New York Mets ace Johan Santana said his Opening Day start April 6 at the Cincinnati Reds might be in jeopardy as he continues to battle tightness in his left elbow. "We have 162 games," Santana said yesterday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "What we have to accomplish takes 162 games. ... It's tough to say right now." Santana met with general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel to discuss a plan of action for his ailing elbow. The left-hander said doctors have told him an irritated triceps tendon is causing the discomfort. The Mets plan to have him throw a light bullpen session today to see how he responds. Santana was 16-7 last year with a 2.53 ERA in his first season with the Mets.
Mariners:: The team told third baseman Adrian Beltre he can't play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic because he hasn't fully recovered from surgeries in September to repair a ligament in his left thumb and to remove bone spurs from his left shoulder.
Et cetera:: The Cardinals agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-hander Mitch Harris, a 13th-round selection (395th overall) in last year's amateur draft out of Navy. Harris is serving aboard the USS Ponce, but the agreement guarantees him a place in St. Louis' organization once he completes his military service. ... Royals left-hander John Bale, a former Oriole, will undergo surgery Tuesday to correct a thyroid problem. Bale is hoping to resume workouts in two weeks.
Quality Road wins Fountain of Youth
Quality Road announced himself as a true Kentucky Derby contender. He took off at the top of the stretch and won the Grade II, $250,000 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The winner, ridden by John Velazquez, held off Theregoesjojo by 4 1/4 lengths. Quality Road broke his maiden at Aqueduct in November and raced only once since, explaining why he wasn't touted as a Derby hopeful. He needed 1 minute, 35 seconds to change that. Beethoven finished third.
Sham Stakes:: The Pamplemousse solidified his status a leading Kentucky Derby candidate. The gray colt romped to a six-length win in the $200,000 race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., under Alex Solis. The Pamplemousse covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.86. Take the Points placed second, and Mr. Hot Stuff was third.
Miracle Wood Stakes: : Rock On Justin and jockey Tony Maragh both earned a first stakes win in the $50,000 race at Laurel Park. Rock On Justin broke last in the field of seven 3-year-olds but recovered and won by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:24.58 over seven furlongs. Shipwreckstreasure placed second and Adduce third.
Ogilvy, Casey reach Match Play final
Geoff Ogilvy made five birdies on the back nine in Marana, Ariz., to outlast teenage sensation Rory McIlroy, 19, in the quarterfinals, then played his final four holes in 5-under-par against Stewart Cink for a 4-and-2 victory to reach the Accenture Match Play Championship final for the third time in four years. His opponent will be Paul Casey, who defeated Ross Fisher, 2 and 1. Casey hasn't trailed in the tournament.
NBA:: Charlie Villanueva scored 25 points to lead the host Bucks (29-33) to a 109-93 victory over the Wizards (14-45). Milwaukee never trailed. Antawn Jamison had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Washington. ... Dwyane Wade scored 46 points, a team-record-tying 24 of them in the fourth quarter, to lift the host Heat (31-27) to a 120-115 win over the Knicks (24-35). ... The funeral for Jazz owner Larry H. Miller - who died of complications from diabetes Feb. 20 at 64 - was held at EnergySolutions Arena, home of the franchise Miller twice kept from leaving Salt Lake City, his hometown.
NASCAR: : Greg Biffle won the Nationwide Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to end a 76-race winless streak. Biffle lost his fuel pressure on the final restart. Carl Edwards, his teammate, surged into the lead for a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish, but Biffle was able to regain the gas pressure and the lead.
Tennis: : Venus Williams beat defending champion Flavia Pennetta, 6-1, 6-2, to win the WTA Mexican Open title in Acapulco. Williams won the Dubai tournament last weekend. ... Novak Djokovic defeated David Ferrer, 7-5, 6-3, in the final of the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates.
Skiing: : Lindsey Vonn joined Picabo Street (1995, 1996) as the only Americans to win two straight World Cup downhill championships. Vonn clinched her second straight title by finishing 12th at a race in Bansko, Bulgaria.