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Prosecutors say they can't

probe death of Eight Belles

State prosecutors in Louisville, Ky., say they can't investigate the death of Eight Belles, despite a request from The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Steve Tedder, a spokesman for the commonwealth's attorney in Jefferson County, said yesterday the actions requested by PETA aren't within the legal duties of the office.

PETA urged prosecutors to bring animal-cruelty charges against Eight Belles' trainer, Larry Jones.

Lawyers for the animal rights group delivered a letter to R. David Stengel, the commonwealth's attorney for Jefferson County, asking for an investigation to be launched into the death of the 3-year-old filly. Eight Belles was euthanized moments after the Kentucky Derby on May 3 after breaking both of her front ankles.

PETA said Jones' admission that he gave Eight Belles an anti-inflammatory drug less than 2 days before the Derby jeopardized her safety. Jones has denied any wrongdoing in the handling of the horse.

In other horse racing news:

* Suffolk Downs is offering a $5 million purse for the Massachusetts Handicap if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown and both he and Curlin go undefeated and start in the race against each other.


* Highly regarded prep center J'Mison Morgan has signed a letter of intent to attend UCLA. Morgan is a 6-10, 248-pounder who averaged 13.5 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots for South Oak Cliff High in Dallas. He originally signed with LSU, but was released from that commitment.

* Former Texas Tech defensive tackle Stoney Garland, who was paralyzed in a car accident more than a decade ago, has died. He was 33.


* The IOC ratified a new rule to keep convicted doping cheats out of future Olympics. Under the regulation, athletes will be banned from the following Olympic Games if they received a drug suspension of at least 6 months in the previous 4-year period.

* A U.S. Olympic wrestling coach was ordered released from federal custody in Phoenix after being detained on fraud and embezzlement charges filed by officials in his native Poland. Roman Wroclawski (Row-CLAW-ski), a 1982 world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling and volunteer coach for the U.S. Olympic team, was jailed in November at the request of Polish authorities.

Philly File

* Bernie Fitzgerald, head coach for three seasons total in two stints at La Salle High (1992-93, 2002), is the new basketball boss at Lansdale Catholic, which is joining the Catholic League for the upcoming school year. *