05/27/2002 11:00PM

Etc. . . .

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The American Mule Racing Association named Black Ruby, the queen of the northern California fair circuit, the world champion sprint mule for the fifth straight year; her owner Harold McPherson, trainer Jerry Jackson, and jockey Jim Burns were also honored. The mules begin their racing season the first weekend in June in Winnemucca, Nev. . . . Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, cousins of Queen Elizabeth, will present the trophy at the June 23 Queen's Plate at Woodbine. The last Royal representative to attend the Queen's Plate was Queen Elizabeth, in 1997. . . . Suspicious Native (Raise a Native-Be Suspicious, by Porterhouse), the unraced dam of undefeated Grade 1 winner and current Darby Dan stallion Meadowlake, died at age 30 on May 23 at Robert Courtney's Crestfield Farm in Lexington, Ky. The mare, who had been pensioned since producing her last foal in 1994, was buried at Crestfield next to Inreality Star, dam of 1990 champion juvenile filly Meadow Star. . . . Emerald Downs has announced a 5 percent purse increase, retroactive to the beginning of the meeting on April 19. The raise is in addition to a 6 percent purse jump that was announced May 2, and reflects increasingly positive wagering trends in the state. . . . Jim Helzer of Arlington, Texas, has been elected chairman of the American Quarter Horse Association Racing Committee. Helzer raced Refrigerator, the all-time richest Quarter Horse, with earnings of $2.1 million, and top Thoroughbreds Wooden Phone and Joe Who. He also operates JEH Stallion Station in Pilot Point, Texas.