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Here Comes The FXFL …New developmental league launching in fall

first_imgIn this Oct. 4, 2009, file photo, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris (91) celebrate with Charles Tillman, left, after an interception during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Chicago. Former NFL players Tommie Harris and Eric Bassey are the first owners of a team in the new FXFL developmental league, which plans to launch in October as a developmental league, with no NFL affiliation but with lots of intriguing ideas. Harris and Bassey will own the Austin franchise, with other teams to be located in the New York and Boston areas; Omaha, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; and a city in Florida yet to be determined. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Six teams, 40-man rosters, limited salaries — and perhaps no punts, kickoffs or extra-point placements.A home for players who can’t crack the big time to hone their skills for another shot at the NFL. Maybe even a place for collegians not yet eligible for the NFL to grow their games.The Fall Experimental Football League plans to launch in October as a developmental league, with no NFL affiliation but with lots of intriguing ideas.“Given the current Division I landscape in football and the collective bargaining agreement the NFL has with the union, there is more than ever a need for another platform out there,” says Brian Woods, the FXFL commissioner. “A platform like for basketball and baseball players.“Pro football has nothing. The NFL has the practice squad, but it does not develop players because they don’t get into games. You don’t develop if you aren’t getting on the field.”In this image released by the Fall Experimental Football League shows the league’s logo. (AP Photo/Fall Experimental Football League)Woods, an attorney who played at Mississippi and coached as a graduate assistant at Iowa State, wouldn’t mind having a tie-in with the big boys, but that’s not immediately on the agenda. The FXFL will field teams in the New York and Boston areas; Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Omaha, Nebraska; and in Florida. No city has been announced for the Florida franchise.Former NFL players Tommie Harris, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle, and Eric Bassey have purchased the Austin franchise.In this Aug. 1, 2008, file photo, St. Louis Rams cornerback Eric Bassey takes part in drills during NFL football training camp at Concordia University in Mequon, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)The teams will play six games this fall in minor league baseball stadiums, with an emphasis on gaining experience. The main idea is to advance the talents of players, coaches, officials and front office executives, something NFL football operations chief Troy Vincent said in April his league is looking into for the future.“Our long-term goal is to establish a partnership with the NFL,” Woods says, “and we feel can do that on many platforms. It would give them a way to work with younger players that they don’t currently have. We can help them train prospective NFL officials — in the NBA, every referee entering the league (in recent years) comes from NBA Developmental League.“We can be a testing ground for proposed rules, too.”That’s where the FXFL’s creation gets particularly noteworthy. The status quo, on and off the field, will not necessarily apply.The league is contemplating eliminating the kicking game, which might take away excitement with no kickoff or punt returns, but add fan enthusiasm for extra points, which would be a required 2-point conversion.“We’ll get a chance to experiment,” says Bassey, a former Rams defensive back, “and doing a little bit of everything here.”That would include looking at college underclassmen and even high school players, a no-no for the NFL.Mainly, the core of FXFL players will be no more than two years removed from their college careers, with the majority coming from that year’s draft class. That would include players cut in training camp or those who never even got a look from the NFL.That approach would not impact the NCAA, and the league says it won’t actively recruit players who are still enrolled. But Woods explains that some players could come from the ranks the NFL doesn’t touch.“We are not ruling out the possibility of working with players who have hardships,” he said. “We’ll look at it on case-by-case basis. There might even be a situation for a player right out of high school who might not want to go to college.”The FXFL has a television deal in the works, Woods said, but details have not been released. Games will be played on weeknights, mostly Wednesdays, although the league is considering some Friday night contests in its Northeast locations where high school football is not overwhelmingly popular.To enhance local interest, the league will give each team territorial rights, so the Austin franchise has first shot at players from Texas, for example.Salaries will be $1,000 a week for the players. Coaches will draw from a pool of around $110,000 for the staff.Woods and the team owners will work on setting up host families for the players, similar to what minor league baseball and hockey do. That saves on costs, but also makes the players more a part of the community.“This league will provide the opportunity for players who otherwise might not get it,” Bassey says. “There’s those 100-150 players who don’t get drafted and this would be a perfect opportunity for them. We’re talking about extremely good athletes, and we will set up a platform for those guys to get an opportunity to prove themselves.“Sometimes they are not ready to play at that pace of the NFL when they get out of school. Maybe they just need that one year or two years that we can provide. Or the environment in college might not have been a proper forum for them.”last_img read more

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Steelers hoping Killer Bs strike before time runs out

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown makes a catch in a drill during an NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t talk like someone eyeing the finish line.If anything, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is doing what he can to push it further into the distance.The 36-year-old overhauled his diet in preparation for his 15th season and points to the lack of time spent in the trainer’s room during camp as proof the choices he’s made are working.Asked if he feels rejuvenated and Roethlisberger nods.“I really like where this team is,” the two-time Super Bowl winner said. “I think if you didn’t have a good feeling about this team it probably wouldn’t be as exciting, but I am excited about this group.”The feeling, however, could be fleeting. Eight months removed from a stunning home playoff loss to Jacksonville , the Steelers are well aware the missed opportunities in recent seasons are starting to pile up. While Pittsburgh has reached the postseason in each of the past four years, the Steelers have just three playoff victories to show for it. Le’Veon Bell, shown here in this New Pittsburgh Courier file photo from Brian Cook, rushed for nearly 180 yards Oct. 15 against the Chiefs in the Steelers’ 19-13 win.Though Pittsburgh is heavily favored to win a third consecutive AFC North title, the window that once seemed so wide open could be starting to close. All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell is likely playing his final season in black-and-gold after failing to come to terms on a new contract. The offensive line features three Pro Bowlers but also three starters in their 30s.While Roethlisberger downplays any additional sense of urgency — he’s been around long enough to know that any season that doesn’t end with a victory parade through downtown Pittsburgh in early February is considered a disappointment — he’s also well aware the standard coach Mike Tomlin mentions so frequently has not been met.“Winning games can lead to Super Bowl opportunities is always our ultimate goal,” he said. “There are 31 other teams doing the same, but that needs to be our singular focus.”A focus that was lacking at times in 2017 even as the Steelers rolled to a 13-3 record.There was the national anthem debacle in Chicago. The drama surrounding enigmatic wide receiver Martavis Bryant. The late season decision to cut linebacker James Harrison. The devastating spinal injury to budding star linebacker Ryan Shazier. Social media chatter of a rematch with New England in the AFC title game, chatter that looked foolish after the Jaguars beat the Steelers at Heinz Field for the second time in four months. The front office has done what it can to limit the distractions heading into 2018. Bryant was traded to Oakland. Harrison is retired. Longtime quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner takes over as offensive coordinator for Todd Haley. Shazier is walking again and serving as a de facto coach/scout as his body continues to recover.The message could not be clearer: the team that’s built to win now needs to win. Now.“Time is running out for everybody,” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “I know it’s all fun and games for everybody at the beginning but man it’s time to win. It’s been too long.”Other things to look for as Pittsburgh vies for a fifth consecutive playoff berth for only the third time in franchise history:REMODELED BACK END: The Steelers gave the secondary a massive overhaul after the Jaguars lit them up for 45 points in January, drafting safety Terrell Edmunds in the first round and signing veteran Morgan Burnett from Green Bay. The goal is to reduce the number of big plays allowed. Pittsburgh gave up 13 passes of more than 40 yards, tied for third-most in the league. Burnett’s sure tackling will help in the run game and Pittsburgh believes third-year safety Sean Davis’ athleticism will allow him to be an effective center fielder at free safety.FLIP FLOP: Pittsburgh exercised the fifth-year option on the contract of outside linebacker Bud Dupree in the offseason, a sign it believes the 2015 first-round pick’s best days are ahead of him despite uneven results in his first three years. The Steelers moved Dupree from the left side to the right side in the spring, confident he’ll be a more effective pass rusher attacking the quarterback’s blind side. Either way, Dupree understands he’s still in the “prove it” mode in his career and needs to become more consistent at a position that’s long been a focal point in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 defense.BELL’S BET: There may not be a player in the NFL with more at stake in 2018 than Bell. The 26-year-old believes he’s in a class by himself among running backs and wants to be paid accordingly. He’ll make $14.4 million this season playing under his one-year franchise tender, but thinks he’ll be even more valuable on the open market next spring. Bell shouldn’t lack for opportunities to show he’s worth a massive payday. He led the NFL in touches last season and Tomlin could opt to use him even more extensively knowing he’ll be out the door in the spring.TIGHT SPOT: The Steelers are still trying to find a legit heir to tight end Heath Miller, who quietly stepped away in the spring of 2016. While Jesse James has evolved into a solid complementary player, Vance McDonald is the closest thing to a complete package Pittsburgh has at a vital position. One problem: McDonald has struggled to stay on the field. He missed practically all of camp with a foot injury. The Steelers need him to be a factor in the passing game to help take some of the attention off Brown and second-year wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes in the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)last_img read more

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Drifter charged in stabbing death of champ golfer in Iowa

first_imgIn this Sept. 7, 2017, photo provided by Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena poses for a photo. The former ISU golfer was found dead Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at a golf course in Ames. Collin Daniel Richards, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in her death. (Luke Lu/Iowa State University via AP) Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University.Barquin was found Monday morning in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Des Moines. Police were called to the golf course around 10:20 a.m. to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.Officers found Barquin’s body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday against Richards.A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where Richards had been living in a tent, the complaint said. Officers found Richards with several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to conceal, it said.An acquaintance of Richards told investigators that the suspect had said in recent days that he had “an urge to rape and kill a woman” while they were walking on a trail near the course, the complaint said. A second acquaintance told police that Richards arrived at his home on Monday appearing “disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water.” He bathed and left with his clothes in a backpack.Investigators later recovered two pairs of shorts with blood stains and a knife that Richards allegedly gave to two other people after the slaying, the complaint said. Those two individuals were driving Richards out of town after the slaying, but he asked them to drop him off near the camp so he could get his tent and that’s when officers arrested him, it said.Barquin was the 2018 Big 12 champion and Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year. The university said the native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was finishing her civil engineering degree this semester after exhausting her eligibility at Iowa State in 2017-2018.She was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history, the university said. In April, she became the second women’s golfer at Iowa State to earn medalist honors at a conference tournament when claiming the 2018 Big 12 Championship. She did it with a three-shot victory.Barquin, who was ranked No. 69 nationally by Golfweek, ended her career as a Cyclone with a fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance and earned All-Big 12 Team honors for the third time — the second player in Iowa State’s history to do so.She became the third Cyclone women’s golfer to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship, the university said. The team announced Tuesday it was pulling out of the East & West Match Play in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to be with friends and family and to grieve their loss.Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement on Twitter that she was “deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death” of Barquin, describing her as a “dedicated civil engineering student” and an “acclaimed golfer with a bright future.”Head women’s golf coach Christie Martens said in a release that Barquin was “loved by all her teammates and friends” and was an “outstanding representative of our school.”“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life,” Martens said.___Foley reported from Iowa City, Iowa.___Click here for the most recent updates: https://bit.ly/2NmE3wv AMES, Iowa (AP) — A homeless man attacked and killed a top amateur golfer from Spain who was playing a round near her university campus in central Iowa, leaving her body in a pond on the course, police said Tuesday.last_img read more

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Borrego: Hiring female coaches shows NBA trending right way

first_imgIn this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, Washington Mystics’ Kristi Toliver (20) shoots over Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird in the first half of Game 2 of the WNBA basketball finals, in Seattle. WNBA All-Star Kristi Toliver will be an assistant coach for player development for the NBA’s Washington Wizards this season. Toliver’s job was one of several changes to coach Scott Brooks’ staff announced by the Wizards on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, two days before they host the Miami Heat to open the season. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants more women throughout the league. He’s getting his wish.In recent days, two significant moves were made, with Kristi Toliver being added to Washington’s staff of assistant coaches, and Chasity Melvin getting hired as an assistant coach with Charlotte’s G League affiliate in Greensboro, North Carolina.Those hires are signs of progress.Few seemed to notice, which also is not all bad.Women are a becoming a bigger part of the league now than ever before. The hires of Toliver and Melvin were not overlooked; it just no longer seems like such an unusual thing to bring a woman into the fray of an NBA club, probably because the likes of San Antonio assistant Becky Hammon, former Sacramento assistant Nancy Lieberman, Dallas assistant Jenny Boucek, Clippers G League assistant Natalie Nakase and Memphis analyst Nicki Gross took care of the first wave of trailblazing.“I think it’s great and I think it’s great for the NBA,” said Charlotte’s James Borrego, the league’s first Hispanic full-time coach. “It speaks to our league, the diversity, the openness, the inclusion and I’m proud to be part of that, part of a league that’s open to that. I’ve been around Becky Hammon for a number of years now. These are bright women that belong in our league.”Certainly, there’s much more progress to be made, including in business offices around the league — as well as on the sidelines.There’s never been a female NBA head coach, though Hammon — a longtime part of the staff in San Antonio, where Borrego was before taking the Charlotte job — seems on the cusp of breaking that glass ceiling. Only three women have been hired as full-time NBA referees, though Natalie Sago and Ashley Moyer-Gleich will get games this season and are already highly respected by many peers.Borrego expects the numbers of women in the league to increase.“They’re here to stay,” Borrego said. “That’s not going anywhere. It’s only going to trend in that direction.”SCORING UPIf you think there’s been a lot more scoring than usual in the NBA this season, you’re right.Granted, six days of basketball is a small —and statistically insignificant— sample size in a six-month season. But teams averaged 106.3 points per game last season, and they’re off to an average of 113.3 points so far this season.Should that average somehow hold up over the course of a full season, it would be the league’s highest since teams averaged 116.7 points in 1969-70.“This is a new age of basketball and this is where we are,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “The days of games in the 80s are probably done. Everything’s spread out. It’s freedom of movement. There’s four attackers and often times five 3-point shooters and there are missiles flying everywhere.”For perspective: There were eight instances in October 2017 of teams scoring 130 or more points. So far in October 2018, there’s been nine — with 10 days of play left this month.But big numbers hasn’t meant every game is a rout. There’s already been 12 games this season decided by three points or less.G LEAGUE CHANGESOver the next few weeks, more details will likely come out about the G League’s plan to offer $125,000 contracts to elite prospects who aren’t yet eligible for the NBA draft.Much of the details remain unclear: who will get them, how they’ll get them, how many deals will be offered.Another murky part of all this is how the players will be assigned to teams.What would make the most sense is for the G League to go back into the NBA’s past for an answer there. The last territorial pick in the NBA was in 1965, but that’s the road the G League needs to go down now. For a league that’s still looking to grow, imagine the possibilities of putting a potential star with plenty of potential near his hometown. It’ll generate interest, which the G League surely could use.GAMES OF THE DAYIf you’re going to watch only one game per day this week, we recommend:— Wizards at Trail Blazers, Monday: John Wall and Bradley Beal in one backcourt, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the other.— Clippers at Pelicans, Tuesday: Anthony Davis averaged 29.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks against the Clippers last season.— Knicks at Heat, Wednesday: New York’s David Fizdale coached on the Miami side of the rivalry for years as a Heat assistant.— Celtics at Thunder, Thursday: Oklahoma City took leads into the fourth quarter against Boston twice last season, and went 0-2.— Bucks at Timberwolves, Friday: Milwaukee was one of the teams rumored to be in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes in recent weeks.— Lakers at Spurs, Saturday: LeBron James’ teams are 5-1 when he scores at least 30 at San Antonio, and 1-14 when he doesn’t.— Warriors at Nets, Sunday: Stephen Curry put on a dynamic show in Brooklyn last season — 39 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists.MILESTONE WATCHSpurs coach Gregg Popovich enters this week two wins shy of 1,200 for his regular-season career. He’ll be the fifth NBA coach to reach that milestone.___AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas contributed.last_img read more

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Roadrunners run all over Bombers at B.C. High School AA Boy’s hoop championships

first_imgMission led 37-16 at the half and 55-24 after three quarters.Senior John Zak led the Bombers, the 16th seed, with 13 points while Erich Schepkowski added seven.LVR is missing starting guard Jack Sturrup, who injured his back during the Kootenay AA Boy’s tournament in Grand Forks.Sturrup had a hard fall during the semi final game against Golden.He played in the final but last week developed back pains and was not cleared by doctors to play in the tourament.LVR returns to the court Thursday against South Okanagan Hornets at 10 a.m.The Bombers must pay special attention to Hornet leading scorer Greet Gill, who dropped in 45 points in a losing cause to Duchess Park of Prince George.sports@thenelsondaily.com The Mission Roadrunners ran all over the L.V. Rogers Bombers on day one of the B.C. High School AA Boy’s Basketball Championships Wednesday in Kamloops.The Roadrunners opened the 16-team tournament as the top seed.Mission jumped all over the Bombers in the first quarter and never looked back holding a 19-6 advantage at the break.”I was happy with our defence in the game,” said Bomber coach Ross Naka. “When you get into a 1 vs 16 game, things can get out of hand pretty easy but we held our own against a very good club.”last_img read more

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PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $80,136 INTO THURSDAY AT SANTA ANITA & THE TOTAL PICK SIX POOL SHOULD EXCEED $500,000; FIRST POST TIME FOR AN EIGHT-RACE PROGRAM IS AT 1 P.M.

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2016)–There is a Pick Six carryover of $80,136 into Thursday at Santa Anita and it’s expected Thursday’s total Pick Six pool will exceed $500,000.With the Pick Six beginning with race three, first post time for an eight-race card on Thursday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.last_img

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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY OCTOBER 14, 2016

first_imgSTELLAR WIND & BEHOLDER PREP FOR BC DISTAFFCAL-BRED MASOCHISTIC FIRES BULLET FOR SPRINTD’AMATO HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY SATURDAYUNUSUAL HEAT IS PENSIONED FROM STUD AT 26BREEDERS’ CUP NEXT FOR MISS SOUTHERN MISS STELLAR WIND GIRDS FOR ‘GREAT’ DISTAFF            Stellar Wind, one of three champions scheduled to do battle in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita three weeks minus a day away, on Nov. 4, worked four furlongs early Friday morning in 48.40 under exercise rider Jose Contreras.The champion three-year-old filly of 2015 is slated to meet three-time Eclipse champion Beholder and undefeated two-year-old filly champion of 2015 Songbird in the $2 million Distaff, for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/8 miles.“It was nice and easy, just a maintenance work,” said John Sadler, who trains the daughter of Curlin for the brothers Hronis, Kosta and Peter. Stellar Wind received fractional times of 24.20 and 36.40, with a five furlong gallop out of 1:02.40.“It’s going to be a great race,” Sadler said of the Distaff, “very rare in the sense that it’s high quality with those three in it.”Richard Mandella reported Beholder doing well for the Distaff. “I didn’t let her do too much (in her four furlong work Thursday, 49 flat, breezing),” he said. “She couldn’t look better.”Songbird also worked Thursday, going five furlongs in a bullet 58.60 for Jerry Hollendorfer, who is at Keeneland this weekend.Stellar Wind will work again next Friday under regular rider Victor Espinoza.Also working Thursday was Breeders’ Cup Sprint favorite Masochistic, who drilled a half mile with regular rider Mike Smith up for Ron Ellis in a bullet 45.40, handily from the gate. It was the best of 46 at the distance for the six-year-old California-bred gelding by Sought After. SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Peter Eurton1030030%30%$197,044 Peter Miller3093330%50%$269,620 Richard Baltas2936210%38%$254,650 (Current Through Monday, Oct. 10) Jerry Hollendorfer2333213%35%$168,335 Victor Espinoza2452321%42%$670,105 Norberto Arroyo, Jr.3993523%44%$369,420 Kent Desormeaux2883329%50%$301,275 ENOLA GRAY MAKES GRASS DEBUT SATURDAYEnola Gray will make her first start on grass when she joins stablemate Long Hot Summer in Saturday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares, three and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.“It’s a short field (five entered), she’s bred for the grass, and there wasn’t really any race for her,” explained trainer Phil D’Amato. “The timing’s good for this race and then going in the ($100,000) Betty Grable at Del Mar (seven furlongs on dirt Nov. 13), so that’s kind of the reason we drew in late.”The field for the California Distaff, one in the Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses: Desert Steel, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1, Long Hot Summer, Joe Talamo, 6-5; Enola Gray, Tyler Baze, 9-5; Out Of the Ordinary, Jamie Theriot, 12-1; and Home Journey, Mike Smith, 3-1. Tyler Baze4163615%37%$210,140 REMARKABLE SIRE UNUSUAL HEAT PENSIONED AT 26Unusual Heat, the all-time leading sire in California progeny earnings, has been pensioned from stud at 26.“It is with great emotion that we have to announce the retirement of Unusual Heat,” said Harris Auerbach, managing partner of M. Auerbach, LLC. “He’s been remarkable and even in his final season at stud in 2016 managed to get 25 of 30 bred mares in foal. It’s been an amazing run and I’m happy ‘Heat’ can now just relax and enjoy the rest of his days just being a horse.”Doug Burge, longtime President of the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association remarked, “He’s been the perennial leading sire in California for over a decade and his influence on California breeding and racing will be prevalent for years to come.”Bred by John T. Jones in Kentucky, Unusual Heat is the son of Nureyev and Danish champion mare Rossard. In 1991, he became the highest-priced horse ever sold at a Barretts yearling auction, fetching $250,000. He went on to race both in Europe and the United States under trainers Dermot Weld, Richard Mandella and Barry Abrams. Unusual Heat was a multiple listed stakes winner who finished with a record of 16-6-2-2 and career earnings of $142,605.Unusual Heat stood his first season at the late Walter Greenman’s farm in Hemet before moving to Old English Rancho in Sanger, where he spent the bulk of his early stallion career. In 2010, he moved to Harris Farms in Coalinga, spending his last six seasons at stud.The impact of Unusual Heat on California breeding and racing was far reaching. From a humble first crop of 15, Unusual Heat had 11 runners, and 10 of them won in their first race, starting a ride never been seen in the Golden State. To date, his runners have amassed $52.4 million in worldwide progeny earnings. He has produced 12 graded stakes winners, five Grade I winners, 53 overall stakes winners, 18 additional graded stakes horses, an astounding 150 earners of over $100,000 and 75 earners of over $200,000 from just 556 starters. He won six California Leading Sire Championships and is still the reigning California Conceived Leading Turf Sire with 12 straight championships (2004-2015).Unusual Heat has also produced 15 California champions, including two-time California Horse of the Year and 2011 Eclipse Award Winner Acclamation. Other notable runners include stakes winners The Usual Q.T., Lethal Heat, Unusual Suspect, Golden Doc A, Gervinho, Burns, Pretty Unusual, Lennyfromalibu, Spenditallbaby, Mensa Heat, Tucked Away, Lakerville and Lightmyfirebaby.He is represented by 2016 stakes winners Cheekaboo, Majestic Heat, Pacific Heat, Boozer and Central Heat. In 2016, Unusual Heat has had 89 runners and 47 winners and leads all California sires in California conceived North American progeny earnings.For more information about Unusual Heat, contact Harris Auerbach at harris@unusualheat.com or go to www.unusualheat.com . Flavien Prat45105722%49%$911,770 Rafael Bejarano49715614%57%$720,960 Philip D’Amato2930510%28%$297,705 Mike Puype1231025%33%$97,510 Bob Baffert1736218%65%$638,255 Mark Glatt1335323%85%$139,568 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won FINISH LINES: It’s on to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf for Miss Southern Miss, impressive 2 ½-length winner of Monday’s Surfer Girl Stakes for two-year-old fillies at a mile on grass. The daughter of More Than Ready was making her turf debut. “I don’t know if I was super high on her or super hopeful,” trainer Keith Desormeaux said Friday. “We’re definitely pointing to the Breeders’ Cup. Off a performance like that, I think I’m justified. I’d been trying to get her to relax with no success on dirt. When dirt would hit her in the face she would just grab the bit and run off, but there’s no spray on the turf so she relaxed a lot better.” . . . Condolences to the family of former trainer Dominick Manzi, who died on Wednesday of a heart attack in Escondido at the age of 58. He was the son of the late trainer Joe Manzi and was his father’s assistant before going on his own. A memorial will be held at Horsemen’s Beach in Del Mar, 11 a.m., Oct. 29, according his wife, Melissa. Those wishing to donate towards his cremation can do so by going to gofundme.com., typing in dominickmanzi, and following the prompts . . . Vince DeGregory was back at Santa Anita Friday for the first time since undergoing six hours of back surgery 17 days ago. “I’m getting better and stronger each day,” the 84-year-old agent said . . . Agent Nelson Arroyo has appealed the suspension of his brother, jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., who received a three-day ban (Oct. 16, 20 and 21) for causing interference on victorious Woot Woot in last Sunday’s first race . . . Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and John Boal, author of Broodmare Sire Rankings, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Tomorrow, Santa Anita hosts the undisputed party champion, Michelada Rumble 3, featuring live music by Sweet & Tender Hooligans, food trucks and a car exhibition for only $15. A $40 VIP ticket includes two drinks and much more (must be over 21 to attend). TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Doug O’Neill4557711%42%$244,788 -30-last_img read more

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GORMLEY PREVAILS BY SHORT HEAD IN GRADE III, $100,000 SHAM STAKES; SHIRREFFS, MOSS & ESPINOZA WIN ONE MILE THRILLER IN 1:35.89

first_imgRUN OVER A SLOPPY TRACK, SHAM PROVIDES WINNER WITH 10 KY DERBY QUALIFYING POINTS ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2017)–In what quickly developed into a two-horse race, a short head separated Gormley and American Anthem in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes, with Gormley prevailing under Victor Espinoza in 2017’s first graded prep to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 8. Trained by John Shirreffs and owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Gormley, a Kentucky-bred colt by Malibu Moon, got a flat mile in 1:35.89 on Santa Anita’s sloppy main track.With Mike Smith gunning favored American Anthem from the rail, Espinoza sat a close second just off the leader’s right hip into and around the Club House turn. As the field made its way into the far turn, the top two separated themselves and “threw down” the final quarter mile in a thriller that looked like it could go either way.“That was a great race,” said Shirreffs, who sent Gormley out to win the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes here two starts back on Oct. 1. “We’re very proud of him. He’s quick. He starts quick, he gets away quickly, but then he checks himself as he gets into the race and he relaxes. It was great to see him pick it back up again and get it done.”Although favored on the morning line, Gormley, who came off a disappointing run in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 5, was the 8-5 second choice and paid $5.20, $2.80 and $2.40.A first-out maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on Sept. 4 at Del Mar, he now has three wins from four starts. In addition to the winner’s share of $60,000, he also picked up 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.“This type of thing never gets old,” said co-owner Jerry Moss, who also won the 2005 Kentucky Derby with Giacomo. “He’s got a lot of heart and I know he’ll go further than this.”“I expected him to run the way he ran today,” said Espinoza, who’s ridden Gormley in all four of his races. “I know he’s still improving but I think he only gets better and better. Hopefully, he gets a lot better…In the Breeders’ Cup he broke slow but today, he came into the race in really good shape and got into it right away.”A gutty first-out maiden winner at six furlongs on Dec. 3 at Del Mar, American Anthem was faced with a tall order stretching out against the likes of Gormley in only his second start. Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Bob Baffert, American Anthem got hammered late to even money and paid $2.60 and $2.20.“For only his second time out, that was pretty impressive,” said Smith. “If we’d been on the outside…I think that probably would’ve helped out a little bit getting beat a half a nose.”Ridden by Santiago Gonzalez, Big Hit ran on for third, finishing some 13 lengths behind the top two. Off at 11-1, he paid $3.60 to show.Fractions on the race were 22.54, 45.46, 1:10.13 and 1:22.70.last_img read more

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