Group Info

have done a mash up between the Foster,

/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal">Softball player Monica Abbotts 70-mph pitches have always turned heads -- and shut down opponents. 

Nathan Peterman Womens Jersey/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> . After setting NCAA records for career wins, shutouts and strikeouts while playing for the University of Tennessee, Abbott pitched a perfect game for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics. Then earlier this year, she made headlines again when she signed a six-year, $1 million contract with the Houston-area Scrap Yard Dawgs, National Pro Fastpitchs newest expansion team.During the NPF offseason, Abbott plays in Japan, and this past weekend she led her team, the Toyota Red Terriers, to the Japan Womens Softball League championship. Not surprisingly, she was also named tournament MVP.But what gets her pumped up for a game is not what youd expect. In fact, the No. 1 mainstay on her playlist is more mellow than anything else. I always listen to Adele before a game. I love her voice. I feel her in my soul.Abbott shared her entire playlist with us: Get more athlete playlists. Dion Dawkins Bills Jersey/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> .C. -- When North Carolina freshman Ryan Switzer reported to training camp in August he was a little miffed to learn he was third on the depth chart at punt returner. Dion Dawkins Jersey/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> .com) - The game was all punts and field goals before Kodi Whitfields catch.>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> . LOUIS -- Roman Polak was celebrating even before Alexander Steen scored the winning goal in Saturdays 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. One of the biggest events, if not the biggest race, on Saturdays strong Stars & Stripes Festival card at Belmont Park is the Belmont Derby for 3-year-old males on the turf. And one of Saturdays four stakes at Arlington Park is the American Derby, also for 3-year-old males, and also on the turf.The American Derby has a purse one-tenth the size of the $1.25 million purse of the Belmont Derby and, at 1-1/8 miles, the American Derby is one furlong shorter than the Belmont Derby. The American Derby is also something of a means to an end. It is the local springboard to next months Secretariat Stakes. The Belmont Derby, with its outsized purse, is an end. The American and Belmont Derbies are not exactly mirror images of each other. But there are still compelling similarities between the two races.And thats the point. The Belmont Derby and American Derby are two turf stakes for 3-year-olds going long on the turf run on the same day. And yet, the Belmont Derby drew a field of 13, and the American Derby drew a field of 11. Even after you separate the wheat from the chaff, thats a lot of numbers. Who knew there were so many 3-year-old grass horses?Well, these 3-year-olds are still young, lightly raced, and full of hope. So clashing, competing stakes schedules -- not exactly a new matter -- are not quite the issue for this group that it is for other divisions which have been compromised to a greater extent by the contraction of the general pool of available race horses.Consider the older male division, and recent overlapping opportunities for this group.On June 18, the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at 1-1/8 miles was run at Churchill Downs. The Foster drew a field of seven, and was won by Bradester. Bradester, a 6-year-old, is an admirable hard hitter, and on some level, it was nice to see his persistence finally rewarded with a score in a big spot. However, in 22 prior starts over four years, Bradester had never, ever been confused with a true Grade 1 performer.One week later, on June 25, the Grade 1, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita at 1-? miles was run. The Gold Cup attracted a field of eight, and it was won by Melatonin. Before his 5-year-old season this year, Melatonin had made only two starts in stakes races, and was unsuccessful in both. But the Gold Cup was his second major victory this year; he earlier won the prestigious Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Melatonins emergence is a welcome development regardless of tthe reason for it. Tre Davious White Youth Jersey/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal">. Still, its only natural to wonder if Melatonins ascendency is due more to a weakened division lacking quality depth than to considerable improvement on his part.One week later, on July 2, the Grade 3, $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap at 1-1/8 miles was decided at Prairie Meadows. The 5-year-old Smack Smack, another one of those admirable campaigners who had previously finished third or better in 18 of 25 career starts, beat eight opponents in the Cornhusker for his first career graded stakes win. Despite having plenty of opportunity during a very active career, Smack Smack had only taken his chance in three prior graded stakes races, and never finished better than fifth in those graded stakes attempts.On Saturday, one week after the Cornhusker, two weeks after the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, and three weeks after the Foster, which represents a fast turnaround for race horses these days, one of the undercard stakes at Belmont is the Grade 2, $300,000 Suburban Handicap at 1-1/4 miles for, you guessed it, older males. The Suburban drew a field of eight, but the only previous front line race winners in it are Noble Bird, and Effinex, one of two in the Suburban making that fast turnaround from the Foster.Look, I understand racetracks are in competition with each other, and realize that one way for a track to gain a competitive upper hand is to put on a better race than its competition. Santa Anita wouldnt think twice if it were able to poach a horse from the Foster, and Belmont wouldnt shed a tear if it did the same to the Gold Cup.However, the absence of a tangible incentive for tracks to fashion more cooperative -- hey, lets make that read logical -- stakes schedules paves the way for an unappealing diet of diluted stakes events that frankly dont do the sport much good.I mean, look at the four stakes I referenced above. They all drew from the same pool of talent -- older males going nine to 10 furlongs on dirt -- and that pool is shallow this year. But even in years when there is a bit more depth to the older male division, its difficult to see the sense of four so similar stakes races run in a three week window. Not when you could have done a mash up between the Foster, Gold Cup, Cornhusker, and Suburban, and wound up with two very nice, much better races. Cheap NFL Jerseys/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Cheap NFL Jerseys China/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Cheap Jerseys From China/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Wholesale Jerseys China/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Cheap NFL Jerseys China/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> NFL Cheap Jerseys/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> ' ' '



  • No items