Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mark Sanchez gal leads Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover race

Mark Sanchez paramour Kate Upton is the odds-on-favorite to grace the cover of the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

The smoking-hot Victoria's Secret model— who has been linked to the New York Jets quarterback— is the front runner for the coveted spot, according to the New York Post.

Sources told the Post's Page Six that Upton's blond, all-American looks made her a top contender even though the magazine crowned Russian lingerie model Irina Shayk, the girlfriend of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, its cover girl last year.

Even when Sanchez's Jets don't make the playoffs, he gets hurt and talk is swirling that the maligned quarterback might be replaced by Peyton Manning next season, he still comes out a winner.

Sanchez was spotted making late night arrivals— incognito— at Upton's Manhattan apartment last season and scooting away before morning.

The Michigan-born Upton, 19, who made her SI Swimsuit debut last year, is apparently no Rex Ryan when it comes to predicting the chances of her landing on the legendary cover.

At a ceremony to kick off the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center yesterday, Upton was humble about the chances of her photo gracing the cover and giving her career a gigantic boost.

"All I can say is that I'm in the issue," she coyly told the Post.  "Fingers crossed!"

Other cover girl candidates include swimsuit veteran Chrissy Teigen, the fiancee of R&B star John Legend and Russian Victoria's Secret model Anne V. who is dating singer Adam Levine.

Pulling up the rear are South African beauty Genevieve Morton and California's Alyssa Miller.  Both beauties made their Swimsuit issue debuts last year.

A source told the Post," There's no clear cut front-runner" for the cover.  "There's a lot of talk about Kate in general.  But the idea of American versus international has never been part of the [debate].  It really comes down to the best picture wins."

The issue is ready to go to press and the cover will be unveiled  Monday on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

The Post said a SI rep declined to comment.


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