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WHO KNEW?

It turns out that a racehorse named Hostile Raider really isn't so hostile after all. In fact, you could even call her downright motherly. Trainers suspected something was amiss even before a last-place finish March 15. But her caretaker said it was "a total shock" when he entered the stable at The Meadows, a track near Pittsburgh, the next morning to discover she had given birth. A veterinarian's exam in January, he explained, didn't include a pregnancy test. Mare and colt are reported as healthy as, well, a horse. Hostile Raider's owners are considering a contest to name the unexpected arrival. One early suggestion: Who's Your Daddy?

I CAN'T BELIEVE I SAID THAT

In Spain last week, the media had a rollicking time at Prime Minister José Maria Aznar's expense. Why? Because, apparently unaware that his microphone was still open after reporting to the European Parliament on the recent summit of Continent leaders, he turned to a colleague and referred to his own remarks as "a load" of something that rhymes with "trap." An Aznar spokesman, dismissed the gaffe as "insig-nificant, except as an anecdote."

Attention, couch potatoes: It's spring fix-up time again

In case there was any doubt, spring is, indeed, the most popular time of year for home improvement, according to a survey of 1,000 homeowners for Ace Hardware Corp. "It's a time when people emerge from winter hibernation and take a fresh, new look" at their homes, said Ace consumer affairs manager Paula Erickson. The top tasks on the to-do-lists, by percentage of respondents who said they plan to do them this season:

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1. Wash windows 82%

2. Weed the yard 80%

3. Prune bushes 78%

4. Plant/prepare lawn 73%

(tie) Service power lawn or yard equipment 73%

6. Plant/prepare garden 62%

7. Paint home interior 55%

8. Paint home exterior 28 %

– PR Newswire

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