The owner of Horse of the Year, filly Rachel Alexandra, is proposing a three-race series in which the female horses will meet.

Jess Jackson says he has been in discussions with the president of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Jackson says if training and racing schedules as well as purse money can be worked out, the three races would "rival the Triple Crown."

"The fans have spoken. The media has spoken. Everyone wants to see Rachel race against Zenyatta -- including me," Jackson said. "In fact, I want it to happen several times this year."

NTRA President Alex Waldrop said he supports any effort to put together a race featuring the sport's biggest stars. But Jerry Moss, who owns Zenyatta with his wife, Ann, was surprised by Jackson's announcement.

The two champions have not met on the racetrack, and Rachel Alexandra beat out Zenyatta in voting for Horse of the Year.

BASEBALL

Atlanta pitching to Damon

The Atlanta Braves have made an offer to free-agent outfielder Johnny Damon, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. Atlanta's offer is believed to be for one year. Damon's agent, Scott Boras, has said he is seeking at least a two-year deal.

Nate McLouth is set as Atlanta's starter in center field, and is the probable leadoff hitter if the team does not add Damon, 36, or another outfielder.

• The Giants and free agent righthander Todd Wellemeyer agreed to a minor league contract. Wellemeyer, a 13-game winner for St. Louis in 2008, will compete for the No. 5 starter spot. Wellemeyer went 7-10 in 21 starts and seven relief appearances last season.

• The Red Sox claimed righthander Gaby Hernandez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. The 23-year-old Hernandez was 10-9 with a 5.23 ERA in 26 starts for Seattle's Class AAA team at Tacoma last season.

• The Mariners signed righthander Jesus Colome, 32, to a minor league contract. He will compete to be a setup reliever.

TENNIS

Stepanek loses early

Radek Stepanek became the first defending champion in two decades to lose in the first round of the SAP Open, falling 6-3, 6-4 to Xavier Malisse in San Jose, Calif.

Stepanek beat Mardy Fish for the title last year in San Jose after losing the championship the previous year to Andy Roddick.

Top-seeded Andy Roddick beat qualifier Ryler DeHeart 6-1, 7-6 (1) in the first round.

Fourth-seeded Tommy Haas lost his second-round match to Denis Istomin 7-6 (3), 6-2. Haas had five set points on Istomin's serve in the first set before falling in the tiebreaker.

AROUND THE HORN

College football: Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. A Buckeyes spokesman said the "routine" procedure will require only minimal rehabilitation.

Golf: Kia Motors has entered into an endorsement deal with Michelle Wie and a title sponsorship for a new LPGA tournament at La Costa Resort.

Soccer: Kevin Alston, a defender with MLS' New England Revolution, strained his left hamstring while training with the MLS team and will miss the start of the U.S. national team's training camp Thursday.

In court: Jury selection began in Shell Rock, Iowa, in the first-degree murder trial of Mark Becker, who is accused of gunning down Aplington-Parkersburg (Iowa) High School football coach Ed Thomas in June. Becker's attorney will use a defense of insanity or diminished responsibility.

ASSOCIATED PRESS