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Nine game schedule up for discussion

LITTLE ROCK — Demand for more quality games, launch of the SEC Network, an emphasis on strength of schedule in the new College Football Playoff and a promise by Mike Slive don’t necessarily add up to a nine-game conference schedule in the SEC.

Close Hatches takes Apple Blossom Handicap

It was déjà vu for Juddmonte Farms Inc.’s Close Hatches as she used the same front-running style as she had four weeks ago in the Azeri Stakes (G2) to win Friday’s $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) on the penultimate race card of the 2014 Oaklawn race meet.