Seattle Slew, running a mild fever and off his feed, won't be running on Hialeah's opening-day card as planned Monday to start off his 4-year-old thoroughbred racing campaign.
Co-owner Mickey Taylor reported that his Triple Crown winner Horse of the Year 1977, developed a temperature of 162 yesterday against a norm of 100.3. "It (the illness) could be over in four or five days, but it could be six weeks," Taylor said. "It's just one of those things."
And so was Slew's assigned highweight of 128 pounds, giving six to rivals Silver Series and Run Dusty Run in the $25,000 Tellahassee Handicap. Slew's new trainer, Doug Peterson, had expressed surprise when that was announced first of the week; Dr. Jim Hill, Taylor's co-owner, had reacted bitterly: He'll be carrying a skyscrapper before it's all over with."
Whatever Seattle Slew carries when he's through carrying whatever bug put him under the weather, it evidently won't be before the $100,000 Hialeah Challenge Cup Jan. 28, if then. Until whenever, the last item on his past performance chart remains his only defeat, July 3 at Hollywood Park. . .
Upset special? Try the Texas Longhorns, whose football loss at New Year enabled Arkansas to finish No. 3 in the pools, to knock off the No. 3-ranked Arkansas basketball team tonight. Abe Limons has something going at Austin - was basketball invented there until he came on the coaching scene last season? - and throws an 11-2 outfit against the 14-0 Razorbacks. In Texas' brand-new arena, the Super Drum, which is looking for its first capacity crowd, 17,000. . .
Already upset no end in Texas' boomer football kicker, Russell Erxleben. The recommendation by college rulesmakers in Atlanta to bring the ball back to the scrimmage line after missed long field-goal tries aroused Erxleben's ire and he's trained it on coach Grant Teaff of Southwest Conference rival Baylor.
"It's Teaff's fault," said the coholders of the NCAA record-long field goal, 67 yards. "It's not only bad sportsmanship because he doesn't have a good kicker, but I think it takes some excitement out of the game," Erxleben said of himself and Texas A & M's Tony Frabnklin, who have one college season left, "this rules, change, if it passes next week, will hit us right in the middle of our careers.
"I averaged about 2 1/2 field-goal chances a game this year, and I may be lucky to get to try one a game next fall."
Under existing rules, a miss is as good as a punt since a kick over the goal line is a touchback, putting the other team in its 20-yard line. As for Teaff, Erxleben figures, why wouldn't he politic to discourage the long attempt - A & M's Franklin has a 65-yarder and 64-yarder to his credit Both against Baylor . . .
A partnership involving Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders managing partner, is reported under the IRS microscope. Seems Allen Glick of La Jolla, Calif., who bought the Fremont and Stardust casinos in Las Vegas with a $63 million Teamster pension fund loan a few years ago, took in Davis as a partner in an Oakland shoppingmall venture. Glick's attorney, Michael Lapin, another partner, admitted the tax people are auditing returns for 1974 and '75 centering on whether Eastmont Mail Associates actually suffered reported losses. Davis? Lapin confirms that Davis was given a 25 per cent interest in Eastmont for only a $5,000 investment because of his knowledge of the area.
The Wall Street Journal said NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle found relationships between Glick and several pro football figures including Davis and Chuck Knox to be legitimate; free from any connection with Glick's gambling interests. . . .
Wake Forest's ouster of Ron Roberts as golf coach to make any for good ol' Jesse Haddock to reclaim his old job almost coincided with another of Deacondom's own, Bob Byman, winning the New Zealand Open. Byman turned pro after skipping out on his senior season as part of general team dissatisfaction last year with Roberts, culminating in near mutiny near NCAA title time. Thereafter, one of the D.C. junior golf program's top products, Wayne DeFrancesso out of Langley High, who had been playing No. 5 or better for Wake, transferred to Louisiana State. Evidently, Dave Sigler, who quit the Maryland golf helm over differences with athletic director Jim Kehoe, is mining the old home territory to good effect as LSU's first-year coach: A prize Tiger frosh 'prospect (while DeFrancesco red shirts won the Cotton States Invitational on his own this fall) is Gary Marlowe, out of Good Counsel High after doing his pop, Woodmont pro Tony Marlowe, proud in area competition . . .