Archive for the 'Horse Racing' Category

Morikawa Wins PGA Championship, MAC Cancels Fall, Laureano & Plesac Violate Protocols, NHL Quarterfinals, Tiz The Law Wins Travers

GOLF

Twenty-three-year-old Collin Morikawa finished 13-under par to win the US PGA Championship. Having turned pro 14 months ago, the championship was only Morikawa’s second major and 28th tournament.  Morikawa joins Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jack Nicklaus as the only 23-year old winners of the PGA Championship.

FOOTBALL

The Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) officially canceled its 2020 college football season and all other fall sports. Many are now wondering when the other Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences will follow suit.

BASEBALL

Major League Baseball specifically outlined in their COVID-19  protocols that any players breaking social distancing guidelines in order to engage or fight with another player or team would be severely punished. It’s no surprise then that Oakland Athletics Ramon Laureano, who charged the Houston Astros’ dugout sparking a bench-clearing altercation, will face discipline. Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron, who was seen egging Laureano on, could face disciplinary action as well.

Cleveland Indians Zach Plesac violated protocol as well when he went out with friends in Chicago after the Indians beat the White Sox on Saturday. Plesac was sent back to Cleveland and will be quarantined for 72 hours and tested daily for COVID-19.

HOCKEY

The quarterfinals of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs are set with 16 teams remaining.

HORSE RACING

Tiz the Law ran away from the competition in an exciting 5 1/2 length victory at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. Manny Franco guided Tiz the Law through a perfect race and a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure. It’s now on to the Kentucky Derby September 5th for this special horse.

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Travers Stakes, Deadline For NFL Opt-Out, 56 Players Positive, Clemson Ranks #1, Ohio State #2, Wine In NBA Bubble, NHL Weekend Games

HORSE RACING

The Travers Stakes takes place on Saturday. The $1 million race is one of the most prestigious in North America. Traditionally the Travers (known as the “Mid-Summer Derby”) is run a few months after the Triple Crown series where the elite 3-year olds have already experienced the grueling 1 1/4 distance of the Kentucky Derby. Now that the Derby has been postponed to September 5th, the horses will be testing their limits at the 1 1/4 distance for the first time.  Eight horses will compete on Saturday, with Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law as the even-money favorite.

FOOTBALL

The deadline for NFL players to opt-out of the season if they are concerned about health risks due to COVID-19 has passed. Players who are high-risk and who opt-out will receive a $350,000 stipend, while those who are at a lesser risk and opt-out will receive a $150,000 salary advance. Players can opt-out later in the year as well if a family member becomes sick. For a list of the players who will not be part of the NFL 2020 season, click here.

In related news, the NFL Players Association announced 56 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since the opening of training camp.

It’s still unclear what will happen with college football this season, but that didn’t stop the excitement of seeing the release of the preseason coaches poll. Clemson took the top spot,  followed by Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, and then LSU rounding out the top 5.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA bubble, wine deliveries and wine consumption have skyrocketed. Players have either purchased wine refrigerators for their rooms or, in the case of Portland Trail Blazer CJ McCollum, have transformed their room into a wine fridge. McCollum keeps his room at 60 degrees when he’s inside and around mid-to-high 50’s when he leaves so as to properly store his 84 bottles of mostly pinot noir from Oregon.

HOCKEY

By Sunday night, the 16-team NHL playoff field will be set. For a list of the weekend games, click here.

 

 

 

 

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Tiz the Law Wins Belmont, Horrific Racist Incident At Talladega

HORSE RACING

Tiz the Law ran away from the competition in a decisive win at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Tiz the Law, the fourth New York-bred horse to win the Belmont, was the heavy favorite having won four of his first five races. Roger Sofer, a part-owner of Tiz the Law, described the race saying, “It was great. Our (horse) just looked clear as can be. And once we got in the gate I was just hoping that we got out strong. … When we were sitting third or fourth I just kept saying, ‘I love where we are.’ ” Next up in this non-traditional Triple Crown series is the Kentucky Derby on September 5th and the Preakness Stakes on October 3rd.

NASCAR

A horrible event took place at Talladega on Sunday when a noose was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage during the Geico 500. NASCAR is launching an investigation and issued a statement saying, “Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport. As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”

Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver, also issued a statement saying, “Today’s despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society. … As my mother told me today, ‘They are just trying to scare you.’ This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”

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NCAA Football Approved, MLB’s Latest Proposals, Belmont Stakes Saturday, NBA Honors Juneteenth

FOOTBALL

The NCAA approved a schedule to start the 2020 season on time. The six-week calendar will begin in mid-July, and teams will be required to practice for four weeks before playing their first game.

BASEBALL

MLB owners submitted another proposal attempting to start the season on July 19th or 20th and allowing for a 60-game season and a 16-game postseason. The players countered with their own proposal for a 70-game season with prorated salaries based on the number of games played (including $50 million in playoff bonuses). It’s important to note that in the 60-game scenario, the Washington Nationals (World Series champions last year) would not have made the playoffs last season.

HORSE RACING

The Triple Crown series begins on Saturday with the Belmont Stakes. The Belmont is typically the third leg of the Triple Crown (with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness legs one and two), but with COVID-19 precautions, the Derby will be run on September 5th and the Preakness on October 3rd. The Belmont is the longest of the races, but for the horses not used to running such long distances at the start of the season, they will now run 1 1/8 miles instead of 1 1/2 miles. Tune in at 5:42 pm ET, broadcast on NBC.

BASKETBALL

For the first time in league history, the NBA has given employees paid time off for Juneteenth. The NBA said it wanted to give employees a chance to reflect on black history and racial injustice.

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Bull Riding With Fans, Belmont Stakes On June 20th, Women’s Sports Network, NCAA Academic Progress Report

BULL RIDING

Bull riding will be the first pro sports event with live crowds. The tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D. will be held July 10th-12th.

HORSE RACING

The Belmont Stakes will be held on June 20th (without fans) and will be reconfigured as the first leg (normally it’s the third and final leg) of the Triple Crown series. The Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled for September 5th and the Preakness Stakes on October 3rd. The Belmont (at 1.5 miles) has always been the tough finale to a six-week stretch which begins with the Derby. The 2020 Belmont is now slated to be 1 1/8 miles for the first time in its 152-year history which won’t be as big of a test of endurance as it’s been in years past.

WOMEN’S SPORTS NETWORK

Athletes Unlimited is launching a new network of sports leagues to try and reinvent women’s sports. The company, founded by Jon Patricof (former President of NYCFC and Tribeca Enterprises) and Jonathan Soros (son of billionaire George Soros), plan to launch three women’s leagues over the next three years. They will start with softball, debuting in August, and then launch volleyball for a debut in February 2021. The idea is to make the athletes more popular than the teams. Teams won’t have a city affiliation, and players will change teams on a weekly basis (accumulating points by wins and individual performances).

NCAA

The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) report measures the academic performance of a sports team over a span of four years and measures graduation rates. The recently released report of men’s Division- I sports listed golf, ice hockey, and lacrosse with the highest APR’s, while FBS (football bowl subdivision) football, basketball, and FCS (football championship subdivision) football ranked the lowest. In women’s D-1 sports, gymnastics, lacrosse, and swimming ranked highest, while softball, track and field, and basketball ranked the lowest.

 

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Tokyo Olympics Rescheduled To July 2021, Tiz The Law Wins Florida Derby Qualifies For Kentucky Derby

OLYMPICS

The Tokyo Olympics have been rescheduled due to the Coronavirus. The games were supposed to begin on July 24, 2020, but now they are set to begin on July 23, 2021.

HORSE RACING

Tiz the Law easily won the Florida Derby on Saturday getting enough points to qualify for a spot in the Kentucky Derby. The race at Gulfstream Park took place without any spectators or owners present. The Kentucky Derby would normally run in five weeks but has been rescheduled to September 5th. The race was particularly meaningful for us as my good friend Roger Sofer is one of the 32 owners of the horse. Sofer was diagnosed with Leukemia just four days before the Florida Derby, and this will be his first time in 18 years in the horse racing business he’ll have a horse at Churchill Downs. Sofer told Fox26, “I came up with an F-bomb. FU cancer, I’m gonna beat you too. It was very emotional. Started crying. Then everybody started calling. It was a big lift for me (Saturday).” We love you Roger and know you’ll beat this and win the Run for the Roses!

 

 

 

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Tom Brady Will Leave Patriots, Texans Trade Hopkins, Vikings Trade Diggs, MLB Delayed, Derby Postponed

FOOTBALL

Tom Brady announced on Twitter he will be leaving the Patriots. In a post named “Forever a Patriot”, the six-time Super Bowl champion announced he will become an unrestricted free for the first time in his career.

“To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK and the Kraft family and the entire organization. I want to say thank you for the past twenty years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning club built on great values. I am grateful for all that you have taught me- I have learned from everyone. You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can hope for, Everything we have accomplished brings me great joy and the lessons I have learned will carry on with me forever. I couldn’t be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you. I have benefited from all you have given me. I cherish every opportunity I had to be a part of our team, and I love you all for it. Our team has always set a great standard in pro sports and I know it will continue to do just that. Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciated everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and every one of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.”

In other NFL trade news (and a head-scratcher for most analysts and fans), the Houston Texans announced they will trade one of the best receivers in the league, DeAndre Hopkins, to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson and a 2020 2nd-round pick and a 2021 4th-round pick.

The Minnesota Vikings announced they will trade Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for a 2020 1st-round, 5th round, and 6th round pick as well as a 2021 4th-round pick.

BASEBALL

Major League Baseball delayed the start of their regular season until at least mid-May due to the CDC’s recommendation to cancel or postpone all events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks.

HORSE RACING

The Kentucky Derby will be pushed back to September 5th.

 

 

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Pete Alonso Remembers 9/11 With Themed Cleats, Justify Failed Drug Test, LeBron Failed “Taco Tuesday” Trademark

BASEBALL

To honor the anniversary of 9/11, Mets’ rookie Pete Alonso supplied all the players with special commemorative 9/11-themed cleats. In the running for National League rookie of the year, Alonso recorded the players’ shoe sizes and ordered and paid for the cleats. In the 9-0 win (9 runs and 11 hits) at home over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Mets also honored the first responders and had them on the field for the National Anthem.

HORSE RACING

According to a report from the New York Times, 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug weeks before the Kentucky Derby (the first leg of the Triple Crown).  Apparently, the California Horse Racing Board took months to confirm the results of a test (taken after the Santa Anita Derby which qualified Justify for the Kentuck Derby) and made some decisions in secret for horses testing positive to the substance scopolamine.

BASKETBALL

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied LeBron James’ attempt to trademark “Taco Tuesday”. The USPTO explained, “The applied-for mark is a commonplace term, message, or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment message.” According to LeBron, the application accomplished what he intended, which is to ensure HE won’t be sued for using the phrase.

 

 

 

 

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Warriors Up 3-0, Raptors Fight In Double Overtime Win, War Of Will Wins Preakness, Jockey-less Bodexpress

BASKETBALL

In the Western Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs, the Golden State Warriors cruised to an easy win over the Portland Trail Blazers to take a 3-0 series lead. Steph Curry added 36 points, and Draymond Green recorded his seventh career post-season triple-double. If the Warriors win game 4 on Monday, they will be heading to the NBA Finals for the 5th straight year. Warriors 110, Trail Blazers 99

In the Eastern Conference Finals, despite guards Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell fouling out, and the team squandering an opportunity to finish off the game in regulation, the Toronto Raptors fought hard to take a crucial game 3 from the Milwaukee Bucks in double overtime. The Bucks lead the series 2-1 with game 4 on Wednesday. Raptors 118, Bucks 112

HORSE RACING

War of Will won the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown series. All anyone could talk about, however, was another horse, Bodexpress, running the entire race without his jockey John Velazquez, who fell off the horse when the race began. A jockey-less horse is automatically disqualified, but fans loved the enthusiasm of Bodexpress trying to outrun his fellow horses.

 

 

 

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Controversy At Derby-Country Horse Wins, Raptors And Nuggets Even Series

HORSE RACING

The controversy over the disqualification of Maximum Security in the145th running of the Kentucky Derby grabbed headlines over the weekend. With 150,000 people in Churchill Downs on a rain soaked day, Maximum Security appeared to cross the finish line of the 1 1/4 mile race, called the ‘fastest two minutes in sports”. A foul was called by a two jockeys who claimed Maximum Security veered in their lanes and the Stewards at the track, declared the 65-1 odds Country Horse the winner. This is a big deal as it’s the first time in the history of the Derby, the winning horse was disqualified for an in-race foul.  The co-owner of Maximum Security said, “I think this is the most egregious disqualification in the history of horse racing”. 

BASKETBALL

Thanks to Kawhi Leonard’s 39 points, the Toronto Raptors evened the Eastern Conference Semifinal with the Philadelphia 76ers to two games a piece. Game 5 is on Tuesday in Toronto. Raptors 101, 76ers 96

The Denver Nuggets came back from losing an historic quadruple-overtime to Portland on Friday night to beat the Trail Blazers 116-112 on Sunday and tie the Wesern Conference Semifinal series 2-2. Game 5 is on Tuesday in Denver.

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