Tag Archive | "Triple Crown"

33 Stops Along the Road To The Preakness

Tags: , , ,

33 Stops Along the Road To The Preakness

Posted on 21 January 2012 by Gary Quill

Year in and year out when we flip the calendar from December to January, every thoroughbred becomes a year older, despite their actual birth date. The significant age group in the new year is the 3 year olds as any who have shown promise at age 2 will certainly be pointed to run in races commonly referred to as “Derby Preps” or “The Road To The Roses”. These are the all important graded stakes races as earnings accumulated in these races will determine which 20 3 year olds will have the opportunity to enter the starting gate on the first Saturday in May and run in the Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in thoroughbred horse racings Triple Crown.

Being a native of Baltimore, home of the Preakness, the single largest sporting event held in Charm City each year for the past 137 years, I tend to have a different viewpoint. What would be the ultimate goal of a horse owner, trainer and/or jockey? To win the Kentucky Derby OR win the Triple Crown? I’d put money on the latter being the overwhelming choice, considering this sport hasn’t had a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

Therefore (tongue in cheek), the Kentucky Derby is simply the final prep race prior to the Preakness to weed out the Triple Crown pretenders and determine who is truly worthy of running in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, in hopes of winning it and move onto the third and final jewel, the Belmont Stakes.

The 2012 version of the “Road To The Preakness”, which has 33 stops began on January 7th at Santa Anita as Out Of Bounds (10-1) rallied in deep stretch to win the $100k Gr. 3 Sham Stakes, edging out pace-setters Secret Circle (3-5) and Longview Drive. (14-1; my selection). Stop #2 is on Saturday (Jan. 21st) in Louisiana for the $175k Gr. 3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds. A field of thirteen (13) will travel the 1 mile and 40 yards test which is loaded with early speed. With at least half of the field wanting to be on or near the lead, the fractions should be swift which will set it up nicely for one that has a good closing kick. Two who have displayed such a late kick” are #3 – Ted’s Folly (10-1) and #11 – Share Property (4-1 lukewarm M/L favorite).

I love Ted’s Folly in the LeComte Stakes. Even though not too many OK-bred’s find themselves running in open company graded stakes races, this guy might be special, at least in this race. He’s on a 6 race win streak but more importantly, in his most recent victory going 1 mile, the 2nd (Reckless Jerry) and 3rd (Pee H Dee) place finishers came back to run at Oaklawn Park this past Monday. Pee H Dee won a high-level allowance race while Reckless Jerry was runner-up in the $100k Smart Jones Stakes, just a neck behind the winner Junebugred. In addition, Ted’s Folly final furlong time in his last race is the quickest among those s trend entered in the LeComte who have run a race of 1 mile.

There’s only one factor that concerns me. This week at the Fair Grounds the dirt track has been favoring runners with early speed. If that trend continues through Saturday, will Ted’s Folly be able to overcome the track bias. Check out how the Friday and Saturday races are run and then draw your own conclusions.

The third of 33 stops along the “Road To The Preakness” will be on Sunday January 29th in Hallendale Florida for the Gr. 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Laurel Park’s “Jockey Drafts” promotion has returned. On Saturday, if jockey Erick Rodriguez wins a race, draft beer will be sold at half price from the time that race becomes official until Post Time of the next race. E-Rod has two (2) mounts… in the 3rd race aboard 9-5 M/L favirote #3 – Maple Leaf Racer, and in the 4th race he rides #2 – Lunar Legacy who is the 7-2 M/L co-3rd choice.

Here are my opinions for Laurel Park’s Saturday card, January 21, 2011.
Main Track listed as SLOPPY.

1st race – $12,500 Maiden Claiming – 5½ furlongs
#2 – Flipflopsandscoks (9-2)
#3 – Morning Light (6-1)
#7 – Frogtown (4-1)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming – 1 mile
#5 – Sinners Repent (3-1) *** BEST BET ***
#6 – Palo Duro Canyon (2-1)
#2X – Delaware River (4-1)

3rd race – $5,000 Claiming NW3L – fillies and mares – 5½ furlongs
#4 – Betterbemontbrook (2-1)
#6 – Wakima (6-1)
#3 – Maple Leaf Racer (9-5)

4th race – $5,000 Claiming – 1 1/8 miles
#2 – Lunar Legacy (7-2)
#3 – Hint (5-1)
#6 – Ae Pit (5-2)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming NW3L – fillies and mares – 5½ furlongs
#4 – Congaree Princess (8-5)
#3 – So Best (7-2)
#7 – Abby Kalem (12-1)

6th race – $10,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. fillies – 6 furlongs
#4 – Heir To the Kingdom (2-1)
#2 – La Reine’s Wager (4-1)
#6 – Haitian Nation (5-2)

7th race – $40,000 Optional Claiming NW1X – 1 mile
#3 – Will N’ Pat (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#4 – Lexington Pearl (9-5)
#9 – Almost A Valentine (10-1)

8th race – $50,000 Optional Claiming for fillies and mares – 6 furlongs
#1 – Magical Feeling (2-1)
#4 – Red’s Round Table (7-5)
#5 – Bold Affair (7-2)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Gogo Baby (5-2)
#7 – Wire Funds (20-1)
#9 – Awaken Spirit (5-1)

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Laurel Park Announces Winter Stakes Schedule

Posted on 11 January 2012 by WNST Staff

BARBARA FRITCHIE AND GENERAL GEORGE HANDICAPS HEADLINE WINTER STAKES SCHEDULE

LAUREL, MD. 12-12—The 2012 Laurel Park winter meeting will feature 11 stakes races, pending Maryland Racing Commission approval, after the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association agreed to a schedule. The next commission meeting is Tuesday, January 17 at Laurel Park.

Headlining the program will be a pair of Grade 2 $200,000 seven-furlong sprints on President’s Day weekend: the Barbara Fritchie Handicap for fillies and mares on Saturday, February 18 and the General George Handicap for males two days later.

“We had to cancel four stakes because we got a late start not knowing when the meet would start but because of that we were able to raise the purses for all but one of the remaining stakes,” said Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary Georganne Hale.

The stakes schedule begins with the $100,000 Dancing Count Stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday, January 28

Hale also indicated that average overnight daily purses will be increased from $185,000 to $205,000 beginning with the second condition book for the winter stand, starting Wednesday, February 1.

“We will have a purse increase across the board,” added Hale. “Some are 10%, others 11%. It will make our purses competitive with Charles Town, Penn National and Parx Racing. Horsemen will not have to go out of town to run because the purse is so much bigger. We are holding our own and this will boost morale, especially on the heels of the fact we will be running the same schedule as a year ago.”

The Laurel winter meet began January 4, with live racing on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (with holiday exceptions) through March 24.

Live racing then shifts to Pimlico Race Course for the spring stand, which includes the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1), the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, on Saturday, May 19.

-mjc-

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Maryland Racing Commission Approves 2012 Schedule

Posted on 20 December 2011 by WNST Staff

MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB TO RACE 146 DAYS IN 2012

Preakness Stakes To Allow Two Also-Eligible Entries

LAUREL, MD. 12-20-11—Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course will conduct 146 days of racing in 2012, the same number that was scheduled the last two years after the Maryland Racing Commission approved an agreement by the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association at its monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon at Laurel Park.

“We are very pleased to be racing next year,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “I would like to personally thank Governor O’Malley, his chief legislative officer Joe Bryce and the Maryland Racing Commission, especially John McDaniel, for mediating the process. This agreement provides a foundation for continuing efforts to create a long-term solution to Maryland racing.”

The Maryland Jockey Club was founded in 1743 and is the longest standing organization in the state. Pimlico Race Course, home to the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of horse racing’s famed Triple Crown, opened its doors in 1870 and is the second oldest racetrack in the country. Laurel Park celebrated its 100th birthday in October. The company also operates the Bowie Training Center in Prince George’s County.

The Maryland Jockey Club will conduct a winter meeting at Laurel Park, a spring campaign at Pimlico Race Course and a fall meeting at Laurel Park. There will be no live racing at the major Maryland tracks during the summer.

The Laurel Park winter stand will begin Wednesday, January 4, 2012 with live racing taking place four days a week on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule (with holiday exceptions). The 48-day meet will end Saturday, March 24. First post is 12:35pm (Eastern). The stakes schedule has not been finalized.

Comments (0)

Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Records That Will Be Broken In Next 10 Years

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Records That Will Be Broken In Next 10 Years

Posted on 05 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

While American hero Joey “Jaws” Chestnut was busy devouring 62 hot dogs Monday on Coney Island to claim a fifth straight Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest title, former rival Takeru Kobayashi was APPARENTLY devouring 69 hot dogs of his own on a Manhattan rooftop to “break” Chestnut’s record. (Trust me, Kobayashi’s “record” doesn’t count-and we’re not sure that it’s totally real.)

With that in mind, today’s “Tuesday Top 7″ topic was “The Top 7 Records That Will Be Broken In The Next 10 Years.”

I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, right?

Glenn Clark’s list:

7. Bob Knight’s 902 career victories

bobknight

6. Earl Webb’s 67 doubles

earlwebb

5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNGa_VDKqSE&feature=related[/youtube]

4. Roger Federer’s 16 career major grand slam victories

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ivf3TOUY78&feature=related[/youtube]

3. Brett Favre’s 71,838 career passing yards

favre

2. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game

wilt

1. Nolan Ryan’s 7 career No-hitters

nolanryan

Drew Forrester’s list:

7. Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 single season rushing yards

dickerson

6. Wayne Gretzy’s 92 single season goals

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMh6ncdrLo4[/youtube]

5. Tom Brady’s 50 single season touchdowns

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhh1cnBmOQs[/youtube]

4. 1972 Miami Dolphins’ 17-0 season/2007 New England Patriots’ 18-1 season

dolphinspats

3. A horse winning the Triple Crown

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9UqCwASKpc[/youtube]

2. Barry Bonds’ 762 career home runs

bonds

1. Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major championships

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHkQ8jfSt5g[/youtube]

If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Stronach Group Takes Full Control of MJC, Pimlico, Laurel from Penn National

Posted on 16 June 2011 by WNST Staff

STRONACH GROUP ACQUIRES FULL CONTROL OF MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB ASSETS AND OPERATIONS

Reaffirms Commitment to Maryland Horseracing

June 16, 2011 –The Stronach Group today announced that it has completed a binding agreement for the purchase of Penn National Gaming Inc.’s stake in the Maryland Jockey Club.  Effective July 1, 2011, following completion of the MI Developments reorganization, the transaction will give The Stronach Group full ownership of the assets and operations of Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center.

Speaking on behalf of The Stronach Group, Belinda Stronach stated, “Today’s announcement is part of our ongoing commitment to the horseracing industry and to the State of Maryland. We are determined to work with industry and government officials across the state to further develop Maryland’s reputation as a premiere location for racing.”

Greg Avioli, President and CEO of The Stronach Group’s Gaming and Racing Division, added, “The tremendous support for last month’s Preakness, with more than 107,000 in attendance, demonstrates what a fantastic racing market Maryland can be when given a quality product.  As we turn the page and begin a new chapter in Maryland racing, we are more committed than ever to do what it takes to return Maryland to its rightful place as one of the top racing and breeding states in the country.”

Pimlico Race Course, opened in 1870, is the country’s second oldest racetrack and serves as the annual host of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown and one of the premiere sporting events in the United States.  Pimlico Race Course features a one-mile oval track, a 7/8-mile turf course and fixed seating for approximately 15,000 spectators.  The 2011 Preakness drew more than 107,000 spectators to Pimlico, the largest annual sporting event audience in Maryland, and recorded the sixth-highest attendance in the history of the race.  Laurel Park, the sister track to Pimlico, opened in 1911 and features a 1 1/8 mile oval track and a one mile turf course with fixed seating for approximately 5,000 spectators.

Comments Off

Mocking The 53: A Positional Breakdown of Ravens Roster

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mocking The 53: A Positional Breakdown of Ravens Roster

Posted on 08 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Here is my first offseason/preseason ranking of the players who are currently property of the Baltimore Ravens or who were property of the team at the end of the 2010 season.

This list INCLUDES players who are not under contract-whether they are tendered restricted free agents, draft picks, exclusive rights free agents or even players who are expected to reach unrestricted free agency this offseason.

Unlike in the past, I will do this list by position as I attempt to further explain how the team’s roster currently shapes up.

I apologize for my delay in putting this compilation together. Blame Gary Williams…and the Triple Crown…and the team’s practices at Towson University…and my own laziness.

Obviously there is much to be done before any of this matters, but this is simply “as the roster stands now” analysis.

Quarterbacks (4):
Joe Flacco
Marc Bulger (UFA)
Tyrod Taylor
Hunter Cantwell

tyrod

The quarterback position is still in much less than full clarity at this point.

Joe Flacco has been a NFL quarterback for  55 games, including the playoffs. Joe Flacco has played every snap in 55 of those 55 games.

A season ago, the Ravens took a slight risk by parting ways with two backups-trading John Beck to the Washington Redskins during Training Camp and releasing Troy Smith after the preseason finale in St. Louis. They decided to carry only two active quarterbacks, paying a hefty price for veteran backup Marc Bulger.

Bulger appears to be out in Charm City, with most in the league believing he is destined to sign with the Arizona Cardinals. The Ravens knew they’d need to address quarterback depth during the draft and did so by selecting the explosive former Virginia Tech Hokies star (Taylor-pictured above) in the 6th round.

While Taylor (who hails from the quarterback hotbed of Hampton, Virginia) certainly has a number of supporters who believe him capable of being a legitimate starter in the league-he will not play that role in Baltimore unless there is turmoil this season one way or another (injury or failure).

Flacco is the starter. Taylor will have a great chance of making the roster. The real question facing the team is how else to address the position. It is believed that the Ravens will pursue another veteran QB of sorts when (if?) free agency finally begins. Miami Dolphins QB Chad Pennington has been a much rumored name the team could consider pursuing.

Should the Ravens not acquire a veteran free agent to backup Flacco, Cantwell could remain in the mix. He spent the entire 2010 season on the team’s practice squad-but has in the past been an active part of the Carolina Panthers’ roster.

With Taylor unlikely to be let go (or placed at risk of being taken away by trying to move him to the practice squad) but also unlikely to be the primary backup early in his career, it is fairly safe to assume the team will keep three quarterbacks this season.

Running Backs/Fullbacks (8):
Ray Rice
Le’Ron McClain
Willis McGahee
Jalen Parmele
Matt Lawrence
Jason McKie
Anthony Allen
Curtis Steele

parmele

Rice is obviously the team’s “featured” back. The issue for Cam Cameron’s offense this offseason is figuring out how to complement the fourth year back moving forward.

The worst kept secret in football is that the Ravens intend to part ways with McGahee because he is unwilling to take a cut from the $6 million he is owed. Should McGahee find the market slim there would always be a chance he could look towards Baltimore again, but it certainly appears unlikely.

With McGahee apparently gone, the Ravens will have to build their backfield without him. One option is McClain, who had his best season yet as a true fullback in 2010 (despite the fact that he was actually passed over for Pro Bowl recognition by Houston Texans FB Vonta Leach) but who has made clear his desire to carry the football more often.

McClain was initially thought to be on the cusp of reaching free agency this offseason (and departing), but without a new CBA McClain (and other fourth and fifth year players) would likely remain under contract. McClain’s size and potential goal line/short distance ability make him potentially a solid complement for Rice.

Should the Ravens move McClain into that role, they would likely need to consider keeping McKie or otherwise improving the fullback position. McKie was a non-factor during his brief stay at the end of the 2010 season-but could be a viable option in a thin market.

Parmele (pictured above) is the wild card in the backfield. The coaching staff has remained high on him throughout his time in Baltimore (and he has connections with Cameron dating back to the Dolphins). Parmele has remained a value special teams player (and is a viable return option), but he has run the ball only seven times in his career.

Lawrence, Allen and Steele are all question marks (and possibly longshots) to make the roster. Lawrence is a talented special teams player but missed the 2010 season with a torn ACL. Allen (the team’s 7th round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft) is hoping his 6’1″, 228 pound frame is enough to get him on the roster. Steele spent the 2010 season on the practice squad after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis. The team liked his quick hitting ability, but he will have an uphill climb-especially if there is no Training Camp.

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lack of Reverence For Preakness in Baltimore Appalling

Posted on 20 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

The Preakness Stakes will never mean to Baltimore what the Kentucky Derby means to Louisville.

I will start my thoughts by offering an acceptance of that fact.

I couldn’t honestly say I understood the difference between the two Triple Crown races until attending my first “Run For The Roses” in 2010. It’s a different world. It truly cannot be replicated in Charm City.

Perhaps veteran horse racing columnist Jerry Izenberg of the Newark Star-Ledger said it best in 2010…

“Here in Crab Cake City, there is one thing that all of them — infielder, grandstander and the jacket-and-tie set, that actually know the words to “Maryland, My Maryland” — have in common. They all know how to treat a horse race like, well, a horse race.

Greater Baltimore is too big and too honest, and its people work too hard and wear out too many blue collars for it to be otherwise. It understands exactly what this race is. It is a break in the calendar when the Orioles will not be the lead story. It is an event that the town respects but does not worship.”

It’s hard to argue his point.

In fact, year after year the romanticism and celebration of the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” appears to be lessened throughout the city.

It’s not just because patrons were barred from bringing their own alcohol into the infield, either.

The fact is that it is safe to question at this point whether or not Baltimore truly even “respects” the Preakness, more or less reveres the city’s most significant event.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrN1NyHEiis[/youtube]

According to the Baltimore Sun, the 2010 Preakness spending generated roughly $1.3 million in 2010 in state and local taxes. The event was as significant if not more to area businesses including hotels, restaurants, bars, taxi and limo services, entertainment venues and grocery/convenience stores.

What can’t be measured beyond that is the value brought to the area by the exposure that comes with Preakness. NBC and VERSUS will combine to dedicate nearly eight hours of coverage this weekend from Old Hilltop, while HRTV and ESPN have also reported and broadcast from the track this week as well.

The Maryland Jockey Club said over 1,000 media members were credentialed for this year’s event, generating coverage in newspapers and on websites throughout the country and the world.

There is simply no arguing the significance of Baltimore’s biggest annual event.

While an argument could be made that a Baltimore Ravens playoff game could provide nearly as much exposure for the city, it would be difficult to picture a NFL game reaching the vast demographic group that the Preakness is able to touch.

Baltimore’s most significant annual moment happens just off Northern Parkway on the third Saturday of May.

As Bob Ehrlich told Drew Forrester this week in an interview on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, “For me, (the Preakness) was a wonderful day. It’s the best day of the year to be governor.”

Or as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told Rex Snider in an interview on “The Afternoon Drive” also on AM1570 WNST, “It really gives us a chance to showcase the city in a big way.”

It is hard to imagine a resident of our fair city not understanding how significant Preakness Saturday is annually.

Imagine my frustration when I was asked this question by a friend (and lifelong Baltimore resident) recently:

Everyone is getting together at Riverwatch for dinner Saturday because Tuesday is my birthday. You’ll be there, right?

After allowing the bewildered look to finally disappear from my face, I had my own question for my friend:

You’re aware they didn’t cancel the Preakness this year, right?

Even more troubling at the same time was my realization that the Baltimore Orioles were not only playing at home, but they were playing at 4:05pm.

Given that the average Major League Baseball game lasts two hours and fifty-one minutes (according to MLB.com in 2010) and the post time for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes is 6:19pm-a conflict exists.

A source from the Maryland Jockey Club (who asked not to be identified) told me that the MJC reached out to the O’s after learning of the scheduling conflict, but the club deferred to Major League Baseball. Emails sent to the Orioles and MLB requesting further comment were not returned.

To be fair, the Orioles have to play on the third Saturday of May. But in the last 10 years, the Orioles have not played a game that directly conflicted with the Preakness despite playing seven times at home on Preakness Saturday.

It seems stunning that the Birds (and Major League Baseball) would allow a game to go off at the same time as the city’s signature event instead of altering the time of the game. The Boston Red Sox play an 11am game annually at Fenway Park as part of the city’s “Patriots Day” celebration. The Orioles could start at a similar time on Preakness Saturday to make way for Preakness, or could start later in the evening (around 8pm) to allow fans to attend both events.

In fact, they could even label the game as “the official post-Preakness party” and offer ticket discounts to attendees of the Preakness should they work in concert with the Jockey Club.

It would be the type of arrangement that could perhaps encourage out of town enthusiasts to “make a day of it” in Baltimore, seeing the sights of one of America’s classic sporting events and also viewing breathtaking Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

It’s a shame the city hasn’t worked with both parties to encourage such a partnership.

But the lack of reverence towards the Preakness in Baltimore is more appalling than even a baseball game.

Many Baltimoreans have simply told me in recent weeks that they feel no connection with the event despite understanding the overall significance of the event.

The reality is that some Baltimoreans are simply more interested in other events.

The problem with that attitude is that Baltimore doesn’t have anything else this significant. There is no PGA Tour stop. There is no LPGA, ATP, WTA Tour stop either.

The NBA & NHL Playoffs are irrelevant in Baltimore unless a fan chooses to root for a team from out of town. The NCAA Tournament might include a team from Baltimore, but the days of Tim Duncan and company playing March Madness games on the floor of what is now known as the 1st Mariner Arena have long passed.

The UFC has never staged a major Mixed Martial Arts event in Baltimore. There hasn’t been a significant prize fight in Baltimore in my lifetime. NASCAR has never come to town, and while the IndyCar series will hold the inaugural “Baltimore Grand Prix” in Baltimore this Labor Day weekend, the event has exactly enough significance that it was not picked up by the series’ network partner (ABC).

The Baltimore Ravens have never played more than nine meaningful home games in a season. The Baltimore Orioles haven’t played a significant home game after Opening Day since 1997.

In Baltimore, we have the Preakness and not much else.

But there’s no reason for that to be so depressing.

It would certainly bode well for the event if the sport of horse racing could make a “comeback” in Charm City. Pimlico has been outdated about as long as the Arena has, and it doesn’t serve well to generate excitement. The fact that racing only happens at the track for about a month out of the year hurts too.

No one has to be a horse racing fan to support Preakness, however.

The majority of the 100,000 or so fans that pack the track Saturday will likely not know the names of more than a few horses running in the actual race and even fewer could quickly answer “Lookin At Lucky” if asked who won last year’s event.

That being said, the folks who attend the event are at least expecting a good time-whether they’re watching Train on the infield or screaming at ponies from the grandstand.

There’s nothing wrong with being a Baltimorean and not attending the Preakness. The dirty secret in Louisville is that more locals actually attend Kentucky Oaks day on Friday than the actual Derby. (Which is aided by the closure of schools, government and many offices in general). The simple idea is that the city should somehow partake in the event in general-or at least feel more positive than negative energy in association with the event.

At the very least, everyone in Baltimore should ABSOLUTELY know that the third Saturday of May is Preakness Saturday.

It’s a shame that isn’t currently true.

-G

Comments Off

Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Sports Things We Should Send the Navy SEALS to Find Next

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Sports Things We Should Send the Navy SEALS to Find Next

Posted on 03 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

In honor of the heroes who tracked down and brought Osama Bin Laden to justice Sunday, our Tuesday Top 7 topic today was “The Top 7 Sports Things We Should Send the Navy SEALS to Find Next.”

Clearly this is lighthearted in comparison to the heroic work these folks did this weekend. We hope this can be a bit of a tribute.

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. The 2009 versions of Michael Oher and Jared Gaither

gaitheroher

6. The Battle of Baltimore tournament

battleofbaltimore

5. A horse that can win the Triple Crown

secretariat

4. Passionate, outraged Baltimore Orioles fans

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMif5nqpHu8[/youtube]

3. Good American tennis players

americantennis

2. A Sweet 16 run from Gary Williams

garywilliams

1. Watchable NBA basketball

michaelmagic

Drew Forrester’s list…

7. 105.7 The Fan listeners

1057

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

dalejr.

5. Great TV shows like Sanford & Son, Leave It To Beaver, Andy Griffith Show, The Munsters

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WqazleR3FE[/youtube]

4. Successful Towson University athletics

towson

3. “Preakness magic”

preakness

2. Relevant Baltimore newspaper reporting

sun

1. Tiger Woods’ career

tigerwoods

If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

MJC Renews TV Deal with NBC, adds VERSUS

Posted on 22 February 2011 by WNST Staff

NBC SPORTS GROUP REASSEMBLES TRIPLE CROWN

Multi-Year Agreements to Renew Preakness Stakes and Reacquire Belmont Stakes

Previously Announced Kentucky Derby Extension Now Includes Increased Programming

More Than 25 Hours of Triple Crown Coverage on NBC and VERSUS

NEW YORK – February 22, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group will broadcast all three legs of horse racing’s prestigious Triple Crown, renewing the rights to the Preakness Stakes and reacquiring rights to the Belmont Stakes. As previously announced, NBC and Churchill Downs, Inc. renewed rights to the Kentucky Derby. This marks the first time that all three races will be on one network since NBC aired them in 2005. The agreements were announced today by Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Sports Group, Tom Chuckas, President and Chief Operating Officer, Maryland Jockey Club, and C. Steven Duncker, NYRA Chairman. Like NBC Sports’ agreement with Churchill Downs, each agreement announced today gives NBC exclusive rights to the Preakness and Belmont through 2015.

The agreements include coverage of the Black Eyed Susan Stakes and other Preakness-day and Belmont-day programming on VERSUS.  Additionally, expanded Derby week programming including the Kentucky Oaks and Derby day programming will air on VERSUS. In all, the NBC Sports Group will broadcast more than 25 hours of Triple Crown coverage (detailed schedule to be released at a later date). Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Everyone at NBC Sports Group is delighted that the Triple Crown has been reassembled. We are now uniquely positioned to significantly expand the reach of these iconic events with extensive coverage on VERSUS,” said Ebersol. “As we previously announced, we are continuing our long-standing partnership with the Kentucky Derby. To add this extension with the Preakness while reacquiring the Belmont gives our new NBC Sports Group the three most important events in thoroughbred racing. And we want to thank Churchill Downs Incorporated and CEO Bob Evans for his leadership in paving the way for the Triple Crown to return to NBC.”

“We are pleased to renew our broadcast partnership with NBC Sports,” said Chuckas.  “Our relationship with NBC allows us the opportunity to reach more than just sports fans.  The partnership not only affords us the stature and exposure of a continued presence on network television but provides the added benefit of NBC’s consistent promotion through the Kentucky Derby leading into the Preakness.”

“We are thrilled to return our premier race to NBC Sports,” said Duncker. “They have done a terrific job covering horse racing, including their Kentucky Derby and the Preakness broadcasts over the prior decade. With an excellent production team that has pioneered innovative camera angles, and a tremendous group of on-air talent that offers unique insights into the races, NBC Sports will be a great partner for the Belmont Stakes.”

NBC SPORTS AND HORSE RACING: The NBC Sports Group is now the exclusive home to Horse Racing’s Triple Crown.  This marks the first time that all three races will be on one network since NBC last aired the Triple Crown in 2005.  NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001.

KENTUCKY DERBY: In the 10 years that Churchill Downs and NBC Sports have been together the event has experienced remarkable growth. The Kentucky Derby is now seen by 7.4 million more viewers than the last Kentucky Derby broadcast by ABC in 2000 (16.5 million vs. 9.1 million, up 51 percent). The shared vision of Churchill Downs and NBC Sports’ successful ‘Big Event Strategy’ to assemble the broadest possible audience led to the 2010 Kentucky Derby being the most-watched Kentucky Derby in 21 years, in addition to the year prior which was the most-watched Derby in 20 years.  Last year’s Kentucky Derby averaged 16.5 million viewers, the most watched Kentucky Derby since 1989 when Sunday Silence won the Derby (18.5 million).

PREAKNESS STAKES: Since NBC Sports began broadcasting the Preakness in 2001, every Preakness telecast on NBC over that period attracted more viewers than any Preakness telecast on ABC in the previous seven years.  Viewership for the Preakness is up an average of 69% in the 10 years on NBC compared to the previous seven years on ABC.

BELMONT STAKES: NBC Sports broadcast the Belmont from 2001-05, including three straight years in which the Belmont had a Triple Crown at stake.  The 2004 Belmont featuring Smarty Jones racing for the Triple Crown was seen by 21.9 million viewers, the most for a Belmont broadcast since Seattle Slew captured the elusive Triple Crown in 1977.

Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 11 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage, Preakness (2002-03-05-06-08), Kentucky Derby (2007), Belmont (2004) and Breeder’s Cup (2001).  Additionally, NBC Sports has won three Eclipse Awards in the features category: 2002 on War Emblem (Preakness broadcast), 2005 Afleet Alex (Kentucky Derby broadcast) and 2009 Mine That Bird (Preakness broadcast), and the 2005 and 2006 Preakness broadcasts were nominated for the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Special.

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Games of 2010

Posted on 30 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Yep, it’s another list. It’s the end of the year. It’s what I do.

This one is also compiled by the law offices of…Glenn Clark.

This used to be an annual ESPN SportsCenter special every year.

All sports, everywhere…what were the best games?

Here’s my list.

10. WEC 53: Anthony Pettis def. Benson Henderson (December 16 Glendale, AZ)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxLnqWBi4GU[/youtube]

The easy choice for fight of the year (RIGHT?) is remembered much more for how it finished than anything that happened for the better part of three rounds.

This was a really good fight BEFORE Anthony Pettis channeled Keanu Reeves with a kick that could have been taken right out of The Matrix.

It was awesome.

The final curtain for WEC before merging with UFC provided the greatest moment in the promotion’s history; and the greatest moment in Mixed Martial Arts in 2010.

9. NCAA Lacrosse Final Four: Duke 14, Virginia 13 (May 29 Baltimore, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3g2YHrYETk[/youtube]

As I wrote in my “Top 10 Local Sports Moments of the Year” roundup, this game was the definition of an “Instant Classic.”

The buildup that went into the game (including the Yeardley Love tragedy and George Huguely fallout in Charlottesville; the presence of the last class of “Super Seniors” at Duke following the 2006 rape allegation scandal) was intense.

Amazingly, the game lived up to the hype…and then some.

8. Breeders’ Cup Classic (November 6 Louisville, KY)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Et15M6wsPo[/youtube]

Usually horse racing has NO relevance outside of Triple Crown season. This year horse racing was actually MORE relevant outside of Triple Crown season.

The buildup that surrounded Zenyatta’s quest to finish off a perfect record at Churchill Downs was intense, yet once again it was lived up to.

Never before has a favored competitor lost…but yet somehow found themselves praised as if they had won. The celebration of the late charge from the filly was almost poetic in nature, with even regularly irreverent folks like Deadspin waxing poetic in their analysis.

The movie would have been better had Zenyatta managed to get past Blame.

Then again…maybe not.

7. NFL Playoffs: NFC Wild Card Round-Arizona Cardinals 51, Green Bay Packers 45 (OT) (January 10 Glendale, AZ)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJLrxjq5pJg[/youtube]

Holy hell.

I have to admit that I didn’t get to see this game the first time around, as sadly I was on a bus on the way back from Foxborough after the Ravens had defeated the Patriots.

I’m glad the NFL Network exists so that folks like me get a second chance.

This was incredible drama, with Aaron Rodgers matching Kurt Warner right up until the final overtime fumble.

It was fitting that this allowed us one more opportunity to celebrate Warner before he would retire. An improbable future Hall of Famer; Warner gave us a lot of memories. This was a great one to tie a career together.

6. MLB Playoffs: NLDS Game 1-Philadelphia Phillies 4, Cincinnati Reds 0 (October 7 Philadelphia, PA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On90ENNAQIg[/youtube]

A lot of folks should feel proud to have been involved with games that are on this list.

The Cincinnati Reds probably shouldn’t include themselves in that group.

In fairness to the Reds, Roy Halladay would have been dominant against just about ANY team at Citizens Bank Ballpark that night. Maybe not no-hitter dominant, but dominant nonetheless.

For the rest of eternity, Halladay will be able to hear his name with Don Larsen’s every time a pitcher flirts with a postseason no-no. It’s a pretty cool club to join.

Baseball doesn’t provide us as many of these “hairs on your arms raised” moments as it once did-but when they come around, they’re still pretty special.

This one definitely qualifies as special.

5. NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game: Duke 61, Butler 59 (April 5 Indianapolis, IN)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk8YWU8C6KY[/youtube]

Drew Forrester and I were discussing this recently on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.

Had Gordon Heyward’s shot gone in at the buzzer…would it have been the greatest moment in the history of sports?

Honestly.

The Bulldogs’ run to the Final Four (which was of course in their hometown in Indy) was so improbable it HAD to be compared to the movie “Hoosiers.”

If the shot had gone in…this movie would have been better.

What makes me think the shot would have been the greatest moment in the history of sport is the fact that the shot was MISSED yet we still put it in lore.

How would history have been different had David stood toe-to-toe with Goliath for 10 rounds only to see a final slingshot toss just miss?

4. Wimbledon: John Isner def. Nicholas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 (June 24-25 Wimbledon, England)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzwWDzgNJAc[/youtube]

Despite the surreal (I’m not kidding, I’m still in a state of disbelief about this epic clash) nature of this showdown, it WASN’T better than the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal final two years ago. In fact, it wasn’t better than Federer’s final clash with Andy Roddick in 2009 either.

But it was an AMAZING two days.

Two players no one had ever heard of (not named Glenn Clark anyway) caught the attention of the entire world, nearly shutting down Twitter in the process.

It wasn’t always high-level tennis; but it was about impossible to comprehend.

It was MORE meaningful because it just so happened to come on the heels of #3…

3. World Cup: Team USA 1, Algeria 0 (June 24 Pretoria, South Africa)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbn3rOPmR9w[/youtube]

As far as “best moment of the year” is concerned, the video above is all of the evidence you would need to certify this as your winner.

When Landon Donovan finally delivered salvation to the Yanks, strangers hugged strangers across the country.

A number of those strangers won’t find themselves watching soccer again until 2014.

The game wasn’t necessarily as good from start to finish as others on this list, but it was damn compelling. The storyline WOULD have been an incredible amount of missed opportunities for the Americans had Tim Howard never hurled a football toss towards midfield in stoppage time.

Of course, that wouldn’t have made this list.

2. Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17 (February 7 Miami, FL)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tllnSO9JOd0[/youtube]

As football fans, we’ve been treated to a number of really good Super Bowls recently.

This was absolutely amongst the best.

The game was compelling; with Drew Brees outdueling Peyton Manning. The drama was better; as Sean Peyton’s decision to go for an onsides kick to start the second half will be remembered amongst the all time great calls in football history.

The celebration…and the belief that winning the Super Bowl truly represented “hope” in the city of New Orleans…made this even better.

1. Olympics Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game: Canada 3, Team USA 2 (February 28 Vancouver, ALB)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_koQujQ8Vg[/youtube]

We were in the airport in Indianapolis (it was the weekend of the NFL Scouting Combine) as this game was happening.

Every human being in the airport was GLUED to a television.

Had it been Patrick Kane scoring the game winner instead of Sidney Crosby, there would be no argument about what was the game of the year.

In fact, we would probably think of Ryan Miller in a similar way we think of Jim Craig.

With no offense to the NHL…they could never give us this.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off