02/14/2002 1:00AM

Etc. . . .


The request by Churchill Downs for special security status at the May 4 Kentucky Derby has been turned down by the federal government. Churchill applied in January for the status, which has been granted to the Super Bowl and Olympics since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. . . . The National Thoroughbred Racing Association confirmed Thursday that Bill Belichick, head coach of the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots, has accepted an invitation to present the Eclipse Award to the champion older male at the Eclipse dinner on Monday night in Miami. Tiznow is the front-runner to win the award, and Belichick used the horse's victory in the 2001 Breeders' Cup Classic to inspire his team.