Tag Archive | "derby"

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Trainer Lukas disappointed in actions of fellow Derby winners

Posted on 17 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE (AP) — Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas criticized the behavior of a few of his peers Wednesday, saying the actions of a few recent Kentucky Derby winners have tarnished the reputation of his profession.

Speaking at Pimlico Race Course, site of Saturday’s Preakness, Lukas said, “I’m very disappointed as a trainer that we have the stigma of some of our Derby winners not carrying the banner.”

He cited Rick Dutrow, who is appealing a 10-year suspension in New York for multiple medication violations, and Chip Woolley, who last year allegedly urinated on slot machines at a track in Iowa.

Lukas also mentioned I’ll Have Another trainer Doug O’Neill, who won the Derby on May 5 but faces charges of drugging a horse in California. O’Neill has denied the accusation.

“We’ve got Dutrow under suspension. We’ve got Chip Woolley (urinating) on the slot machines in casinos. And now Doug, at least, has some gray area hanging over him,” said Lukas, who will saddle Optimizer in the Preakness.

“That bothers me, frankly. I think those guys are all good enough they don’t need for there to be doubts. I think they can
train horses and not have that problem in front of them. They can do it the right way. That’s just the way I feel. I would say that if they were standing right here.”

Dutrow’s Big Brown won the Derby and Preakness in 2008. He sends out long shot Zetterholm in the Preakness.

Woolley in 2009 trained long shot Derby winner Mine That Bird, who ran second in the Preakness. Last year, security staff escorted Woolley from the casino at Prairie Meadows Racetrack.

O’Neill, meanwhile, has been accused by the California Horse Racing Board for “milkshaking,” the illegal practice of giving a horse a blend of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and electrolytes. The mixture is designed to reduce fatigue and enhance performance.

“We played by the rules and I am vigorously fighting the previous allegations,” O’Neill said Wednesday.

O’Neill faces his third total carbon dioxide violation in California and fourth in a career that has spanned 25 years.

O’Neill’s most recent violation dates from an Aug. 25, 2010, race at Del Mar in California. A blood test on his horse Argenta showed elevated levels of TCO2 before it finished eighth.

He faces penalties ranging from a minimum 90-day suspension and a $5,000 fine to a maximum 180-day suspension and fine of $15,000 depending on whether a hearing officer’s report finds aggravating circumstances or not.

“I’ll Have Another, along with every other horse in our barn goes through an intense physical exam and a blood and urine exam,” O’Neill said. “We run pure horses. We run a great operation, and anyone who comes to our barn all know that we love the horses and do everything we can to keep them at the top of their game. If I didn’t win the Derby, you guys wouldn’t be asking that.”

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Trainer O’Neill set to join I’ll Have Another this week in Baltimore

Posted on 09 May 2012 by WNST Audio

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Horse race or horse’s arse: Is Kegasus smart for Baltimore and Preakness Day?

Posted on 18 May 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

So, it’s been almost two months since the Mighty Kegasus advertising campaign began and it’s now almost time to fully assess the success of the marketing of the 2011 Preakness. So far, so good in the only measurement that really matters — sales are up 21% for Saturday infield tickets. I said it on Day One and no matter the result of selling a few thousand extra tickets and mugs of Budweiser this week, my strong opinion has only intensified since I began seeing the billboards all over town – this is the dumbest, most short-sighted and irresponsible advertising campaign since Winston told America it “tastes good, like a suicide should.”

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Shame on Tom Chuckas. Shame on the marketing idiots in Washington, D.C. who spit this out and shame on anyone who thinks this somehow will add prestige to an event and a weekend in Baltimore that’s in desperate need of not just short-term-revenue gain and a little “shot in the arm” for attendance but a real transplant for its reputation and its future as a viable “major sporting event” and not just a weekend drunkfest with frat boys and the girls who love them.

As much as I lean on the Orioles for their indiscretions and lack of a focus on integrity – mainly issues of transparency, honesty, accountability, chronic losing, bullying, faux civic and community interest all while profiteering and buying off of the local “real media”– even the Orioles aren’t this dumb.

But as desperate as the fan base is in Baltimore to see them win, Peter Angelos is far from desperate on the marketing side because he’s printing money downtown off the television contract. The Maryland Jockey Club doesn’t have a public subsidy of $100 million each year so this is the kind of desperation you’d be getting from the baseball team if they REALLY needed to fill those bleachers.

The Orioles slogan has been for almost 15 years – “Come To Birdland” not “Come Downtown and Get S**tfaced and Make a Fool of Yourself.” But, of course, the Orioles FANS are desperate to see wins but the Orioles are NOT desperate for revenue, profit or a financial shot in the arm. It’s only made to look that way when they upcharge (or is it scalp?) you on Opening Day and charge you a “walk up fee” to take advantage of a stadium our tax dollars just paid $10 million more to replace the perfectly unused seats, so much like Angelos himself can earn a retirement home on the blue shores of Florida.

And where the Orioles have employed various forms of “alcohol police” in the bleachers at Camden Yards who literally walk seat-to-seat and card people to make sure they’re 21 (NO, I’m NOT making this up!)  this Saturday the Preakness folks are rolling out the world’s largest frat party and have moved toward marketing it as such.

Kegasus? Really?

This is what you want the Preakness to be?

The ogre of Baltimore, on a horse, completely equipped to be a “legendary” a**hole on the third Saturday of May – and now with unprecedented pre-approval and encouragement because the billboards all over town are selling the event as such.

Who in the world thought this was a good idea for this community, the brand of the Preakness or the long-term viability of horse racing? It’s the day of the year that is supposed to matter and the focus isn’t on the race but more on how big the party in the infield will be and whether or not bare-chested women will parading on the shoulders of men for tips.

There is no more focus on the growth of the industry on the third Saturday of May. There is no more talk about whether the race will even be in Baltimore in five years. Instead, the community is hearing: “Come be legendary!”

Does Under Armour really want a million-dollar

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Mining everything but “The Bird”…

Posted on 03 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

No doubt, by now you know that Mine The Bird, a 51-to-1 shot, won the Kentucky Derby in the mud with the most emotional athlete I’ve ever seen in Calvin Borel aboard. You surely know that the Caps now have a 1-0 series lead over the Penguins after yesterday’s 3-2 win in D.C. You’re keenly aware of the Orioles continued ineptitude in Toronto (which I’ve thankfully avoided with various other sports obligations) and the fact that Johns Hopkins squeaked by Loyola in lacrosse yesterday. You might’ve even stayed up with the Celtics and Bulls last night in a game that even “non-believing” NBA fans couldn’t help but catch a glimpse. We even took a busload of NASCAR fans down to Richmond last night with Rex Snider to catch the race where Kyle Busch held off Jeff Gordon.

And, if you’re on the WNST Text Service, you got the note that former Dolphins (and Cam Cameron) quarterback John Beck is expected to sign with the Ravens tomorrow to compete for the No. 2 job. (So much for the Troy Smith experiment.)

I went to the Caps game yesterday and had an awesome time. No press pass. Just went and sat in a club seat with my wife and waved red towels and rocked the red. Great crowd. Pretty girls. A sea of red. A pretty good, close game where every pass, hit and shot mattered. It was old-school Caps fandom and the vibe in the whole area was outstanding. The Capitals have the best game-day presentation I’ve ever seen. And Simeon Varlamov was outrageously good. The Caps can really win the Stanley Cup. I’m looking forward to Monday night already. And, we’re throwing a big party at Silver Spring Mining Company in Perry Hall on Wednesday with $2 Michelob Ultras. The Caps have made April and May a LOT of fun for me.

In what felt like a perfect sports day, I rushed home in time to get caught up on my Comcast DVR to watch the Kentucky Derby live and once again, horse racing and the stories and the connections sucked me in. If you didn’t tear up when Borel reached to the sky you’re just not human. He’s one of the most amazing stories in sports!

I’m just up having a Sunday morning cup of coffee, reading what everyone else has to say about yesterday on WNST.net and enjoying Baltimore’s No. 1 blogosphere this morning with all sorts of fact, opinions and observations.

I realize I haven’t missed too much with the Orioles but today is my day to “re-mine” with the Birds. I have some DVRing to catch up on. But maybe they’ll actually win today?

Jeremy Guthrie vs. Scott Richmond at 1:07 p.m. Maybe it’ll be a “defining” moment?

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My sentamentality says Papa Clem today at Churchill Downs

Posted on 02 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

For those of you who are long-time listeners to my radio show, you know that I have my own “favorite” today in Louisville in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. You probably also know how much I love the Derby and how it’s my favorite sporting event to attend (and I’ve pretty much been to them all).

So, today, I gave our WNST.net horse racing blog expert Gary Quill $20 to bet on Papa Clem.

Clem Florio was a longtime horse racing analyst and boxer who worked at The News American and The Washington Post. He was recruited from Miami back in the 1960’s by John Steadman.

Florio was one of the most colorful and kind men I ever got to know in my days as a cub reporter. Every year from 1992 til 2001, Florio would appear on my show the day before the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes to handicap the race and tell old stories.

He was truly a “one of a kind.”

So, today I’ll be thinking about him.

And, of course, hoping to yell Florio’s favorite phrase at “Papa Clem” as he comes down the stretch on the rail.

“OHHHH, you baby doll!”

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Pimlico set to make big announcement regarding Preakness infield

Posted on 05 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Drew and I will be heading over to Pimlico at 11 a.m. for their “big” announcement regarding some changes to the infield on Preakness Day. I haven’t been alerted to all of the details, but apparently some big concerts and “changes” are blowing into Old Hilltop on the third Saturday of May.

Incidentally, why today for a press conference? Well, it’s exactly 100 days until Preakness Saturday. Which means it’s also 86 days until the Kentucky Derby, my favorite sports event of the year.

We’ll have wnsTV on the scene. I’m on the air at 2 p.m. with John Rallo and UFC and we’ll catch you up on the latest with Preakness doings…

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Diary of a Skater Tot

Posted on 14 October 2008 by emilyagueda

The Derby gods have shined on me, or it’s all about the gear.

Blister Count – 6
Practice induced bruises – 2
Charlie Brown style falls – 2
_______

I can’t believe tryouts are in a week!

For those of you still going through the should I or shouldn’t I tryout internal monologue, here are some tips.

I am really starting to feel comfortable with my progress and I can credit that to the fact that I got my own skates.  I was lucky enough to find a hand me down pair of R3’s (what’s considered the derby starter skate) and that’s made all the difference.

For those of you who are struggling through open skates with rentals, you will feel like an Olympic gold medalist when you get your own gear.  I would almost recommend you not even bothering if you aren’t going to find some way to get your own skates.  Beg, eat Ramen for a month, barter, dog walk – do what ever you have to do.  Go to Black Eyed Susan Skate Shop and have them fit you for skates. The sizing is different from standard shoe sizing.  Then, try Ebay, a roller girl and, if all else fails, buy a new pair!

Get in as much skating as you can, especially the drills sessions offered by CCRG and Black Eyed Susan.  You will learn so much and the coaches pass on a ton of knowledge through their own experience.

Don’t give up!  The CCRG wants every hardworking tot to succeed.

I am really excited for the big championship bout on the 25th!!  I’ll be looking through the eyes of an Skater Tot anxious to hit the track for next Tuesdays tryout.

Wish me luck!

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Roller Derby - The Perfect Activity for a Rainy Evening

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Roller Derby – The Perfect Activity for a Rainy Evening

Posted on 12 September 2008 by emilyagueda

Join the Charm City Roller Girls this Saturday for league playoffs at DuBurns Arena.  It’s the Mobtown Mods vs. Speed Regime and the Night Terrors vs. the Junkyard Dolls

What a perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday!

Click here to purchase tickets starting at $10 adult/$5 kids.

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Diary of a Skater Tot – August

Posted on 31 August 2008 by emilyagueda

Blister Count – 4
Bruises – 0

Many of you know WNST is a big fan of the Charm City Roller Girls and, if you have been to any of the bouts at DuBurns arena, you know we are not alone.  The Derby Girls make a great night out for the family with a cheap ticket, cheap eats, lots of entertainment and genuine athleticism.  It’s much different from the roller derby you may remember from TV.  These bouts are played to win, with intense offensive and defensive strategy.  Think of it a little bit like a football game with a line of scrimmage in constant motion.

I’ve decided to see what roller derby’s about from the inside.  I’ve joined the Skater Tots.  The Tots are the women preparing for the Roller Girls open tryouts in October.   Thursday was my first day back in skates in almost ten years.  The Tots gather for informal open skates twice a week at Skateland in Putty Hill plus there are skills workshop about twice a month.

My goal was to meet some of the other girls and test my balance and endurance.  I felt pretty good about not falling and getting my crossover back until I took my rentals off at the end of the night.  CARNAGE!  That achy spot on my right ankle was a quarter-sized spot of skin slowly being rubbed away, plus a couple other random blisters.  Another more formal practice on Saturday and I can barely walk, despite thinking I am in pretty decent shape.

I am sure there will be more humbling experiences to come.  I’ll be stocking up on Band-Aids and Neosporin.

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Back On The Blog

Posted on 06 May 2008 by Mark Suchy

Random baseball thoughts: The Baltimore Orioles are now back at .500 following last night’s 2 -1, 10 inning defeat in Oakland. How long until they’re 10 games below .500? 20 games? Even with the unexpected good start, wasn’t it just a matter of time before the Birds “found their level”? This team has a disturbing gap between up – and – coming stars like Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Albers and veteran players who would be best used as role players on contending teams like Millar, Huff and Trachsel. The good news is that the Orioles can’t be considered real contenders, so Andy MacPhail can continue the rebuilding he started in the off-season by trading desirable veteran parts by the trade deadline (Mora, Millar, Payton, Walker, Bradford, Huff, etc.). The bad news is the ballclub is clearly headed for an 11th consecutive losing season (and quite realistically a 12th). How much more can one team’s dwindling fan base endure? We’ll find out by mid-August when Texas comes to town.

Speaking of attendance…I was cruising through the channels last week, catching some NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs and a little MLB, when I stopped cold in my tracks on MASN’s coverage of the Washington Nationals game. Here it was a pleasant spring night, early May, in a ballpark that just opened, and there were entire sections of blue seats visible in the background! For all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing we do around here regarding the lack of attendance at OPACY, just 30 miles down the road, in a $611 million taxpayer funded gem of a new stadium, the Nats couldn’t even sell out a Thursday night game! By my admittedly amateurish guess, the place might have been half filled. What gives? Wasn’t D.C. the handpicked market to relocate the Expos to because “they haven’t had baseball in 33 years in our nation’s capital and they’re just dying to have a team and it’ll be the best thing for the interests of MLB”? Could it be that Bud Selig miscalculated again? Was Peter Angelos correct in his argument that this Baltimore – Washington region couldn’t support two teams? Did the powers – that – be in the Washington baseball circles badly misjudge the location of the new stadium? (As crazy as it sounds, the best proposal was to put the ballpark out near Dulles Airport, because, ya know, people actually live in Northern Virginia and there’s plenty of ground available for parking and it’s not in Southeast D.C.) Call me a born and bred Baltimorean, but there is absolutely no way Camden Yards would have suffered attendance problems like this in its first year even if a team had existed in Washington in 1992. Here’s the truth: D.C. is a transient town filled with people from everywhere but there. And the natives who might be inclined to go to a baseball game either can’t afford it or aren’t willing to take the Metro night after night to reach such an inaccessible and blighted neighborhood. Mark my words: baseball will fail for a third time in D.C., and in about twenty years they’ll be left with a beautiful stadium and no team. If Cleveland Municipal Stadium was the “Mistake by the Lake”, then let’s call Nationals Stadium “It’ll Cost Ya on the Anacostia”.

Final baseball thought: Chase Utley is one helluva ballplayer and the best in the game right now.

Random football thoughts: Can everyone just wait to see Joe Flacco throw a pass in an actual game before declaring him a “reach” or a “bust”? I realize there’s no more criticized or scrutinized position in professional sports in our country than Quarterback for an NFL team, but let’s just give this a little time, shall we? Whether he played at Delaware or North Dakota State, the Baltimore Ravens decided that Flacco was their guy and therefore did what was necessary to draft him. Admittedly, the Ravens’ checkered history at the game’s most important position gives one pause. And if Ozzie & Co. are wrong this time, it could very well mean a front office shakeup would be justifiable in two or three years. But let’s all exercise a little restraint and patience while we await seeing Flacco in the exhibition season.

Ray Rice will contribute this year. Hopefully, so will Fabian Washington. As for the rest of the Ravens’ Draft Class ’08, who knows? My belief is the draft is a crapshoot anyway, especially after Round One. My resolution for next year is to ignore every Mock Draft I see (sorry, KZ. Don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s me.)

What the hell is going on with Marvin Harrison?

Somebody wake up Fred Davis and let him know there’s already a pretty good tight end in D.C. named Chris Cooley. Do you think they cover “Falling asleep at your first mini-camp” at the NFL Rookie Symposium?

Random horse racing thoughts: Big Brown was certainly impressive Saturday, but I’m left wondering how good his competition really is, because absolutely no other horse in the Derby even attempted a challenge. This does not bode well for the Preakness, from either a handicapping perspective or a casual fan’s view. If you eliminate Eight Belles’ second place, the closest any other horse got was Denis of Cork at almost 9 lengths back. And it’s not as if Big Brown was threatening any track records; he just ran away from what appears to be a mediocre field of three year olds. Let’s hope for a little more drama from Old Hilltop on May 17. But I’m not counting on it, especially given the fact that not even one horse from Kentucky will attempt to stop him at Pimlico. Better just bet an exacta box for the Preakness with Big Brown and “wheel the field”. Then hope one of the 35 – 1 shots grabs Place.

I’ll be heading to Pimlico a few times over the next week or so to cover not just the Preakness but also the general state of malaise of horse racing in our state. I’m certainly not the handicapper that Gary Quill is, or the railbird that Ed Frankovic and Jason Jubb are, but I do enjoy the tradition and the thrill that horse racing can provide. I’ll be taking the laptop and the digital camera, so look for some special “behind the scenes” updates from Pimlico right here on wnst.net. GQ, Ed and JubbyJubb, you need to contact me so we can give this some blanket coverage together. After all, we may only host one or two more of these things before Frank Stronach gives up and moves the Preakness to a Florida track.

A Big Congratulations!!! To my great friend and on-air sidekick Darren Rudham and his lovely wife Gretchen on the (finally!) arrival of their first son Maximus! Max checked in last night at a strapping 9 lbs. 9 ozs. and measured 21.5 inches. Yowza! Sounds like a 1st Round pick for the Ravens in the 2029 NFL Draft (Tight End from the University of Maryland, naturally!) Best Wishes to all three of the Rudhams! When Max starts walking, bring him over for some football with my three boys! They’ll teach him all he needs to know!

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