RelatedPosts Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Juve’s Pirlo gamble makes new Serie A season the most open for years Pirlo bags UEFA coaching badge Defender Matthijs de Ligt has undergone surgery in his shoulder and faces a recovery period of about three months, Italian champions Juventus said on Wednesday.The Dutch national had his shoulder stabilised in a Rome clinic on his 21st birthday, after he had played with pain in the joint in the last part of the season. Juventus will miss him for the first two months of the league, which starts on September 19.The Turin club bought de Ligt from Ajax last year for 75 million euros ($88.4 million).After a period of adjustment, he became a mainstay for the Bianconeri, closing the season with 29 league appearances and four goals.The Bianconeri also bid farewell to French midfielder Blaise Matuidi, a 2018 world champion who leaves Turin after three seasons.The 33-year-old is expected to sign with a club of the North American Major League Soccer. dpa/NAN.Tags: Blaise MatuidiJuventusMatthijs de Ligt
(REUTERS) – Two of Brazil’s top soccer clubs, Botafogo and Fluminense, said yesterday they would defy an order from their federation to resume playing competitively this week, as the country’s daily coronavirus death toll hovers around 1 000.The Rio de Janeiro state football federation proposed that the state championship, one of several state-wide tournaments that take place in Brazil before the national leagues begin in the second half of the year, restart on June 18, pending state government approval.Botafogo president Nelson Mufarrej called the ruling “disconnected from reality”, and both clubs said they planned legal action on health and safety grounds to avoid having to resume playing so soon.“Unfortunately, the majority of clubs understand that this is the time to play games again, in spite of the chaotic scenes we’re living through right now,” Mufarrej said in a statement. “We’re against it.”Brazil’s documented deaths from the pandemic stand at just below 44 000, more than any country in the world except the United States, and that toll has been rising by around 1 000 per day for the past week.City rival Fluminense’s chairman Mario Bittencourt said his players, inactive since action was halted in mid-March, were also not ready to play competitively again.“The pandemic persists,” Bittencourt said. “The dates set for our games (22nd and 24th) are unacceptable from the point of view of the health of our players and we won’t be taking the field, and we will look to take action in the sporting court to do what is right.”Botafogo and Fluminense have been asked to play in the first round of rescheduled games. All four of the state’s top teams, which also include Flamengo and Vasco da Gama, are down to play a game between June 18 and 22.
Richard Baltas9015131317%46%$1,034,369 Carla Gaines3972218%28%$468,360 Abel Lezcano6072412%22%$294,619 Jerry Hollendorfer10817101516%39%$1,106,516 Mike Smith76971312%38%$1,053,200 Gary Stevens52116821%48%$1,154,003 Mike Puype61611410%34%$308,780 (Current Through Sunday, March 6) JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won SMITH EXPECTS BIG EFFORT FROM EFFINEX Mike Smith seeks an unprecedented fourth straight victory in the 79th Santa Anita Handicap when he rides favored Effinex in the $1 million race presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino on Saturday’s dynamite racing program also highlighted by the Grade II San Felipe Stakes for three-year-old Triple Crown contenders, the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf and the Grade II San Carlos Stakes for top sprinters.Smith won the Santa Anita Handicap last year aboard the ill-fated Shared Belief, and in 2014 and 2013 with Game On Dude. Effinex had his only breeze over Santa Anita’s main track Tuesday with Smith up, going four furlongs in a bullet 47.80. He went the first quarter mile in 24 seconds flat and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.20.“He felt real good,” Smith said of the drill. “He looks wonderful coming off his layoff. He seems to have put some weight on, he’s training well, he’s happy, and got over the track just beautiful Tuesday morning.“If that’s any indication as to how he’s going to run, I guess he should run extremely well. Given the opportunity, I think he’ll run big. I know his connections are really happy with him. He was doing a lot of good things back in Florida before he got here as well.”Smith has ridden Effinex in his last two races, a victory in the Grade I Clark Handicap last Nov. 27, and a second to Triple Crown king American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Oct. 31.“Effinex got a good draw. We couldn’t be happier with that, and he came out of his work really good,” said Kent Sweezey, assistant to trainer Jimmy Jerkens. “We took him to the gate today, jogged him once around and schooled him in the afternoon.“Tomorrow we’ll gallop him and then walk him through the paddock.”The field for the Santa Anita Handicap, the 10th of 11 races: Point Piper, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Melatonin, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Donworth, Mario Gutierrez, 3-1; General a Rod, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Effinex, Mike Smith, 2-1; Cyrus Alexander, Martin Garcia, 20-1; Hard Aces, Abel Lezcano, 12-1; Imperative, Santiago Gonzalez, 3-1; and Class Leader, Kent Desormeaux, 30-1.Mike McCarthy, former assistant to Todd Pletcher, said General a Rod is due to arrive at Santa Anita tonight from the East Coast.Fans at Santa Anita on Big Cap Day will receive a free Santa Anita Fleece Blanket presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino with paid admission while supplies last. First post time is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. Santiago Gonzalez22442302619%44%$1,609,338 Martin Garcia1011691016%35%$918,159 MILLION DOLLAR LINEUP IN SAN FELIPE How good is the field of three-year-olds in Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe Stakes, a major steppingstone to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9?“This is the race that should have a $1 million purse,” said Bob Baffert, who sends out favored Mor Spirit and Cupid in the Grade II race at 1 1/16 miles. Baffert will be seeking his record sixth win in the San Felipe, which goes as the seventh race.The San Felipe: Uncle Lino, Fernando Perez, 8-1; Danzing Candy, Mike Smith, 4-1; Mor Spirit, Gary Stevens, 2-1; Cupid, Martin Garcia, 12-1; I Will Score, Rafael Bejarano, 10-1; Smokey Image, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; and Exaggerator, Kent Desormeaux, 5-2.Trainer Gary Sherlock would prefer a post other than No. 1, if he had his druthers. “It’s not where I want to be, but it’s the post position, so I’ll deal with it,” he said. “He’s coming up to the race in good shape; no excuses.” Doug O’Neill14722212115%44%$1,170,683 Kent Desormeaux9113231614%57%$1,068,485 Joseph Talamo18620222311%35%$1,082,904 Jeff Bonde3372521%42%$173,110 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Tyler Baze20820313010%39%$1,094,401 David Lopez1282191716%37%$631,526 Brayan Pena573495%28%$130,605 Agapito Delgadillo80119714%34%$312,362 Patrick Gallagher3163619%48%$475,433 John Sadler69128617%38%$553,999 Jose Verenzuela3131310%23%$106,545 Edwin Maldonado14126131518%38%$901,860 Rafael Bejarano20949382123%52%$2,086,762 Victor Espinoza6799613%36%$723,705 Brice Blanc474579%34%$452,580 Peter Miller1051291311%32%$504,870 SMITH EYES FOURTH STRAIGHT BIG ‘CAP VICTORYBAFFERT HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN SAN FELIPETRAINER SEES FAST FRACTIONS FOR KILROE MILENO OPTIONS FOR KOBE’S BACK IN SAN CARLOSNYQUIST IN SHARP WORKOUT FOR FLORIDA DERBY J. Keith Desormeaux3766816%54%$246,014 Alex Solis2030415%35%$219,423 Fernando Perez1411215199%33%$678,444 Peter Eurton7612201116%57%$766,712 Alonso Quinonez664866%27%$213,900 William Spawr3485324%47%$224,977 Drayden Van Dyke12113131711%36%$759,264 Vladimir Cerin3593526%49%$312,499 Bob Baffert8318121222%51%$1,304,635 Flavien Prat20134343017%49%$2,059,316 Tiago Pereira8531064%22%$259,854 Mario Gutierrez15719292112%44%$1,175,584 FINISH LINES: Undefeated male two-year-old champion of 2015 Nyquist worked a mile on Santa Anita’s fast main track under Jonny Garcia on a spectacular Thursday morning in 1:46, going the last five-eighths in 1:01 and change, according to trainer Doug O’Neill. “It was a solid work,” O’Neill said. “We plan to leave for the (April 2) Florida Derby on March 28.” Santa Anita’s clockers had Nyquist going five furlongs 1:01.40 . . . El Camino Real Derby winner Frank Conversation, headed to the UAE Derby on March 26, went five furlongs for O’Neill in 1:02.20 . . . Jerry Hollendorfer has 10, count ’em, 10 horses entered to run at Santa Anita on Saturday. “I don’t know if I’ve ever run that many on one card in one day before,” the Hall of Fame trainer with more than 7,000 career wins said. “I’ve run a lot of horses on a lot of different days, but I don’t think I’ve ever run that many at Santa Anita in one day.” . . . Three-time Eclipse champion Beholder could surface in a race before her long-range goal of the Grade I Vanity Stakes on June 4. “We’re in no hurry (for the Vanity),” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said Thursday morning. “Hopefully, there will be something before that.” . . . Agent Derek Lawson reports that Flavien Prat, the meet’s third-leading rider with 34 wins through 43 racing days, leaves for Dubai on March 21 to ride Hoppertunity in the $10 million World Cup against 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome on March 26. Hoppertunity worked five furlongs Thursday in a minute flat . . . John Sadler has stretch-running English-bred import Nancy From Nairobi ticketed for the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf March 26 . . . Episode 2 of ‘Down Home with Team O’Neill’ is available now. This month Team O’Neill met with and received some coaching advice from retired NBA, WNBA and NCAA basketball coach Paul Westhead, who has led several teams to National Championships. Says Doug: “You’ll get to meet our assistant coaches and even the ultimate, Coach Lava Man, who helps with the mail bag . . . Track announcer Frank Mirahmadi and Santa Anita simulcast host Michelle Yu will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens, 10:50 a.m. Saturday and 11:20 a.m. on Sunday . . .Condolences to family and friends of iconic San Diego radio and television personality Ernie Myers. Known as “Mr. San Diego,” Myers was Del Mar’s longtime simulcast television host from 1989 through the 1990s. He died Tuesday morning in La Mesa, California at age 86 following a long bout with Parkinson’s Disease . . . Nine horses were entered in today’s first race, five of them sired by Unusual Heat and three by Square Eddie. The lone dissenter was 30-1 morning line chance Bishops of Compton, sired by Desert Code . . . Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday. Set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night. Kristin Mulhall4096223%43%$342,665 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won KOBE‘S BACK WILL COME RUNNING IN SAN CARLOS Kobe’s Back won from the rail in the Palos Verdes Stakes on Feb. 7. The committed stretch runner, a notoriously slow starter, could win Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Stakes breaking from the outside No. eight post position.It matters not, says his jockey, Gary Stevens.“He comes from out of it,” Stevens said, plain and simple. “He broke good the other day, just dropped back and that’s just his style. There really is no option. He calls the shots. I’m just a passenger until the last three-eighths of a mile.“He’s been training unbelievably. He was training great before his last race, he’s come back and trained the same way. He’s really sharp and had a really sharp half-mile breeze last weekend; he’s ready.”The San Carlos: Calculator, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Coastline, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; San Onofre, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Cautious Giant, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; Mystery Train, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Outside Nashville, Martin Garcia, 20-1; and Kobe’s Back, Gary Stevens, 2-1. George Papaprodromou4173617%39%$216,335 Steven Miyadi53912817%55%$318,069 OM WILL RUN HIS RACE IN GRADE I KILROE Trainer Dan Hendricks expects another solid effort from Om when the multiple graded stakes winner goes in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf.“He’ll run his race in his usual spot right up front,” Hendricks said of Om, who drew the rail in a field of seven.“We’ll see how the turf plays, how the other horses come out of there and decide what to do. There’s speed in the race–not Obviously’s speed–but quite a bit, so I think there will be fast fractions for whoever is out front.”The Kilroe: Om, Gary Stevens, 3-1; What a View, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Bal a Bali, Flavien Prat, 7-2; Bolo, Mike Smith, 2-1; Kenjisstorm, Edwin Maldonado, 50-1; Midnight Storm, Victor Espinoza, 3-1; and De Treville, Tyler Baze, 8-1. Philip D’Amato10521181920%55%$1,146,575 Martin Pedroza78119514%32%$304,265 Jeff Mullins2666023%46%$174,579 Michael Machowsky3365418%45%$261,561 Mark Glatt7198413%30%$395,005 Ron Ellis2462325%46%$176,850 -30-