Four stakes winners featured in Saturday's Miracle Wood Stakes
The $100,000 Miracle Wood Stakes, one of four stakes on Saturday's nine-race program at Laurel Park, will feature four 3-year-old stakes winners — Extrasexyhippzter (5-2), Joint Custody (3-1), Jessethemarine (7-2) and Germaniac (6-1) — facing runners from the Todd Pletcher, John Servis and King Leatherbury barns in the 1-mile test. Joint Custody has won four races for trainer Jerry Robb after six starts, including the Marylander Stakes and the Maryland Juvenile Championship. The speedy son of Outflanker won the Juvenile at odds of 3-10 under Wesley Ho, who retains the mount. Extrasexyhippzter chased Joint Custody in the Marylander, then shipped to Aqueduct in late December and won the Don Rickles Stakes. The son of Stroll performs for trainer Mike Trombetta and is ridden by Julian Pimentel. Jessethemarine also fell victim to Joint Custody after winning the James Lewis Stakes for trainer John Rigattieri. Alex Cintron, the leading rider at the current winter meeting, rides the son of With Distinction for the first time. Germaniac became a stakes winner in his most recent outing, a front-running score in the Frank Whiteley Stakes over Jessethemarine. The Tim Tullock trainee, who is 3-for-5 lifetime, will carry J.D. Acosta.
Man sentenced to 571/2 years in murder of Taylor
A 23-year-old man convicted of second-degree murder in the 2007 killing of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor was sentenced to 571/2 years in prison. Eric Rivera Jr. had also been found guilty of armed burglary in the slaying of Taylor during a botched burglary at the player's Miami-area home. Convicted by a jury in November, Rivera admitted in a videotaped confession to police that he shot Taylor, but he later testified during the trial that authorities pressured him into the confession. Wearing a prison jumpsuit, Rivera apologized to members of Taylor's family before his sentencing. He faced as much as a life sentence. "My words may not mean much," Rivera said. "Over these past six years, I learned Mr. Taylor was a good man and I'm not making excuses for my decisions or my actions. But I just wanted to say that I live with it every day and I'm going to have to live with the consequences and I'm truly sorry for your loss."
More Redskins: Washington added another member to Jay Gruden's staff, signing Shane Day to serve as assistant offensive line coach. Day spent the past two seasons as Connecticut's quarterbacks coach, and before that, coached the Chicago Bears' quarterbacks for two seasons. Day replaces Chris Morgan, whom Gruden dismissed last week. Day will work under offensive line coach Chris Foerster, a former Ravens assistant who enters his fifth season with the Redskins, and 21st in the NFL.
—Mike Jones, Washington Post
Ex-Terp Laura Harper named ACC Legend
Former Maryland women's basketball great Laura Harper was named an Atlantic Coast Conference Legend and will be honored at the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C., in March. Harper led the Terps to their only NCAA championship as a sophomore in 2006, averaging 14.0 points and 8.3 rebounds during the tournament and being named the Final Four Most Valuable Player. She holds Maryland's records for career blocks (198), rebounds (873) and points (1,407).
Men's basketball: Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has been selected to the USA Basketball 2014 and 2016 national team. Beal will join 28 other players who have been selected for the pool, from which the 2014 USA world championship team and 2016 U.S. Olympic team will be selected.
Minor league baseball: The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs named former Lancaster Barnstormers hitting coach Lance Burkhart the third manager in franchise history. Burkhart, 39, a former Blue Crabs catcher, succeeds Patrick Osborn, who signed with the New York Yankees organization last month. ... The Bowie Baysox and the Orioles will hold a Winter Caravan event Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Annapolis. Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette will participate in a question-and-answer session with fans. There is no charge.