Also suspended last week was Jockey Willie Shoemaker, who got his five-day sentence from the Santa Anita stewards for permitting his mount, Rise To Riches, to drift out and cause interference. After 26 years, 30,183 rides and who knows how many suspensions, Shoemaker takes such setbacks in stride.
This setdown, however, could not have come at a worse time. Shoe had to miss Saturday's $150,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields, the $273,550 Santa Anita Handicap on Sunday (in which he was to ride heavily favored King Pellinore), Monday's split Florida Derby at Gulfstream, worth $233,000, and the opening of Hialeah. No one could remember a greater potential loss of earnings for a jockey. The big losers, though, are the owners who thought they had hired the best rider in the business.
The University of Maryland at Baltimore County defeated Loyola College of Baltimore recently in a dual wrestling meet, 51 to -1. To come up with that rare score Loyola had to lose all 10 of its matches and one argument with the referee.
Last week NBC-TV ran an ad in The New York Times announcing its weekend coverage of the Florida Citrus Open. It was illustrated by a picture of Jack Nicklaus in full swing. Nicklaus was not entered in the Citrus; in fact, he never plays the Citrus anymore. A few weeks earlier, CBS ran a brief filmed commercial previewing its telecast of the Phoenix Open. Prominent in the promo was a film clip of the Nicklaus swing. Nicklaus does not play Phoenix, either; the clip was from last year's Masters.
What is regrettable about these incidents, apart from the question of ethics, is that viewers who tune in to see the world's greatest golfer and discover he is not entered are more likely to wind up annoyed with Nicklaus than ticked off at the network hucksters.