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Unbridled's Song Set To Race Against Cigar

Unbridled's Song, the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby who has recovered from a series of ailments, will challenge Cigar in Saturday's $1 million Citation Challenge at Arlington Park.

The 3-year-old colt, who was fifth in the Derby and missed the Preakness and Belmont Stakes with an injured left front foot, last raced May 26. He finished second to Jamies First Punch in the Peter Pan Stakes and developed lung infection afterward.

"We want to see if the horse is back at his peak," said Ernie P aragallo, the owner of Unbridled's Song. "It won't be the easiest race he's ever run in his life, but he's feeling good and I think he can win it."

If Cigar wins the Citation Challenge, a race created to attract the Horse of the Year, he will equal Citation's modern North American record of 16 consecutive wins. The race outside Chicago will be run at 1 1/8 miles.

On Wednesday at Belmont Park, Paragallo watched Dr. Jud Butler remove a fiberglass patch from the Unbridled's Song's left front foot. The patch was protecting a quarter-crack while it healed.

BASKETBALL

Croatia's Kukoc Suffers Broken Thumb

Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc, a key to Croatia's basketball medal hopes in the Atlanta Olympics, broke his left thumb in an exhibition game against Canada.

Injured midway through the first half of Croatia's 82-72 victory Tuesday, Kukoc is expected to play in the Olympics, Croat coach Petar Skansi said.

Kukoc also was optimistic about playing in Atlanta.

"It's OK. I'm fine," said Kukoc, the NBA's sixth man award winner last season after averaging 13.1 points, 3.5 assists and four rebounds. Morgan Wootten, the acclaimed high school basketball coach who sent a dozen players to the NBA, had a life-saving liver transplant, and his doctor said he might be able to coach next season.

The 5 1/2-hour operation on the DeMatha High School coach went as planned, said Dr. James Burdick of Johns Hopkins Hospital. All-State forward Rich Beyers, who led Shelbyville High to the Illinois Class A championship as a junior, made an oral commitment to play basketball at the University of Illinois. Beyers told the Decatur Herald and Review he will sign with the Illini during the early recruiting period next fall, choosing Illinois over Indiana, Notre Dame and Northwestern.

Beyers, who is 6 feet 8, averaged 16.4 points and 7.7 rebounds and shot 41 percent from 3-point range last season. He played in the Shootout at Kiel Center last year and will return with Shelbyville this December for a Shootout game against Francis Howell.

HOCKEY

Roussel Decides To Stay With Flyers

Goaltender Dominic Roussel, 26, has re-signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, only eight days after agreeing to terms on a contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Though the Coyotes, formerly the Winnipeg Jets, announced Roussel's signing on July 2, the netminder was upset with the team's acquisition of veteran goaltender Darcy Wakaluk from the Dallas Stars and never officially signed the deal. The Chicago Blackhawks acquired defenseman Tuomas Gronman from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a second-round pick in the 1998 National Hockey League draft. …