifting and other sports for more than 60 years, died Feb. 4 at home in New York City. He was 84. He also was a physical fitness instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.