Tag Archive | "Louisville"

Your Monday Reality Check-Horse Racing, Orioles in similar spot for three weeks

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Your Monday Reality Check-Horse Racing, Orioles in similar spot for three weeks

Posted on 21 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve attempted to put events I’ve attended into words for years.

Baltimore Ravens football games, University of Maryland football and basketball games, a multitude of local hoops and lacrosse games and even a press conference or twenty have quickly turned into 600-1400 words worth of type off my fingers.

Almost every time I’ve written something, even the columns I’ve been particularly pleased with, I’ve looked somewhere else on the web and thought to myself “damn, that person can WRITE” after reading what they had to say about the same event.

Such was the case again this weekend. I had already decided my Monday morning column would be related to the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes, but I hadn’t exactly decided what angle I was going to take. It only took me a trip to my friend Kevin Van Valkenburg (of ESPN The Magazine/Hug It Out Radio fame and late Baltimore Sun)’s Facebook page for me to once again utter the phrase.

It wasn’t because of something KVV had written this time though. It was one of his colleagues’ stories he had linked, and it made me say “damn, Jeff MacGregor can WRITE.”

MacGregor scribed this exceptional postscript to an incredible victory from Kentucky Derby champ I’ll Have Another, celebrating the excitement of an underdog champ at the coming buildup to a Triple Crown chance in the context of a fledgling sport.

Many commenters on ESPN.com and throughout social media however were turned off by the nature of MacGregor’s tone, most notably this line…

“None of which matters, because horse racing is dead.”

MacGregor didn’t really say anything we haven’t already accepted as fact, we’ve just been more apt to use a kinder term like “struggling” or “suffering” instead of flat out placing the industry in a black bag and shipping it to the morgue.

Horse racing HAS been troubled for some time. The depth of the fall has been particularly evident in the state of Maryland, where “the sport of kings” has been all but nonexistent for years. Sure, the industry shines for a few days each spring at Pimlico and each fall at Laurel Park, but even on the brightest day the problems in the industry are obvious.

Unlike some, I have no interest in fighting with MacGregor. I think he’s absolutely right. I just feel as though the potentially monumental turn for horse racing in the next month can be celebrated whether or not the sport is staring into the face of imminent doom.

I’ll Have Another’s charge to the wire Saturday was breathtaking. 14 days earlier we had no way to know that an unknown trainer (Doug O’Neill) and jockey (Mario Gutierrez) had a longshot in position to track down the exceptional favorite (Bodemeister) trained by the Hall of Famer (Bob Baffert) and ridden by a Hall of Famer (Mike Smith) as well. On Saturday we knew it was possible but found it no less amazing.

“There’s no way this can happen again.”

You definitely heard me make the argument for Bodemeister throughout the week. “There’s no speed horse to take Bodemeister out to a dangerous speed this time. The race is 1/16 of a mile shorter. There are nine fewer horses to crowd things at the front and push the favorite too much early. There’s just no way things can shape up for I’ll Have Another as perfectly as they did in Louisville.”

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Chicago Sky @ Washington Mystics (Saturday 7pm Verizon Center); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC on FUEL TV 3-”Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier (Tuesday 8pm from Patriot Center live on FUEL TV); Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Final-Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier (Saturday 10pm from San Jose live on Showtime); Bellator Fighting Championships 69 (Friday 8pm from Lake Charles, LA live on MTV2); Golf: PGA Tour HP Byron Nelson Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Irving, TX), LPGA Tour Sybase Match Play Championship (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday 3pm Sunday 4pm from Gladstone, NJ live on Golf Channel); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Hamilton Nationals (Friday 11am from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada live on ESPN3.com); Tennis: ATP Tour & WTA Tour Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Tuesday-Saturday 6am Sunday 7:30am from Rome live on Tennis Channel); Women’s College Lacrosse: NCAA Tournament-Loyola @ Maryland (Saturday 12pm Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex)

10. Infieldfest feat. Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa, Little Big Town, The Darkness (Saturday 11am Pimlico Race Course); New Edition (Sunday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); Black Keys/Arctic Monkeys (Friday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Lucinda Williams/Drive-By Truckers (Saturday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Lady Antebellum/Darius Rucker (Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Styx/REO Speedwagon/Ted Nugent (Friday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Buckcherry/Foxy Shazam (Thursday 7:30pm Power Plant Live), Mr. Greengenes (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); 2 Skinnee J’s/All Mighty Senators (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage, Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), SOJA (Friday 7pm Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Fishbone (Thursday 7pm State Theatre); Less Than Jake/Ballyhoo! (Friday 8pm Rock N Roll Hotel); Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival feat. Jonny Lang, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Big Head Todd and the Monsters (Saturday & Sunday Sandy Point State Park); Justin Jones & The Driving Rain (Monday 7pm Ottobar); Night of 1000 Dylans (Friday 7:30pm Creative Alliance); Tenacious D “Rize of the Fenix” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Totally underrated Black Keys tune? “I Got Mine.” See you at MPP Friday night…

If Maroon 5 promised to not play a song they’ve released in the last 10 years I’d be excited to see them Saturday. But if they did nothing but tunes from “Songs About Jane” I would be in…

If you haven’t seen Darius Rucker play country music, you’re going to have to trust me. He kicks a little ass…

I’m hoping Justin Jones will stop by the studio Monday. He’s quite talented…

9. Brian Regan (Friday & Saturday Warner Theatre); John Henton (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Bobby Slayton (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Dictator” (Wednesday), “Battleship” and “Crooked Arrows” (Friday) open in theaters; “The Grey” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Preakness Crab Derby (Thursday 12pm Lexington Market); Preakness Frog Hop (Wednesday 12pm Patterson Park)

Crab races? Okay I guess. MUCH more kickass? PIG races.

And as far as the frog hop goes, I think you already know which frog I’ll be pulling for…

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Your Monday Reality Check-As Preakness week begins, I wish…

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Your Monday Reality Check-As Preakness week begins, I wish…

Posted on 14 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

Maybe I’m not the person to say this.

I probably won’t make it out to the Preakness Crab Derby. I doubt the Preakness Frog Hop is part of my week. I didn’t get to the Preakness Hot Air Balloon Festival. I’m going to miss my first Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in years. I don’t intend to get to Power Plant Live to see Buckcherry or Mr. Greengenes or Foxy Shazam.

Hell, I’m even thinking about going to Annapolis Saturday to check out Maryland-Johns Hopkins and Loyola-Denver in the NCAA Tournament at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. I don’t know if my girlfriend will go for it, but I’ve been leaning in that direction.

If you’re not aware, I made it down to Louisville again this year for the Kentucky Derby. (And how could you possibly NOT be aware when you were checking out pictures like the one below from the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs on my Facebook page during the trip?)

You fear that the rest of my column is going to be about how the Preakness isn’t nearly as good as the Kentucky Derby. Don’t. Everyone on the face of the planet knows that Preakness week isn’t Derby week. Despite how much breath you think I waste every afternoon during “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net, I don’t intend to waste more space here.

I don’t think Preakness week should be like Derby week. I think Preakness week should be the crowning moment of the entire calendar annually in Charm City.

At least…I wish it would be.

Drew Forrester and I used to try to figure out a way to correctly define the relationship between Preakness and the city of Baltimore when we would chat on “The Morning Reaction.” We would throw out terms like “the single biggest annual sporting event in the city” or “the most significant event the city hosts” or “the most important date on the sporting calendar every year” but never settled on one in particular. The truth is that based on attendance, Preakness is annually the single biggest event of any kind in the city. Economically, the Maryland Jockey Club has stated in the last two years that the event has an economic impact of $40-$60 million annually for the city and state.

Baltimore Orioles Opening Day has a significant economic impact for the area. Baltimore Ravens playoff games have significant economic impact for the area. The same can be said for the occasional NCAA lacrosse Final Four events. None have the impact of Preakness.

I wrote a similar column to this last year. Some of you were going to point that out. I’ll keep you from having to do just that by linking to it here. I hope you take a look if for no reason than to re-read the words of Newark Star-Ledger columnist Jerry Izenberg, who in 2010 described the relationship between Preakness and Baltimore so well the words should be engraved at Old Hilltop.

A year ago I was angry about how insignificant I felt Preakness had become in Baltimore. I’m not angry this year. I’m wishful. I wish it mattered more. I wish I was preparing to go out to Pimlico every afternoon this week to broadcast live. I wish my friends from around the country were calling me to let me know when they were getting in. I wish I had someone to blame for any of it.

I could blame the job the Maryland Jockey Club has done running the event and both Pimlico and Laurel Park. I could blame the city and state for not offering the level of support necessary to make the event the best it could possibly be. I could blame the sport of horse racing which has failed greatly to fully adapt to 2012 and in many ways still lives in 1942. I could blame us as Baltimoreans for spending too much time worrying about Washington’s pro hockey team and not enough time worrying about our own greatest event. I could blame area media for not treating the event with a level of reverence befitting an event that still annually involves the possibility of a Triple Crown winner.

(For years, the only conversation related to Preakness in Baltimore surrounded the concern that the race might leave the state for Florida. With that dialogue all but useless, area media members have been able only to fall back on “can (insert Derby winner name here) win the Triple Crown?”)

I’m going to talk to jockeys and trainers and horse analysts this week on my show. I’ll ask Kent Desormeaux (he’ll be riding Tiger Walk Saturday) about what it would mean to deliver a Preakness title to a Maryland group (Sagamore Farm). I’ll ask O’Neill about how the limited schedule for the Derby champ could keep his champ fresh for the second jewel. I’ll ask Mike Smith if a better ride aboard Bodemeister would mean the Bob Baffert horse would be coming to Baltimore with a chance to make history.

I’ll talk about horse racing like it mattered here. I’ll talk about the importance of the event to the city.

I wish I wouldn’t be the only one.

Carry on.

-G

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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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I’ll Have Another tracks down Bodemeister to win Kentucky Derby

Posted on 05 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Bodemeister favorite, but plenty of good horses in Derby

Posted on 05 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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The inside Derby scoop from the men involved

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The inside Derby scoop from the men involved

Posted on 04 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

It’s been a great few days here at Churchill Downs in Louisville, as we’ve been broadcasting “The Reality Check” live from the track and preparing for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

On Friday morning, I ventured back to the barn area to talk to the connections of Derby horses, here are some of those conversations…

Optimizer trainer (and horse racing icon) D. Wayne Lukas…

Daddy Nose Best/Sabercat trainer (and two time Preakness winner) Steve Asmussen…

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Sun writer Korman says local horse Done Talking could make noise in Derby

Posted on 04 May 2012 by WNST Audio

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-MISL DC United @ San Jose Earthquakes (Wednesday 10:30pm from San Jose live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 4pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS); Pro Lacrosse-MLL Ohio Machine @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com); Women’s College Lacrosse: NCAA Tournament-Monmouth @ Towson (Saturday 7pm Unitas Stadium)

10. Lynyrd Skynyrd (Friday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Chicago (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Lupe Fiasco (Thursday 8pm Patriot Center); Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live), P.O.D. (Sunday 6pm Rams Head Live); Marilyn Manson (Tuesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Korn (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); The Bad Plus (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); fun. (Thursday 7pm Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Eric Hutchinson (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Rusted Root (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Willie Nelson and Family (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bob Schneider (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Mint Condition (Thursday & Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Norah Jones “Little Broken Hearts” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

If I were going to be in town, I’d head to the Inner Harbor to check out Chicago. Honestly…

I like Eric Hutchinson. I also like women. I understand this comes as a surprise to many.

Bob Schneider made one of the best tunes of 2012…

“This is a fun tune from Norah Jones” uttered the man for the first time EVER…

9. Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL (Saturday & Sunday 1st Mariner Arena); D.L. Hughley (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Gilbert Gottfried (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Avengers” in theaters (Friday); “Haywire” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I don’t like to speak out of line, but if you don’t go see “The Avengers” within hours of its’ release, you are almost certainly a terrorist.

Tony Stark is the greatest fake human being of all time.

Oh-and did you not remember Haywire? Haywire was the one where Gina Carano…you know I’m just going to go ahead and stop there.

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Jimmy Patsos Named Skip Prosser Man Of The Year

Posted on 30 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Patsos Named Skip Prosser Man Of The Year

NEW ORLEANS – Loyola University Maryland head men’s basketball coach Jimmy Patsos was named the 2012 recipient of the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award on Friday night at an awards banquet hosted by CollegeInsider.com at the NCAA Final Four.

The award is named in honor and memory of the late Prosser who was the head coach at Loyola, Xavier and Wake Forest before passing away in July 2007. It recognizes those who achieve success not only on the basketball court, but coaches who display moral integrity off it.

Patsos recently completed his eighth season at Loyola, a year in which he guided the Greyhounds to a 24-9 overall record and the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship. Loyola set numerous program records during the season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994.

Prosser and Patsos are the only coaches to lead Loyola to the NCAA Tournament. Prosser’s 1994 squad is the only other in school history to accomplish the feat.

“To receive an award that is named for Skip Prosser who was just a wonderful person and coach is humbling,” Patsos said. “He did tremendous things for the game of basketball, Loyola and all of the schools he coached, and he touched lives of those he met on and off the court.”

Earlier this month, Patsos was named the 2012 The Rock/MAAC Coach of the Year, days before the Greyhounds made a three-game run to their second MAAC Championship since joining the conference in 1989-1990.

Loyola defeated Niagara in the MAAC Quarterfinals, Siena in the Semifinal and Fairfield in the Championship Game to earn the school’s second bid to the NCAA Championships.

He later was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches District I Coach of the Year.

In addition to leading his team to many accomplishments on the court, Patsos often took time during road trips to take the Greyhounds to cultural events and locations. This season, the team visited the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans’ Memorials in Washington, D.C. and finally the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh where Loyola played in the NCAA Tournament.

“I don’t want our team to be just about basketball,” Patsos said. “I was a history major (at Catholic University of American), and I love learning about different cultures and spreading some of that to the players. I think it is important that we recognize that we are all teachers and students, and we can learn in many different ways from different places.”

During the season, the Greyhounds accomplished many firsts and milestones. Loyola finished with a 24-9 overall record and went 13-5 during the MAAC regular season. The 24 wins were the most since the 1948-1949 team set a school record with 25 victories, and the 13 conference wins set a program best, as well.

Four Loyola players – Erik Etherly (1st), Dylon Cormier (2nd), Justin Drummond (3rd) and Robert Olson (3rd) – earned All-MAAC honors, the most the Greyhounds have ever earned since joining the league in 1989-1990. Etherly was later named the MAAC Championships Most Outstanding Player, while Drummond and Olson earned All-Tournament honors.

The Greyhounds finished second in the MAAC during the regular season, their best ever finish in the league, and the team tied a program record with eight non-conference victories.

Loyola also put together the two longest winning streaks since the program moved to Division I for the 1981-1982 season, winning eight games from November 14-December 10 and seven from January 19-February 10.

The Greyhounds played in front of back-to-back sell-out crowds in Reitz Arena against Rider University and Iona College in February, marking the first time since the venue opened in 1984 that it has been filled to capacity for consecutive games.

Patsos guided a balanced team to the NCAA Tournament that featured four players – Etherly (13.7), Cormier (13.4), Olson (11.1) and Drummond (10.7) – who scored in double figures during the season.

Loyola averaged just over 67 points per game, but Patsos and the Greyhounds were at or near the top of the MAAC in many ‘hustle’ stat categories: offensive rebounds (1st), rebounding margin (2nd), blocked shots (2nd) and scoring defense (2nd).

Patsos took over the Loyola program in April 2004, a month after the Greyhounds concluded the 2003-2004 season with a 1-27 record. Since then, Patsos has won 122 games at Loyola, and earlier this season, he became just the third coach in the last 20 years to take over a team that had won zero or one game the season before to win 100 or more games at the school.

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