It will be the Pack and Steelers heading to do battle in Dallas in two weeks time. Both teams found just enough points to capture their respective conference titles as the National Football League determined the two teams heading to the Super Bowl in Big D.For the third time in six seasons, Terrible Towels will twirl at the Super Bowl. The Steelers silenced Rex Ryan’s wild bunch with a fumble return for a touchdown and a goal-line stand in a 24-19 victory for the AFC championship Sunday. They will face Green Bay in Dallas in two weeks.In Chicago, Aaron Rodgers came of age after leading the Packers to a 21-14 victory over the Bears in the NFC Championship game.Rodgers played well enough to keep the Bears off balance all afternoon, Green Bay punter Tim Masthay kept Devin Hester under wraps and the Packers’ superb defence took care of the rest in knocking the Bears out of the playoffs.The Super Bowl is set to kick off at approximately 3 p.m. Sunday, February 6.
Month: August 2020
The All Star Game selection committee evaluated players on their on-ice and off-ice performance during the season.The game begins at 7 p.m.Some notable players to have appeared in the All Star game include, Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings (Team Blue 2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers (Team White 2009), Brett Connolly of the Tampa Bay Lighting (Team White 2008) and Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets (Team White 2007).The soon to be 16 Percival, had four goals and five assists on the season while Sookro, turning 17 in February, currently leads the Ice in scoring with ten goals and eight assists.The All Star game previews the Showcase weekend for the BCMMHL in Langley as 10 of the 11 teams play games at the Events Centre.Junior scouts from numerous teams in Canada and United States are expected to be in attendance to watch the action.The Ice, 3-21-2 on the season, faces Valley West Hawks Saturday and Sunday. Two Kootenay Ice players will be front and center Friday as the B.C. Hockey hosts the annual Major Midget League All Star game at the Langley Events Centre.Forwards Nolan Percival and Brandon Sookro join 40 other players in the contest that showcases the top talent in the Major Midget League.A total of 12 defensemen, 24 forwards and six goaltenders) have been selected, with at least one player representing each of the 11 Major Midget League teams.
“Players are beginning to understand Major Midget is very highly recruited and very highly scouted.”“(And in the BCMMHL) they’re playing against players their own age and not against young men,” he added.After experiencing the pitfall in year one behind the bench, Wright, joined by a host of interest hockey personal, decided to re-work the program beginning in the off season.“We’ve done a massive amount of (offseason) work,” Wright said, with players on the roster from Cranbrook, Castlegar, Montrose, Trail, Rossland, Nakusp, Crescent Valley and Nelson.“We’ve recruited, we promoted . . . we have a lot of good people involved this year. We have a non-parent manager in Kari Carr, we have a great coaching staff in myself and Brian Jones and (former Nelson Leafs coach) Bill McDonnell is helping us out this year with our goaltenders so everything is looking really good.”The Ice, finishing last season out of the playoffs with 6-28-6 record, open the regular season Saturday in Richmond with a two-game set against Greater Vancouver Canadiens.The games are part of a Showcase Weekend where all teams play at one location, giving junior and college scouts a chance to watch all players.The other Showcase is scheduled for January 24-25.Both Showcases will be held at the world-class Richmond Oval facility in greater Vancouver.Wright said this season Ice officials are trying to make the program a win-win for midget-aged players throughout the Kootenays.“We’re trying to open the team up to the KIJHL where players will play and practice with teams and in part the KI is trying to open itself up to the BC Junior so we’re all trying to work together,” Wright said.“I’m a big fan of the KIJHL having coached in it, but this is a fantastic league for the 15-16-year-olds and some 17-year-olds as well.” There is more than a few changes coming to the Kootenay Ice Major Midget team.Not only is the team now based out of the Heritage City but the hockey club is getting the finishing touches put on their own dressing room — the old Nelson Leafs digs — in the Civic Centre Arena.“It is definitely going to be different this year,” said Ice head coach Rob Wright on the eve of the BC Major Midget Hockey League season.“Our whole program is based out of Nelson, we have a new dressing room here and all of our games will be played here in Nelson.”“So instead of what I call in the past a “Gypsy Team” we’re based out of one community.”The BC Hockey Major Midget League was established in 2004 to give the elite 15, 16 and 17 year old players in the province an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey.Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t work so well here in the Kootenays where there’s the opportunity for many of those same elite players to play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League having fives franchises based in the area.“We’re trying to build a professional program and I believe that is a main reason why we’ve been able to get our 16-year-olds back,” explained Wright, who has won the KIJHL title with the Nelson Leafs.
Bombers edge St. Mike’s 1-0 in AA Soccer openerThe L.V. Rogers Bombers opened the BC High School AA Girl’s Soccer Tournament with a narrow 1-0 victory over St. Michael’s University Thursday morning at the Lakeside Pitch.The wet conditions proved unlucky for the Vancouver Island visitors as St. Mike’s keeper had the ball slip through her hands before dribbling over the goalline.Shianne Michalchuk took the shot on a fine pass from Emily Taylor midway through the second half.The goal came against the flow of play as LVR spent the early part of the half playing defence as St. Michael’s held most of the play.The Bombers now meet Nechalko Valley of Vanderhoof at 2 p.m.The format of the 16-team tournament is four pools of four teams. Only the teams that finish first in their pool get to move on to the medal round.LVR, the defending champion, concludes the round robin draw Friday morning against DW Poppy of Langley. The L.V. Rogers Bombers continue to stack up the wins at the BC High School AA Girl’s Soccer Championships in Nelson.The Bombers opened with a narrow 1-0 win over St. Michael’s University of Victoria before filling the net in a 7-0 romp past Nechako Valley of Vanderhoof in the afternoon contest.LVR, defending champs, lead Pool A with a 2-0 record. DW Poppy of Langley is second at 1-0-1 following by SMUS at 0-0-1 and Nechako Valley at 0-2.Emma Wheeldon and Maya Ida, each scored twice with singles Mattea Lorenzo, Laurel Halleran and Shianne Michalchuk.Hanna Quinn had an easy time between the pipes to register her second clean sheet of the championships.LVR now meets DW Poppy at 10 a.m. Friday. The Bombers clinch a spot in the semi finals with a win or a tie.
McLAUGHLIN INVADERS SET FOR MALIBU, LA BREA Happy, healthy and hell-bent on winning, talented East Coast invaders Cavorting, Marking and Watershed had their final major workouts Friday morning at Santa Anita for their respective Grade I stakes engagements in the La Brea and Malibu on Opening Day a week from tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 26.Cavorting, an eventful fourth as the 3-1 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland Oct. 31, went four furlongs in 48 seconds flat. Marking, unbeaten and untested in his two career victories, also went four furlongs, in 47.40, while Watershed went the same distance in 47.60. Each three-year-old was ridden by exercise rider Pat Correa.“I’m very happy. The horses are eating well, they’re bright, they’re very happy and fresh in this cooler weather,” said Neal McLaughlin, 46-year-old brother of 55-year-old trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who is enjoying a cruise in the Caribbean.Santa Anita clocker Dane Nelson had Watershed going his first quarter-mile in 24.60 with a five furlong gallop-out time of 1:01.60. Marking was given 24.40 for his first quarter, with a gallop-out time of 1:01.80.“We came out of Florida, which is having heavy record heat right now, so it’s nice to see the horses in this cooler weather,” Neal said. “They are fresh and feeling good. I’m glad we changed our plan a little bit. Usually, we do our breezes at home and then ship here and run.“We changed up this year and came out two weeks early to breeze here over the track. The horses are happy, eating and enjoying the weather and I hope the plan works.“We’ll do that for Breeders’ Cup (at Santa Anita next year on Nov. 4 and 5), come out a little earlier, breeze them and hope they run well.”Cavorting, owned by Stonestreet Stables, LLC, is the most accomplished of the trio. The bay filly has had eight starts, winning five, including the Grade I Test Stakes and the Grade II Prioress. “She went super,” McLaughlin said. “It was nice to let her stretch her legs. She’s a bit of a high-strung filly and can be a difficult gallop, so this is probably her exercise rider’s second-favorite day. His favorite day is her day off tomorrow.“She’s certainly fit and ready and a fast filly. We just wanted a nice path and that’s what we got, so it went well.” All three horses are progeny of Bernardini, who stands at Darley Stud in Lexington, Ky. for $100,000. Marking and Watershed are owned by Godolphin Racing, LLC.Also working at Santa Anita Friday for the La Brea was streaking speedster Hot City Girl, going four furlongs in 47.40 for trainer Linda Rice.“She went well,” Rice said by phone from New York. “We’re happy with it. We wanted to get one breeze over the track before the race.” Hot City Girl, a chestnut City Zip filly bred in New York and owned by Lady Sheila Stable, won her last three starts, including the Safely Kept at Laurel by 8 ¼ lengths Nov. 14.The Malibu and the La Brea each offers $300,000 in purse money and will be decided at seven furlongs, the La Brea restricted to three-year-old fillies and the Malibu to three-year-olds.Two additional stakes will be presented Opening Day, the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) and the Grade III Daytona.First post time opening day is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. TEAM McLAUGHLIN HAPPY WITH GRADE I CONTENDERSSTAKES DEBUT FOR VIGILANTE IN MATHIS BROTHERS McANALLY NEARS SEVENTH DECADE AT SANTA ANITAPOPULAR WALL CALENDAR FREE TO FANS OPENING DAY VIGILANTE MAKES STAKES DEBUT IN MATHIS BROTHERS MILEVigilante, a lightly raced son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow, makes his stakes debut in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on turf Opening Day.Phil D’Amato is hoping for a solid performance, based on how the three-year-old bay colt owned by Gary and Mary West has been training.“He came in from back East after running at Keeneland on Oct. 21,” the trainer said. “We’ve had him for a little while and he’s doing well, so we’ll give it a shot.”A committed stretch runner, Vigilante came from 10th and last at the half-mile marker to win a one-mile allowance race on turf by three-quarters of a length in the Keeneland race.ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER SHOW FOR RON McANALLYRon McAnally has been around the track a few times. The legendary Hall of Fame trainer, who turns 84 come next July 11, has been at every Santa Anita meet since 1948, save 1950 and 51, when he served two years in the Air Force.A fixture at his Clockers’ Corner table as early as 6:30 when temperatures have hovered near the freezing mark on recent mornings, McAnally is sharp of mind and in relative good health as Santa Anita embarks on its 79th season the day after Christmas, Dec. 26.Born in Covington, Ky. and raised in an orphanage with two younger brothers and two sisters, McAnally would go on to reach racing’s greatest heights, training 12 national champions, the most famous of which was two-time Horse of the Year John Henry.He walked hots for his uncle, Reggie Cornell, trainer of the mythical stretch runner, Silky Sullivan, whose breathtaking rushes from last to first in the late 1950s would make him a household name.“I was a groom mucking stalls at Santa Anita with this little guy at the next barn, right where Paddy Gallagher is stabled now,” remembered McAnally, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, active trainers still on the beat. He might have more rings around his trunk than any of his contemporaries.“I went into the Service and when I came back, this guy was all the rage, winning races left and right. I didn’t know who he was.”The man was Bill Shoemaker.“I came here in 1948 in the dead of winter,” McAnally said, “and Lefty Nickerson had come in from the East Coast. It snowed like hell while he was here and he looked at me and said, ‘I thought it never snowed in Southern California.’”McAnally, ably assisted by former trainer Dan Landers since 1995, isn’t winning in bunches like he did three decades ago, but he takes it in stride, waxing philosophically.“No trainer can win races with bad horses,” he says. “But life goes on.”Indeed.FINISH LINES: Santa Anita will give away its popular full color Wall Calendar free on Opening Day to all fans at the track with paid admission while supplies last . . . The first 20,000 paid attendees will receive a $100 Mathis Brothers Furniture gift certificate, and the first 5,000 kids 17 and under accompanied by a paid adult will get a plush, mini-Thoroughbred toy, courtesy of the Mathis Brothers . . . Santa Anita will offer an opening day Trackside Package that includes special trackside seating, a free first drink, and an officially licensed American Pharoah T-shirt commemorating the first-ever Grand Slam champion of horse racing. Use promo code PHAROAH for $5 off the package price . . . Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund, who worked five furlongs Thursday in 1:00.40 for Bob Baffert, will not run in the Malibu, the Hall of Fame trainer said Friday morning. “I don’t want to back him up,” Baffert said, alluding to the 1 1/8-mile Native Diver Stakes Dortmund won on Nov. 28 and the seven furlong Malibu. A more likely spot for the son of Big Brown would be the Jan. 9 San Pasqual Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth and a likely confrontation with 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome . . . Another candidate for the San Pasqual is Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner Hard Aces trained by John Sadler, who said Santa Anita Oaks winner Stellar Wind is enjoying some R&R and won’t start back until mid-meet, with the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita a long-range goal . . . Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza, a finalist for Santa Anita’s George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, was a visitor to Clocker’s Corner Friday morning, recently back from Hong Kong where he participated in a Jockeys’ Challenge competition . . . Agent Nelson Arroyo reports that Stuart Elliott arrives from Kentucky next Friday to ride full time at Santa Anita. Arroyo also represents Abel Lezcano, who has been busy in the mornings working horses for alpha trainers Richard Baltas, Jerry Hollendorfer, Peter Miller, Doug O’Neill and Sadler . . . Multiple graded stakes winner Taris worked four furlongs Friday in 49.40 for trainer Simon Callaghan . . . Agent Michael Burns has taken the book of jockey Jose Verenzuela. The 48-year-old has been riding more than 25 years and ridden more than 1,500 winners with his biggest victory coming in the $2 million Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Nad Al Sheba in 2009 aboard the Jerry Barton-trained Big City Man for Saudi Prince Sultan Mohammad Saud Al Kabeer. A native of Venezuela and a countrymate of North America’s leading jockey by earnings Javier Castellano in addition to hot-riding Santiago Gonzalez, Verenzuela also rode for three seasons in Singapore, with his biggest success coming aboard Flax in the $500,000, Group 1 Raffles Cup in 2012. Burns also represents 25-year-old Gonzalo Nicolas, who began riding as a journeyman on Memorial Day and has ridden 51 winners . . . Greg Hendricks, 20-year-old son of trainer Dan Hendricks, was aboard multiple stakes winner Om as he galloped Friday morning in preparation for the Mathis Brothers Mile. “Greg’s been galloping for me since he was 16,” Dan said . . . Serving coffee free at Clockers’ Corner, generously initiated by Los Angeles Turf Club Chairman Keith Brackpool two days ago, is proving a rousing success. “We served over 200 cups Thursday, double our normal amount,” said hostess Rosie Ybarra. “Before, everybody would walk around with a Starbucks. Now they walk around with a Rosiebucks.”
Fans can submit names using the hashtag #sallyssister, by email to SallysSister@santaanita.com or in person at Santa Anita with one of the customer service representatives who will timestamp the entry. The fan who submits the winning name will receive lunch for four in the FrontRunner restaurant, a picture with Sally’s Sister and a Carriage Ride at Santa Anita; or a $200 gift certificate from Champions! Gifts & Apparel. In cases of multiple submissions of the same name, the winner will be the first entry received. Arcadia, CA (Dec. 31, 2015) – Sally’s sister needs a name and Santa Anita is asking fans for their help. Entries will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, Jan. 7 and the winner will be announced Saturday, Jan. 9, which is also the day the Secretariat Vox Populi (Voice of the People) Award will be presented. The winning name will be chosen by Rickerd. The contest is also open to employees of Santa Anita, many of whom make a daily stop by the carriage barn to visit Sally, her sister and the other carriage horses. The 5-year-old Clydesdale filly, a half-sister to the popular ‘Sally,’ who pulls the carriage in the afternoon for racing officials, arrived at The Great Race Place from her home in Iowa just before Christmas with the name ‘Betsy.’ Santa Anita, however, doesn’t feel the name quite fits the blazed-face gentle giant. “She’s just not a ‘Betsy’,” explained Paige Rickerd, owner of Paige’s Horse & Carriage, who owns Sally and the other carriage horses at Santa Anita. “Sally has so many fans that we are hoping one of them has the right name for her sister.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Robbie Norman of Thomasville, Alabama. JOCKEY QUOTES TRAINER QUOTESMARK GLATT, SILENT BIRD, WINNER: “He’s an exceptional horse. He’s had to overcome quite a bit and he finally got over his problems. He really wants to go long, and now with a couple of sprints under his belt, if he continues to come back good, and I think he will, you might really see something with this horse going longer. He’s a big horse, long-striding, and probably doesn’t want to sprint that bad, but he’s overcome it because he’s such a good horse. We’ll see how he comes back and see what’s out there for him and maybe we’ll look to stretch him out next time.” FERNANDO PEREZ, SILENT BIRD, WINNER: “We had a really good break against three really fast horses . . . I know I have a really good horse that likes to come from behind and he gave a big run.”