Horse Racing News


Super Bowl 50 injury report: Panthers, Broncos relatively healthy for Sunday's game
February 06, 2016 (01:00) [ Indexed from ]
Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis (arm) and Broncos safeties T.J. Ward (ankle) and Darian Stewart (knee) should all play Sunday. More...
Weekend watch: Yes, there is life before Sunday's Super Bowl 50
February 05, 2016 (23:45) [ Indexed from ]
NFL overload is a real danger. To avoid it, sports fans need alternatives. Here are SN's suggestions for the weekend. More...
Charles Barkley destroys Phoenix Suns franchise in rant to remember
February 05, 2016 (15:30) [ Indexed from ]
The Suns have old cheese, stale chips and put pickles on their nachos. More...
Stop vilifying Bill Self, Sean Miller for tough love
February 04, 2016 (17:30) [ Indexed from ]
Spittin' angry. Raving mad. Hands flailing and faces turning red. We've seen it several times this year " college coaches somad about something that happened (or didn't happen) on the court or the field that theirreaction suddenly usurps the focus of the entire game. MORE: Ranking the best states for college hoops Many seem to think that there's a line between a coach taking the necessarycorrective action and just plainthrowing a player under the bus, but is it really that simple? No. That line only exists when you're on the outside looking in. Bill Self wasmakingheadlines Thursday morningafter the Jayhawks beat in-state rival Kansas State handily on Wednesday night. Self was perturbed by Brannen Greene's dunk, an uncontested two-hand jam that came while Kansas was routing K-State " a move he called "probably the biggest d" move I've ever had a player do during the game." It was so egregious, Self felt, that he began his postgame press conference with an apology on his team's behalf. He didn't just throw Greene under the team bus. He backed it up and ran him over again. Make no mistake about that. But Greene's tenure with the Jayhawks hasn't exactly been pristine. He was suspended earlier this fall and banned from traveling with the team to the Maui Invitational after reportedly arguing with Self over playing time. MORE: One charged in murder of Mercer hooper That's an important consideration in determining whether Self's comments were over-the-top. Greene's prior tangles with insubordination make him less of a sympathetic figure and make itmore difficult to cast Self as the villain. Whatever corrective action Self had undertaken privately was clearly not effective in getting his message across to Greene, so he used the press to deliver a new one: obey or be embarrassed. It was not unlike the messageArizona'sSean Miller deliveredin last week'sKaleb Tarczewski melodrama, where he was immediately cast as the malefactor. Tarczewski, who missed more than a month this winter while nursing a foot injury, struggledto work his way through a few defensive lapses in the Wildcats' home loss to Oregon. The Ducks managed to snap Arizona's 49-game home winning streak, but what made headlines after the gamewasMiller's reaction to his defensive lapses. As Tarczewski walked off the court, he apparently toldMiller to "relax" and sparked this tirade from the coach, who was quite literally spitting mad. MORE: 10 best Kansas players of all time "If you ever talk to me like that again, m"f"er, you will never f"ing go back in thegame," he said. At one point, Miller got inches from Tarczewski's face to make his point. That's one way to get your point across if you are Sean Miller " DailyWildcatHoops (@WildcatHoops) January 29, 2016 When asked on Saturday if he had any regrets about his behavior toward Tarczewski, Miller said he didn't. "When youre a coach and youre in a program like ours, youre going to be corrected, youre going to be coached and I think part of it is to be receptive to that. Thats whats going to bring out the best not only in our team, but also the players." Certainly every player responds toa different message. The foundation of coaching hinges upon one's ability to deliver the same message to each of his players in such a way that he summons the most effort, which is the mainreason why Miller took issue with the perception of hisoutburst. MORE: 10 greatest Arizona players of all time "I dont care what its perceived like," Millercontinued."I have a great relationship with Kaleb, and he has a great relationship with me and unfortunately in todays world... its trying to catch you, trying to catch coaches. 'What can I do to get this guy fired? Is there anything I can do to catch him behind the scenes?'" The relationship between player and coach is no different than any relationship. There are peaks and valleys. There are misunderstandings. There are squabbles. The difference is that these momentsare often occuring in very public, high-pressure situations and in front of people " fans " who don't get to see the moments behind the scenes. Miller and Self have been at this whole coaching thing for a combined 35 years. That's a lot of relationships to navigate.If you figure there are 15 players on every team, that's 525 different personalities they've managed through the years. Two incidences? That's a pittance. That alone should earn them the benefit of the doubt here. More...
Jim Irsay says he asked Peyton Manning to retire as a Colt
February 04, 2016 (17:15) [ Indexed from ]
Peyton Mannings future beyond Sunday has been fodder for plenty of speculation. Jim Irsay has an idea for when No. 18 decides to call it a career:retire as an Indianapolis Colt. MORE: Peyton's Top 10 performances | QBs who hung on too long I want him to and I've asked him to, Irsay told WISH-TV (via the Denver Post). I would love to have him retire as a Colt and how he handles that part of his career. And when it comes, I think he's going about it the right way. Look, he's focused on this game. We all talk about staying in the moment, staying in the day, and I think the older you get, the more you practice that because you realize you're given only one day at a time. I think he really has tunnel vision in the sense that he doesn't want to think about that part of his life after football. Him and I have talked about that through the years, of course, as he's gotten older. What he might do and the opportunities are obviously many for him. It was Irsay who orchestrated Mannings exodus from Indianapolis in order to draft Andrew Luck with the top pick in the 2012 draft. The parting was professional by all accounts and each side has enjoyed success following Mannings move to Denver. CBS Sports noted that Manning could sign a one-day contract in order to fulfill Irsay's wish for an Indy blue-and-white ending. Still, it could get awkward if the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 and Manning decides to ride into the sunset on a high note. According to the Post, Manning was asked by Denver media in 2012 ifhe planned to retire as a Bronco. He answered Yes. More...
Super Bowl pick straight-up: Newton, Panthers take the 'D' out of Denver
February 04, 2016 (16:30) [ Indexed from ]
Either Peyton Manning rides into the sunset with that legacy-cementing second Lombardi Trophy, or Cam Newton gets the win that fulfills the destiny set for him when he was picked first in the draft just five years ago. The NFL couldnt have asked for a better plot for the landmark 50th Super Bowl than what the Panthers and Broncos have written. By now, theres nothing you don't know about both teams. You just want to know who will win. MORE: Super Bowl odds update| Most-bet Super Bowl props As usual: Newton and Manning, understandably and fairly, are the two marquee names, yet defense will decide who wins. The Broncos have become exactly the team John Elway wanted them to be two years ago after they got dragged by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl: defense-first, loaded with talent that has paid off (first in the NFL in yardage and sacks). They put a historic beating on, of all people, Tom Brady, in the AFC title game. They won individual and scheme match-ups everywhere. The Patriots line was overwhelmed, and the Panthers line can be beaten and has weaknesses (whichever side Von Miller lines up on, either tackle, Michael Oher or Mike Remmers, will probably need help, or need to play the game of his life). However, pressuring Brady and pressuring Newton are two completely different things. Newton is now playing at such a level that a defense can do everything right and still not keep him from making whatever play he needs to, from the pocket, outside of it or on the run. His NFC title game against a Cardinals defense thats as elite as the Broncos is, proved that. Plus, the Panthers can and will run the ball, with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert and that same line, which is outstanding on run blocking. The Broncos didnt face anywhere close to that quality of running game in the AFC playoffs. MORE: Historical 1-2 punch: Cam vs. Von |History is not on Manning's side If Newton defuses the Broncos defense, then, its up to Manning and the Broncos offense to do damage to the Panthers defense " which will have Thomas Davis playing with a broken arm, but otherwise is superlative. Worth noting: they led the NFL in takeaways with 39, and had seven against the Cardinals. Manning has no turnovers in the playoffs so far but threw 17 picks in the nine games before he got hurt, and has kind of a rep about that in his playoff history. Thats a bad combination for the Broncos. There are a lot of bad combinations for them in this game. Its been said many times throughout this shocker of a season, but the Panthers didnt get here by luck. Theyre 17-1 on merit. Theyll get to 18-1 the same way. Prediction: Panthers, 31-17 Record Championship games: 2-0 Postseason total: 7-3 Carolina Panthers (17-1) vs. Denver Broncos (14-4), at Levis Stadium, Santa Clara, Cal. Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS More...
Josh Norman isn't who you think he is
February 04, 2016 (14:30) [ Indexed from ]
GREENWOOD, S.C. " Winter lays bare the foundation of J.W. BabbStadium. The ghosts of a powerhouse program's past sit heavy on the seats. As football slept in Greenwood, someone tore the grass and green from the ground. What remained: A swath of mud, baked by the South Carolina sun. Awaiting its new coat of turf.Stripped of its luster. Stripped of its sod facade and Friday night lights. A reminder of whatunearthing roots can help us see: The most colorfulwonders of this world " good, bad and eccentric " are still made from the soil stuff of home. Soil made from stardust. Stardust lost beneath the blend of what we see and what we know. PHOTOS: Josh Norman, from Greenwood to greatness | Ron Rivera is no novelty If no one else knew, Greenwood'sJosh Norman knew he had starstuff. In middle school, the fourth brother of five boys carried with him a dream and a notebook of doodles. Within each: football plays. Big football plays. Beyond Greenwood football plays. "Every day in practice, he'd prepare to be where he is at today," said Tony Temple, Norman's position coach at Greenwood in 2006. "It was never like, 'I'm just playing high school football.' His preparation was to be the best he could be every day." But now that he made it, the Super Bowl-bound Carolina Panthers cornerbackcarries Greenwood with him. And Greenwood, in turn, carries his story. The true story, they'd tell you. The story of the Norman we see versus the Norman they know. As longtime family friend Lisa Hamlin put it, "A lot of people don't know him like we do." Some of the words repeated interview after interview fit the portraitalready painted: Norman as on-field aggressor, off-field jokester, a ballhawk who can squawk. But others beggar belief until you hear them a fourth time, a fifth: Norman as the humble servant, the country boy, the sweet boy, a selfless superstar who does some of his best work in silence. And that's the thing. Norman is exactly who you think he is. And yet, in many ways, the opposite of what you'd expect. *** THE JOURNEY OUT OF GREENWOOD "The thing people don't know about Josh that they need to know about Josh is that nothing was handed to Josh," Kevin Addis told Sporting News. The defensive coordinator sits at his desk, the classroom wall behind him a photo-collage and homage to Greenwood's greatest players. A list that includes NFL players past and present " names like Robert Brooks, Ben Coates, Armanti Edwards, John Gilliam and Norman's former teammate D.J. Swearinger. But Norman, Addis says, is different. "He takes it as a personal challenge that nothing is handed to him," said Addis, who served as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator in Norman's time. "That everything he is going to get, he's going to earn." No matter the question, each coach who encountered Norman circles back to the same story: This kid wasn't the natural. He was the worker, relentlessly competitive, studious. The kid who wore grooves into the floor of the weight room and into the back of DVDs, hisopponents' plays on constant pause, rewind, repeat. MORE: Greatest Carolina Panthers of all time "Josh competed at every single thing we did," Addis said. "If we were in the weight room, he was going to lift longer than everybody else. If it was an individual drill, he was going to win that drill. If he didn't win that drill, he would get extremely upset, and he wanted to continue to do that drill until he was credited with winning that drill." According to Norman's former coaches, that drive didn't end at season's end. Michael Hudson " a coach until 2005 and now an assistant principal at Greenwood " said Norman separated himself in the offseason, organizing drills, getting better year after year. "The reason he became a leader is because he worked," Hudson said. "He didn't tell people how hard he was working. He showed people how hard he was working." But with that chapter of Norman's story, we know how it ends. Not everyone saw that hard work. Despite being the best player on the 2006 South Carolina state championship team;despite being so versatile on defense that five different coaches offered five different explanations of the position he played;Norman didn't get a single D-I scholarship offer " only interest from Mars Hill, a D-II school less than three hours from home. Why? Circumstance and set ways. His academic eligibility came a little late as he improved test scores. He didn't attend many camps that would spotlight this kid lighting up a small town in South Carolina. And he didn't look the part. Photo provided by Greenwood HS. "So many kids have measurables," Hudson explained. "There's a set standard of measurables for D-I college cornerbacks. This height. This speed. This weight. Josh didn't have some of those." So schools passed on extending a scholarship and enkindled a fire. "That was tough on him that he didn't get the looks he thought he deserved to get," Addis said. "That's where that fire was built, that fire that's still burning now: To prove people wrong." UNDETERRED: Every NFL team's best undrafted free agent The rest iswell-chronicled Norman mythology, yet somehow true. He took classes at Horry Georgetown Tech. Followed his brother Marrio's footsteps, sans scholarship, to Coastal Carolina. Earned a scholarship as a walk-on after his freshman year. Then proceeded to kick ass. The first-team FCS All-American did enough to become a fifth-round pick for the Panthers in 2012. Then proceeded to get his ass kicked, to get benched in 2013. Two years later, he's an All-Pro cornerback. A Super Bowl contender. A community's hidden gem deemed unworthy of a scholarship who has become a team's stud due a big contract. "It was really hard going through all the things I went through," Norman told reporters Monday. "...I just shut down. I had to find my way through all the mess that was out there and just try to build myself up." Six-time state champion and South Carolina coaching legend Shell Dula" who coached Norman at Greenwood " looks back at that story and pinpoints the through-line: Norman never settled for what he was; not while there was still more to become. "He continually got better," Dula said. "You cannot say enough about his work ethic, his perseverance, his willingness to pay the price." That's the journey we know. Close to clich. A Cinderella story, Norman's glass slipper a cleat forever stained with Greenwood soil. The man who made it from there to here. But it's the Norman that keeps going back to Greenwood who has earned the heart of a hometown. Who gives off the field as much as he takes while on it. THE JOURNEY BACK TO GREENWOOD "There are a lot of people who have been faithful to this community after they go on to do good things," Hudson said. "But I really believe Josh wants to do as much as is physically possible for him to help other people, not for his gain or anything." Before you can understand why Norman gives so much to Greenwood, you have to understand the Norman they know. "Some of that, what you see of him, is part of his personality," Addis admitted. "But I think there's so much more to Josh than what everybody understands." So yes, Norman talkedtrash, but did not lack substance. "He led by example, maybe more so than words," Dula said. "He worked hard. He put forth a lot of effort. So when he did speak, it was a time when people listened to what he had to say." MORE: Defending against Cam Newton hypocrisy Yes, Norman always displayedthisquirky soul and sense of humor, pushed buttons to see how far he could go with a joke. But never at the expense of his team, or his game. "Just an unbelievable personality," Addis said. "The prankster. The jokester. The guy that was so funny. I think that his teammates, and us as coaches, we gravitated toward him because he was a blast to be around off the field. And even on the field. But at the same time, he was going wide open." And yes, Norman is a physical terror on the field, a habitual blurrer of lines in his aggression. But never, those who know him say, out of maliciousness. "I think sometimes, when players play with passion, it's misinterpreted," Temple said. "I think the biggest thing is that Josh understands that on the field he has to play at another level to be the player he needs to be. That intense focus. But off the field, he's a humble person. He's just like me and you." The Norman they know inspires a series of words said again and again: Country boy, kind, humble and hard-working. Characteristics hard to reconcile with Norman'spublic persona, yet also hard to argue when you hear them echoed from the streets of uptown to a porch-bound rocking chair at Greenwood Farm and Feed. Hard to refute when you hear them from a kindergarten teacher and cancer survivor whose picture hangs in Norman's condo " who felt the tears flow when the Falcons visited Charlotte in December, the first time she'd seen Norman play since the sickness subsided. Lisa Hamlin has known Norman, a good friend to her daughter Leslie, since he was in middle school.Then, he was the boy who rode with them to games on Friday, when his brother Marrio also wason the field. Josh was the boy who lived on a farm, was "raised in the church," who rode horses, the son of strong, Christian parents, the second-youngestof the Norman five " all athletic. No braggadocios bone in his body, as far as she could see. "He was a sweet, sweet boy," Hamlin told SN. "Kind of shy. Very humble." Hamlin sings Norman's accolades for him. Over the years, she has cut out every article she saw written about him, pasted them to the wall of her kindergarten classroom. The kids, she says, play outside and vie for the right to say, to pretend, "I'm Josh Norman!" And he's no invisible hero to them, no distant dream of the imagination. His hands " those now-famous hands " have left fingerprints all over Greenwood. Photo provided by Greenwood HS. Among his list of contributions: Norman gave $10,000 to the family of Andre Day, his former football (Northside) and basketball (Greenwood) teammate taken too soon by leukemia. The funeral was the Saturday before the NFC title game. Norman was there. He gave $10,000 separately to six Greenwood churches. For Christmas, Hamlin says, "close to 200 people" received food, signed footballs, pictures and gifts for their children. Norman had those who couldn't get there by car bussed in. And he was there. A Christian presence in a Godly town; Coach Temple " who headed Greenwood's Fellowship of Christian Athletes and often went to church with Norman " described faith as being big in Norman's life. He remembered seeing Norman, as an FCA counselor, play Jesus in a skit. And play it big. The play's title: "The Champion." The Greenwood perception of Norman, personified. Not a savior(let's not commit sacrilege in the south), but larger than life, the center of attention, but serving something greater. Putting on an act, but genuine. A champion who had to rise again. A human dichotomy. CONSTRUCTION JOB: How the Panthers built a Super Bowl contender And Normangave money, of course, to Greenwood's athletic program " the first institution that allowed him to chase rings and glory. All of this, it should be noted, on a fifth-round pick's rookie contract " a contract that, before taxes, contained an average salary of $574,750. "I think a lot of people think that Josh is this multi-millionaire NFL football player," Addis said. "He's not ... He's given amounts of money that, probably, realistically, he doesn't really have. Or he doesn't need to be giving that much. I just think that shows you how much he loves where he's coming from." *** Greenwood sits less than three hours south of Charlotte, 100 miles as the crow flies " a small city with two faces. To the distant traveler, the outsider, it's a bypass town. A strip of commercial real estate on amain through-road, so out of touch with the community conversation that the mall's HibbettSports features but one rack of Panthers gear. No Norman jerseys. No sign of their local son. Beyond that sterile strip lies a Southern town as you'd expect to see it. Quaint. God-fearing. Stratified. Separated, perhaps segregated, into communities described incoded words,genteel and rough. Equal parts concrete and country. Equal parts shotgun houses and plantation-style homes. A place that, for some families, went from a mill-town to a where-will-I-get-my-next-meal town. But back at Greenwood Highlies, by most accounts, a unifier. A stretch of common soil awaiting turf. A spectacle of a stadium. The house that Pinky Babb built; the home of Josh Norman. Photo provided by Greenwood HS. These are his roots. This is his soil. The substance beneath the style. An admittedly romantic, but intriguing, view of an enigmatic figure in football's biggest game. For in many ways Norman encompasses all of that Greenwood community, all at once. He is football town. He is God's country. He is farmland and city. He is humility and Southern swagger, and all the contradictions in between. But he is also "and you see it in their eyes, hear it in their voice " hope. He is what Greenwood aspires to be. He graduated high school as his city took a downward turn toward depression; he, too, was presented with mortality. Presented with the possibility that his best days were bygone, his American dream dashed by circumstance, by negligence. Then he made it anyway. And that defiance resonates. "He's a fighter," Addis said. "A survivor. And he's going to get what he thinks is rightfully his. "I don't think that he's the best cornerback in the NFL. But I know that Joshthinkshe's the best cornerback in the NFL. And because of that, he actually has a chance tobethe best cornerback in the NFL." Ah, the power of belief. Perhaps that's why Greenwood so effusively, so without caveat, believes in Josh Norman. Because they must. Or maybe, because they should. Because he believes in himself, no matter the size of the stage. Fame, like winter to a field, can lay bare the foundation of a man. Reveal his character, his flaws. Riches, like turf to a surface, can leave an artificial sheen on the unseen. But if there is anything synthetic about Norman, it's a product of his own making. "There's nothing like being self-made," he told reporters this week. "There's nothing like self-made because then nobody can take nothing from you." And then and only then, it follows, you're free to give. More...
US ace Frosted expected to warm to Meydan task
February 04, 2016 (12:00) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
LAST week trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was regaling the Racing Post about his battles in New York following Storm Jonas; yesterday he was in the sunnier climes of Dubai discussing the prospects of World Cup joint-second favourite Frosted. More...
US ace Frosted expected to warm to the task
February 04, 2016 (09:45) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
LAST week trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was regaling the Racing Post about his battles in New York following Storm Jonas; yesterday he was in the sunnier climes of Dubai discussing the prospects of World Cup joint-second favourite Frosted. More...
Broncos notebook: Manning touts SEC experience
February 04, 2016 (01:30) [ Indexed from ]
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who played collegiatelyat Tennessee, showed some respect Wednesday to the Southeastern Conferenceon college football's National Signing Day. When asked about Panthers QB CamNewton, who also played in the SEC at Auburn, Manning had some love for his old league. "You should be a great quarterback in the NFL if you were an outstanding quarterback in the best conference in college football, the SEC," Manning said. "It's just a no-brainer. The SEC prepares you better than any other conference. I got it out there. I'm on the record." MORE: Our dream Super Bowl matchup | Take the Cam quiz Back on the field A pair of key defenders returnedfor Wednesday's practice. Safeties Darian Stewart (knee) and T.J. Ward (ankle) both participated at Stanford Stadium. Stewart said he's "pain-free" after spraining his MCL during the AFC championship game. Cornerback Chris Harris also used the bye week to get his injured left shoulder healthy and said Wednesday he feels "a lot better." Moving on from Murphy Broncos coach Gary Kubiak sent rookie safety Ryan Murphy home after the practice squad player was questioned Tuesday night during a police prostitution sting. Murphy's brother was cited for solicitation. "There's disappointment, but it's been dealt with and we've moved on," Kubiak said Wednesday. "We're focused on what we have to do football-wise." MORE: Newton, Von Miller form best 1-2 draft combo Sheriff's sunset Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware expects Manning to play at a high level Sunday and wants to give him a Super Bowl title in what might be his final game. "People call him the sheriff and he always has his guns out no matter what. Its just really enjoyable to be a part of that," Ware said. "If this was Peytons last game, I know hed want to play it like his last. Its been a motto of all the guys each week, play every play like its your last. "If it is, we have to send him off right and you know that youre going to get a game that probably nobody has seen. Im looking forward to it. SPECIAL REPORT: NFL and race: a 50-year journey Still just football While the Super Bowl is filled with a lot of pomp and spectacle, Kubiak has tried to keep his players on an "even keel" and remind them they're still just playing football once the they step onto the field. "The thing that's different about this game is there's a lot of down time between the start of the game and warmups. There are a lot of activities. Halftime's a lot longer," Kubiak said. "We've talked about those things and we're going to try to adjust. "The game's not going to change. We're still going to play 60 minutes." More...
Making the Grade: Sunny Ridge
February 02, 2016 (23:30) [ Indexed from ]
This week we take a closer look at Sunny Ridge, winner of the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) on Jan. 30 at Aqueduct Racetrack. More...
Suns reportedly fire Jeff Hornacek as head coach
February 01, 2016 (13:45) [ Indexed from ]
Sunny Ridge Prevails in Withers Stakes
January 30, 2016 (20:45) [ Indexed from ]
Sunny Ridge would not be denied his first graded stakes win Saturday, Jan. 30 as he outlasted Vorticity to win the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack. More...
Fontwell abandons Sunday card as storms move in
January 29, 2016 (10:15) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
THE meeting at Fontwell on Sunday has been abandoned due to waterlogging as wind and rain sweeps in to disrupt British fixtures. More...
Aqueduct Cancels Sunday Card
January 23, 2016 (18:15) [ Indexed from ]
Due to severe winter weather, the New York Racing Association cancelled racing and simulcasting at Aqueduct Jan. 23 and will not race Jan. 24, although the track is expected to be open for simulcasting Jan. 24. More...
Bloody Mary off the menu as Fontwell cancels Sunday card
January 23, 2016 (10:00) [ Indexed from Racing Post ]
SUNDAY'S meeting at Fontwell, due to feature the British debut of the intriguing Bloody Mary, has been abandoned as the course is waterlogged. More...

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