Pulis enjoys back-to-back Eagles wins

first_imgTony Pulis enjoyed a second home victory inside a week as his Crystal Palace side recorded a fully deserved win over Cardiff at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Press Association Adrian Mariappa replaced Dean Moxey at the back for Pulis’ side as the latter limped off injured but it was the hosts who continued to attack. If the physicality of Jerome through the centre was causing the Bluebirds trouble, it was the sheer pace of Puncheon on the right which was adding to their problems. The Southampton loanee had set up the opening goal and cut inside once more before lashing his shot wide of the target as Palace looked to double their lead. Danny Gabbidon tripped Jordon Mutch right on the edge of the Palace penalty area as half-time approached but Peter Whittingham’s free-kick was headed clear by Damien Delaney as the Eagles continued to stand firm and reached half-time unbeaten. Puncheon cut inside once more early in the second half but his effort was scuffed wide. The Southampton winger’s drifting had Cardiff chasing shadows at time and Mutch brought him down eight minutes into the second half as he popped up on the left. The resulting free-kick was headed across goal by Chamakh but Jerome could not turn it home as he would have been flagged offside. As Cardiff pushed forward looking to make more happen in the Palace half they left themselves susceptible to the hosts on the counter-attack. Only a smart, low save from Marshall prevented Jerome flashing in a second from the edge of the box just before Chamakh doubled the Eagles’ lead with his third goal of the season. Bannan’s cross towards Jerome was bravely headed clear by Turner but it only dropped to Chamakh, who keep his composure to fire the home side into a two-goal lead. Jerome proved to be Cardiff’s tormentor well into the second half and saw another effort deflected behind for a corner after wriggling free inside the box. The resulting corner almost led to the third Palace goal as Jerome diverted a header goalwards with Marshall able to collect his latest effort at the second attempt, only just preventing the ball crossing the line. Palace were a constant menace from set-pieces and Delaney was the next to win a header from a corner but he could not keep the effort down. With just under 10 minutes to go Jerome was guilty of putting a decent chance wide of Marshall’s goal as he continued to elude Cardiff’s backline. The hosts saw the game out on the front foot, with Turner almost directing a Puncheon cross past his own goalkeeper, with the win meaning only an inferior goal difference is keeping the Eagles in the relegation zone. The former Stoke boss took charge at Palace a little over two weeks ago and, following a narrow loss at Norwich, the Welshman has now guided the Eagles to back-to-back home wins as Cameron Jerome and Marouane Chamakh got on the scoresheet to secure a comfortable 2-0 victory. Glenn Murray scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win for Palace when these two sides met in south London in the Sky Bet Championship last season, but with their talisman still recovering from a long-term injury, it was two of their summer recruits who sealed another vital victory which moves them to within a point of the 16th-placed Bluebirds. Much was made of Jerome’s relationship with Pulis during their time together at Stoke but the striker, on a season-long loan from the Britannia Stadium, opened the scoring with his first Palace goal as he headed home after six minutes before going on to be a constant thorn in the side of his former club. The hosts dominated for large spells and deservedly doubled their lead as Chamakh finished coolly just before the hour mark, with Pulis’ side going on to create the better of the chances after doubling their advantage without adding to their two goals. Cardiff started well and Fraizer Campbell wasted a golden opportunity to put them ahead inside the opening two minutes. He was picked out when free in the box by Don Cowie’s cross but his downward header was pushed over by Julian Speroni. Jerome’s strength seemed to cause problems for the visiting defence from the start but he could not get away in time to get a shot in on goal after the ball fell kindly to him following a crunching Ben Turner challenge on Kagisho Dikgacoi. The Stoke loanee did not have to wait long to open his Palace account, however, as his ability to hold the ball up played a big part once again. Jerome showed good strength to hold off Turner and Steven Caulker before finding space and heading home Jason Puncheon’s cross from close range. Dikgacoi’s through ball set Jerome away once more at the midway point of the first half, with the 27-year-old this time looking to turn provider and seeing his cross cleared behind for a corner. last_img read more

Good performances on Day 2 of GASA Nationals

first_imgFifty races were swam on day 2 of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) short course Nationals, and the same form shown by swimmers on Day 1, continued on day 2 yesterday at the National Aquatic Centre.In the 800 SC metre freestyles, Jadyn George 10:46.00, Leon Seaton 10:26.37, Alex Winter 10:13.56 and veteran Soroya Simmons 10:28.92, won their respective age groups.Up next was the 100 SC metre butterfly races with Aleka Persaud 1:20.79, Ethan Gonsalves 1:23.94, Lian Winter 1:19.03, Leon Seaton 1:12.27. Also finishing first in the 100 SC meter butterfly were Dorado swimmers Daniel Scott 1:05.35 and Hannibal Gaskin with 57.75.The top performers on the day were Daniel Scott of Dorado Swim club who hit the wall first in the 15-17 male 100 sc metre butterfly, and the 15-17 200 and the 13-14 200 SC individual medley.Also having good performances were Kenita Mahaica of Dolphin Swim Club, Aleka Persaud of Orca Swim Club and Leon Seaton of Silver Sharks who all won three races.Also finishing first in their events were Raekwon Noel, Lian and Alex Winter, Phillip DeNobrega and Jeron Sookram.The Nationals continue today at the same venue from 9:30hrs.last_img read more

Other Sports Rahul Aware Settles For Bronze At World Wrestling Championships

first_imgNew Delhi: India has bagged one more medal at World Wrestling Championships with Rahul Aware winning bronze in men’s 61kg freestyle category. Aware defeated Tyler Lee Graff, the 2017 Pan- America champion, 11-4 to take India’s tally to five medals.This is India’s best performance at the event. India’s previous best show was in 2013 when the country had three in their kitty courtesy Amir Dahiya (silver), Bajrang Punia (bronze) and Sandeep Tulsi Yadav (bronze in Greco-Roman)This is Maharashtra grappler’s biggest medal. He was in complete control of the bout and jumped in joy at the end. Aware had won a gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and two bronze at the Asian Championships (2009, 2011).The American surprised Aware with a double leg attack, the moment the bout started and earned two points with a takedown. However, he became alert and twice wriggled out of Graff’s single leg attacks. He also scored consecutive takedown points to lead 4-2 at the break.In the second period too, Graff got hold of Aware’s right leg but the Indian got himself out of trouble in an impressive manner. He then pulled the bout it away from the American with a flurry of moves ‘the takedowns and expose’ take a commanding 10-2 lead. It consolidated further when the American lost a challenge. Eventually, he won 11-4.Aware had lost a pacy semifinal 6-10 to Beka Lomtadze, the European championship silver medallist.The morning of the final day of the championships brought with it the news that Deepak Punia will not be able to compete in Sunday’s final against Iranian great Hazsan Yazdani due to an ankle injury sustained during the semifinal.”The left foot is not taking the load. It’s difficult to fight in this condition and could have aggravated the injury. I know it was a big chance to fight against Yazdani but I can’t help it,” Deepak told PTI.Deepak had come out of the mat limping and a swollen right eye after his semifinal against Switzerland’s Stefan Reichmuth. It was a good draw for Deepak and he exploited it to get the biggest medal of his career.In a dream run, Deepak reached the final with wins over Reichmuth, Colombia’s Carlos Arturo Mendez and Kazakhstan’s Adilet Davlumbayev.He became only the fifth Indian ever to reach the World Championship after Bishamber Singh (1967) Sushil Kumar (2010), Amit Dahiya (2013) and Bajaramg Punia (2018). Only last year he had won the junior world champion. For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Sushil Kumar remains India’s only World Champion. He had won a gold in 2010 in Moscow. last_img read more

The Final Word: Beat writers discuss Syracuse’s overtime loss to Pittsburgh

first_img Published on October 6, 2018 at 10:07 pm Syracuse (4-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) dropped its second-straight game, 44-37, in overtime to Pittsburgh (3-3, 2-1). The Orange, after going up by two touchdowns early in the first quarter, allowed a 27-3 run from the Panthers. SU came back to take the lead, but Dungey threw a pick in overtime to end the game.Listen to what our beat writers have to say about the game. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

Top 5 performing Ghanaians in European leagues

first_imgThe top five European leagues – England, France, Italy, Spain and Germany – have been keenly contested so far with some interesting results so far.Spain,Italy and England have been close with few points separating the top clubs but in France and Germany  the top sides seem to have a little advantage over the chasing packGhanaians players have so far been scattered across these top leagues. But which five of these have been outstanding so far heading into the second international break of the season.DEDE AYEWHis long awaited move to the Premier League materialized over the summer and much was expected from the Black Stars deputy captain and he has not failed to deliver.Four goals in his first eight matches is a fantastic return considering the difficulty of the league. To make issues more interesting, three of the four goals – 75% – have come with headers. Again, three out of these four goals have been against last season’s top six (Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham).His impressive start saw him claim the Barclays Premiership Player of the Month in August. Despite having cooled off a wee bit in September, he resumed normal service in October grabbing Swansea’s first goal against Tottenham.So far, so good for Dede, and more will expected from him as the season wears on especially during the December period where matches come in thick and fast.JEFFREY SCHLUPP Schlupp is one of the least mentioned Black Stars players but he is arguably the most consistent player in the Stars set-up.Week in, week out, the Leicester has performed his role admirably be it as left back or left wing. Blessed with considerable pace, the left footed player is hardly beaten by opponents in a league where most games are frantic.His winner on Saturday was testament to his non stop running all season. Baba Rahman and Andre Ayew’s inclusion in the Black Stars will possibly still keep Schlupp out of the side, but if Baba continues to be a bench warmer at Stamford Bridge, Schlupp could be considered for a starting berth.EMMANUEL AGYEMAN BADU The former Asante Kotoko man has been one of the standout performers in a sluggish start for Udinese.Despite getting injured in their opening day victory over Juventus, Agyeman Badu has bounced back strongly to score two goals over the course of an early season.The former U-20 World Cup winner was rumored to be joining Stoke over the summer but never materialized. All the same, he has kept a cool head to emerge as one of the leading figures of Udinese. Two goals in six matches is an impressive turnout for a player who uses his energy all over the pitch. If he maintains such good form, his wish to move to the Premier League will be a reality sooner rather than later.ABDUL MAJEED WARIS One of many Ghanaians who moved during the summer and he has taken over exactly where his compatriot Jordan Ayew left off for Lorient.Waris is arguably one of the natural number ‘9s’ the country currently possess but has been hampered by injury time and again. Even in France this season, he has had a few weeks off the pitch nursing an injury.Once on the pitch, it is back to what he is doing best and that is finding the back of the net.Waris knows the way to go and that has been evidenced by his two goals in his first five Ligue 1 matches. He was a constant threat yesterday as he tormented the Bordeaux defence all night. He won a penalty last night and stepped up to duly convert.The former Right to Dream Academy trainee has been nominated for his clubs Best Player of the month in September and this is testament to his impressive form at the beginning of the European season. AFRIYIE ACQUAHThe Torino hard man just like Agyemang Badu has been one of the mainstays in an impressive start to the season by the Turin side.Acquah has been strong pillar in the engine room of Torino adding grit and steel defensively as well as an additional presence upfront.His main task has been pulling the strings in the middle and covering grounds, something which he has done to perfection so far. The added bonus to his fine start has been his goal scored this season. For a youngster who has been in the news for not so pleasant reasons, he has kept his composure and mental fortitude to produce consistent and polished displays week in, week out. Despite his side going down this weekend, Afriyie still received praise from his boss. “Acquah did do well, he was the only player who could cover all the roles in midfield,” Giampero Ventura said.That has been the high levels set by Acquah this season.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Trainers play huge behind-the-scenes role with athletes

first_img“The difference was, shoot, he (Conte) knew what he was doing,” Ramirez said. “He knew what I needed to get back on that level that I was playing. Rehabbing is everything.”Athletic trainers are at the center of a web stretched thin between athletes, coaches and front offices, to name a few. They don’t sign checks or fill out lineup cards, but make no mistake, trainers make daily judgment calls with championship ripple effects. Injuries define the careers of some athletes. Trainers are largely to thank for those who don’t carry that label.While surgeons like Dr. James Andrews, who operated on Ramirez, and Dr. Robert Watkins have risen to fame in the sports world by transforming career-ending injuries into routine repairs, even they point to the team trainers’ realm as the crux of recovery.Surgery lasts hours. Rehabilitation sometimes can’t be contained to months. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Hanley Ramirez stopped himself in mid-sentence.The Dodgers shortstop didn’t want to discredit anybody, just praise the man responsible for pulling his career out of a confounding decline.Had he never encountered Stan Conte, Ramirez’s surgically repaired shoulder likely would have landed him somewhere other than the verge of his first eight-figure contract.Upon arrival via trade from the Miami Marlins in 2012, his status as a franchise player was seemingly slipping away. Ramirez credits the Dodgers head athletic trainer for his restoration.center_img “It’s not just a matter of taking out some knee cartilage and call me in a year,” said Dr. Watkins, a spine specialist whose patients include Peyton Manning, Dwight Howard and Don Mattingly, to name a few. “I don’t have to be the first one to say overcoming an injury is sometimes the difference between who makes it and who doesn’t. I think the really important story is what these athletes do to make it back from these horrible injuries and it’s rehab, rehab, rehab.”The first question is always the same: “When can I play again?”Accordingly, rehabilitation in the sports world is synonymous with urgency. In other words, athletic trainers are never off the clock.Conte’s day begins answering emails at 7 a.m., typically after treating players and writing reports into the early morning hours after the previous night’s game.“It’s ridiculous and almost embarrassing to talk about what our hours are,” Conte said. “I spend about 30 minutes with my wife in the morning having coffee… and that’s about it. Every other trainer in every other organization, whether it be football, basketball or baseball, is doing the same thing. So, it’s not for the faint of heart or someone who thinks they’re going to have a life.”Lakers trainer Gary Vitti has been working around the clock for the same organization the last 30 years. He was never busier than this season.The Lakers had more injured players than healthy ones by the end of a season that spotlighted Vitti more than he ever wanted. With up to eight players injured at a time, Vitti was not only responsible for juggling each of their rehabilitation programs, including daily evaluations and re-evaluations, but the Lakers counted on him to communicate the details of each case to all corners of the organization.The myriad members of the coaching staff and front office need to know the prognosis — in this case so it could figure out how to field a team each night. With all he has treated since, Kobe Bryant’s ruptured Achilles tendon is a distant memory for Vitti. This season was abnormal for the Lakers trainer in that the urgency to return to the court wasn’t comparable to most of his 30 years at the helm of one of the most successful franchises in sports.Vitti will never forget his single most demanding assignment, or the resulting championship.“Probably the most intense around-the-clock treatment regimen was when Kobe sprained his ankle in the 2000 finals,” Vitti said. “For two days we woke up every two to three hours to control the inflammatory process, but as a result he came back and won the championship. The NBA is a microcosm of society. Some players you have to protect from themselves and slow them down, others you have to push them through their fear.”Clearing an athlete to play is just one decision in a long series of them for trainers. Rehab requires daily judgment calls, none of which are without risk.When the same competitive nature and physical gifts that made them professional athletes are applied to rehab, overly aggressive efforts to speed up the process create delicate circumstances for a trainer to manage.The slower route back is obviously not as pleasing to ownership, coaches or fans.Managing conflicting interests can create sticky situations for trainers, whose checks aren’t signed by the players they work on.Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford is elated to have escaped the pressure to play through injury he felt as a member of the Boston Red Sox.After offseason wrist surgery following a disappointing 2011 season in Boston, Crawford tried to play through a spring training elbow sprain serious enough to eventually require Tommy John Surgery. He declined to specifically identify any sources of pressure, but insisted the urgings were very real after a string of injuries following a sub-par season in the first year of his $142 million deal with the Red Sox. “You definitely have to play over there (in Boston), but here is different,” Crawford said. “You don’t feel that sense of anybody trying to force you on the field … I’ve learned that when you make ‘X’ amount of dollars, nobody cares about what goes on behind the scenes.”When they are furthest from the public eye may be when athletes work the hardest. Rehab includes all the grit of being a professional athlete, with the glory only a flickering light at the end of a long tunnel. How they will recover from the injury is a constant source of worry in a sea of uncertainties.There are plenty of athletes who don’t understand the vital importance of rehab, according to Dr. Watkins, who lamented the number of young athletes in particular who assumed surgery alone was the key to returning to their previous level of athleticism.Forty years ago, Tommy John Surgery didn’t exist. When a player heard that sickening pop in his elbow, it signified the end of his career. Now, an estimated one-third of the pitchers in major league baseball have undergone the operation, including an overwhelming number of promising pitchers this season.Technology in sports medicine has taken such leaps that what was once impossible is now largely taken for granted.“The pendulum has swung so far in another direction … everybody just assumes, ‘Oh, he’ll be back in three months,” Dr. Robert Watkins IV said. “Where, no, it’s still a very demanding occupation. In many ways, any time an athlete is operated on and returns to a sport, it’s still somewhat a miracle.”The science of rehabilitation has advanced just as rapidly.Virtually every move of an athlete is monitored during rehab by trainers whose advantage over an independent physical therapist is the deep understanding of the players’ bodies gained during long work hours.A rehab schedule is formulated the instant of an injury, but the plan can change at any moment based on the myriad responses from the player’s body.“Anything you write down in rehab progression is going to be done in pencil,” Angels head athletic trainer Adam Nevala said. “You have to introduce one thing at a time to determine what causes what. Otherwise you don’t know if it was taking ground balls, swinging the bat or running the bases that caused inflammation.”The trainer doesn’t do it alone. A training staff for a professional sports franchise typically includes team doctors, strength and conditioning coaches, chiropractors, dieticians, physical therapists and massage therapists.Playing the part of psychologist is the head trainer’s responsibility.Coaxing a player through rehab with no guarantees as to the end result is a delicate part of the job.Ramirez, for example, avoided the training room at all costs after he was first traded to the Dodgers. Conte had to massage the shortstop into trusting his experience would be different than it was in Florida.“Hanley was very gun shy of medical when he came over,” Conte said. “He wouldn’t come in the training room. It took a little bit of, when he was in trouble, to show him you cared.”last_img read more

Super Bowl 53: 20 Opta facts for Patriots vs. Rams

first_imgIt’s also the second championship game between the two teams in 17 years after the Rams fell to the Patriots in Super Bowl 36 as the Brady-Belichick era began.Here we take a look at 20 facts about the Patriots and Rams as they prepare for Super Bowl 53 with the help of our colleagues at Opta. (If you like what you see here, give @OptaJerry — the official Twitter page for Opta’s NFL and NCAA stats-driven football coverage — a follow on Twitter.)20 Opta facts for Patriots vs. Rams:— This will be the second all-time playoff meeting between the Rams and Patriots. The other came in Super Bowl 36, when the Patriots won 20-17 — the first of five Super Bowl titles of the Brady-Belichick era.— The Rams are 21-25 in the playoffs and 1-2 in the Super Bowl. Their last appearance in the title game was the aforementioned loss in Super Bowl 36.— The Patriots are the third team in league history to appear in three straight Super Bowls. New England is 29-10 in the playoffs under Bill Belichick – 81 percent of the franchise’s postseason wins.— The Patriots and Rams are the seventh different pair of teams to meet in multiple Super Bowls. The team that won the first meeting is 4-2 in the championship rematch.— The Rams have held opponents below 50 rushing yards in each playoff game this year, something they did once from the start of the 2017 season through the 2018 regular season.— The Patriots had 524 yards in the AFC Championship game. It was their fourth game with at least 500 yards in the playoffs – two more than any other team.— The last three teams to advance to the Super Bowl by an overtime field goal — as the Rams did — have gone on to win the Super Bowl.— Each of the Patriots’ first drives this postseason have gone for 75-plus yards and resulted in a touchdown. Since 1999, only two other playoff teams have had multiple such drives in a postseason.— The Rams are averaging a league-best 175.0 rushing yards per game in the postseason. Only one team since 2005 has averaged more in a single postseason.— Since 2001, the Patriots have allowed an opposing player to run for 100 yards in 10.3 percent of games, the third fewest any team to have played 20-plus playoff games in that span.— Rams wideout Brandin Cooks is one of two players to record a 100-plus yard-receiving game in each of the last two postseasons. He also did so last year as a Patriot.— The Patriots’ Sony Michel is the third rookie with back-to-back 100-plus yard-rushing games and has set the rookie postseason rushing touchdown record with five this year.— Rams running back Todd Gurley totaled 13 yards from scrimmage on 11 touches against New Orleans, his lowest total ever in a NFL game.— New England wideout Julian Edelman is one of two players in NFL history with at least 100 receptions in the playoffs with 105. The other is Jerry Rice (151).— The Rams’ Aaron Donald has nine games with 3-plus quarterback hits this year, one shy of the most of such games in a season since 2006 (including playoffs).— New England quarterback Tom Brady has nine postseason game with 300-plus yards and 30-plus completions, more than double the next best player (Saints quarterback Drew Brees has four).— Los Angeles’ Dante Fowler has recorded at least 0.5 sacks in three straight playoff games dating back to last season, tied for the longest active streak in the league. There are several reasons why Super Bowl 53 is sure to be a historic matchup.Much of the championship’s storyline is centered around the Patriots chasing their sixth Lombardi Trophy under coach Bill Belichick, while the Rams look to establish themselves as a franchise on the rise under second-year coach Sean McVay. The game further pits old school against new school as Tom Brady and Jared Goff square off under center in what is the largest age gap (17 years, 72 days) of any starting quarterback matchup in Super Bowl history. — New England’s James White (53) tied Marcus Allen for the fourth-most postseason receptions all-time by a running back against Kansas City in the AFC Championship.— Los Angeles’ Jared Goff is one of two quarterbacks with 90-plus career postseason passes to throw one or fewer interceptions.— New England’s Rob Gronkowski is the 15th player and first tight end with 1,000-plus receiving yards in the playoffs. He needs one receiving touchdown to break a tie for the second-most in postseason play.last_img read more

Who Will the Dolphins Pick in tonight’s NFL Virtual Draft?

first_imgThe 2020 NFL Draft begins tonight. It will be a fully virtual draft amid the ongoing coronavirus from Roger Goodell’s basement. The Dolphins control the 2020 NFL Draft. They have 14 picks, the most in the league, and could go in a number of different directions. The whole draft hinges on what the Dolphins do at No. 5. Do they wait and see who falls to them at five or do they use their abundance of picks to move up and ensure they get their guy?Rumors are swirling that Miami likes Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert more than Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, but should any rumor be believed with such little time before the draft?Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa holds up the championship trophy after overtime of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Georgia Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Atlanta. Alabama won 26-23. (AP Photo/David Goldman)It could easily be a ploy so they don’t have to give up additional assets in a trade up.The Dolphins have needs all over the field, with the exception of outside cornerback.Quarterback, running back and offensive linemen are all needed on offense. All three levels of the defense need improvement as well. Miami could use its 14 picks on an influx of 14 young players, or the Dolphins can pick their spots to move up for higher picks throughout the draft process. It’s anybody’s guess how it plays out. The draft was originally scheduled to be held in Las Vegas but since live events were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the teams will make their picks from home, with commissioner Roger Goodell announcing selections from his house. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to be selected first by the Bengals, while the Washington Redskins are expected to select Ohio State defensive end Chase Young second. The Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins close out the top five picks of the draft.Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski says he’s feeling good again after a year away from football. The new Buccaneers tight end was introduced Wednesday and said the fire within him as returned. “Gronk” added the chance to reconnect with former Patriots teammate Tom Brady is something special.last_img read more

CALLBACK BRILLIANT IN GATE TO WIRE SCORE IN GRADE I LAS VIRGENES; GARCIA & BAFFERT TEAM FOR HALF LENGTH WIN AS STREET SENSE FILLY GETS FLAT MILE IN 1:36.92

first_imgPICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $95,169 INTO SUNDAY, TOTAL POOL SHOULD EXCEED $500,000; SPECIAL EARLY FIRST POST TIME ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY IS 11 A.M., WITH GATES OPENING AT 9 A.M. ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2015)–Sent to the lead, Callback opened up leaving the three furlong pole under Martin Garcia and went on to a hard-fought half length win in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes as she ran a mile in 1:36.92 while outrunning eight rival 3-year-old fillies. Trained by Bob Baffert, lightly raced Callback ran without blinkers for the first time in her four-race career.“I was just cruising all the way around there,” said Garcia, who has ridden her in all of her starts. “I asked her a little going into the far turn and then again when (second place finisher) Light the City came back at us, she took off. There was no way they were going to go by us. I don’t see why stretching out further would be any problem, she’s a good filly. She can do anything you want.”The second choice in the wagering at 5-2, Callback paid $7.20, $5.00 and $4.40.Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Callback, a Kentucky-bred filly by Street Sense, came off a second place finish in the Grade II Santa Ynez and tried two turns for the first time on Saturday. She picked up her second win and with the winner’s share of $180,000, increased her earnings to $245,450.“We’ve always been pretty high on her,” said Baffert, who also saddled 2-1 favorite Maybellene, who finished eighth with Rafael Bejarano. “They were high on her when they sent her in. I wanted to run one-two. My other filly, she just didn’t kick today…It was nice to get a win for Wayne Hughes. He couldn’t make it today.”Baffert indicated that Callback would be pointed for the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks on April 4, “Unless the earth moves or something.”Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Light the City broke from the far outside and was four-wide into the Club House turn but settled nicely into a good stalking trip down the backside as longshot Suva Harbor pressed the winner to the far turn. Light the City appeared to have Callback measured a furlong out, but was second best, finishing 3 ½ lengths in front of Achiever’s Legacy.Off at 7-1, Light the City paid $8.20 and $6.20.“In hindsight, maybe I should’ve switched posts with the winner, then they might have been taking my picture,” said Desormeaux. “I think that situation might have been the difference…She ran an incredible race. I’m thinkin’ she’s got a few Grade I’s with her name on them.”Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Achiever’s Legacy rallied from far off the pace to finish third, 2 ½ lengths in front of Majestic Presence. Achiever’s Legacy paid $6.80 to show.Fractions on the race were 22.89, 46.88, 1:11.42 and 1:24.22.There is a Pick Six carryover into Sunday of $95,169. Sunday’s total Pick Six pool should exceed $500,000. First post time on Super Bowl Sunday at Santa Anita is at 11 a.m. Admission gates open at 9 a.m.last_img read more

2017 Hunters squad revealed

first_imgThe 29-man squad was made public this afternoon at a press conference at the National Football Stadium by Hunters coach, Michael Marum.The new faces that make up the Hunters for this year’s campaign in the Intrust Super Cup competition are: Anderson Benford, Radley Bawa, Eddie Dafa, Junior Rop, Karo Kauna Jnr, Moses Meninga, Nixon Put, Wawa Paul and Wellington Albert.Marum says 14 players are continuing on from the 2016 season while the other six, including former captain Israel Eliab, Lawrence Tu’u and David Loko, are making their return to the side.”The PNG Rugby Football League board through chairman, Sandis Tsaka and Hunters chairman, Graham Osborne, have endorsed the squad,” said Marum.Marum finished by thanking the sponsors, including SP Brewery, Air Niugini, the National Gaming Control Board, PNG LNG, Trukai and the media for their continued support.”We will give it our best shot and hopefully go all the way,” said Marum.The Hunters squad for 2017:Adex Wera, Anderson Benford, Ase Boas, Bland Abavu, Radley Bawa, Butler Morris, David Loko, Eddie Dafa, Edward Goma, Enoch Maki, Esau Siune, Henry Wan, Ismael Balkawa, Israel Eliab, Junior Rop, Karo Kauna Jnr, Lawrence Tu’u, Moses Meninga, Nixon Put, Noel Joel, Sailas Gahuna, Stanton Albert, Stargroth Amean, Wartovo Puara, Watson Boas, Wawa Paul, Wellington Albert, William Aquila and Willie Minoga.Marum said the captain of the side will be named at the launch of the Hunters season at the end of this month.The Hunters will play one trial match against the Northern Pride in Cairns on February 18 before the season kicks off on the first week of March.last_img read more