From news services The Champ Car World Series on Monday announced its schedule for 2008 and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be back to kicking off the season, as it had done in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Las Vegas kicked off the 2007 season, but it will not be one of six stops in the U.S. in 2008. One of the new stops will be in Spain. The series finale will be held in Mexico City next November. Playful Act, by French champion Sadler’s Wells and out of Magnificent Style, had mated with Kingmambo but the foal was aborted. John Sikura, who sold the horse for Hill `n’ Dale Bloodstock, said he was expecting a price topping $5 million and was surprised the bidding went so high. ETC.: New Zealand-bred Efficient beat Purple Moon to win the $4.6 million Melbourne Cup, taking Australia’s richest and most prestigious horse race. Hockey legend Guy Lafleur knew his son was breaking conditions of his bail, a judge said in denying a request to let Mark Lafleur live with his father. “While, according to the testimony of the accused and his father before this court on Oct. 15, it seems that rather than sleeping at his father’s house, (his father) allowed him to spend the weekends or nights in the company of his girlfriend, aged 16, in two different hotels,” Quebec Superior Court Justice Carol Cohen said in denying the younger Lafleur’s request for bail. The former Montreal Canadiens star had testified before the court that his son was abiding by a court-ordered curfew while staying with his parents on weekends.Lafleur has since admitted that he drove his son to hotels to spend the night with his girlfriend. ETC.: Gene Haas, a 54-year-old NASCAR team owner, was sentenced to two years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of more than $34 million in taxes. Haas, the owner of Oxnard-based Haas Automation and NASCAR’s Haas CNC Racing, was ordered to begin serving his term on Jan. 14, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in Los Angeles. … Smokers at Churchill Downs who want to light up after picking a winner will have to find another starting gate. A state judge struck down an exemption to Louisville’s ban that allowed patrons to smoke at Churchill Downs. John Elway knows a thing or two about closing out a win, and it showed on the golf course. The Pro Football Hall of Famer finished strong by winning the short-iron event, and he and Natalie Gulbis won the Golf Skills Challenge at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club in Aventura, Fla. Elway and Gulbis split the $310,000 grand prize. Dan Marino and Bubba Watson finished second to win $210,000. Roger Clemens and Greg Norman placed third ($155,000), followed by Jerry Rice and Peter Jacobsen in fourth ($125,000). ETC.: Two-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa could be shooting for a bigger winner’s check at the Sybase Classic next year after the Clifton, N.J. tournament increased its purse to $2 million. Justine Henin might not defend her tennis gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, fearing the city’s air pollution could trigger her asthma. The top-ranked Belgian withdrew from the China Open in September because of her asthma. “I’ve had asthma for a few months now and I felt very bad in New York at the end of the (U.S. Open), so Beijing, I was really concerned about that,” Henin said at the Sony Ericsson Championships. “I was pretty disappointed because I wanted to play the (China Open) and get used to the conditions.” The air quality in Beijing is “a big problem,” International Olympic Committee inspection team leader Hein Verbruggen said. His remarks came a week after the United Nations said air pollution was a major concern for athletes leading to the Games. Brunner was stepped on by a bull in a United Rodeo Association event, Topeka police said. He died after being taken to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka. Autopsy results released Monday by the Shawnee County coroner’s office said the cause of death was “blunt force injuries.” U.S. ice dancer Melissa Gregory does not have serious injuries from a fall at Skate Canada that forced her and partner Denis Petukhov to withdraw. Gregory is expected to make a full recovery. Brazilian swimmer Rebeca Gusmao was suspended by FINA for testing positive for testosterone. The doping violation stemmed from an out-of-competition test on July 13. Kansas City Wizards forward Eddie Johnson was selected as the Comeback Player of the Year in Major League Soccer. Johnson started 24 games and had 15 goals and six assists for the Wizards. He earned the honor in his seventh season in the MLS. The Kansas City forward is not coming off injury, but a 2006 season filled with inconsistent play and absences because of playing for the U.S. national team and suspension. Jurisprudence Golf Olympics Deaths Joshua J. “Cody” Brunner, a 21-year-old professional bull rider from Missouri, died Saturday night after being stomped by a bull he had just ridden. Figure skating Swimming Soccer The Revolution’s Michael Parkhurst was picked top defender. Quotable German tennis player Michael Haas, who has grown tired of all the speculation over potential match-fixing on the men’s tour: “It’s time people start naming names. Every day someone says something: Andy Murray, Werner Eschauer, Michael Llodra, Arnaud Clement, now someone anonymous.I’m telling them, be concrete – then we can undertake something. All this talk isn’t bringing us further.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We’re proud to stage the kickoff race for the 2008 Champ Car World Series,” said Jim Michaelian, CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “It will give our loyal fans first crack at enjoying the Champ Car cars and stars, along with the other five racing series – including the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race – we’ll have as part of our weekend-long ultimate speed festival.” The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 20. Horse racing The ruler of Dubai paid $10.5 million to buy Playful Act at Keeneland’s Breeding Stock Sale, a world record auction price for a broodmare. The bidding was another showdown between two titans of the horse breeding industry, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Darley Stud and Coolmore Stud. John Ferguson, the buyer for the sheik, said he was determined to get the horse.