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Johnny Matheis

Opening day Keeneland 2012 Fall meet posted by Johnny Matheis

One is never sure about the odds the public will choose. I will give the odds as a combination of what I think they should be and what they probably will go off at. I may think a runner is a 15-1 long shot, but he may have big names and money, so even though I figure he'll go off 4-1, I will split the differece and call it about 8-1 or 12-1.

It's important to look at the odds. You don't want to bet a large bankroll at 2 minutes till post, because you're betting down your own odds. You're actually picking your own pocket for others to take your money. But you still want an idea of the odds. 8 minutes till post is a comfortable margin. When I give picks, look at the odds. If the odds are much lower than I give, it isn't a good bet.

For example, in the second race I consider number 8 AT THE FINISH a strong bet at 2-1, but I myself wouldn't bet it unless he was 5-2. If he's 3-2, he shouldn't be bet at all. He may win, but he doesn't win this race 2 times out of 5 (barring scratches).

If my second pick, Number 10 SWEET JODY, whom I list at 10-1, goes off at 26-1, I would probably bet on that one. I will be busy working, and taking your bets at the window, though, so it's your baby.

Incidentally, if you do come to a window whie they're loading the gate, to bet a hundred dollars, don't be surprised if our machines jam. We're used to thieves who do this to steal from us, simply making the bets without paying, and the race runs while they argue, then they don't pay up if their horse loses, and we're paying to work.

Which is why I only take small bets at post time. Only an idiot or a thief bets his odds down at post time.

Continue reading "Opening day Keeneland 2012 Fall meet"


Johnny Matheis

Do people really really want a triple crown that bad? posted by Johnny Matheis

Do people really really really want a Triple Crown that bad? I'm not sure people do. When I hear "people will be disappointed", I keep thinking it's an imaginary group, maybe .01% of the people, like most other "they" groups that exist only in cliches.

The good news is that the trainer did the right thing. The horse and the stable come first. You don't take chances. An owner would take Zero chances. Maybe owners should do the entering into races, if we could make sure they could have 100% of the veterinarian reports.

O'Neill proved to be classier than trainers of Westrern Playboy, Barbaro, and others who were run into the ground.

The bad news is that whomever you liked will now pay less than half as much. Well, those are the breaks.

 Confidentially, it's probably no secret I would bet against a Triple Crown prospect, because of my system. I like a horse who isn't "run into the ground", one that comes off softer surfaces, and probably in the best condition.

Which is how I'm handicapping the Belmont.

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH FOR BELMONT 2012 1 1/2 MILE BELMONT RACE 11

PROGRAM NUMBER-NAME OF RUNNER-PROBABLE ODDS-COMMENTS

7 FIVE SIXTEEN 20-1 Only one upset possibility to beat Paynter, one off softer slower tracks, should be fit.

9 PAYNTER 6-5 With Baffert and the best pedigree in race, obvious pick. Probable heavy favorite. Very obvious.

12 MY ADONIS 20-1 Should be in hunt with 1 1/2 fractions easier to relax with

6 RAVELO'S BOY 20-1 Pretty well bred, and Tampa runners usually outrun later odds.  Would need best to contend. 

Continue reading "Do people really really want a triple ..."


Richard Kagan

Likely Cutler's Out For Season posted by Richard Kagan

Jay Cutler talked to a reporter in Chicago and didn't offer great optimism about returning to play this season.  The man has a broken thumb.  Could you play with a broken thumb in 5-6 weeks?  Unlikely.  It is pretty safe to say that he is out for the season.  If Caleb Hanie doesn't work out, the Bears need another guy.  It's a bummer, but those are, the pardon the pun, breaks of the game. 

We don't know how Hanie will do.  Cutler said the man is feeling his way in the game.  Let's hope that Hanie can weave some magic for a few weeks, so the Bears can qualify.  I'd rather see them in the playoffs even without Cutler, heck, they were a good team a few weeks ago.  That shows you how important the QB position is.  Look at the Colts, they lost Manning to an injury and are 0-11!  That is mighty tough. 

Continue reading "Likely Cutler's Out For Season"


Richard Kagan

Bulls Are Tops in East posted by Richard Kagan

This has been an amazing year for the Chicago Bulls and the post-season hasn't started yet.  Last year, the Bulls clinched a playoff berth on the last day of the season.  This year, the Bulls are looking to clinch home court throughout the playoffs.  Chicago is 60-20 with two game remaining to be played.  60 wins is a milestone.

The Bulls will have homecourt advantage for the first 3 rounds.  That is, the road to who plays in the NBA title series, goes through Chicago.  That is a great accomplishment.  Derrick Rose, living up to his MVP hype, scored 39 points to lead the Bulls in a win against the Orlando Magic. 

Now, Chicago has done some great things.  The crowd is buzzing.  The United Center resembles that roarin' house on Madison St, the old Chicago Stadium.  There MJ and Company made NBA history.  The Bulls are hard to beat at the United Center, and this post-season will be one to remember.

Continue reading "Bulls Are Tops in East"


Richard Kagan

The Bulls Are for Real posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 99-90, despite Dwight Howard's 40 point night.  The Bulls won with Derrick Rose and Luol Deng making great contributions.  Deng led the team in scoring with 26 points, Rose scored 22.  The Bulls won the game without injured center Joakin Noah.  When Noah comes back in a few weeks, look out, the Bulls will be scary good. 

As it is, this is perhaps the strongest team, yet assembled since the glory years of MJ, Pippen, and Horace Grant.

You could add the years since MJ, Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.  Whatever, Phil Jackson was the coach, who pulled the right strings.  This year's team is legit.  They win despite losing key players to injury.  Kurt Thomas has been a revelation coming off the bench.  Despite his age, one of the older players in the league, Thomas is getting it done.  The other night, he dropped 22 points and had mutliple boards.  Terrific night for him.  Kyle Korver has supplied points in the clutch.

Carlos Boozer has played like an alll-star.  He deserves to be picked as a reserve.  He playes tough minutes, scores big and brings in rebounds.  He is a consummate pro.  He adds a lot of toughness to the lineup.

Luol Deng has been great all year.  He must lead the team in minutes played.  He goes all out, scores, plays great defense, and gets rebounds, if needed. 

The Bulls are a fun team to watch.  They play hard.  They play tough.  And, this year, they are winning. 

Continue reading "The Bulls Are for Real"


john howard

Miami Destroys Rival Magic posted by john howard

Miami destroys rival Orlando.   The Magic shot a horrible 30% as D-Wade lead the Heat with 26.   Miami's bench had 7 3's and Haslem had 11 rebounds.

 Last night was a scarry indicator to the rest of the league how it may be this year.  Miami crushed the Magic 96 to 70.  Wade was the only player who scored over 20 points.  And, to top it off, the Heat still aren't playing with Mike Miller. 

Continue reading "Miami Destroys Rival Magic"


Sports Fan

Can the Charlotte Bobcats be a contender in the East? posted by Sports Fan

I really like the direction this team is going but I'm not so sure they can really be a contender in the East this year.  The East has gotten a lot stronger over the last few years and while I think they can make the playoffs I don't really see any chance that they can really beat The Magic, the Heat, the Celtics, of the Bulls.  And I'm skeptical they can even beat teams like the 76ers or the Hawks.

What do you think? 

Continue reading "Can the Charlotte Bobcats be a contender ..."


Frank Jenkins

Fired up for a fun NBA season! posted by Frank Jenkins

Hey gang!

I am excited as the new NBA season approaches. The preseason started last night and that means that we are less than four weeks away from the start of the season. I've got my Gamecenter online so that I can watch games with my computer. I'll spend time on this blog talking about what games I've watched and other exciting news and notes from the NBA. 

I have several teams that I love, but my top two teams are the Magic and the Pacers. I used to live in the Orlando area for several years and now live closest to the Pacers. If I get to any of the Pacer games live, then I'll also post pictures from those.

Let's get ready for a fun year. Over the next couple weeks, I'll give you my insights as to who might win the trophy in June.

Frank

Continue reading "Fired up for a fun NBA season!"


nbaball

Pierce is no prophet in Celtics loss to Lakers in game 3 of NBA Finals posted by nbaball


There is no doubt, Boston Celtics superstar forward Paul "Truth" Pierce is one of the top players in the National Basketball Association today.
Despite his NBA superstar status, there is one thing certain Pierce is just a heck of a professional basketball player and not a prophet.
This developed after Pierce failed in his prediction that the Celtics will sweep the next three games of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles which would be held at the Boston Garden.
In game three of the much talked about NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the Celtics 91-84 at the home-floor of the latter through the heroics of Lakers veteran point-guard Derek Fisher.
The defeat foils Pierce prediction that the Celtics will beat the Lakers three straight in their own home-floor.
Pierce made the bold prediction earlier after Pau Gasol committed a hard foul on Kendrick Perkins with 1:12 remaining in Game 2 and the Celtics leading, 97-90, Pierce, as he
helped his teammate off the floor along the baseline near the hoop, was heard on video replays yelling, "We aren’t coming back to LA!"
The Celtics evened the NBA Finals at a game apiece with a 103-94 victory in game two of the NBA Finals.
It is not the first time that Pierce made a bold prediction regarding the outcome of an NBA playoff series.
Pierce also predicted after a Game 2 victory against the Magic in Orlando, which gave the Celtics a 2-0 series lead, that they will close the series at home.
He even posted a message on his Twitter account saying the Celtics to sweep the Magic.
Continue reading "Pierce is no prophet in Celtics loss ..."


Joe Franciosa, Jr.

EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

I had a feelings this was going to be a special game. The second phase of the Banner 18 Prophecy has been fulfilled. The Celtics have won in 6, just as the Cavs fell in 6. You can guess what I believe the Lakers series will go to.

 So, because I had a feeling this was going to be a special game, I've gone and done something special for my blog. Below is a transcript of my viewing of this game. Play by play, with the minutes listed along the way. It's an idea I've been meaning to steal from Bill Simmons since the '08 season. I begin with Garnett's second foul, which was just ridiculous. Howard is a Dirty player. Note the Capital D. Go back and watch the tape, tell me Howard's not gripping KG's ribs. Anyway... Enjoy.

Garnett's second Foul was HORSESHIT. Howard was Gripping his ribs and the Ref calls the foul on Garnett. HORSESHIT

Pierce steal with 4:07 leads to a quick lay-up 2 from Rondo

Perk calls for the ball and draws the double team to open up Davis who gets fouled going for a lay up. 3:31, Celtics up 17-14 Davis makes both free's 19-14

Rondo steals and ball is deflected out of bounds at 3:12, Paul Pierce pushes the lead to 25-18.

Ray Allen draws a charge on ensuing posession.

Loose ball foul called on Redick (legit) 1:32 Ray Allen misses a Free! Makes 2nd

Great pass from Rondo to Pierce, 28-18 C's under a minute

Howard Hacked 43.1s misses 1st Free. makes 2nd

Rondo goes hard to the basket, fouled by Jason Williams, and Rondo is Down

Landed hard on his hip/hand. Rondo is Hurt badly. Rondo is Up and makes 1st Free. Makes 2nd.

Continue reading "EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS"

Orlando Magic News

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Magic sign 2nd-round pick Devyn Marble (Yahoo Sports)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Orlando Magic will have all three of their draft picks in training camp following the signing of second-round pick Devyn Marble. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Magic sign 2nd-round pick Devyn Marble

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The Orlando Magic will have all three of their draft picks in training camp following the signing of second-round pick Devyn Marble. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


Magic's Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris named to 2014 USA Men's Select Team

USA Basketball announced that the Orlando Magic's Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo have been chosen for the 2014 USA Men's Select Team that will train with the USA Basketball Men's National team in Las Vegas July 28-31. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


The Houston Rockets have badly whiffed on theoffseason. So far. (Ball Don't Lie)

If Houston Rockets fans don’t think of what could have been, then they should be just fine. That takes a special kind of mind-warp, though. That’s some sort of cognitive dissonance at its absolute finest. For a while there, it appeared as if the Houston Rockets were well on their way toward fielding a starting lineup featuring Dwight Howard, James Harden, Patrick Beverley, a returning Chandler Parsons and a newly-signed Chris Bosh. Rotation pieces and bench depth? Eh, they’ll figure it out. Hardly matters –look at that starting five! As you well know, that starting five will never exist in this realm, unless some Rockets fan finds some sort of video game-bred nirvana to work with on his PlayStation. Bosh understandably took $30 million more to return to what is now a merely pretty good Miami Heat team. The Rockets understandably declined to match Dallas’three-year, $46 million offer for a pretty good Chandler Parsons. The Rockets instead were left to engage in a sign-and-trade with Washington, and by extension New Orleans, in order to grab Trevor Ariza’s last productive years as a starter at four years, and $32 million. Ariza’s nickname, as has been bandied about in NBA circles for years, should be “Contract Year.”That New Orleans end of the deal involved the Rockets sending the league’s best backup center in Omer Asik to the Pelicans for what will probably be a late lottery pick in next year’s draft, one that will produce a player nowhere as good as Omer Asik. Last year’s sometimes-starter, Jeremy Lin, was dealt with Houston’s next first-rounder to the Los Angeles Lakers in the attempt to clear cap space for Bosh. Bosh didn’t show up. Things haven’t turned out. If you’re that stone cold Rockets fan, staring down that half-full bottle of Shiner Bock? You reflect back on the idea that, as currently presented, the Rockets appear to be a slightly watered-down version of the team that was one jump shot away from the second round, a sure 50-game winner in the Toughest Conference Ever. If you’re looking in from the outside, though, this feels like a major miscalculation. Or, rather, a series of minor miscalculations that grew into something bigger. This is, as NBA fans know, Rocket general manager Daryl Morey’s style. He routinely spins forward assets in the hopes of pouncing on any available big fish, knowing that this is always a star-driven league. Once the Yao Ming/Tracy McGrady pairing finally wore down in 2009, Morey has constantly been reshuffling his team in the hopes that future carrots would lead to eventual chomps. The next trade deadline. The next draft. The next summer. Just before training camp. You just wait. That’s not gone away. Morey no doubt respects Parsons’game, but the price that a (let’s face it, desperate) Dallas Mavericks team signed him to was too rich to commit to. Parsons is a fine player, he takes nothing but the most efficient shots, and once he learns to put some arc on his three-pointers he’ll possibly turn into a lights-out three-point shooter (Chander shot at around the league average season), but keeping him around on those terms just couldn’t be worth it. Comparing his deal to Morey’s oft-mocked/oft-hailed poison pen contracts for Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin isn’t exactly ideal –neither player counted for eight figures against Houston’s salary cap during their stints with the team. Dallas could afford to take this risk –Parsons isn’t worth his contract in a vacuum even if he improves as expected, but he’s certainly worth it to this team, and at only three years he’s the perfect partner to bounce around Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis. Houston sees itself as still having one more fish to land, and for good reason, but committing to that next step and leaving cap flexibility open (Ariza will make about half as much as Parsons and his contract declines in payment as the years move along) and assets on hand isn’t the worst idea, even if some Rockets fans are sick of that idea. The issue here, as rumors float about Rajon Rondo and Kevin Love possibly acting as Morey’s next target, is that Houston is dreadfully short on assets. The next first-round pick the team can deal would be stuck in the 2017 NBA draft. Players like Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones are working on incredibly cheap contracts, but they’re hardly the earth-shakers that front offices in Minnesota or Boston would want in return for an impatient superstar. What the Houston front office does have is a journey ahead of it with plenty of time, and plenty of space, something many Rocket fans are sick of hearing about. As we learned with the 2012 James Harden deal, Morey’s offseason doesn’t end until Halloween hits, and the team has ungodly amounts of cap room in spite of Howard and Harden making superstar money, and the deal for Trevor Ariza. Ideally, Morey has room to move with trades and free agency acquisitions. The problem, again, is who Morey is supposed to go after. He wants to keep the cap space clean, apparently, in a pipe dream as he chases down a 2015 or 2016 star free agent. He could pounce on a disgruntled player this fall that wasn’t able to come to terms with his team on a second deal a la Harden in 2012, but is this all pitched in the hopes that Nikola Vucevic doesn’t see eye to eye with the Orlando Magic this fall? Who’s going to be around, this summer and fall? All of this points to the Rockets potentially taking a step back. Ariza will no doubt improve the team’s middling defense by a great deal, and he actually shot far better (CONTRACT YEAR, KELLY, COME ON) than Parsons from behind the arc and had comparable per-minute stats. Howard and Harden can’t help but play better. The team will miss Asik and Lin, but they were never long for this squad, and in Asik especially this reflected on the court (Lin seemed more nervous than resigned and frustrated). Nobody wants to hear that the Rockets are in a holding pattern, not after that first-round ouster that didn’t feel like a “first-round ouster,”but that’s sometimes how these things turn out. It doesn’t mean Daryl Morey is a bad general manager, a poor observer of talent, or out of his league when it comes to negotiating with other teams. It just means he took some calculated risks and whiffed. Sometimes timing, context, and market inefficiencies don’t tilt good fortune to the smartest guy in the room. Especially as Morey has to work more and more with “smartest guy in the room”-types in competing front offices as the whole of the NBA gets better at this. It’s early, and we’ve been surprised before by Morey. And it speaks to the ridiculous nature of this ridiculous league that all manner of planning, flexibility enhancements, and great ideas are often lapped several times over by good timing, and good luck. Good luck, Houston. Your browser does not support iframes. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Warriors, Brandon Rush agree to 2-year deal (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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