Dearly Precious ($6.40), Jorge Vasquez up, won the one-mile Acorn at Belmont Park in 1:35[4/5], beating the odds-on favorite Optimistic Gal by 2� lengths (page 76).
MOTOR SPORTS—MARIO ANDRETTI, driving a Penske McLaren, became the fastest qualifier for the 33-car Indianapolis 500 field with a speed of 189.404 mph, almost half an mph faster than Johnny Rutherford, who has the pole position. JANET GUTHRIE passed her rookie test, but did not attempt to qualify.
SOCCER—NASL: Giorgio Chinaglia made a spectacular debut with the New York Cosmos. He, Pel� and Keith Eddy scored two goals apiece to lead the Cosmos past Los Angeles 6-0; then Chinaglia, the former Lazio of Italy star, scored both goals as the Cosmos defeated Boston 2-1 and took over first place in the Eastern Division. Derek Smethurst's hat trick, the First of the season, powered Tampa Bay to a 5-2 victory over Hartford. The most popular score, though, was 1-0, with Miami, Portland, Chicago and Vancouver beating Philadelphia, San Antonio, Seattle and Toronto, respectively, by that count. Minnesota shut out St. Louis 2-0. Team America lost the services of George Best and Rodney Marsh as it began the six-city Bicentennial Cup tournament against the national teams of Brazil, England and Italy by losing to Italy 4-0.
ASL: Connecticut tied Rhode Island for first place by beating New Jersey twice, 6-2 and 5-2, as Vic Calabrese scored three goals in each game. Rhode Island downed Chicago 3-0 and the Cork Hibernians 3-1. The Irishmen, who also lost to New Jersey 3-1 and tied New York 1-1, will play each league team once, the results counting in the ASL standings. Utah won its first game, beating Tacoma 1-0 on a goal by Tony Douglas, while Los Angeles lost its first 2-1 to Oakland. The Sacramento- Chicago and Tacoma- Cleveland games produced 220 minutes of total frustration, each ending scoreless.
SWIMMING—JILL STERKEL, 15, of Hacienda Heights, Calif., set a pending U.S. record of 50:74 in the 100-yard freestyle at a qualifying round for the girls' CIF Southern finals at Los Angeles, lowering the 1974 mark of Kathy Heddy by .15.
TENNIS—ILIE NASTASE downed Arthur Ashe 6-3, 1-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 to win the $100,000 WCT Avis Challenge Cup at Keauhou-Kona, Hawaii.
WTT: New York held first place in the East, defeating Los Angeles 27-25 and topping San Diego 28-20 as Billie Jean King beat Terry Holladay 6-3 in the singles and teamed with Virginia Wade to win the doubles 6-2. Hawaii snapped its six-match losing streak by downing San Diego 26-23, and beat the Friars 28-26 the next night. Boston stopped Hawaii's short winning streak with a 28-21 victory. Phoenix, first in the West, boiled the Lobsters 25-20 for its seventh straight win.
TRACK & FIELD—DON QUARRIE of Jamaica matched the world record of 9.9 for 100 meters at the California Relays and STEVE WILLIAMS of the U.S. was credited with his fifth 9.9 at the Martin Luther King Games in Atlanta (page 22). Williams also ran the 200 in 19.9, equaling the fastest time of the year. Cuban ALBERTO JUANTORENA ran the fastest 400 of 1976, 44.92, in Dresden. Then JOHN SMITH shaved 0.3 seconds off his world pro record with a 44.7 440 at an ITA meet in El Paso. In Cologne WOLFGANG SCHMIDT of East Germany set a European record in the discus with a throw of 225'1" to beat world record-holder Mac Wilkins. France's GUY DRUT defeated Charles Foster of the U.S. in a 13.49 110 high hurdles. At Atlanta EDWIN MOSES of Morehouse College ran the 400 intermediate hurdles in 48.8 the fastest time in the world this year. ARNIE ROBINSON long-jumped 27'3�" at the California Relays, the best leap in the world this year. East Germany's SIGRUN SIEGL had a women's world-record 22'11�" long jump in Dresden, and countrywoman ANITA WEISS ran the 800 in 1:57.7, the fastest in 1976 and the second fastest ever.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: NBA Coach of the Year, BILL FITCH, whose Cleveland Cavaliers won the Central Division title and made the playoffs for the first time in their six-year history.
RETIRED: TONY WALDROP, 24, who once ran 11 straight sub-four-minute miles and in 1974 set a world indoor mile record of 3:55.0, announced that he has given up competitive running.