Barcelona: Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets signed a contract extension with Barcelona that links him to the Catalan club until 2023, the La Liga defending champion announced on Thursday.The new contract increased the buyout clause from 200 million euro ($233.5 million) to 500 million euros ($583.8 million), reports Efe.”FC Barcelona and Sergio Busquets signed a contract renewal for the player on Thursday morning, an agreement that will keep Busquets at Barça through June 30, 2023,” Barcelona said in a statement.Since making his first appearance with Barcelona in the 2008-2009 season, the 30-year-old Busquets played 490 matches with the Catalan club.Over the last 11 seasons, Busquets won a total of 28 titles, including seven La Liga titles, six Spanish Cups, three UEFA Champions Leagues and three FIFA Club World Cups. IANS
Siba K. GogoiA notable person once said, “the toughest battle you’ll ever fight in your life is the battle within yourself”. This is exactly what has been echoed by India’s cricketing superstar Virat Kohli. After India’s humiliating Test series defeat at the hands of the Kiwis recently, Kohli candidly admitted that India lost the battle in their heads. That it has come from the horse’s mouth has lent credence to the latest perception that all’s not well in Team India, at least for now. The manner in which New Zealand whitewashed India points to the flaws that are so identical to subcontinental cricketers, especially when they compete in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia) countries. Fresh from their resounding Test series victory over South Africa on home soil, the world no.-1- ranked side were in for the toughest challenge the Kiwis could have ever planned. The touring side were handed a 10-wicket defeat in the first game at Wellington, while it was a 7-wicket drubbing for the visitors at Christchurch. The failure of the Indian batters to apply themselves in overseas conditions brought back memories of the days when players from the subcontinent were dismissed as flat-pitch bullies by some SENA experts. The sudden dip in Kohli’s form not only dented his reputation as India’s batting mainstay but also weakened the morale of his troops. The India skipper made only 38 runs in the four innings at an average of 9.50, his second-worst batting showing in any away series. This was also India’s first Test series whitewash under Kohli’s captaincy. Cricket is certainly not an individual game, but when a player of Kohli’s calibre performs it does impact the performance of the whole team. To make matters worse, Cheteswar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, two other key members of the national side, failed to rise to the occasion. Pujara is well known for his ability to hold team innings together, allowing his teammates to play around him. He had played a stellar role in India’s historic Test triumph in Australia in 2018-2019. This time round, in New Zealand, he managed only one half century (54). No one can dispute the fact that Rahane was until recently the most successful Indian batsman on foreign soil. He has performed remarkably in countries such as Australia, England, and South Africa. Curiously, Rahane has of late lost his rhythm in the 22-yard arena. With the likes of Shubman Gill waiting in the wings, Rahane has his task cut out in the days ahead. However, Pujara and Mayank Agarwal, the highest individual scorer (58) for his team in the series, salvaged some pride for the Indian batting department. The Indian openers not being able to shine on the big stage was another reason why the Virat Kohli-led squad struggled against the lethal bowling attack launched by the duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal are still greenhorns so far as opening the batting in foreign conditions is concerned. The Indian team management could have asked KL Rahul to partner with either Prithvi or Mayank at the top of the order. Rahul is undoubtedly better equipped, with a sound technique, than Prithvi and Mayank. Of course, it was a good learning curve for the young Indian openers, for they got a well-deserved exposure to the treacherous swing and bounce international cricketers usually encounter in pitches offered in New Zealand. It is not difficult to understand why Indian batters, so accustomed to flat tracks across the country, get overwhelmed by the juicy pace, swing and bounce produced by pitches in countries like New Zealand. This also explains why India have always had poor outings as batting units in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Laying fast and bouncy tracks in India will be the best way to offset such challenges. While the Indian bowlers did fairly well during the two-Test series, Kohli’s team missed the services of Bhuvneswar Kumar whose ability to swing the cricket ball both ways could have made some difference to the outcome of the bilateral contest. Virat Kohli was unlucky enough to have lost the toss on both the occasions. Just as menacing spin troubles batsmen on the last two days of a Test match played in India, batting first in a Test match in New Zealand is like climb a mountain for subcontinental players. India still leads the points table in the ICC World Test Championship, and the Indian players, as King Kohli rightly says, need to be brave and positive to clinch the ultimate trophy.(The writer is a senior journalist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)Also Read: Virat Kohli is in 30s now, needs to practise more: Kapil DevAlso Watch: Ex-AAGSU president Prem Tamang joins BJP
Tony Fox, associate director of USC’s Marching Band, the Spirit of Troy, directed his last basketball game on Saturday. Fox has been arranging music for the band with Spirit of Troy Director Arthur Bartner since 1971.Fox obtained his master’s degree in composition and began to teach at USC in 1981. He was the assistant director of the band and began to teach part-time at the school of music.“My degree is in composition, and I have always been a composer-arranger,” Fox said. “I have done a lot of different arranging for orchestra band choir and jazz band, I have even arranged for a Chinese orchestra once. I am basically a professional arranger, who teaches band as well.”Fox talked about the fond memories he shared with members of the band. He explained how each band section would split up into buses for away games and would pull various pranks.“One year, they had t-shirts that said, ‘If you get in trouble, say you are Tony Fox,’” Fox said laughing.Although Fox will miss his time at USC, he knows that he is ready for retirement.“I have this philosophy that all great things come to an end,” said Fox, attributing his mindset to his Tibetan Buddhist belief system. “This was a great run; it is time for me to move on in life.”Bartner and the USC band members said they will miss having Fox on campus.Bartner recounted his times working with Fox to retune arrangements. He and Fox would work together after surveying their students to see what songs to play for each game and then would work to layer the different instrumental sounds. Bartner said that Fox has done an exceptional job working with USC, especially in developing the world-renowned song “Tusk” with Fleetwood Mac, featuring the USC Marching Band.“Tony is the sound of the Trojan Marching Band,” Bartner said. “Together we have built the sound of the band.”Fox recounted many of his memories he had while teaching at USC. His favorite arrangement was when the band performed “Frankenstein” by AC/DC for the first time.“‘Frankenstein’ set the template for what the band sound was going to be. It was so unique,” Fox said. “That arrangement, we premiered in the season of ’73, at Notre Dame. That was one of the first rock songs that actually was performed in Rockne Stadium. It got a big standing ovation, and it has been a favorite of the band ever since.”Antonio Ayala, a freshman bass drum player, will miss Fox’s passion for his work.“Tony was a very skilled composer that knew how to expand both our musical capabilities and excitement about playing,” Ayala said. “I’m going to miss both his talents and his passion.”But Fox said that the band’s greatness is because of the students and the work that they put into the band.“The kids in the band have been very important to me,” Fox said. “My arrangements are their arrangements. I want to give them a good product.”He notes that this hard work, Bartner’s vision for the band, the Trojan Family and the USC Fight Song are what made the band great and incredibly diverse over the years.“You put all this stuff together, and you go. This is a great place,” Fox said.
While there are a few small issues with the format, Co Board vice chair John Devane says the format is working overall.Meanwhile, there last of the semi finals of the county hurling leagues are taking place today.At 12, in Division 3 Sean Tracey’s got underway against Newport.Also at 12 in Division 5 Ballybacon/Grange are up against Grangemockler/Ballyneale.The Division 1 semi final between Nenagh Eire Og and Borrisoleigh gets underway at 2.Later this afternoon at 4.30 Roscrea take on Templederry Kenyons in Division 2.At 6 Boherlahan-Dualla face Cappawhite, and at 6.30 in Division 2 Toomevara take on Holycross/Ballycahill. The league format in Tipperary has worked by-and-large, according to the vice chairman of the county board.It was decided this year to transform the structure of the competition from the Challenge Cup format to an all-county league group format.Clubs are given a specific timeframe to play the games at a time suitable to them.
GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell is warning against lewd and indecent behavior as Grenada celebrates its annual Carnival that ends on August 13 with the traditional street jump-up.Mitchell, who is also National Security Minister, says indecent behavior will not be tolerated.Referring to images of indecency demonstrated at a recent regional Carnival, Mitchell said he would not want to see that type of behavior on display in Grenada, adding that although Carnival is a season of festivity, Grenada is still very much a Christian society.“Let our watchwords be clean, safe, healthy fun. Indecent and lewd behavior will not be tolerated and the officers of Royal Grenada Police Force will be vigilant and act quickly to remove persons who exhibit such behavior at public events,” he warned.“We must also be very conscious of the example we set for our children and grand-children. So let us enjoy ourselves this carnival season but let us do so in a clean, safe and healthy way.”According to the Criminal Code, Chapter 72A, Section 137 (32) of Volume 4, of the 2010 Revised Laws of Grenada, a person who is found guilty of indecent, disorderly or insulting behavior can be imprisoned for up to three months, face a fine of EC$1000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) or both.
“It actually felt worse this morning than I expected, so the MRI results coming back the way they did was a very positive thing.”Turner was able to return from that 2014 injury after 15 days, the minimum DL stay at the time. He is optimistic he will be ready to return after the shorter DL minimum now.“It’s going to be pretty boring — a lot of lying around in the training room and letting this thing heal up,” Turner said of the next few days.The challenge of moving on without Turner will be more difficult for the Dodgers. Though his power hasn’t shown up yet this year (only one home run in 140 at-bats), Turner goes to the DL with a major-league leading .379 batting average, 13 doubles (tied for second in the National League) and a .946 OPS that leads Dodgers regulars (Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor have topped that).“It’s a big blow. I think we’ve dealt with those in the past and we’ll continue to move forward,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “But the leadership as a position player, the defense he plays, consistent and elite defense, and obviously in the batter’s box what he does consistently putting at-bats together, the baserunning – all the components that help you win baseball games, that’s what JT does for our club. To miss him for any stretch is tough, let alone for two weeks. But we’ll get over it.” Kike’ Hernandez played third Friday against Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino. But the Dodgers will absorb most of Turner’s absence by plugging Logan Forsythe in at third base instead of second base when he returns from the disabled list. Forsythe played third base for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, his third game on a restarted rehab assignment for a hairline fracture in a toe on his right foot. That rehab was interrupted by a hamstring injury of his own.Forsythe is expected to spend the weekend with the Quakes and then be activated when the Dodgers open a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday. With Forsythe coming back to play third base, Roberts said second base will continue to belong to Taylor and Chase Utley in “not a strict platoon, but split duties.” Utley could see more time there now that Adrian Gonzalez has returned to first base.MAEDA RETURNIf Turner’s hamstring injury ranked as a Grade 1 strain, Kenta Maeda’s registered a Grade None.Nonetheless, Maeda made a rehab start with Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night, going four innings and throwing 62 pitches. He allowed three runs (only one earned) on six hits (all singles) and two walks.Maeda will rejoin the Dodgers’ overstuffed rotation next week and is scheduled to start the series finale against the Cardinals on Thursday. That will make seven different starters in seven games over eight days – Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood, Julio Urias and Brandon McCarthy against the Marlins, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Maeda against the Cardinals.Ryu would seem to be the most likely candidate for another DL sabbatical – he was hit in the arm by a pitch and the foot by a ground ball during his start Thursday. He came out of the game immediately after the ground ball back to the mound but Roberts said Friday “from what I understand, he’s fine” on both counts. But Roberts wouldn’t say when he expects Ryu to pitch again.“Seeing as how we’ve still got seven guys who can start, we’re still figuring out how we can manage it,” Roberts said.Most recently, the Dodgers have managed it by sending Maeda, Ryu and McCarthy to the 10-day DL with minor issues that would probably not have prevented them from pitching if circumstances were more pressing. part of a three-team trade on June 30, 2015, the Atlanta Braves sent Wood, relievers Luis Avilan and Jim Johnson and infielder Jose Peraza to the Dodgers and received outfielder Hector Olivera, reliever Paco Rodriguez and minor-leaguer Zach Bird.None of those players are still with the Braves. Olivera is out of baseball after playing 30 games for the Braves and receiving an 82-game suspension for his involvement in a domestic dispute. Rodriguez was released by the Braves this spring. Wood, meanwhile, was the NL Player of the Week for the Dodgers last week, cementing his spot in their rotation.Braves GM John Coppolella did a question-and-answer session on Twitter on Friday and was asked about that trade.“The Hector Olivera trade was terrible and that’s on me. Alex is a tremendous pitcher & even better person. Rooting for him,” Coppolella responded. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES >> Not all of the Dodgers’ disabled list moves come with a dollop of convenience.Third baseman Justin Turner was placed on the 10-day DL on Friday after suffering a right hamstring injury during Thursday’s game. Turner said his hamstring “just kind of grabbed me” as he was rounding third base in the seventh inning of the 7-2 victory over the Miami Marlins. He left the game immediately and underwent an MRI on Friday morning, which revealed a Grade 1 strain – the mildest level of strain and a result that Turner took as “good news.”“It’s a Grade 1 strain which is something I’ve had before and come back from fairly quickly,” said Turner, pointing to a June 2014 hamstring injury.
Getty/Goal Getty Images https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/fc/53/manchester-city-champions-league-gfx_lxsaebdxs4dt16znfdpocmeae.jpeg?t=1306007523&w=500&quality=80Publicly, too, some have been critical, and Guardiola was not afraid to hit back at them. He has a healthy rivalry with Klopp, with the Liverpool manager saying of the verdict: “I don’t think it was a good day for football”.”Yesterday was a great day for football, not a bad day for football,” Guardiola hit back. “We showed we play with the same rules as all the clubs, all the elite clubs in Europe.”Relations with Mourinho have become less frosty since his former rival has failed to come close to challenging the City manager during his time in England, but that did not stop the Tottenham boss labelling the outcome a “disgraceful decision”.“Jose and all the managers should know we were damaged and that we should be apologised to,” Guardiola said of his former foe. “If we did something wrong, we will accept absolutely the decisions of UEFA, because you did something wrong, but we don’t expect Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Wolves and all the clubs to defend [us], we can defend ourselves. “We have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct, is right and three independent judges said this.”La Liga president Javier Tebas, another long-term critic of City, questioned whether CAS was fit for purpose after the decision to lift the club’s Champions League ban. “Yeah, we’ll be in the Champions League next season, Senor Tebas, because what we did, we did it properly.”Guardiola has used the uncertainty to help build an “us against the world” mentality in the months of the ban overhanging City.Now, the club has won their biggest battle of the pitch, a fired-up City boss will have them believing they can beat anyone on it. Getty Images “People said we were cheating, lying, many times,” he said at a press conference that was, at least in theory, to preview Wednesday’s meeting with Bournemouth.But after City were cleared to play in the Champions League by an independent hearing , the Catalan instead used it to challenge those speaking out against the four-time Premier League champions.“What happened in the last years, how many times people came to our club with this whispering on us. I’d love it to finish, I’d like to say these kind of people: ‘Okay, look in our eyes and if you want to say something, say it face-to-face, and then go on the pitch and play as rivals’,” he said.“If after you beat us, I won’t hesitate, we’ll shake hands and congratulate them, but they lost off the pitch. They have to go on the pitch and try to beat us on, like sportsmen that we are.”Six months after City were handed a two-year ban for Financial Fair Play irregularities by UEFA, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the decision, stating breaches “were either not established or time-barred”.While the club still have to pay a fine of €10 million (£9m/$11m) – reduced from an initial €30m (£25m/$33m) – for failing to co-operate with UEFA authorities, the verdict is a vindication of the club’s stance throughout that they had done nothing wrong.“If we did something wrong we would accept our ban, for any departments – FIFA, UEFA, Premier League, the FA. We are here but we can defend ourselves,” Guardiola added.It has been an uneasy time, with City facing a potential €200m (£180m/$220m) hit in lost revenues and the possibility of a major squad upheaval if they were to be kept away from European competition.The same goes for their rivals, too, as they waited to hear whether a fifth-placed finish would be enough to claim a Champions League spot and major cash windfall of their own.Uncertainty even surrounded their appeal when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe and shut down the CAS headquarters in Switzerland. There was the potential for City to apply for a freeze to their two-year suspension, which would have allowed to them to play in next season’s Champions League pending the result of an appeal. Eight of City’s nine closest Premier League rivals wrote a joint letter to CAS opposing that idea, but the club never asked for it. Their only request to CAS was for a speedy hearing so that they could clear their name, and it was eventually held via video-link.On Monday morning, the result came through to senior executives just hours before the decision was announced to the world. Club hierarchy had remained extremely confident that they would be cleared, despite the potentially huge ramifications of a decision going the wrong way.In the days ticking down to the judgment, Guardiola was repeatedly asked if he was concerned and never skipped a beat to portray his confidence. His coolness was not misplaced and, just over 24 hours later, he hit back at the snipers. Pep Guardiola waited patiently for his opportunity. When Manchester City were finally cleared of financial wrongdoing , he hit back in explosive fashion at what he sees as a campaign against the club.The City boss took aim at the “whisperers” plotting behind the scenes , fired back at the snipes of rival bosses Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp and lashed out the critics, who he felt have tarnished the club’s reputation. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/3b/8b/javier-tebas-pep-guardiola_kwcze4vzjssk12k6yv5ld54w8.jpg?t=1302127395&w=500&quality=80“He’s another one, this guy. Senor Tebas must be so jealous of the Premier League and English football!” the former Barcelona boss said.“He’s an incredible legal expert, from what I see. So next time maybe we’re going to ask them which court judges we will have to go to. He has to be a little bit worried and concerned about La Liga and focus on them. “But normally these kind of people when the sentence is good for him it’s perfect – like what happens many times in Spain now – but when the sentence is against the problem is for others. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/f2/92/pep-guardiola-manchester-city-gfx_yf2ro4nyteu916evs5nzzh4sy.jpeg?t=1305729491&w=500&quality=80“I know for the elite clubs, Liverpool, [Manchester] United, Arsenal are not comfortable us being here. But we deserve to be here, we deserve to be stronger, year by year,” he told reporters as he continued to take aim at City’s rivals.“We have incredible people working in this club to make this club better, to make our fans proud and we don’t have to ask permission to be there. “When we lose I shake their hands and congratulate them, all the time we have done it, even if it’s unfairly in the Champions League. Guys accept it, we wanted to be here and we tried on the pitch. “If you do not agree, knock on the door and speak to our chairman and chief executive and talk, don’t go whispering. We are going to do this – seven or eight clubs doing this.”Go and do it on the pitch, not behind [closed doors]. In 10 years we’ve made a step forward. We invested a lot of money but we did it in the right things. “We are not banned, we followed the rules for FFP as they decide [them]. If not we’d be banned.”
Mason City’s mayor Bill Schickel was the guest on “Ask the Mayor” on June 3rd, 2020. Listen back to the program below KGLO News · Ask the Mayor — June 3, 2020 — Mason City mayor Bill Schickel
CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY TO FEATURE FIVE CAL-BRED OR SIRED STAKES ON SATURDAY, $200,000 SNOW CHIEF & $200,000 MELAIR SHARE TOP BILLING
MOTOWN MEN & SHIP IN JOY BOY HEAD FIELD OF 10 IN $150,000 TIZNOW STAKES La Fiera, a winner of the one mile turf Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields April 26, and Sheer Pleasure, a rousing off the pace winner of Santa Anita’s Evening Jewel Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs, head a competitive field of seven 3-year-old fillies in Saturday’s $200,000 Melair Stakes, to be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.Owned and bred by Dr. and Mrs. William T. Gray and trained by Greg James, La Fiera broke her maiden for a $32,000 claiming tag going one mile on synthetic Tapeta four starts back at Golden Gate and has three wins from five starts. A dark bay or brown filly by Comic Strip out of the Roar mare Ms. Booty, La Fiera, who gets the services of Rafael Bejarano, will try natural dirt for the first time in the Melair. With earnings of $82,607, she’s proven a tractable sort and will likely stalk the early pace on Saturday.Trained by Phil D’Amato and owned by Little Red Feather Racing and R/M Racing, Sheer Pleasure rallied from far off the pace to take the state-bred Evening Jewel by three quarters of a length. A 6 ½ length first-out Cal-bred maiden special weight winner going six furlongs at Los Alamitos Dec. 19, Sheer Pleasure has two wins from four starts. A dark bay or brown filly by Birdonthewire, she is out of the Blare of Trumpets mare Kathryns Birthday and has earnings of $147,450.Second, beaten two lengths by La Fiera in the Campanile at Golden Gate April 16, trainer Peter Eurton’s Ashley’s Sassy was third, beaten five lengths by Sheer Pleasure two starts back in the Evening Jewel at Santa Anita. Owned by her breeders, Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Ashley’s Sassy is 6-2-1-2 with earnings of $135,800. A two time sprint winner, she is by Decarchy and is out of the Urgent Request mare Ashely’s Folly.Third, beaten two lengths by La Fiera in the Campanile Stakes, Jack and Barbara Owens’ homebred Niassa was a close third five starts back in the one mile Soviet Problem Stakes versus state-breds at Los Alamitos Dec. 7 and rates serious consideration with Flavien Prat set to ride for the first time. A dark bay or brown filly by Papa Clem, she is out of the Tale of the Cat mare Glamour Cat and is 8-3-0-3 with earnings of $126,930.The complete field for the Melair Stakes, to be run as the seventh race on a 10-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Barbara Beatrice, Tiago Pereira, 118; Thermodynamics, Gary Stevens, 118; Sheer Pleasure, Tyler Baze, 123; Niassa, Flavien Prat, 120; Ashley’s Sassy, Mike Smith, 120; La Fiera, Rafael Bejarano, 123, and Tribal Express, Alonso Quinonez, 118. GOLDEN GATE INVADER LA FIERA & LOCALLY BASED SHEER PLEASURE HEAD $200,000 MELAIR STAKES STAKES WINNER GO WEST MARIE HEADS FIELD IN FRAN’S VALENTINE STAKES RECENT STAKES WINNERS GRAZEN SKY & RICHARD’S BOY HEAD $200,000 SNOW CHIEF; FIELD OF 11 SOPHOMORES SET TO CONTEST 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF Motown Men heads a field of 10 California-bred or sired older horses in Saturday’s $150,000 Tiznow Stakes at a mile on the main track.Motown Men, who is trained by Ted West, was claimed out of a $40,000 optional claiming race March 8, won at a mile in an allowance race April 10 then went on to run a close third in the Grade III Precisionist going a 1 1/16 miles on the main track May 2.The 6-year-old gelding by Decarchy has one win and a second at the Tiznow distance and will again be ridden by Tyler Baze. He is owned by Gulliver Racing, LLC and is 28-5-6-5 overall with earnings of $294,459.Joy Boy ships in from Midwest for trainer Kellyn Gorder and returns once again to Santa Anita following his Gus Fonner Stakes win in Nebraska on April 25. The 7-year-old gelding by Tribal Rule has two wins, two seconds and third at the mile distance and will gain Joe Talamo as he breaks from the far outside in Saturday’s Tiznow.Joy Boy is owned by Kevin and Tammie Hulse of TK Stables, LLC and is 36-11-5-3- overall with earnings of $455,377.The complete field for the Tiznow Stakes, to be run as the ninth race on a 10-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Solid Wager, Victor Espinoza, 121; Spirit Rules, Iggy Puglisi, 119; Toldeo Eddie, Drayden Van Dyke, 119; Magic Mark, Fernando Perez, 119; Short Heat Wave, David Flores, 121; Soi Phet, Kent Desormeaux, 124; Poshsky, Elvis Trujillo, 121; Rousing Sermon, Rafael Bejarano, 121; Motown Men, Tyler Baze, 121; Joy Boy, Joe Talamo, 124. GRADED STAKES WINNER HARLINGTON’S ROSE HEADS FIELD IN SPRING FEVER STAKES Stakes winner Go West Marie heads field of eight in Saturday’s Fran’s Valentine Stakes for California-bred or sired older fillies and mares going one mile on turf.Trained by Eddie Truman, Go West Marie will attempt to improve her perfect record at the Fran’s Valentine distance Saturday. Ridden by Gary Stevens in her last four starts, in which she has not finished worse than second, Go West Marie will retain the services of the Hall of Fame rider.A close second in the Grade III Las Cienegas turf sprint on April 11 and a winner of both the Irish O’Brien Stakes and the Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf Sprint Stakes earlier this year, Go West Marie will attempt a mile on the grass for just the second time.Owned by Peter Redekop, B.C Ltd, the 4-year-old filly by Western Fame is 19-6-2-5 overall with earnings of $482,520.Mike Puype’s Chati’s On Top is coming off two back-to-back wins in allowance company and will look to make the jump in class Saturday. A close second in the Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate on June 8 going a mile on the turf, she has one win, two seconds and a third overall at the Fran’s Valentine distance.Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and Marsha Naify she is 13-3-5-2 overall with earnings of $184,228.Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will send out stakes winner Heat Du Jour. A winner of the Solana Beach Handicap at Del Mar on August 17 at a mile on turf, Heat Du Jour ran fifth in her next two stakes attempts; the Grade II Yellow Ribbon Handicap on Sept. 1 and the Oct. 4 Swingtime Stakes.Owned in part by Hollendorfer as well as Mark Schlaich and George Todaro, she is 26-5-2-4 overall with earnings of $263,910.The complete field for the Fran’s Valentine Stakes to be run as the sixth race on a 10-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: My Monet, Gonzalo Nicolas, 121; Wild in the Saddle, Rafael Bejarano, 124; Go West Marie, Gary Stevens, 121; Heat Du Jour, Corey Nakatani, 124; Chati’s On Top, Santiago Gonzalez, 121; Qiaona, Mike Smith, 119; Mangita, Aaron Gryder, 119; Chilada, Elvis Trujillo, 119. ARCADIA, Calif. (May 20, 2015)–A pair of $200,000 stakes, the Snow Chief, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf and the Melair Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, headline a total of five stakes restricted to horses bred or sired in California on Saturday, California Gold Rush Day, at Santa Anita.The Snow Chief, which attracted a field of 11, is headed by Grazen Sky and Richard’s Boy, both recent stakes winners, along with impressive allowance winners Rocko’s Wheel and Zinvor.Owned and bred by Nick Alexander and trained by Steve Miyadi, Grazen Sky, a grey or roan colt by Grazen out of the Sky Mesa mare Sky Marni, tried turf for the first time and pressed the pace en route to a 1 ¼ length win in the one mile Silky Sullivan Stakes on April 26 at Golden Gate Fields. The 6-5 favorite in a field of six state-breds, Grazen Sky followed up on a good second to highly regarded Gimme Da Lute in the 6 ½ furlong Echo Eddie Stakes at Santa Anita on April 4.With three wins and three seconds from six starts, Grazen Sky has earnings of $186,800. Like the rest of the field, he’ll try the deep waters of a mile and one eighth for the first time in the Snow Chief.Owned by Rockingham Ranch and conditioned by Peter Miller, Richard’s Boy comes off a neck win as the 9-5 favorite in the Desert Code Stakes, which was run at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course May 2. A grey or roan gelding by Idiot Proof, Richard’s Boy finished third, a half length behind Grazen Sky two starts back in the Echo Eddie. With four wins from five starts, Richard’s Boy, who will try two turns for the first time, has earnings of $187,840.Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and co-breeder Jimmy Ukegawa, Rocko’s Wheel rallied from off the pace to take a 1 1/16 miles state-bred allowance by 1 ¾ lengths on April 26 and thus looms a serious contender given his proven ability to act around two turns. Trained by Phil D’Amato, Rocko’s Wheel earned a Snow Chief best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 89 and will try to transfer his recent sharp form onto turf, which he’ll try for the first time.A dark bay or brown colt by Grazen, Rocko’s Wheel is out of the Double Honor mare Honored Gold and was bred in-part by D’Amato’s mentor, the late Mike Mitchell. Rocko’s Wheel has two wins from four starts and earnings of $81,900.Trained by John Sadler and owned by Triple B Farms, Zinvor was a handy 2 ¼ length state-bred allowance winner going a mile on turf April 4, and with two wins from three tries on grass, he rates a huge chance in the Snow Chief. A dark bay or brown gelding by Tribal Rule out of the Woodman mare Shady Lady Dancer, Zinvor is 8-2-2-1 overall with earnings of $109,068.The complete field for the Snow Chief Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a 10-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Cardiac, Santiago Gonzalez, 118; Richard’s Boy, Fernando Perez, 123; Book Thirty Four, Felipe Valdez, 118; Zinvor, Victor Espinoza, 120; Grazen Sky, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Chief of Staff, Tyler Baze, 118; Temple Keys, Drayeden Van Dyke, 118; Neveradoubt, Flavien Prat, 118; Rocko’s Wheel, Joe Talamo, 120; Pulmarack, Corey Nakatani, 118, and Over Par, Mario Gutierrez, 118. Graded Stakes winner Harlington’s Rose heads the field in Saturday’s Spring Fever Stakes for California-bred or sired older fillies and mares going six furlongs.Winner of the Grade III Las Flores on March 8 at the Spring Fever distance, Harlington’s Rose has finished in the money in each of her last four starts, including a third place finish in the Grade II Santa Monica on Jan. 19 after a slow start.The Steve Knapp trainee will again be ridden by Joe Talamo who has been aboard for her last four starts. Harlington’s Rose is owned by Thomas Halasz, Ryan Johnson, Paul Newhart and partners and is 21-4-5-2 overall with earnings of $371,040.Philip D’Amato’s Sunday Rules will be looking for her fifth win in a row Saturday. The lightly raced 4-year-old filly by Tribal Rule broke her maiden at first asking in August 2013, went on to win the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar the same year then after a 10 month layoff returned to the races winning by 8 ¾ lengths in her 2014 debut at Santa Anita. After another approximate 10 month layoff, she won again on April 30 going 6 ½ furlongs in an optional allowance race and looks ready to go once again.Sunday Rules is owned by her breeder Nick Alexander and has $224,880 in earnings.The complete field for the Spring Fever Stakes to be run as the third race on a 10-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Shakeitupbetty, Elvis Trujillo, 119; Harlington’s Rose, Joe Talamo, 123; Sidepocket Run, Tiago Pereira, 119; Meinertzhageni, Fernando Perez, 121; Sunday Rules, Tyler Baze, 121; Tribal Gal, Rafael Bejarano, 119. First post time on California Gold Rush Day is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.
Smith has redefined the role of an Origin or Test captain since taking over the position for Queensland and Australia after Darren Lockyer’s retirement in 2011 and Maroons coach Kevin Walters admitted the state had “lost our captain and our leader.”While no decision has yet been made on who will captain the Maroons in this year’s series, Inglis is the obvious choice and he is already considered a great indigenous leader and role model.On the field, he has been the Rabbitohs captain since 2015 and has previously skippered the Indigenous All Stars and Prime Minister’s XIII.After suffering mental health issues following the knee injury which sidelined him for all but one match last season, Souths officials spoke to him about the added work load of being captain but he insisted he wanted to resume the position when he returned.The Queensland and Kangaroos jobs come with even greater responsibilities but Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess, who has captained England and deputised for Inglis at the Rabbitohs last season, insists Inglis he would cope.“He has handled it here with us and we are not a quiet club, there is always a lot of interest around us,” Burgess said.“I guess with everything Greg has been through it was never going to be a quiet transition, coming back and captaining our side. He has handled that extremely well. I am sure he can manage it.”Inglis declined to comment on the captaincy at Souths training on Tuesday as like most in the game he had not been aware that Smith was planning to call time on a 12-year Origin and Test career which has established him as one of the game’s greatest players.However, Burgess and halfback Adam Reynolds said Inglis, who would become just the third Indigenous player to captain Queensland after Arthur Beetson and Gorden Tallis if chosen, was ideally suited for the role.“This year he has been unbelievably influential across our group,” Burgess said. I have really enjoyed having him back as the captain of the team. He is just growing every week.“This Greg, that I am seeing at my personal level, is the best version of Greg that I have seen.“He has already been a fantastic role model for me and a lot of others throughout our careers but right now he is fine-tuning his leadership and it is great working with him.“He is now clear in his conversations with other players. Everyone grows and gets more experienced, and Greg has just grown every day. I think he would be a great fit.”Reynolds said Inglis deserved the honour of captaining Queensland.“He is the captain of our club and he has done a lot in our game too,” Reynolds said. “For Greg, I am sure he would be proud and his family would be proud.“He has done a great job for us at Souths and I am sure that would transfer well into the Origin arena.”Meanwhile, Burgess paid tribute to Smith’s leadership and described him as a “benchmark” for other captains.“I have had the pleasure of captaining against him a few times and he has always been a great role model for the international game,” Burgess said.“He knows the game extremely well, he is a very good player and a very good leader of men. He seems to have a knack at that. He is a wonderful player, I respect what he is about and what he has done in the game. He does everything fantastically well.“He has captained Australia, Queensland and Melbourne … and you look at the success of all of those three teams it is pretty unbelievable and it no coincidence. He is obviously a great leader. I’d dare say he is the benchmark.”