4-legged A Rod still at bat in New York

NEW YORK -- A Rod isn't faring so well at the racetrack, either.

Yes, there is A Rod (no hyphen) the horse. Unlike A-Rod the Yankee, this colt's season isn't over although he sure could use a win.

The 3-year-old, named in honor of Alex Rodriguez, will be entered to run Thursday at Belmont Park in a $20,000 claiming race.

"The owner is a big Yankee fan and named the horse for the team and A-Rod," says J.P. Campo, who trains A Rod for Peggy Vandervoort-Kumble. "I've been a Yankee fan my whole life and like every other one, losing was a big disappointment."

The two-legged A-Rod and four-legged A Rod share more than a name: Both have struggled of late. In the five-game playoff loss to the Tigers, A-Rod was 2 for 18 for a .111 batting average, including a mighty whiff to end Game 5 on Thursday night. A Rod the horse is 1 for 11 for a .090 winning percentage, his lone win coming in June.

There's also a grand slam connection: A-Rod has 22 of them, one shy of Lou Gehrig's major league record; A Rod is a son of Grand Slam, a Grade 1 stakes winner in 1997 who earned nearly $1 million.

The horse, at least, will get another chance at victory this year.

"He's training pretty well," Campo said Friday. "He's fresh, and happy."

The horse, of course.