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Aborted Triple Crown bid latest nail in coffin for horse racing

I’ll Have Another was pulled Friday from Belmont Stakes because injury dealing another blow horse racing. | Matthew Stockman~Getty Images

I’ll Have Another was pulled Friday from the Belmont Stakes because of injury, dealing another blow to horse racing. | Matthew Stockman~Getty Images

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Updated: July 11, 2012 10:18AM

Does anyone care deeply about horse racing except gamblers?

I think not — until there’s the possibility of a Triple Crown winner.

And there was that this year, with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another having a shot until he was injured and yanked from the Belmont Stakes on Friday, a day before the race.

Not just yanked but retired.

Horse racing, sleazy and half-dead as it is, trots back into the shed for another year.

† COULD SPORTS TRIALS get any more embarrassing, immoral and disgusting?

The Jerry Sandusky sexual-abuse trial is set to begin with opening statements Monday in Bellefonte, Pa.

The Roger Clemens steroid/perjury trial will lurch into its ninth week Monday in Washington, with experts on doping expected to be called by the prosecution.

Any trial that deals with sexual abuse or sexual assault is a tragic one. A trial such as Sandusky’s, which deals with the alleged abuse of more than a dozen young boys by a coach at a famed football institution (Penn State), is so sordid that a normal person can’t believe it actually will be taking place.

Can you imagine the humiliation for the witnesses? Can you imagine the pain of recalling details? Can you imagine Sandusky’s twisted state of mind as he sits and listens?

And what if, against massive odds, he is innocent? It’s nearly impossible to believe such. All the witnesses are fake, conspirators or gold-diggers? But suppose they are. This is why we have the justice system.

But to go to trial, Sandusky likely believes that no matter what comes of the hideous testimony, it will create no worse a result for him than the life in prison he’s looking at.

As for Clemens and his human growth hormone-taking wife, Debbie, this ludicrous trial could have been avoided if ‘‘The Rocket’’ simply had admitted he used steroids and HGH (as everyone knows he did), acknowledged they made him strong and been done with it.

But no.

† NFL PLAYBOOKS are legendary, aren’t they? Those big, plastic-covered notebooks with three-ring binders filled with pages of Xeroxed, symbol-filled gibberish long have been the necessary man purse for every NFL player.

Take it and read it until you pass out. Lose it and pay a hefty fine. Get cut and turn it in, like a robot returning its brain to the scientists.

But now teams are going digital, and playbooks are going the way of the prairie chicken. Hello, iPads! Hello, downloaded ‘‘Z-X swerve reverse on hut-hut!’’

So, of course, we have all the idiocy the Internet ever begets accruing to these electro-playbooks. Consider Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams, the numbskull who recently sent out a photo of his digital playbook on his Twitter account.

Good grief, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick probably already has had the photo analyzed, broken down into millibytes and encoded into the Patriots’ death star.

Williams apologized, but what are you gonna do? If information is sent to anybody anywhere in any electronic form — ever — it belongs to the world. If hackers can worm into our government’s classified files, the Pentagon defense system and, of course, everything you ever thought was secret, including that fifth-grade pajama party, they can outsmart any NFL assistant coach or film-room encryption geek.

Makes you wish the paranoid Al Davis had lived to see the Oakland Raiders’ firewall in flames.

† LASTLY, WHAT WOULD a Sunday Stew be without a reference to the Stew’s favorite human, Kim Kardashian? Especially as it reflects on the Stew’s second-favorite human — at least during some humorous basketball games — Kris Humphries of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets.

We won’t rehash the bimbo/baller’s wedding and subsequent 72-day ‘‘marriage,’’ but just know that Kardashian’s new lover, the talented but sometimes nutty singer Kanye West, wants Kim to settle the divorce with Humphries, pronto — just pay him a few million to shut up and dunk — so Kanye can wed the gal of his X-rated sex tapes . . . excuse me, dreams.

This is all according to rumors and TMZ sources. But it’s enough for the Stew. Plus, it’s cheerier than wondering why Seattle doesn’t have an NBA team — is that Oklahoma City chuckling? — or how Manny Pacquiao can be broke.

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