SPECTACULAR BID, the flying gray, scared off all but three rivals and drew the outside post yesterday in the field of four at Keeneland for the $112,550 Blue Grass Stakes, Thursday's final Kentucky Derby prep.
Spec, Ronnie Franklin up; Pianist, Bishop's Choice and Lot O' Gold will tote 121 pounds apiece over 1 1/8 miles of the Lexington, Ky., track. Looks like a nice payday not only for the Bud Delp-trained Maryland-owned 1-5 favorite going for his 10th straight win but for Lot O' Gold. That's the one that finished second in each of three previous runs at Spec in the Hutcheson, Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby.
Fifteen Blue Grass victors have gone on to win the biggie at Churchill Downs the first Saturday in May . . .
Guy Charron goes through a Cpaital hockey season in iron-man style, then racks up a knee for Mother Canada in the world championships. Two years ago in Vienna, and now again in Moscow, Initial word is that the injury suffered Sunday versus the Czechs was minor, but the Caps were trying to get hold of Dr. Pat Palumbo, McLean sports medicine specialist said to be in Lyon, France . . . All this and Charon's fellow Cap-Team Canada forward Ryan Walter gashed, 15 stitches' worth, on an ear last week in the Europeon action . . .
The Cubans are coming, seven strong, for their first U.S. track appearance since 1961, giving customers at the UCLA Invitational (and viewers of NBC's SportsWorld, live) Sunday, May 6, a look at Olympic double-golden Albeto Juantorena at 400 and/or 800 meters - and a matchup between premier 110-meter hurdlers Alejandro Casanas and the Yank whose 13.16 pends to eclipse the Cuban's 13.21 world standard, Maryland's Renaldo Nehemiah . . .
The Ralph Sampson derby: Harrisonburg, Va.'s pride is on the Pan Am basketball team to stay - definitely not going pro this year, says HHS Coach Roger Bergey. And after entertaining North Carolina and Virginia recruiters a half hour each by telephone last night, VPI and Kentucky wooers ditto tonight, 7-4 Sampson will announce whither he goest within two weeks . . .
MVP, WHA: Robbie Ftorek, mighty mite center for Cincinnati. And who'll Ftorek play for in the expanded NHL? It's up in the air . . .
Johnny Outlaw, 10-year NFL cornerback, retired yesterday from the Philly Eagles and - what's in a name? Columbia, Md., resident Outlaw is completing work on his master's degree at Coppin State (Baltimore) this summer; master's in . . . criminal justice! He hopes to work in Uncle Sam's drug and alcohol abuse program - or coach . . .
"Redskinette Laverne Johnson (the tall one in the middle)," the note read, "has decided to hang up her boots after 11 seasons of cheering for the Washington Redskins. If you want to chat about this give me a call . . . Sincerely, Laverne Johnson."
Too bad Shirley (Povich) wasn't here to field Laverne's tidbit, but it definitely was worth the chat. Laverne not only was the tall one - 6 feet - but the first black Redskinette.
"Yes," she remembered, "Sterling Tucker, then with the Urban League, had to put some work" into integrating the corps, which last season had seven blacks among 36 cheerleaders. Now, while upward of 150 cnadidates who tried out last week are being winnowed to 75 to compete with holdovers, Johnson is bowing out because "you have to stop things when you don't enjoy them anymore."
The costume hassle? "That's part of it," said Johnson, who works at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. "I felt almost humiliated when we came out with the diamond midriff (1978 opener) . . . Then all the changes, and as it stands this year they don't know what they're going to wear" . . .