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Who Is Haile Gebrselassie? posted by Runner

Born April 18, 1973, Haile Gebrselassie is a road and track, running athlete from Ethiopia, who has won world championship titles four times, and two gold medals in the Olympics for over 10,000 meters events. He has also won the Dubai Marathon three times consecutively, and the Berlin Marathon, four times. Additionally, Gebrselassie was the Half Marathon World Champion in 2001, and has won four indoors world titles.

Haile grew up on a farm, and had to run to school ten kilometers one way. every day. In the evening he would run the same distance while returning, and this gave him a unique running posture of holding the left arm crooked, as he used to hold his school books in that hand. In 1992, he was recognized on the international platform, when he won the 10,000-meter and 5000-meter races at the Junior World Championships held in Seoul. Next year, Haile won his first world championship title for the 10,000 meters men's event and later consecutively won it three more times.

In 1995, Haile lowered the world record by full nine seconds, when he finished the 10,000 meters race in 26:43.53 in Netherlands. The same year in Switzerland, he lowered the record of 5,000 meters race as well, by 10.91 seconds, completing the event in 12:44.39. In 1998, Haile was again lowering world records of the indoor 2000 and 3000 meters events. In the same year, he also won all his races of the Golden League Series.

After the 2004 Olympics, Haile stopped participating in track events and he has concentrated on running the marathon and road races. In the 2007 Berlin marathon, he not only won the race but also set a new record, and the next year he again won this marathon and broke his own record of the previous year.

Continue reading "Who Is Haile Gebrselassie?"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Super Bowl XLVII posted by Joe Anello

The time for talk is over. (Well, almost.) The time for football is now. (Well, a bit later.) The time for beet and food is now? (Yes. That is accurate.) After taking apart the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens earlier in the week, we are now ready for The Opening Drive of Super Bowl 47!


Super Bowl XLVII

(13-6) Baltimore Ravens at
(15-4-1) San Francisco 49ers
6:30 PM ET, CBS 

San Francisco’s Offense vs. Baltimore’s Defense

After seeing Colin Kaepernick tear apart a hapless Green Bay front seven for 181 rushing yards, the Atlanta Falcons overcompensated and kept the QB in the pocket the entire game. Unfortunately, that left Frank Gore in the clear on read-option plays, on which he scored two touchdowns. Kaepernick picked the Atlanta secondary apart in the second half of that contest, proving he has accuracy to go with the arm strength and mobility. The Raven defense excels at maintaining their edges, meaning they don’t let the ball-carrier get outside of them to the sidelines. They like funneling the ball back inside so Ray Lewis can get inflated tackle numbers. (Which he does.) But what do they do against the read-option? Crash the corners and use the safeties to cover? Assign a defensive end to lay out the QB while a linebacker fills in against the running back? The Ravens have had two weeks to prepare for this mobile QB, so I’d be surprised if he busted too many long runs against them. Instead, we’re probably going to see a lot of Frank Gore and LaMichael James used to test Lewis as the game wears on.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Super Bowl XLVII"

Johnny Matheis

Racing form vs. Program posted by Johnny Matheis

The modern day program is the usual choice for modern day bettors. It captures hundredth of a seconds in many splits.

The racing form provides much more information. Much of this is countered by Beyer, whose speed ratings are "assigned", but based on very scientific looks at the running in each race.

I like to divide a runner's race in 3 portions, with the middle one being about half of the race. Often one has to estimate, or go by distances that are hard to use. For instance a mile and an eighth may have many entrants who have only ran 5 1/2 or up to 7 furlongs.

Beyer does a good job of calculating the stages of a run for the Beyer speed figures. Beyer allows for the "slow" track.

The "slow" track is not pointed out in programs. Muddy, fast, sloppy, good are all fairly meaningless in the long run. The true figure is the "speed differential", which Beyer usually does a good job of allowing for.

However, the racing form gives the racing form user an advantage such as in the feature race at Keeneland for Friday 10/19/2012. I will base the picks for Friday at Keeneland purely on the racing form. How well it does may tell you whether it is worth paying five, six, or seven dollars for, as opposed to the two dollar program. If these picks fail, I won't hold it against the racing form, and will still continue to use it, because its use makes me a bettor against the majority, which is winning money in the long run.

However, I am sure if these picks don't pan out, you the reader will scoff at the racing form, and I won't blame you.

Continue reading "Racing form vs. Program"

Richard Kagan

ChiSox good, Detroit is better posted by Richard Kagan

I'll keep it simple.  The Chicago White Sox have hit a rough patch when the team needed to play .500 ball--or better yet, take two of three in the Motor City.  But it looks like that is not what appears to be the plan.  The Tigga's have a 2-0 early in the game, and ths doesn't bode well for Chicago.  Look at the record of Chicago playing Detroit on the road.  It looks like a scene from the Gladiators and the Sox are the guys gettling whacked.  Kevin Youkilis talked about this is just a the next 30 games..."you don't really feel the heat unitl the last few games of the season."  Well, if the Sox don't play better, the issue of the Leader in the Al Central may be wrapped up.  Who knows, the Sox may be in the running for a Wild Card bid.  But the team needs to get in another gear and soon. 

Continue reading "ChiSox good, Detroit is better"

Richard Kagan

Bears Beat Giants 20-17 in Pre-Season Game posted by Richard Kagan

These games usually don't amount to much.  The star players get a few minutes to hit and then wind up on the sidelines to prevent injury.  The backup QB and running backs see most of the PT and newly minted rookies see action to find out if they can win a spot on the squad.  The good news is no one got hurt and the Bears came away with a win over the defending Super Bowl Champs on the road.  Cutler connected with Brandon Marshall for an early score and Jason Campbell hit a receiver late for the Bears go ahead TD.  If Cutler can stay healthy, the Bears will be in games.  He is an underrated QB, with a great arm, who can shread defenses when he has time to locate his recievers downfield.  The difference between Cutler and other QB's, is given time, most of them can't move the ball downfield.  Cutler can.  Cutler can do it in 2 1/2 minutes.  The other QB's may be able to do it in 6 minutes.  Bottom line, Cutler, in his own way, can move the ball downfield.  Now he has Marshall, whom he played in Denver to play catch with.  Hopefully, Marshall can stay healthy and make a positive contribution to his new team. 

The issue is getting Matt Forte back in the runnng groove he had before his injury last season.  Forte is regaining his form, and gained 39 yards on 15 carrys.  If he can find his pace and make his cuts, he will be a major part of the Bears offense.  It's going to take a little time, and the season is fast approaching.  The answers will come.

Continue reading "Bears Beat Giants 20-17 in Pre-Season Game"

Johnny Matheis

The small stable posted by Johnny Matheis

I've been involved in many different sides of thoroughbred racing. Like most, I began as a handicapper, then went into the business.

I think theyear was 1986 when I worked third shift at Philip Morris. I was a professional assassin, killing thousands of people a year, or at least being a cog in the killing machine. So anything was a step up.

I made good money, and like most who get into the business, this is how I started. My father lived less than a mile from me, and we saw each other a lot. He also did well as a Union worker at Reynolds Aluminum. He was in AA, and most of those guys played the horses, too.

A third man, Frank Pezzarosi, a big burly red haired working man, joined us when we formed our stable along with the fourth, the trainer, John McCord. They were all about 50, and in AA. I attended some AA meetings, and I was about 30. This was the sort of scenario people make movies out of.

So we pooled the money together to form SERENITY STABLES. As trainer, McCord made all the decisions. I was the only dissenter when I learned he claimed a fillie on just the second day. I wanted to build up the money in the account first. He not only spent all our money, but needed more for a fillie who ran fifth in a 5250 claiming race.

All three of us were unhappy when he said he wanted to rest her, get her "out of jail", meaning run her after a month, to race for a cheaper tag, 5000.

Now, we thought this didn't make sense, but after a couple of months, our filly, PAMPETA, started racing for 5000. And I saw the resoning.

If you claim for 6250, spend a thousand a month and fun for 5000 after two months, you would think you could lose money. The truth is that most stables lose money. You just try to run where you can cash a check. You can't worry about someone claiming your horse. If you win, you get the claim money and the 60-65% of the purse, so it's a small profit. If you lose, you're better off with it, and cut your losses. If you don't get claimed, you keep going.

Continue reading "The small stable"

Johnny Matheis

2012 Oaks and Derby posted by Johnny Matheis

Okay, I will be too busy cashing and selling tickets, and sleeping between days, to post again for Derby, so this post will be over the Oaks card and the Derby for 2012.




10 DANCINGINHERDREAMS 6-1 The great generation that has mostly passed away were in awe of Mott, who was best at bringing out the single great in a stable, the Shot and Missed, the Heatherten, the Cigar. He hasmanaged to remain under the radar a bit, despite that. Here, he has one that looks ready to come into form after some tighteners.

8 MAGGIES' RANSOM 8-1 The fourth race off a layoff, off of fairly soft surfaces thus far, and Fairgrounds runners doing well

2 MY PAL CHRISY 8-1 Despite the class being mostly state restricted, this one has the best forward move of Gulfstream runners

4 SASSY'S DREAM 4-1 Fairly solid here

6 VERA BELLE 15-1 Looks no worse than some who are touted higher.

5 ZAPPARITION 8-1 Stable tough to tally on, as they bet their souped up horses to huge underlay prices when ready.

9 WANTA GO 12-1 Would not be a big surprise, but demand value

1 BOUQUET BOOTH 3-1 Class off 3 year old big name stakes, must show some improvement to figure against older

7 DAWN LANE 20-1 Bred to improve with age, but must show it.

3 FRONTSIDE 10-1 Evenly matched race with no toss outs, but this one will have to imrove more than the others

Bets on Race 5: Single WPS on 10, saver single WS on 8. Trifecta bos 2,8,10, Wheel 10 with 2,8 with All: Superfectas Wheel 8,10 with 8,10 with 2,4,5,6 with 2,4,5,6,9

Continue reading "2012 Oaks and Derby"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Super Bowl XLVI posted by Joe Anello

It’s finally here. After a drawn-out lockout, a last minute deal, rushed training camps, an eventful regular season and a thrilling postseason, Super Bowl XLVI is upon us. On Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis the NFL’s elite will be decided. After breaking down the Patriots and Giants individually (as well as the Prop Bets), it’s time to actually analyze how this game is going to play out.

(15-3) New England Patriots vs.
(12-7) New York Giants
6:30 PM ET, NBC

Starting with Brady and that offense, it’s clear they’re going to try and avoid testing their protection against that defensive line early when the adrenaline is high. Quick passes to Hernandez, Welker and possibly a still-injured Gronkowski will be the best options, followed by handing it off to Green-Ellis and Woodhead out of the backfield. Belichick’s plan should be to wear down the front four with a barrage of running plays and perhaps a mix of no-huddle possession passing. This way he can wear down the Giant defense for the second half and take control. The key will be how healthy Gronk really is and how many drives Brady and company can end with seven. If they’re settling for field goals the Giants will be happy. Perry Fewell’s defense just wants to keep it close going into the fourth so JPP, Tuck and Umenyiora can begin to furiously throw themselves at Brady. If it stays an even game going into the fourth I feel like it favors the Giants. Eli just has that maddening magic about him.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Super Bowl XLVI"

Richard Kagan

Tebowed Out posted by Richard Kagan

Hey, here is a way to make Tim Tebow irrevelant.  Score so many points, that you take away his strength, the running game, and force him to pass, which is iffy at best.  Watching Tim Tebow pass is watching a dentist pull a tooth.  It's painful.  Sometimes he throws a nice pass, other times, it looks like a bird falling to earth.  Today, most of his passes were futile.  Tom Brady of the Pats made sure of that as New England routed the upstart Broncos, 45-10.  There was no 4th quarter heroics for Tebow.  There was hardly any thing significant Denver did, because they were trailing 21-7, and all off a sudden, its 35-7 before the half, and game over. 

Tebow can throw a pass or two in the clutch, like last week's OT thriller against Pittsburgh.  But Joe Namath, he is not.  Leave it to coach Bill Bellichick to implement a game plan that rendered Tebow-time, sooo-long goodbye.  Denver's defense, which has played well of late, was completely ineffective in stopping the Pats onslaught.  Passes were flying all over the place.  There was no pass rush.  Finally, New England looked like a team to reckon with.  Tom Brady was masterful.  His passes were precise, on target, on the money.  It was like watching a wily craftsman take apart a swiss clock.

Continue reading "Tebowed Out"

Richard Kagan

Tebow On the Run posted by Richard Kagan

Chicago Bears Defense had the Broncos pinned in a 3rd down and 15 and Tim Tebow picked up 16 yards for the first down, early in the second quarter in a 0-0 game at Mile High Stadium.  At least it is 0-0. Because the Bears offense looks virtually non-existant.  Marion Barber is doing the running for the Bears and picked up a few first downs, but QB Caleb Hanie looks befuddeled and bewildered.  This is not a good sign if the Bears want to win this game.Continue reading "Tebow On the Run"

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Running back Jamarius Henderson leaving Memphis (Yahoo Sports)

Running back Jamarius Henderson is leaving Memphis' football program. Henderson, who is from Midland City, Alabama, rushed for 320 yards and four touchdowns on 60 carries as a freshman last season. Henderson isn't the only running back that Memphis has lost during the offseason. [read full article]

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NFL to review domestic violence allegations against Elliott (Yahoo Sports)

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Ex-Razorback Cobbs cites brain injury, avoids prison time (The Associated Press)

Former Arkansas and NFL running back Cedric Cobbs has been sentenced to three years of probation on a drug-related charge, avoiding prison time after telling a federal judge that he's undergoing treatment for a brain disease. In court papers, Cobbs says he's receiving inpatient treatment for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which has been tied to repeated brain trauma and is associated with memory loss, depression and progressive dementia. U.S. District Judge Price Marshall sentenced Cobbs to probation and 150 hours of community service Thursday. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Ex-Razorback Cobbs cites brain injury, avoids prison time (Yahoo Sports)

Former Arkansas and NFL running back Cedric Cobbs has been sentenced to three years of probation on a drug-related charge, avoiding prison time after telling a federal judge that he's undergoing treatment for a brain disease. In court papers, Cobbs says he's receiving inpatient treatment for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which has been tied to repeated brain trauma and is associated with memory loss, depression and progressive dementia. U.S. District Judge Price Marshall sentenced Cobbs to probation and 150 hours of community service Thursday. [read full article]

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Jeff Gordon readies for the Brickyard in surprising return (The Associated Press)

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From Yahoo Sports