June 27, 2016 |
READING - The two top sluggers in all of minor-league baseball took the field this week for batting practice, and Rhys Hoskins made an observation to Dylan Cozens. "Man, I just feel like a better hitter here," Hoskins said to Cozens. "I don't know what it is. " Cozens and Hoskins - the heart of double-A Reading's potent lineup - each entered Friday with 19 home runs, tied for the minor-league lead. Their 38 combined home runs were the second-most by any two teammates in professional baseball, trailing only the 39 homers from Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies.
May 20, 2016 |
BALTIMORE - When a really good horse wins the Kentucky Derby, that horse rarely loses the Preakness. See American Pharoah, California Chrome, Big Brown and Smarty Jones, as examples this century. I wasn't ready to put Nyquist in their class before the Derby. I am now. If you think Exaggerator was eventually going to pass Nyquist, think again. If you kept watching past the wire, you noticed the final margin actually increased as the horses galloped to the first turn. Exaggerator's jockey, Kent Desormeaux, said he lost momentum on his late runner heading into the far turn.
May 9, 2016 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Kentucky Derby is a unique race, and simple analysis will not do. Every clue must be examined with a magnifying glass. But sometimes it is quite simple: Just identify the most accomplished horse, ignore all the noise, sit back, and watch the show. A strong case could have been made that Nyquist was the most accomplished horse to enter the Derby since the three Triple Crown winners of the 1970s - unbeaten in seven starts, 2-year-old champion, victorious on both coasts, Breeders' Cup winner.
May 5, 2016 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Post positions rarely matter except at tracks where certain styles are winning more than normal. They also matter in the Kentucky Derby because there are 20 horses in two gates and it is the Derby where everything matters. Nyquist, the unbeaten 3-1 morning-line favorite drew post 13, just one spot from the end of the main gate. The other six horses will be in the auxiliary gate. Nyquist's trainer Doug O'Neill was not unhappy with the post, but was more interested in the horses outside Nyquist, especially the likely pacesetter, the very fast Danzing Candy who drew the 20 post.
September 21, 2015 |
Undoubtedly, most of those in attendance Saturday for the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing were disappointed that Triple Crown winner American Pharoah wasn't in the field. Kiaran McLaughlin, the trainer of Frosted, was not among them. Frosted, who's been defeated by American Pharoah in three of his last four starts, got a chance Saturday to show what he could do in a race without the champ. He turned back eight less-accomplished rivals to capture the million-dollar event.
September 20, 2015 |
It just was not meant for Bob Baffert to have a horse in the 2015 Pennsylvania Derby. After nearly luring Triple Crown winner American Pharoah with a months-long fullcourt press, Parx director of racing Sam Elliott got a nice consolation prize when Baffert entered Gimme Da Lute, a winner of four consecutive Southern California stakes. Gimme Da Lute was flown to Allentown Tuesday and arrived on the Parx backstretch with top Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes early that evening. Unfortunately, the colt will not run in today's $1 million Pa. Derby.
September 18, 2015 |
TWO WEEKS AGO, Sam Elliott, the director of racing at Parx, got a text from Bob Baffert saying "get ready. " Before he began to hyperventilate, Elliott read the rest of the message and then called Baffert. It would really help, Baffert said, if the Pennsylvania Derby could be moved to Sept. 26. In any other year, the Pa. Derby probably would have been scheduled for Sept. 26 anyway. This was not any year, not with Pope Francis coming to town that day. Imagine. The Triple Crown winner this Saturday, the pope next Saturday.
August 6, 2015 |
Tweeting about the future plans of American Pharoah, owner Ahmed Zayat couldn't have been more clear this week: "No Penn derby. " Things can change, this is horse racing, but the tweet obviously seemed to close the door on the Triple Crown winner coming to the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 19 at Parx Racing. Zayat confirmed Tuesday that the Aug. 29 Travers at Saratoga is the preferred destination after American Pharoah had won Sunday's Haskell in electrifying fashion. On Saturday, the New York Racing Association had announced the purse for the Travers would be raised from $1.25 million to $1.6 million if Pharoah runs in it. "Horse always comes first," Zayat tweeted Tuesday, suggesting that there are no firm plans until trainer Bob Baffert sees how Pharoah comes out of the Haskell.
July 28, 2015 |
DONLETTA BOLDS had heard her next-door neighbors quarreling before. It wasn't a smooth relationship. But the ruckus that awakened Bolds after midnight yesterday morning sounded different from past fights - much more serious. "It didn't sound like it usually sounds. She was telling him to stop," Bolds said from her front stoop yesterday afternoon. "One scream woke me up. " What Bolds heard was Stephen Burton allegedly rampaging through the West Oak Lane rowhouse with a knife, repeatedly slashing his wife, Danecia Berrian, a Philadelphia elementary-school teacher and a former standout Liberty Belles roller-derby skater known as "Nina Knockout.
June 17, 2015 |
PENNSYLVANIA DERBY Day 2014 was the biggest in Parx Racing/Philadelphia Park/Keystone history when a Kentucky Derby winner ran there for the first time after winning the Derby. The 2015 Pa. Derby will be way bigger, if Triple Crown winner American Pharoah makes his final pre-Breeders' Cup start at Parx on Sept. 19. Sam Elliott, Parx's director of racing, was at Churchill Downs Saturday morning and, after training hours, spent 45 minutes huddled with American Pharoah's trainer Bob Baffert in his Barn 33 office.