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Sports Beat

The track might have been sloppy at the Kentucky Derby, but
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey weren't. The pair were arguably
Churchill Downs's most stylish couple, thanks to her snugly
fitted pastel pink dress and wide-brimmed garden hat and his
sharp black suit. (The two told anyone who approached that they
wanted their privacy, as a crew from MTV's Newlyweds recorded
their every move.) Also representing the pop-music industry at
Churchill: LaToya Jackson, Kid Rock, Macy Gray and Rob Thomas.
The least harmonious guest, no doubt, was O.J. Simpson, who
mingled in the paddock and congratulated jockey Corey Nakatani
after his win in the afternoon's fourth race.

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press sparked a hot rumor with a report
last week that Christina Aguilera would be at the Target Center
to watch her "boyfriend" Carmelo Anthony lead the Nuggets against
the Timberwolves. Word of the phenom-diva pairing spread quickly,
and on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, Tony Kornheiser and Mike
Wilbon debated who was getting the better deal in the
relationship. One problem: It wasn't true. Anthony, 19, said he's
never even met the 23-year-old singer, adding, "It's crazy that
this rumor is going around." If he were going to date a celeb, he
added, he would choose Jessica Alba. The Press, citing a bad
source, retracted the item.

What do women want? Louis Vergari of Fayetteville, N.C., took a
shot at answering that question by legally changing his last name
to Caniac--the nickname for fans of his bride's favorite sports
team, the Carolina Hurricanes. Married on April 3, they are now
Mr. and Mrs. Caniac. The former Karen Culp began dating Louis
last summer and soon had him hooked on the team, which previously
called Boston and Hartford home. "A few people, like my mother,
were really resistant to our name change at first," Karen says.
"They questioned what would happen if the team relocated [again],
but we feel that because we were Hurricanes fans at the time of
our wedding, that it would be enough to justify our decision for
the rest of our lives, no matter what happens with the team." ...
With his off-key singing and his What-me-worry smile, American
Idol reject William Hung has inspired millions. Well, anyway,
he's inspired the Dodgers. When the team was looking for pregame
motivational music recently, Shawn Green brought in Hung's CD,
Inspiration. The Dodgers promptly went out and beat the Padres.
They listened to Hung before each of their next three games--and
won those as well. So the front office invited Hung, a
21-year-old Cal civil engineering student, to visit Dodger
Stadium and appear on the scoreboard. Hung declined when he found
out he wouldn't be paid, but the players were undeterred. They
captured a lizard that was loose in the locker room, named it
Hung and put it in a cage near the clubhouse stereo, which often
blares Hung's rendition of She Bangs. "It's a classic," said
Green. "It's our victory song." ... In ESPN's movie Hustle, Pete
Rose will be played by Tom Sizemore. The actor, who used to date
Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, is no stranger to working in a
helmet, having appeared in Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk

COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT E. KLEIN (PICTURE THIS) PICTURE THIS It wasn't the fastest or prettiest, but the most memorable performance at the America East Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday belonged to Craig Lange. The New Hampshire senior was leading the decathlon heading into the final event, the 1,500 meters, but a ripped hamstring forced him to limp through the race, costing him the decathlon title by a mere 12 points.




Former tennis star Pat Cash said he was "50 percent sure" he had
an affair with a woman who claims to have slept with David


Eighteen-year-old golfer, on why she turned pro so early: "So I
could retire early."