Inside Conditions…Cliffhanger

first_imgThis is Wednesday, okay, and I am in no mood to glorify and sanctify idiocy, incompetency, indifference and just, just, just, plain stupidity. This past Sunday Ben Roethlisberger , the resident blunderer, oh paleeeees excuse me, I meant future hall-of-shame, uh oh, I slipped again. I should have said hall-of fame quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers insisted that the Indianapolis Colts have at least a fighting chance to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Lucas Oil Dome in Indianapolis. The Steelers managed to slither by the Colts, 23-20.In last week’s installment of “As The Black and Gold Turn” I took the media to task by pointing out that they were in error when; “[they] crowned the Ravens AFC North Champions a tad after just one lopsided victory over [the Steelers].”These were the same “flock of idiots” that announced in the most grandiose way standing upon a “mega” soapbox with over 100,000 watts of power generated from bull dung that the Steelers lopsided win over the hapless, “sleepless in” Seattle Seahawks was a great indicator that the Pittsburgh had repaired and righted the ship that had been torpedoed by the Ravens in the 1st game of the season down at M&T Bank stadium in Baltimore.The following messed me up. Big Ben had the nerve to freakin’ say this after the game: “Our defense, they’re fun to watch they make exciting plays when they need to and they’re on my side.” How in the heck can it be fun for the defense when game after game, season after season year after year they have to consistently bail his dumb butt out because of holding the ball too long while in the process of “trying to make a play.”When you watch Roethlisberger closely, he appears at times to be a first or second year QB still in the process of learning to read defenses while “trying to make a play.” In the first three games, Roethlisberger has been a part of the commission of nine turnovers and in my most humble opinion only one, the Rashard Mendenhall fumble in B-More was not his fault. Roethlisberger and his boss the “legendary” offensive coordinator Bruce Arians always seem to want the “deep ball” to be at the forefront. Well in the NFL, when your offensive line resembles some of the finest Swiss cheese that Zurich has to offer, you must gorge yourself on short and medium passes on your way to the end zone. Big Ben and “medium” Bruce Arians must now understand that if their offense cannot run the ball or throw long passes down field because of offensive line deficiencies then as “Oakland” Al Davis might say; “just dink and dunk, baby.”There are times when it seems as if Roethlisberger is the best weapon that the opposing team has to offer. As I alluded to a couple of weeks ago, there were folks who had the nerve to say that when the Steelers were thrashed by the Ravens in B-more that the defense of the Black and Gold appeared confused and were a bit too “old” and were no longer cutting the mustard. Well my gee, any defense that has to sustain the “Roethlisberger Follies” probably ages faster than most. When a player, any player has an arrogant disregard for what their colleagues will suffer as a result of their “ego state” and their insatiable narcissistic quest for glory and self gratification then there is always the possibility and the probability that chaos and disaster are waiting just around the bend. I am going to tell you again, just in case you missed it the last time.The Steelers have advanced to three Super Bowls during the last decade. Ben Roethlisberger has been the starting QB in all of them. The Black and Gold won Super Bowl XL not because of Ben Roethlisberger but in spite of him. Roethlisberger’s QB rating of 22.6 in Super Bowl XL the lowest rating of a winning quarterback in Super Bowl history. The Ex-Steelers now NY Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes made the second “immaculate reception” in the Steelers history to clinch Super Bowl XLIII. And of course we all saw the result of his blundering ways in Super Bowl XLV. Don’t get it twisted boys and girls, I would choose Big Ben over 90 percent of most QB’s but he has to grow up. Throw the ball away; don’t take sacks that put you out of field goal range, live for another day. When you continue to throw needless picks and fumble the ball away that is almost relative to playing “double dare” with the opposing offense. It seems as if he is looking for a cliff to jump from. “Go ahead, I dare ya.” My defense is better than your defense. So what if I make a mistake; my “D” will bail me out, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. When anyone continues to play with fire, fire, fire they will eventually get burned, burned, burned. Catch you on the rebound.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741. Bruce is also the AFC North and NFL analyst on; ‘The Odd Couple Show’ every Wednesday streaming live from 11-11:30 a.m. on Fox Sports Radio WCWA 1230 Toledo, Ohio.)last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY JANUARY 29, 2016

first_imgSMOOVE IT RETURNS IN FILLY & MARE TURF SPRINTSmoove It returns to the races Saturday in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint after a six-month absence. The five-year-old Square Eddie mare trained by Doug O’Neill for owners/breeders Paul and Zillah Reddam last raced on Aug. 16, 2015, finishing fifth in the Solana Beach Handicap at a mile on grass.“She just got a little body sore so we freshened her up,” explained O’Neill. “But she obviously likes this course with two wins and five in-the-money finishes in six starts, and she’s doing very well, so we’re excited to see her back at the races.”Mario Gutierrez has ridden Smoove It in all of her 20 starts.“That shows the loyalty Reddam has for Mario,” O’Neill said. Their union dates back to 2012, when Gutierrez piloted the Reddams’ I’ll Have Another to victory in the Kentucky Derby.The field: Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Chati’s On Top, Santiago Gonzalez, 5-1; Heaven’s Stairway, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Velvet Mesquite, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; Singing Kitty, Gary Stevens, 5-1; Jenna’s Faith, Drayden Van Dyke, 30-1; Light One, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Qiaona, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; Ashley’s Sassy, Alonso Quinonez, 12-1; Nite Delite, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1 and Princess Bertrando, Abel Lezcano, 30-1.Yana, My Fiona and Sheer Pleasure were scratched. George Papaprodromou1932216%37%$79,030 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won (Current Through Thursday, Jan. 28) Vladimir Cerin1661238%56%$154,690 Steven Miyadi2436513%58%$124,384 Peter Miller5183516%31%$270,890 William Spawr1865133%67%$152,414 Mark Glatt3543111%23%$137,220 Santiago Gonzalez11223141121%43%$825,498 Rafael Bejarano811616820%49%$829,610 David Lopez761461218%42%$407,228 Jack Carava1432121%43%$70,360 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Flavien Prat761161314%39%$575,588 Tiago Pereira452624%22%$163,962 Brayan Pena1520013%13%$36,170 Fernando Perez73851211%34%$435,526 Peter Eurton35511514%60%$238,860 Joseph Talamo8512121014%40%$520,964 Mike Smith4653611%30%$502,240 Richard Baltas4676315%35%$471,634 Martin Pedroza3952113%21%$94,440 UNBEATEN SMOKEY IMAGE TRIES TWO TURNS IN CAL CUP DERBYUndefeated Smokey Image seeks his sixth straight victory and his first for Carla Gaines when the son of 2004 Santa Anita Handicap winner Southern Image goes two turns for the first time in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Derby at 1 1/16 miles.“He’s been here since the first week in November,” Gaines said of the chestnut colt owned by Betty Irvin of Pacific Palisades, who campaigns as Irvin Racing Stable. Smokey Image won his first four races by daylight margins, and his last, the seven furlong Golden State Juvenile at Del Mar on Oct. 30, by three-quarters of a length after he bobbled at the start and steadied at the 5/16 marker.“We have a good feeling about his going two turns,” Gaines said. “We’ll find out Saturday. His pedigree indicates he’ll do it and we’re hoping he’ll improve going two turns, but if he doesn’t, he’s still a good sprinter. He’s always galloped out beautifully from his workouts.”Gaines also has Record Highs entered in the Derby. Son of another Santa Anita Handicap winner, Heatseeker in 2008, the chestnut colt owned and bred by Harris Farms came out of his disappointing sixth-place finish in the King Glorious on Dec. 12 a bit under the weather, so Gaines feels he had a legitimate excuse in that one mile race.In other Derby news:Richard Baltas admits Demonslayer faces a tough task in the race, coming off two career sprints, but feels conditions merit a go.“I think he’ll probably get the distance,” Baltas said of the son of Tale of the Cat owned by Perry Ranck and Barbara Ron of Berkeley, who race as Cicero Farms. “Obviously, he’s lacking on seasoning, but these kinds of races don’t come up very often.“He ran a good number last time. He sat off the pace and he’s had longer works, so we’ll see. I’ve got Bejarano. How bad a shape can we be in?”The Derby field: Tough It Out, Santiago Gonzalez, 6-1; Smokey Image, Victor Espinoza, 4-5; Record Highs, Joe Talamo, 10-1; Demonslayer, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Glory Bound, Edwin Maldonado, 4-1; Xingontothebone, Martin Pedroza, 8-1;and Loyalist, Flavien Prat, 12-1. FINISH LINES: Fans can obtain California General and VIP packages at santaanita.com/events for Saturday’s Sunshine Millions & Wine Festival, which will offer food from some of the best local wineries and food vendors. First post time is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. . . . Three-time champion Beholder arrived at Santa Anita today from Julie Adair-Stack‘s facility in Chino Hills. “She’ll gallop here tomorrow,” trainer Richard Mandella said . . . Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward said unbeaten champion Songbird may or may not work “an easy half Tuesday, depending on the track conditions,” prior to her three-year-old debut next Saturday in the Las Virgenes Stakes . . . Richard Baltas has engaged Mike Smith to ride Imperative in the $500,000 San Antonio Stakes a week from Saturday . . . Bob Baffert says he’ll know more about Dortmund‘s status for the San Antonio after the Santa Anita Derby winner breezes this week . . .Happy 49th birthday to trainer Keith Desormeaux . . . Brice Blanc worked Flamboyant six furlongs on the main track Friday in a bullet 1:13.20 for Paddy Gallagher, who has the San Gabriel winner ticketed for the Grade II San Marcos Stakes next Saturday . . . Santa Anita was in the news last Friday in the form of the New York Times’ mobile crossword puzzle. Readers had to fill in the correct missing word in “California’s Santa _____ racetrack.” Did you guess Anita? Duh! WIN MACHINE G.G. RYDER SET FOR TURF CLASSICBettors and horsemen alike have one thing in common about horses like G.G. Ryder: confidence. When a Thoroughbred wins 11 of 25 starts, his consistency and will power are noteworthy features.Jerry Hollendorfer and assistant Dan Ward hope that trait continues in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic presented by City National Bank.“He’s versatile, and he’s going to have to be,” Ward said, “because there’s a lot of speed in the race. He’s going to get a good trip because he’s going to be up close.”A five-year-old horse sired by the A.P. Indy stallion Chhaya Dance, G.G. Ryder numbers two Grade III stakes among his 11 triumphs for owners George Todaro and Hollendorfer. A win or a second would push G.G. Ryder’s earnings over the $500,000 mark. To date, he has won $455,294.A Turf Classic victory is worth $137,500; second, $47,500.The Turf Classic, one of five stakes races worth a total of $1 million for California-bred or sired horses on Sunshine Millions Day: Tamarando, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; G.G. Ryder, Santiago Gonzalez, 4-1; Unusually Green, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Image of Joplin, Agapito Delgadillo, 15-1; defending champion Alert Bay, Martin Garcia, 7-2; Grazen Sky, Tyler Baze, 12-1; $25,000 supplemental nominee What a View; Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Soi Phet, Alonso Quinonez, 15-1; Something Unusual, Iggy Puglisi, 12-1; Poshky, Flavien Prat, 9-2; Boozer, Gary Stevens, 10-1; and Awesome Return, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1.Leonard Powell said that for the first time since he’s trained Soi Phet, a span of 24 races, the eight-year-old Tizbud gelding will race in blinkers for the Turf Classic.FAVORED SAN ONOFRE DRAWS RAIL IN CAL CUP SPRINT            San Onofre, speedy winner of half of his 10 starts including the Grade III Midnight Lute Stakes on Jan. 2, his first race in more than six months, must overcome the rail and additional committed front-runners in Saturday’s $150,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint for older horses at six furlongs.Karen Headley, who trains San Onofre for her mother, Aase, campaigning as Matson Racing, shrugged off any pre-conceived negatives.“I’m fine with the rail,” said Karen, whose father, trainer Bruce, bred San Onofre, making the gelded son of Surf Cat an all-family affair.And as far as Karen perplexing Hall of Fame rider Alex Solis with pre-race instructions for San Onofre, forget it.“A good jockey always knows what to do,” she said.The field for the Sprint: San Onofre, Alex Solis, 4-5; Solid Wager, Victor Espinoza, 10-1; Old Man Lake, Tyler Baze, 30-1; Richard’s Boy, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Raised a Secret, Santiago Gonzalez, 12-1; Sunday Rules, Edwin Maldonado, 9-5; and Pay the Fine, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1. Abel Lezcano3031210%20%$133,620 Alonso Quinonez434739%33%$175,210 Mike Puype2735011%30%$133,920 Kent Desormeaux3757514%46%$368,200center_img Robertino Diodoro1234125%67%$96,090 Mario Gutierrez83915911%40%$486,194 Tyler Baze10111181211%41%$566,952 Philip D’Amato48981019%56%$558,460 Bob Baffert4377816%51%$474,940 Drayden Van Dyke5467611%35%$369,134 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Victor Espinoza302617%30%$276,880 Edwin Maldonado66126818%39%$392,460 Alex Solis1030230%50%$174,884 Jeff Bonde1342131%54%$96,300 Doug O’Neill67891212%43%$407,902 J. Keith Desormeaux2250623%50%$135,790 John Sadler3445312%35%$197,170 Gary Stevens2643215%35%$521,810 Steve Knapp1431221%43%$97,570 Agapito Delgadillo3145413%42%$123,694 Kristin Mulhall1642125%44%$154,310 Brice Blanc232069%35%$217,500 Patrick Gallagher1642225%50%$265,008 -30- Jeff Mullins1133027%55%$95,980 RUN FOR RETTS TRIES GRASS IN CAL CUP OAKSRun for Retts makes her first start on grass in Saturday’s $200,000 Xpressbet California Cup Oaks at one mile. Trainer Steve Miyadi hopes her breeding lets her adapt from dirt to turf.“She’s actually bred for grass,” said Miyadi, who trains the daughter of Ministers Wild Cat for owner/breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC. “Of horses bred for turf that run on it for the first time, I’d say only 10 percent actually improve on it.“So I’m hoping Run for Retts does improve on turf, because on paper, I don’t think she can compete with these. I’m hoping the turf moves her up. We put blinkers on her and we’re ready to rock and roll.”The lineup: Just Google Me, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Patriotic Diamond, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Hurricaine Callie, Santiago Gonzalez, 15-1; Run for Retts, Tyler Baze, 20-1; Roo’s Valentine, Martin Pedroza, 4-1; Run Like the Boss, Joe Talamo, 12-1; Pacific Heat, Flavien Prat, 9-5; and $25,000 supplemental nominee Cheekaboo, Mario Gutierrez, 4-1. J. Eric Kruljac2132514%48%$78,560 Martin Garcia4865713%38%$383,484 Jerry Hollendorfer5655109%36%$325,622 Karen Headley530060%60%$127,700 UNDEFEATED SMOKEY IMAGE IN RICH CAL CUP DERBYG. RYDER SEEKS 12TH CAREER WIN IN TURF CLASSICRAIL NO ISSUE FOR SAN ONOFRE IN VALPREDO SPRINTRUN FOR BETTS MAKES TURF DEBUT IN CAL CUP OAKSSMOOVE IT RETURNS IN FILLY & MARE TURF SPRINTlast_img read more