By Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsThe Castlegar Community Complex was rocking Friday night. But it wasn’t the Rebels on a run to the KIJHL title playing Canada’s game that people were flocking to see.No, the attraction sparking the attention of spectators from Nelson to Nakusp was the West Kootenay Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby.“No, I’m not overwhelmed,” Rossland’s Gnarlies Angels coach Kevin said when asked about the recent success of the league.“I’m not even surprised because this is such an amazing game,” he added. “I don’t know how (Flat Track Roller Derby) stayed underground for so long but now its taking Canada like a wildfire.”The West Kootenay League has five teams entered — the Salmo Babes of Brutality, Gnarlies Angels, Dam City Rollers of Castlegar and two teams from Nelson,Friday’s doubleheader had the Dam City Rollers up against the Babes of Brutality in the curtain raiser. The second game of the night had Nelson’s Killjoys up against the Gnarlies Angels. “In Salmo, our team has been skating for year and a half but the Castlegar girls are doing a way better than we were at this stage last year and have been only skating for half a year so they’re doing awesome,” said Babes’ skater Trixie Beltem, looking ever so intimidating with her Cinco de Mayo painted face.It’s clear from the scores of the night there are two really good teams in the league that will continue to dominate until the other squads catch up.Salmo’s Babes of Brutality won the opening tilt 204-61. The nightcap had Gnarlies Angels of Rossland scoring 70-plus points with only 15 minutes gone in the 30-minute first half.That Grand Canyon-like discrepancy in the caliber has not slowed the enthusiasm by the lesser teams or interest in the league.“We have way too many (skaters) on teams right now and people keep calling wanting to join teams that are already full,” said the Rossland coach.Flat Track Roller Derby uses many of the same rules of the older banked track sport seen on television during the 60’s and 70’s.Each heat begins with a pack of blockers lead by two pivots. The two jammers from each team, who score the points, start a 10 meters behind the pack and begin skating when the last blocker crosses the pivot line.The jammers work their way through the pack of blockers to score points. Jammers begin to score points upon their second pass through the pack. The only difference between the lead jammer and the opposing jammer is the lead jammer has the ability to call off the jam. Calling off the Jam can prevent the opposing jammer from earning points when used strategically. The season opened last month in Rossland.The next league action is scheduled for Saturday, May 28 at the NDCC Arena.There is league action in July and August before the season finale goes September 11 in Rossland.If interest keeps building in the league organizers may want to kick the walls out of the Rossland Arena to guarantee there’s not a Vancouver-Canuck-like riot for those people not able to get in the door to watch the firstname.lastname@example.org
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Time Out- Los Angeles recently featured our facilities writing, “The Arcadia thoroughbred racetrack kicks off its winter season with an afternoon of horse racing. Splurge for a Guest Chef Series ticket and you’ll be treated to a pop-up from the Church Key as well as live music by James Torme (son of Mel) in the Candelier Room.” The site also allows space to review your own experience.Via Time Out- Los Angeles
OHIO: Trained by Paulo Lobo, this 5-year-old horse by Elusive Quality was an emphatic gate to wire winner under Gary Stevens here March 5, but will be ridden by Brice Blanc in the American, as Stevens is away to ride in Kentucky. A winner of his final start in South America, a four length score going 7 ½ furlongs on turf in Argentina on Sept. 12, Ohio is in search of his third consecutive win in what will be his initial attempt in group or graded company. Owned by Bonne Chance Farm, LLC and Stud R D I, LLC, lightly raced Ohio has five wins and two seconds from eight starts and has a win and a second from three tries at one mile on turf. TWENTYTWENTYVISION: Trained by Richard Mandella, this 5-year-old Pollard’s Vision gelding rallied strongly to be second, beaten a length, by multiple graded stakes winning What a View in the Thunder Road and was an impressive half length allowance winner two starts back going 1 1/16 miles on turf Aug. 22 at Del Mar. With a recent race under his belt, Twentytwentyvision should be plenty tough with Rafael Bejarano set to ride for the first time. Owned by Peter O. and Ellen Johnson, consistent Twentytwentyvision has a win and two seconds from three tries at the American distance and is 9-4-3-2 overall with earnings of $277,480. ARCADIA, Calif. (May 1, 2016)–Brazilian-bred Ohio, a dazzling 2 ¾ length winner going one mile on turf in his U.S. debut March 5, and classy Twentytwentyvision, who was a solid second to multiple graded stakes winner What a View in the Grade III, one mile turf Thunder Road Stakes April 9, figure prominently in Friday’s Grade III, $100,000 American Stakes at Santa Anita. For 3-year-olds and up at a flat mile on grass, the American has attracted a competitive field of nine on day two of Santa Anita’s 40-day Spring Meet. THE GRADE III AMERICAN STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS Race 6 (of 9) Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PDT Si Sage–Santiago Gonzalez–120Southern Freedom–Martin Garcia–120Little Curlin–Martin Pedroza–120Ohio–Brice Blanc–120Patentar–Alonso Quinonez–120Cape Wolfe–Edwin Maldonado–120Producer–Tyler Baze–120Twentytwentyvision–Rafael Bejarano–120Home Run Kitten–Joe Talamo–120First post time on Friday, Kentucky Oaks Day, at Santa Anita, is at 2 p.m. Admission gates will open for early wagering on eastern tracks at 7:15 and wagering will be available at that time in Santa Anita’s Paddock Room. All other areas will be open for wagering at 11:30 p.m. Approximate post time for the Kentucky Oaks is at 2:49 p.m. PDT.
NYQUIST: PERFECT IS AS PERFECT DOESTRAINER FELT ENERGY OF TEAM O’NEILLGUTIERREZ IS MR. COOL IN THE SADDLESTELLAR WIND WORKS FOR VANITY MILEGOLDEN GATE JACKPOT NEARS $700,000 THE FACT IS, ALL NYQUIST DOES IS WINPrivate clocker Gary Young hadn’t fully scrutinized replays of Nyquist’s Kentucky Derby win Sunday, but he did allow as to how the son of Uncle Mo couldn’t be faulted in victory.“He got a great trip,” Young said. “The ironic part is, going into the race everyone said if the pace was slow the front-runners would keep running and if the pace was fast the come-from-behinders would run good.“The pace was fast and the only horse that made up any ground was Exaggerator. I haven’t yet seen the replays that thoroughly, but it didn’t look like that many horses had troubled trips.“There was still some water on the track after that half-hour downpour before the race, and I have heard that some horses might have been slipping and sliding.“But Nyquist won. All he does is win.”Trainer Brian Koriner summed it up: “California rules!” NYQUIST, SEATTLE SLEW MADE FROM SAME MOLD?The sun was out in all its glory at Santa Anita early Sunday morning, as if the racinggods were content in the knowledge that a three-year-old from Southern California had won the Kentucky Derby for the fourth time in the last five years.Saturday it was Nyquist, who joined I’ll Have Another (2012), California Chrome (2014) and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (2015). The comfortable 1 ¼-length victory under a flawless ride by Mario Gutierrez for owners Paul and Zillah Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill extended Nyquist’s unbeaten streak to eight.Nyquist covered the mile and a quarter in 2:01.31, the third-fastest time for the distance in the track’s long existence. For good measure, Santa Anita-based Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator closed from 15th in the field of 20 to be second, the only horse to make up significant ground against the winner, although Nyquist was never seriously threatened.Still, some of Nyquist’s naysayers were not dispatched.John Shirreffs was not among the coterie of critics when the trainer of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo at 50-1 was asked whether the Golden State dominance might be attributed to something in the water, so to speak.“New York has the best water in the world; ask all the pizza makers,” Shirreffs said, laughing aloud over his light sense of sarcasm. “Seriously, things go in cycles, and we’ve had some really, really great horses the last few years.“I think Nyquist is a very special horse. When he won that seven furlong race (the San Vicente (Feb. 15), how many three-year-olds can run 1:20 (1:20.71)? That’s talent. I don’t want to jinx the horse, but he reminds me of Seattle Slew (the first undefeated horse to win the Triple Crown, in 1977. Nyquist would be the second).”Added trainer Gary Sherlock, who plans to enter California Chrome Stakes winner Uncle Lino in the May 21 Preakness against Nyquist, “The best horse wins, it’s as simple as that, and Nyquist is just the best horse. I don’t know why he doesn’t get respect.“How can you knock him? There might be a Triple Crown champion back-to-back. If he wins the Preakness, he’ll win the Triple Crown.”Perhaps that would sate doubters of Nyquist, despite a record that becomes impeccably more impressive with each triumph.“I think respect stops at the Rockies,” Shirreffs said. “But now Nyquist’s team doesn’t have to climb over the Rockies. They can fly over them. It takes more than a good horse to win the Derby. It takes a tough horse. Giacomo was like that. He didn’t let anything bother him.”As for the future, imagine Beholder, California Chrome and Nyquist in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.It would be like Mantle, Mays and Ruth on the same field; Gretzky, Orr and Howe on the same ice; Ali, Louis and Marciano in the same ring.Savor the possibility. FINISH LINES: Stellar Wind, three-year-old filly champion of 2015, worked five furlongs Sunday in a minute flat in preparation for the Grade I Vanity Mile on June 4 and a possible meeting with three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder. “She’s right on track,” trainer John Sadler said of Stellar Wind. “Three more works and she’ll be ready.” . . . Trainer David Hofmans plans to work Santa Anita Handicap winner Melatonin Monday for the Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 25 . . . The Golden Pick 6 jackpot at Golden Gate Fields starts at a whopping $693,304.33 today. The popular 20¢ wager will begin with race four, scheduled for 2:22 p.m. Half of the Pick 6 sequence is slated to be run on the turf course. The jackpot, largest in the United States, continues to grow after a single ticket on Saturday threatened to spring a $757,538 payoff if Desert Peach had won the finale. First post at Golden Gate is 12:45 p.m. Spring racing continues until June 12 . . . Santa Anita hosts a Taco Festival next Saturday, May 14. Fans can purchase a Trackside Package that includes tacos and Mexican Craft beers on the trackside apron throughout the day. Online tickets are available at santaanita.com/events . . . Martin Garcia rides Robert B. Lewis third-place finisher I Will Score for Jerry Hollendorfer in next Saturday’s Grade III Lazaro Barrera Stakes for three-year-olds at seven furlongs, and Bellamentary for Phil D’Amato in next Sunday’s $75,000 Angels Flight Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs . . . The Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) will partner with trainers Jim Cassidy, Matt Chew, Eddie Truman and Howard Zucker in offering a FREE “Conformation Clinic” at Santa Anita next Saturday. The informal workshop is intended to help participants develop an eye for a horse. Attendees will visit the trainers’ barns, where they can view horses to identify their conformation strengths and weaknesses. SANTA ANITA FANS CHEER MARIO TO VICTORY“Go, Mario! Go, Mario! Go, Mario!” That was the mantra shouted by fans on Santa Anita’s posh mezzanine Saturday watching Mario Gutierrez pilot Nyquist to victory in the Kentucky Derby on the big screen.The 29-year-old jockey rode the race just like it had been drawn up on paper. He couldn’t have authored a better ride. You can’t improve on perfection.“He’s Mr. Cool,” trainer Steve Knapp said of Gutierrez at Clockers’ Corner Sundaymorning. “He handles the big pressure. He did it in the Florida Derby and he did it yesterday.” EURTON SHARES THE FUN IN NYQUIST VICTORYPeter Eurton was at Santa Anita bright and early Sunday morning after saddling Kobe’s Back to a third-place finish in the Churchill Downs on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby undercard.The trainer did beat the crowd (167,227, second-largest in the track’s storied history), but not before sharing in some of the festivities up close and personal.“I was stabled at the same barn as Nyquist and there was a lot of energy,” Eurton said. “I thought I crashed a party I wasn’t invited to. It was a lot of fun.“After we ran Kobe, we jumped on a plane and made a pit stop about halfway home and I was able to watch the Derby live on a big screen, so we beat all the traffic.“Otherwise, we could have gotten home at midnight or one o’clock in the morning. As it turned out, we landed at 7 p.m. It was awesome.“We’re thrilled for all the California connections, Doug and Mr. Reddam. It’s all good.”As for Kobe’s Back, Eurton said, “He looked good cooling out after the race. If all goes well we’ll look for bigger and better things.”