First post time on Sunday is at 12:30, admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2016)–Highly regarded Uruguayan-bred Gaga A heads a field of nine older fillies and mares Sunday in Santa Anita’s $75,000 Astra Stakes at the marathon distance of 1 ½ miles on turf.A Group III winner in France three starts back, she took her U.S. debut at a mile and a half on turf this past June 7 at Santa Anita and was subsequently a close third as the 3-1 favorite in her most recent start, the Grade III, 1 3/16 miles turf Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park on July 11.Trained by Neil Drysdale in both of her stateside starts, the 7-year-old mare regains the services of Tyler Baze, who was aboard for her win on June 7, a race in which she was attentive to the pace and kicked clear late to win by 1 ¼ lengths.Owned by her breeders, Haras Phillipson, Inc., Gaga A is by two-time Santa Juan Capistrano Stakes winner T.H. Approval and is 30-5-3-6 overall, with earnings of $283,591.Ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, Fresh Feline comes off a seventh place run in the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Robert J. Frankel Stakes here on Dec. 27 and poses a pace threat to “Gaga” as she often presses the early action. Trained by John Shirreffs and owned by Lazy F Ranch, Fresh Feline is a 5-year-old mare by Kitten’s Joy who is 13-2-5-3, with earnings of $184,870.Second, beaten 3 ½ lengths in her U.S. debut going one mile on turf here Dec. 30, trainer John Sadler’s Nancy From Nairobi was squeezed at the break and would appear to have ample upside. A 5-year-old English-bred mare, Nancy From Nairobi is owned by Hronis Racing, LLC and has two wins from 18 career starts.Hronis and Sadler will also be represented by Irish-bred Princess Charm, who is Group III placed in France, has been ineffective in three stateside stakes, including Santa Anita’s Grade III, one mile turf Autumn Miss Stakes two starts back on Oct. 17. A 4-year-old filly, she has lacked any discernable punch from off the pace of late, but did win going a mile and a quarter on turf in France. She is 12-3-1-2 overall with earnings of $113,410.The complete field for Sunday’s Astra Stakes, to be run as the seventh race on a nine-race program, with jockeys and weights in post positon order: Fresh Feline, Flavien Prat, 116; Gaga A, Tyler Baze, 120; Havanna Belle, Brice Blanc, 116; More Than Less, Mike Smith, 116; Generosidade, Tiago Pereira, 118; Energia Fribby, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Princess Charm, Joe Talamo, 118; Nancy From Nairobi, Abel Lezcano, 116, and Sweet as a Rose, Drayden Van Dyke, 116.
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2016)–Known to millions as an iconic figure on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Kenny Mayne will alter course and step into the role of race caller on Sunday at Santa Anita as he’ll take his unique brand of dry witted humor to the microphone prior to the track’s fifth race, which will be contested at 5 ½ furlongs.“As sports fans everywhere know, Kenny has a unique sense of humor and having grown up near the old Longacres (Racecourse) in Seattle, he’s also a lifelong horse racing fan,” said Nate Newby, Santa Anita’s Vice President, Marketing. “We think this is going to be a lot of fun and with Santa Anita auditioning announcers for the full-time job, we expect an entertaining race call.“His appearance here on Sunday will be a featured segment in the days to come on SportsCenter and there’s no-telling how Kenny is going to approach this assignment. One thing’s for sure, it’ll be memorable and he’ll likely have an easier time fitting into the announcer’s booth than Conan O’Brien did!”Prior to beginning his broadcast career on local television in Seattle, Mayne was a Junior College All American quarterback at Wenatchee Valley College in 1978 and he went on to play two years as a backup quarterback at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas prior to graduating with a degree in Broadcasting in 1982.In addition to hosting SportsCenter dating back to 1994, Mayne has appeared in various roles on ESPN, including hosting numerous live horse racing broadcasts on both ABC and ESPN. In 2011, he traveled to six countries while taping “Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports,” and he’s appeared outside the ESPN umbrella in many other forums, including “The Drew Carey Show,” commercials for Progressive Auto Insurance, and the 1998 movie, “BASEketball.”
PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $59,291 INTO FRIDAY; TOTAL PICK SIX POOL SHOULD EXCEED $250,000 ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2016)–Idle since late November in New York, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss’s homebred Keri Belle held off the late charge of Stormy Lucy to win Monday’s Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes by a nose under Alex Solis. Trained by John Shirreffs, the 6-year-old mare by Empire Maker wheeled five-wide at the top of the stretch and got one mile on turf in 1:36.30.“Coming out of the gate, I took hold,” said Solis, who was aboard Keri Belle for the first time today. “They went so fast so it pushed her back even more, but it worked out good because she was relaxed.”In a scene steeped in déjà vu, Solis, who won nine stakes at Santa Anita with the race’s namesake, was greeted in the Winner’s Circle by Michael Bello, who owned the magnificent mare and presented today’s trophy.“We have a lot of great memories of Megahertz,” said Solis. “Last night, I was talking to the Daily Racing Form, they had a video of all of her races. It was so special to ride a filly like her and so special watching all of her races.”Off at 12-1 in a field of 12 older fillies and mares, Keri Belle, who picked up her first-ever stakes win, paid $27.80, 12.40 and $8.40. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $229,030. Her overall mark now stands at 12-4-2-1.“If you watch her races, she’s got a beautiful way of going,” said Shirreffs. “She’s got a big stride and she carries herself well. Turf racing, you’ve got to be a little bit lucky and today was her day.”Jerry Moss, who posed for 19 come-from-behind photos with the immortal Zenyatta, was understandably elated following the Megahertz.“She’s a lovely horse, she’s really something, very pretty,” Moss said. “We brought her back from New York and it’s so great to be back in California. We’ll stay here.”Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Stormy Lucy, who was a close second in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Dec. 27, was next to last after the first half mile and unleashed a furious rally through the lane to just miss.“I had no intention of being as far back as I was,” said Desormeaux. “She got shuffled back and kind of stuck her feet in the ground. I wanted to be mid-pack. She ran great again, she really did.”The second choice at 3-1, Stormy Lucy paid $3.80 and $3.20.Glenn Hill Farms’ Theatre Star, who was 10th after the first half mile, went head and head with Stormy Lucy the final three sixteenths and finished third, a neck behind her. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Theatre Star paid $5.20 to show.Fractions on the race were 22.79, 46.71, 1:11.62 and 1:24.08.There is a carryover into Friday’s Pick Six of $59,291, and it’s expected Friday’s total Pick Six pool should exceed $250,000.First post time on Friday for an eight-race card is at 1 p.m.
TWO MORE SOPHS POINTED TO SANTA ANITA DERBYNYQUIST BREEZES FOR MOHAYMEN SHOWDOWNGLORY, GLORY HALLEJULAH IN SANTA ANA STAKES?D’AMATO ENJOYING ‘DREAM’ MEET AT SANTA ANITADESORMEAUX SETS HIS SIGHTS ON NEW HORIZONS IRON ROB, DENMAN’S CALL EYE SANTA ANITA DERBYIron Rob and Denman’s Call, the one-two finishers in the San Pedro Stakes at six furlongs on March 20, are being pointed to the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby on April 9, their trainers said Friday morning.Iron Rob, a bay Twirling Candy colt who upset 2-5 favorite Denman’s Call by a length and a half in the San Pedro, will retain jockey Stewart Elliott for the Derby, trainer George Papaprodromou said, while Rafael Bejarano replaces Flavien Prat on Denman’s Call in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, according to trainer Doug O’Neill.The two newcomers are expected to join the first five finishers in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes that was run on March 12: Danzing Candy, Mor Spirit, Exaggerator, Uncle Lino and Smokey Image.“We’ll try to stretch him out,” Papaprodromou said of Iron Rob, who was nearly 10-1 when he won the San Pedro. “It’s worth taking a shot.”Bob Baffert, trainer of Mor Spirit, will be seeking his record eighth Santa Anita Derby victory, having won with Cavonnier (1996), Indian Charlie (1998), General Challenge (1999), Point Given (2001), Pioneerof the Nile (2009), Midnight Interlude (2011) and Dortmund (2015).O’Neill has two Santa Anita Derby victories, with I’ll Have Another in 2012 and Goldencents in 2013. NYQUIST FINISHES ‘STRONG’ IN FLORIDA DERBY DRILLUndefeated male two-year-old champion of 2015 Nyquist worked five furlongs Friday morning in 1:03 under Jonny Garcia in the colt’s final major drill before leaving Monday for Florida where he will face unbeaten Kentucky Derby favorite Mohaymen in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park a week from Saturday, April 2.Santa Anita clocker Dane Nelson had Nyquist going the last half-mile in 49.60. Nyquist worked with stablemate Pay the Fine who was timed in 1:04.40.“It was a good drill,” trainer Doug O’Neill said on a picture-perfect but busy Friday morning. “Nyquist finished up really strong and I’m very optimistic about next week.“He’ll walk tomorrow, track Sunday, and fly out on Monday. That’s the plan. I’ll be leaving the same day.” DESORMEAUX SEEKS FRESH START WITH PEGRAMAt the age of 46, Kent Desormeaux has resurrected his Hall of Fame career and has no intention of slowing down.His eyes are on the future, which is one reason for Thursday’s surprising announcement that he parted company with agent Mike Ciani and hired J. R. (as in James Russell) Pegram.“I just thought it was time for me to shake things up a little bit,” the three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey said between workers Friday morning. “Things had gotten kind of stale and it’s a move that has worked for me and lots of others multiple times.“I want the public to know that I’m not satisfied and I want more, and this is the only way to do it without going on to social media, I guess.“But there are still plenty who don’t read social media. I want the horsemen to know I’m not done yet.”Through Thursday, Desormeaux had won with 17 of 115 mounts, good for a 10th-place tie in the standings with Fernando Perez, although Desormeaux had ridden 53 fewer horses.Pegram previously represented Desormeaux in New York in 2012 and 2013. Jerry Hollendorfer13122121517%37%$1,586,586 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Philip D’Amato12927212221%54%$1,462,115 FINISH LINES: With exercise rider Janeen Painter up, three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder worked five furlongs in company Friday morning in 1:01.60 for Richard Mandella, who has either the Grade I, $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes at a mile on turf May 5 or the Grade III, $100,000 Adoration Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on dirt May 8 ticketed for the six-year-old mare’s 2016 debut. Stablemate El Super was clocked in 1:02 . . . Imperative, fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap, worked four furlongs for Richard Baltas Friday in 50.60, breezing with Mike Smith aboard. “It was perfect,” said Baltas, who has designs on the April 23 Charles Town Classic for the son of Bernardini, winner of the race in 2014 when trained by George Papaprodromou . . . Leading jockey Rafael Bejarano has been suspended three days (April 3, 7 and 8) for careless riding aboard Yellow Bonnet who finished sixth in Sunday’s fourth race . . . Bring the family to Santa Anita Sunday for the largest Easter egg hunt and family fun day in the San Gabriel Valley. Visit santaanita.com/events for details. Doug O’Neill17327262516%45%$1,411,523 Rafael Bejarano26163502624%53%$2,929,872 David Lopez15622131914%35%$683,676 Edwin Maldonado17136161521%39%$1,144,530 Santiago Gonzalez26947343317%42%$1,898,601 Tyler Baze24825373710%40%$1,345,311 CONSISTENT GLORY SET FOR SANTA ANA STAKESTeam Hollendorfer hopes Glory enjoys a favorable pace scenario and can carry her speed to victory in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1 /8 miles on turf.The four-year-old daughter of Tapit owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms (Songbird) was second in an overnight race March 4, but missed by a neck after leading in the Grade III Frankel Stakes last Dec. 27.“She’s doing well and she’s nice to work with,” said Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward. “She’s coming into the race well and she always runs good.”In 11 career starts, Glory has three wins, three seconds and two thirds, with earnings of $158,220. A win would give Hollendorfer his fifth stakes victory of the meet. After an uncharacteristically slow start, the Hall of Fame trainer has been picking up steam of late and ranks third, only five wins behind training leaders Phil D’Amato and Doug O’Neill, 27-22.The Santa Ana, race five of 11: Her Emmynency, Joe Talamo, 2-1; Nancy From Nairobi, Abel Lezcano, 5-2; Nashoba’s Gold, Rafael Bejarano, 10-1; Fresh Feline, Alex Solis, 8-1; Glory, Mike Smith, 7-2; and Tuttipaesi, Chris DeCarlo, 3-1. Joseph Talamo22427252612%35%$1,904,284 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS D’AMATO CONTINUES ‘DREAM’ MEET SUNDAYPhil D’Amato, in the hunt for Santa Anita’s Winter Meet training lead from the get-go last Dec. 26, sends out Sheer Pleasure in quest of the $100,000 Dream of Summer Stakes at one mile on Sunday.The race is for older fillies and mares and is another in the popular Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses.Sheer Pleasure, a four-year-old daughter of Birdonthewire, was second in an overnight race last out on March 5 despite going four-wide into the stretch in the 1 1/16-mile test.“I like the way she’s coming into the race,” D’Amato said. “Her last race was a good effort. She had a little bit of trouble at the three-eighths pole, but she came running strong.“I think we’re headed in the right direction. Her confidence is good and she’s ready to go the distance.”As to the trainers’ race, in which D’Amato and Doug O’Neill are tied at 27 with 11 racing days remaining, D’Amato is “very happy” with how the meet’s unfolded.“We’re just taking it as it comes, and whatever happens, happens,” D’Amato said. “We’re just happy all our horses are firing.”The field for the Dream of Summer, race nine of 10: Kiss At Midnight, Rafael Bejarano; Lucy in Diamonds, Felipe Valdez; Swissarella, Edwin Maldonado; Melanistic, Tyler Baze; Tiz a Kiss, Kent Desormeaux; Ashley’s Sassy, Alonso Quinonez; Light One, Drayden Van Dyke; Singing Kitty, Gary Stevens; and Sheer Pleasure, Martin Garcia. (Current Through Thursday, March 24) TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Flavien Prat24440454016%51%$2,594,116 Bob Baffert9621151522%53%$1,545,645
* GAME 13 WILL BE NECESSARY IF THE WINNER OF GAME 9 ALSO WINS GAME 11.^ GAME 14 WILL BE NECESSARY IF THE WINNER OF GAME 10 ALSO WINS GAME 12.# IF ONLY ONE OF THE TWO EARLY GAMES IS NECESSARY ON SATURDAY, IT WILL BE PLAYED AT 1 P.M., WITH THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME STARTING AT 6 P.M. Wednesday, May 23, 20189:00 AM – Game 1 – No. 3 vs. No. 612:00 PM – Game 2 – No. 2 vs. No. 74:00 PM – Game 3 – No. 1 vs. No. 87:00 PM – Game 4 – No. 4 vs. No. 5 The double-elimination tournament, scheduled for May 23-26 in Sugar Land, Texas, will feature the league’s top eight teams and conclude with a winner-take-all championship game May 26 at 6 p.m. CT. The winner of the tournament will receive the Southland’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. All games will broadcast on ESPN+. The Southland Conference will host its inaugural home run derby at Constellation Field on the eve of the tournament. The event is free to the public and will take place on Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m., featuring one hitter from each of the eight participating teams. Defending tournament champion Sam Houston State currently sits atop the conference standings with an 18-3 Southland record. Southeastern Louisiana is second (17-7) while Central Arkansas and Houston Baptist are tied for third with 13-8 marks. McNeese (14-10), UIW (12-9) and Northwestern State (11-10) are fifth through seventh while Nicholls (9-12) would be the last team in if the season ended today. Thursday, May 24, 20189:00 AM – Game 5 – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser12:00 PM – Game 6 – Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser4:00 PM – Game 7 – Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner7:00 PM – Game 8 – Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner All-Session: $60 for adults; $40 for youth ages 6-17 Single-Day: $20 for adults; $12 for youth ages 6-17; ages five and younger are free Student: Free (with valid ID) for students attending Southland Conference institutions (all schools, even those not competing) This year’s tournament marks the tournament’s fifth year in Sugar Land. The 7,500-seat Constellation Field is home to the Sugar Land Skeeters, a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. The facility opened in 2012 and was the home of the 2013 and 2015-17 Southland tournaments. The venue is set to serve as the host site through 2019. Saturday, May 26, 20189:00 AM – Game 13 – Game 11 Loser vs. Game 11 Winner*#1:00 PM – Game 14 – Game 12 Loser vs. Game 12 Winner^#6:00 PM – Championship – Game 13 Winner vs. Game 14 Winner+ Friday, May 25, 20189:00 AM – Game 9 – Game 7 Loser vs. Game 5 Winner12:00 PM – Game 10 – Game 8 Loser vs. Game 6 Winner4:00 PM – Game 11 – Game 7 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner7:00 PM – Game 12 – Game 8 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner SUGAR LAND, Texas – Tickets for the 2018 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament are on sale now at southland.org/baseball. They are also available by phone at 281-240-4487, and at the TDECU Ticket Office at Constellation Field (1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land, Texas 77498). Tournament ScheduleAll Times Central Ticket Prices
Men’s Basketball Player of the Week – Sha’Markus Kennedy, McNeese – Sr. – Forward – Tuscaloosa, Ala.The Southland leader in field-goal percentage (.670) this season, Kennedy connected on 8-of-11 attempts from the field, tied a single-game program record with 10 blocked shots and grabbed 10 rebounds in the victory over the Roos. McNeese concludes non-conference play against Paul Quinn at 7:30 p.m. CT Wednesday before hosting Stephen F. Austin at 3 p.m. Saturday to open up conference action. After McNeese erased a nine-point UMKC lead, Kennedy registered all 10 blocks over the final 14 minutes of the game and turned in eight points and seven rebounds in that span. Honorable Mention: Jordan Hairston, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Kevon Harris, SFA; Avery Sullivan, Lamar. Week Seven Southland Conference Release (PDF) His triple-double effort was the fourth in program history and the ninth by a Division I student-athlete this season. This is Kennedy’s second Player of the Week award for the 2019-20 season. FRISCO, Texas – McNeese forward Sha’Markus Kennedy is the Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. He recorded 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks in the Cowboys’ (4-6) 82-73 win over UMKC, joining Nicholls’ Andre Jones as the only two Southland student-athletes to post a triple-double this season.
It was the second loss of their 10-match tour of New Zealand after they were also overhauled by the Auckland Blues in their 22-16 loss at Eden Park last Wednesday.Last night’s defeat at Otago Regional Stadium, however, was a bigger blow for the tourists, who had had impressed with a 12-3 win over the Canterbury Crusaders last Saturday and looked to have begun to get some momentum into their tour.”The guys are disappointed,” Gatland told reporters in Dunedin. “We shot ourselves in the foot with some turnovers and penalties in the last 10 minutes.”There are some key moments to learn from, the big lesson is that New Zealand sides play for 80 minutes.”Marty Banks won the game for the home side when he slotted a 74th minute penalty, though two powerful scrums from their replacement front rowers had given them the field position for the flyhalf to seal the opportunity.The Lions had earlier failed to put the game away with the ultra-consistent Owen Farrell missing a penalty that would have given them a 25-20 lead with 12 minutes remaining.Gatland said his side should have taken control of the match before then anyway.”At 22-13 we have got ourselves in front and the boys said they were reasonably comfortable and unfortunately some big moments that we didn’t nail allowed them back into the game,” Gatland added.”We just needed strong game management to close the game down, then we missed a penalty that Owen would normally kick every day and Marty Banks made his.”Those are the fine margins.”Lions captain Sam Warburton said he was disappointed his side had given away too many penalties, with referee Angus Gardner warning the Welshman that they could face a yellow card if they continued to transgress.The loss had also upset their momentum as they head into the clash with the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua on Saturday.”There were high pressure situations in the game that we probably could have dealt with a bit better,” Warburton said.”Any team will tell you the morning after a win is a much better buzz.”But the group of guys we have got are hugely motivated for what’s around the corner. As long as we learn from this game, we take it on the chin and look forward to the Maori which is a huge challenge.”Photo: PHOTOSPORT James Haskell of the Lions acknowledges the crowd following their loss to the Highlanders.
James finished fourth in the women’s triathlon this morning.She said the New Caledonian was to quick from the start and she tried her best to catch her.James said she was happy to improve in her second Pacific Games because she finished back in the pack in 2011.Meanwhile, Rosemary Arua in her first triathlon at Games level finished last.
First held in Rabaul in 1976 the National Game Fishing Titles attracts anglers and non-anglers from around the world in a bid to lure the winning bite.Now in its 41st year, New Britain Game Fishing Club in Rabaul welcomes support from Digicel as a Platinum Sponsor of the event.Digicel PNG CEO Maurice McCarthy said Digicel is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for an event that is deeply embedded in PNG’s heritage.“The PNG National Game Fishing Titles provide a great opportunity to showcase one of PNG’s many attractions to the world.“The event is a great draw card for attracting visitors to PNG, allowing them to experience PNG’s tropical climate and an abundance of virtually untouched waterways,” said McCarthy.“Supporting this event continues to highlight Digicel’s commitment to PNG’s community development and assisting to promote cultural tourism in the regions.“The sponsorship package will provide the Game Fishing Association with additional funds to promote the competition,” said McCarthy.The cheque presentation was held at Digicel’s Kokopo office on Tuesday February 16 with Jack Bourke, NGI General Manager of Digicel presenting the cheque to the New Britain Game Fishing Club.Photo: Jack Bourke (Digicel NGI General Manager) presenting the dummy cheque of K25,000 to Dana Iselin and Joyce Bluett from the New Britain Game Fishing Club.
With the team spirit still on fire after the OFC nations Cup final last weekend, the Kapuls outdid Malaysia with a stunning victory with two goals from PNG’s utility Tommy Semmy.PNG bagged the first goals with a set play from Raymond Gunemba and Tommy Semmy.Gunemba placed a left footy through for Semmy to easily slide the ball to the back of the net in the early minutes.Minutes later, Semmy scored his second with a header that slipped off the goalkeeper’s hand before he made a second attempt with a touch from the tip of his boots to find the net.PNG took the lead in the first half and finished off in the second with 2-0.