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Around & About / News and notes

I'll Have Another gallops

Another morning, another gallop around Belmont Park in New York for Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another.

A day after galloping a mile of the 1 1/2 -mile oval in the rain, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner galloped just under a mile Saturday with exercise rider Humberto Gomez aboard. The only difference was the weather.

Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson said I'll Have Another "could tell the sun was out. He went fantastic over the track again this morning. So far, so good."

I'll Have Another will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown champion in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.


SEC head likes playoff

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive is standing by a four-team playoff to settle college football's national championship, not a plus-one system.

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott told The Wall Street Journal this week that the new bowl matchup between the Big 12 and SEC champions revives the possibility of a plus-one championship game following the bowls. Slive doesn't think so.

"It's interesting because clearly what we did created a lot of thinking by a lot of people," Slive said Saturday while taking in a game at the SEC baseball tournament. "I appreciate people thinking about that.

"I think what's in the best interest of college football is a four-team playoff. I think it's better for everyone involved in the game. The plus-one narrows the postseason in a way that's not necessarily in the best interest of all the conferences."

A new playoff format will be a hot topic next week when the SEC presidents, coaches and athletic directors convene for spring meetings in Destin, Fla.


USA soccer romps

Landon Donovan returned to the U.S. national team following an eight-month absence and scored his first international hat trick in five years, leading the Americans over Scotland, 5-1, in an exhibition game Saturday night in Jacksonville, Fla.

Donovan beat goalkeeper Allan McGregor on the rebound of his own initial shot in the third minute, then added goals in the 60th from a Jermaine Jones layback and in the 65th off a Michael Bradley pass. Donovan raised his career total to 49 goals with his third international hat trick and made an American record 125th international start, one more than the previous mark set by defender Jeff Agoos from 1988-03.

Donovan scored four goals against Cuba in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July 2003.

From News Staff and wire service reports