Woodbine Raceway horse racing betting
Canada

Sam-Son Farm to Receive Special Sovereign Award


Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 6:15 pm |
Back to: Top News Updated: February 11, 2021 at 6:47 pm
Sam-Son Farm’s dispersal at Keeneland in January | Keeneland

Sam-Son Farm will be presented with the Special Sovereign Award during the 46th Annual Sovereign Awards Virtual Ceremony, which will be held in April. Selected by the Jockey Club of Canada’s Stewards, the Special Sovereign Award honors those who have accomplished outstanding achievements and made a significant contribution to the Thoroughbred Industry in Canada.
Over the past five decades, Sam-Son Farm, a Canadian Thoroughbred breeding and racing operation founded in 1972 by Ernie and Liza Samuel, has been the recipient of four Eclipse Awards, 13 Hall of Fame Awards and 84 Sovereign Awards. Since its inception, Sam-Son Farm has enjoyed five Queen’s Plate winners, eight Woodbine Oaks winners and 60 graded stakes winners.
Also to be recognized at this year’s virtual awards, Michelle Gibson will receive the 2020 Outstanding Groom Award. Currently employed by Robert Tiller, she is the groom of 2017 Canadian Horse of the Year, Pink Lloyd.

Additionally, the finalists for the 2020 Sovereign Awards Media categories were announced Thursday. This year’s entries were evaluated by media professionals within the industry selected from across North America. A 4-2-1 points system was used to determine the first, second and third place finalists in each category.
Digital Audio/visual and Broadcast Category:

Santino Di Paola – Dear Horse Racing
Horse Racing Alberta – Canadian Derby Year of the Mask
Woodbine Entertainment Group – The Queen’s Plate

Photograph Category:

Rusty Barton – The Race Goes on a Year Without Fans
Michael Burns – Training Before Dawn
Lisa M. Thompson – One Rider Two Horses
Will Wong – Mambointheforest

Writing Category:

Muriel Lennox – Northern Dancer: A virile stable genius
Chris Lomon – The Pep-Talking Groom, Willy, and a Queen’s Plate Crown
Bruce McDougall – Riding for Freedom

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This story was posted in Top News and tagged Canada, Ernie Samuel, Pink Lloyd, Sam-Son Farm, Sovereign Awards, The Jockey Club of Canada, Woodbine.

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NBA  Says Teams Must Play the National Anthem
2021)

Half the Team Had the Coronavirus. The Wizards Are Still Recovering.


Bertans had finally been freed from isolation while his teammates were gone, returning home to his wife and daughter. His first practice was an ordeal — “I could definitely tell that I hadn’t done anything for almost two weeks,” he said — and then he missed all seven of his shots in a 16-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 29.“The feel for the game was the biggest struggle,” he said.Smith was having his own problems. The league uses something called cycle threshold, a measure of the amount of virus in the body, to help determine whether a player can be cleared to return. Generally, that number needs to be at least 30, with higher numbers implying less of the virus. A week after first testing positive, Smith was registering cycle threshold values of only 28, he said.Smith would run up the stairs of his home to gauge his fitness.“Everybody is different, and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a situation where I couldn’t breathe,” Smith said.His teammates and coaches were rooting for him from afar.“It reminded me of the Winter Olympics,” Sheppard said. “Americans don’t know anything about these sports, but within two days we’re all experts. It was the same thing with Ish: ‘Come on, Ish! You’ve got to get above 30!’”Smith knew he was fortunate, he said. He had medical supervision. He was undergoing daily testing. His symptoms were never serious. He thought of his siblings, who are teachers, and countless others living through the pandemic without that type of support.“I’ve got no complaints,” he said. “You just have to pick it up and keep it moving.”Smith returned on Jan. 31, scoring 13 points in a dramatic win over the Nets. Brooks celebrated with a can of White Claw.The Wizards have had more lows than highs, going 3-8 since their patchwork season resumed. Practice time has come at a premium. There is no playbook for a pandemic, Brooks said, and he can only hope that his players have endured the worst of it, and that they can build some chemistry. But there are no guarantees, not this season.

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‘Black Sunday’: Remembering Dale Earnhardt’s deadly crash at Daytona 20 years later



This article was published in the Feb. 26, 2001 issue of The Sporting News.
Black SundayDale Earnhardt, the most recognized driver in NASCAR, died at Daytona doing what he did best — pushing his race car to the limit

By Lee SpencerI walked past the driver’s window of the No. 3 Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt waved, winked and flashed that unforgettable, mischievous, mustached smile.Strapped tightly into his legendary black car and wearing the open-faced helmet he preferred for comfort’s sake, Earnhardt was relaxed and affable last Sunday as he waited on the starting grid for his 23rd Daytona 500.Never for a moment did I think it would be my last glimpse of his familiar face.Earnhardt, the driver who won more races than any other at Daytona, the driver who amassed seven Winston Cup titles and 76 wins over a 25-year career — the driver who was husband to Teresa and father to Kerry, Kelly, Dale Jr. and Taylor Nicole — never made it to the finish line. He left the track in an ambulance, fatally injured.On the final lap, the man who understood the draft better than anyone else, backed off the lead pack behind Michael Waltrip and Dale Jr. to block the oncoming assault from Sterling Marlin, Ken Schrader and Rusty Wallace. Earnhardt knew that taking his opponents three-wide would open the door for Waltrip and Junior to battle for the victory.This wasn’t the Dale Earnhardt who many times said that on a race track his son was just another competitor. This wasn’t the Dale Earnhardt who said he probably would bump Junior’s No. 8 out of the way if the black No. 3 had a chance to win. This was the ultimate act of selflessness from a driver who began the season with the deep-seated belief he would win his eighth Winston Cup championship.

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That act of selflessness might have cost him his life.Marlin, with an excellent chance to break a 149-race winless streak if he could get past Earnhardt, was doing his best to make a move. Earnhardt was doing his best to hold him off. As the cars roared into Turn 4, they bumped, and the No. 3 careened out of control and hit the concrete retaining wall with brutal impact.On the radio, silence.Richard Childress, Earnhardt’s team owner since 1984 and his friend before that, got no response to his anxious radio call to his driver’s headset. Childress sent teammate Mike Skinner to the scene of the wreck. Still nothing. He radioed Teresa … to crew chief Kevin Hamlin … someone, anyone, to get an answer, but nothing came.In victory lane, Michael Waltrip, the newest member of the team Earnhardt owns, was celebrating his first Winston Cup win in 463 starts. The emotion between the brothers Waltrip — Darrell called the race from the television booth — was the highlight of the Fox broadcast.No one knew that NASCAR’s foremost driver sat lifeless as paramedics struggled to cut him from his wrecked car, which had come to rest on the grass in the tri-oval portion of the track. Earnhardt did not respond to efforts to revive him, and he was pronounced dead at 5:14 p.m. at nearby Halifax Medical Center, where he was taken by ambulance.“NASCAR has lost its greatest driver ever, and I have lost a dear friend,” said NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr.*****As a young man, Earnhardt’s potential was obvious to France. Recently, France talked from his heart about the contribution Earnhardt had made to the sport that the France family founded and even more about the respect he had for Earnhardt as a man.And next to his father, Ralph, who died unexpectedly in 1973 before getting to see his son race in Winston Cup, it was France whom Earnhardt admired most.“He helped me grow,” Earnhardt said last month. “He helped me understand the sport better. Bill has always been a great leader and a great philosopher. The interesting thing about Bill is that he doesn’t forget anything about people. He remembers a person’s name, who they are, what they do and what the said, for that matter … in 1940. He’s been there. He’s seen it. He’s been up against these situations, and he knows what to expect and how to handle it.”Although it was Earnhardt who laid the groundwork for a formidable motorsports dynasty, it was “Billy’s” guidance that took the scruffy factory worker from Kannapolis, N.C., and turned him into a legend. Earnhardt’s wife, Teresa, who knew him best, said that part of the success was sell “Earnhardt” the image — The Intimidator, who was feared on and off the track. Yet if Earnhardt respected someone and gained their trust, one couldn’t ask for a truer friend.Earnhardt also was a NASCAR loyalist. Despite the safety issues, despite the uneven distribution of TV money and despite any inequities among the manufacturers, Earnhardt refused to tarnish the name of the family or the sport that made him.

(SN Archives)
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In an interview last month, Benny Parsons spoke of how much Earnhardt had evolved and matured since joining Winston Cup ranks as a rookie in 1979.“When he first came on the scene, I said he can’t pull off representing the big company,” Parsons said. “And boy, was I wrong there. Then I said he can’t be consistent enough to win a championship — he’s too much of a hard charger, he runs too hard to win championships. And once again, I was wrong. He has been really, truly amazing with how he has grown as far as his ability to speak and get up in front of people and be very candid. He’s also been amazing on the racetrack.“I think Earnhardt has more fans than any one driver. I wouldn’t dare say he has more than all the other drivers combined, but if you interviewed every fan that came through the gates for the Daytona 500 and they gave you an honest answer, I think Earnhardt would total up more than anyone else. Any time you have somebody that popular — like Richard Petty or David Pearson — then yes, they have a dramatic impact on the sport.”Childress and Earnhardt were just two simple racers from North Carolina. Off the track, they were friends. The two hunted and fished and enjoyed life. Childress often said their relationship was based on “the tremendous respect” they had for each other.“It doesn’t matter what it is, he doesn’t like to lose,” Childress said. “He just has a competitive nature. When you get down to the last 50 laps of a race, he knows how to dig deeper than any driver I know to make things happen.”*****Earnhardt had a work ethic second to none. He didn’t give handouts to his first three children, choosing to share that same lesson with them. Kerry and Junior had to work at Earnhardt’s Chevrolet dealership and on their own cars before earning the right to race — just as Dad had. Earnhardt’s oldest daughter, Kelly, raced as well, but she is currently a successful businesswoman with Action Performance, a racing collectibles business. When Earnhardt spoke of Kelly’s newborn daughter, a softness that was unmatched came over his face.Finally, with 12-year-old Taylor Nicole, Earnhardt had a chance to be the father he didn’t have time to be to his other children. It wasn’t unusual when Earnhardt was in town to see him pick up Taylor from school or take her hunting for deer on the family’s 300-acre farm in Mooresville, N.C.When I talked to Earnhardt last month, he could hardly contain his excitement of finding a vintage 1988 Corvette for Taylor — the year she was born. He spoke of the low miles on the car and how it took him a year to find just the right one. She had a dream that “Daddy” had bought her a car.The next day when she got home from school, she and Dad took a spin around the farm in her new Corvette. Earnhardt pointed to the car and bragged about how Taylor already was becoming a great little driver, how she parked the car perfectly on the showroom floor. Then he said how proud he was of all his children and how far they had come. He described the struggles of building Dale Earnhardt Inc., but he said it was worth it to ensure his children’s future.“In the grand scheme of things, it’s unique to have all this, but I feel that Dale Earnhardt Jr. one day will be able to step in and run all this, and hopefully Kelly and Kerry and Taylor will all be involved too,” Earnhardt said. “They’ll all run this and race out of here and then do great. Hopefully after I retire from driving, I’ll be a great car owner for several years, then I can turn this over to the kids and let them run it and race on.”*****Ned Jarrett, winner of 50 races over a 13-year career in Winston Cup racing, says Earnhardt was a champ. “In my opinion, and I’ve said this many times, he was the best race-car driver that ever raced,” Jarrett says. “He had a tremendous amount of God-given talent, and he worked hard to get the most out of it. Everybody respected the man for what he could do with a race car.”Jarrett says NASCAR doesn’t need to delay or cancel the next race, which is at Rockingham, out of respect for Earnhardt. “The world doesn’t stop because we lose somebody,” he says. “He wouldn’t want it that way. He would’ve wanted his son to be out there racing.”Jarrett has seen a lot of lives lost during his involvement with the sport. Earnhardt’s death is the fourth in NASCAR series racing in the last 13 months. “It’s just so hard to accept they’re not there anymore,” Jarrett says. “When you lose someone who accomplished so much to get the sport where it is today, it’s tough. The man was dedicated to what he did. Every time he strapped himself into the race car, he went as hard as he could.”Fans in the infield at the Daytona 500 were in disbelief. “It’s awful,” said Kimberly Bennett, an Earnhardt fan who, with her dad, Neil, was wheeling away two souvenir tires from Earnhardt Jr.’s pit. “It makes your heart hurt, just thinking about it.”“It’s put a shadow over this whole speedway,” Neil Bennett, 41, said. “It’s a tremendous loss to motorsports.”

(Getty Images)
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Kimberly drives Legends series cars in her native Stockton, Ga., and recently had painted her No. 21 car to look exactly the same as Earnhardt’s No. 3, down to the black, white and red paint job. “I liked the way he talked when he came out of the car,” says Kimberly, 15. “He always had something nice to say. And he was real competitive.”Jarrett says NASCAR doesn’t need to re-evaluate its safety policy. “NASCAR does a good job of doing what it can to make those racecars as safe as possible,” he says. “I guess you can only do so much. Certainly we’ve seen race cars torn up worse than his was and watched (the drivers) walk away. What safety measures could have prevented his death? I have no idea.”Earnhardt had reached a stage in his life where he was content. He couldn’t fight middle age, so he accepted it and approached it with a grace that comes from a confidence that few obtain.
“Life changes as you go through it,” he said. “Sure you have to focus on different things at different times in your career. I’m 49 years old, and I’m pretty comfortable in life. Things don’t really rattle me when someone comes up and says you’re getting audited by the tax collector or you’re losing a key member of the team or your sponsor is unhappy.“What I do rather than get rattled is to analyze the situation, try to correct it or straighten the program out and go forward. A lot of things rattle me earlier in life, but as you get older, you get more experience. You try to take things in stride and have a good time.”Moments before his death, Dale Earnhardt was having a good time. He was mixing it up at Daytona, doing what he did best, loving every second of it.

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NFL

UFC 258 odds: Usman set to battle Burns


Odds courtesy of OddsShark.comNow that the NFL season is officially finished, the UFC will help to fill the sports betting void on most weekends and there’s a terrific card at UFC 258 on Saturday night from the organization’s APEX facility in Las Vegas headlined by a welterweight title fight between champion Kamara Usman and Gilbert Burns. The main card begins at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view, meaning this bout should start around midnight.The 33-year-old Usman (17-1) was born in Nigeria but his family moved to the United States when he was eight years old and Usman now fights out of Florida. The UFC ranks him as the No. 5 pound-for-pound fighter but there are more than a few MMA fans who think Usman, a former collegiate wrestling All-American, should be No. 1.“The Nigerian Nightmare” lost his second professional fight to Jose Caceres in May 2013 by first-round submission in the Championship Fighting Alliance but hasn’t lost since. Usman won the welterweight belt at UFC 235 with a unanimous decision over Tyron Woodley, who was around a -215 betting favorite.Usman was priced in that range in his first title defense and beat Colby Covington by fifth-round TKO at UFC 259 in December 2019. Title defense No. 3 was supposed to be against Burns last July at UFC 251, but Burns withdrew about a week beforehand after testing positive for COVID-19. Burns was replaced by Jorge Masvidal and Usman beat him by unanimous decision even though Usman was fighting with a broken nose suffered in training. He was immediately placed on a six-month medical suspension after the bout.Five straight Usman bouts have gone to the fifth round and nine of his victories overall are by the judges, with seven by KO/TKO and one by submission. He is a -275 favorite Saturday.The 34-year-old Burns, from Brazil, is 19-3 and ranked as the No. 2 welterweight behind Covington. “Durinho” brings a six-fight winning streak into the Octagon. He was a +140 underdog last time out against Woodley in May but won by unanimous decision. This will be Burns’ first title shot. He wins the majority of the time by submission (42 percent) with two of three losses via decision. Burns is priced at +215.Also on the card is a middleweight bout between Kelvin Gastelum and Ian Heinisch, both Americans. Gastelum (16-6) fought for the interim middleweight belt against current champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 235 and lost by unanimous decision. The 29-year-old Gastelum, ranked No. 9 in the division, has lost two more fights since. The 32-year-old Heinisch (14-3) is ranked No. 15 and this will be his most accomplished opponent to date. Gastelum is -230 and Heinisch +180.

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World-Poker-Tour
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Exclusive: BetMGM to Launch Online Poker in Michigan Later This Month

Roar Digital, the US online gaming and online sports betting company representing the interests of MGM Resorts International and partypoker parent company Entain, has announced that it will be launching online poker in the state of Michigan this month.

Under the BetMGM brand, the company launched online casino games and online sports betting in Michigan on January 22 of this year. Its license to offer online gaming in the state also includes online poker.

Roar will use the BetMGM Poker brand for online poker in Michigan. The company manages several online poker brands in New Jersey including partypoker NJ, Borgata Poker, and BetMGM Poker. All of its brands in New Jersey pool their liquidity together on the partypoker US Network.

BetMGM is already live with a regulated online casino and sports betting in Michigan. Existing players verified at BetMGM Casino or BetMGM Sports will be ready to go to play on BetMGM Poker MI when it launches in the coming weeks.

BetMGM Casino is live in Michigan and Pennsylvania!Best bonusUp to $1000 deposit match bonusTop-rated slots and casino gamesGreat iOS and Android appsAward-winning M Life rewards program.CHOOSE YOUR STATE:Michigan »Pennsylvania »

Online Poker in Michigan Growing Fast

PokerStars MI became the first online poker room to launch in Michigan on January 29, 2021, just one week after the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) authorized the grand opening of online casinos and online sportsbooks.

To say that online poker has proven popular in Michigan would be an understatement.

According to the latest cash game traffic data, seen exclusively by pokerfuse, PokerStars.MI is already the largest regulated real money online poker room in the US. Traffic at the newly launch site also exceeds the only interstate online poker network in the US, which includes WSOP NJ, WSOP NV, 888poker NJ and the three racinos in Delaware.

PokerStars MI has even managed to exceed the traffic of its sister site in Pennsylvania, PokerStars PA, despite the fact that the Keystone State has a population of nearly 3 million more than that of Michigan.

In fact, the traffic levels seen in Michigan so far represent the highest traffic levels observed at an online poker room in any US regulated market ever.

Figures tracked by GameIntel, and licensed exclusively by pokerfuse’s Poker Industry PRO, show PokerStars Michigan has averaged 410 concurrent cash game players over the last week.

That figure just exceeds that of PokerStars PA with an average of 405 concurrent cash game seats filled and is significantly greater than PokerStars NJ where the average is just 140 concurrent cash game seats filled. The WSOP/888 US Network with its six online poker rooms spread across three states averages just 275 cash games seats filled.

Later in the year, the lines between the states will continue to blur as interstate online poker is expected to expand. Michigan already has a law on the books that allows its gaming regulators to authorize online poker rooms in Michigan to combine their player pools with those in other regulated US states.

Furthermore, a decision in the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on the Wire Act handed down last month has cleared the way for state gaming regulators to authorize shared liquidity for their online poker operators without the worry of violating federal law.

BetMGM May Debut in Pennsylvania Soon

In addition to its launch in Michigan, BetMGM is also preparing to take the partypoker US Network to Pennsylvania. Roar and BetMGM were approved to offer online gaming (including online poker and casino games) and online sports betting by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) in October of last year.

And while the company has successfully launched an online casino and an online sportsbook in the state, it has yet to go live with online poker.

However, as the prospect of shared liquidity across US states where online poker is legal and regulated begins to become a reality, expect more online poker rooms to launch in Pennsylvania and in West Virginia where online poker is legal but no operator has launched presumably due to the relatively small population of the state.

Even international online poker operators that currently do not have a presences in the US are eyeing the US market as an opportunity. On Wednesday, NSUS Group, the parent company of GGPoker, the fastest growing online poker room in the world, is expected to be approved by the PGCB to offer online poker in the state.

Despite the expected approval, the debut of GGPoker PA is not expected soon, as the state gaming regulator has told pokerfuse that a test launch has not yet been scheduled.

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FA Cup

Saints and Chelsea complete Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final line up


The final two FA Cup Fifth Round ties took place on Thursday evening as four sides looked to join six other sides in the Quarter Finals of the competition.  Who would join those already through, let’s find out…
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Southampton 2
Wolves had seen off fellow Premier League outfit Crystal Palace in Round Three, but then were pushed all the way by non-league Chorley in Round Four before squeezing through in that one, whilst The Saints saw off League One Shrewsbury Town fairly comfortably at St Marys before they then knocked holders Arsenal a few days later, also at St Marys, to reach this stage and set up their tie at Molineux. Both sides fancied going very deep in this competition and even perhaps have a shot at winning the whole thing, it had been a welcome distraction from their league struggles recently so who keep their cup run alive after this one was done?
Southampton had the better chances in a goalless first period, and after the break, they were to net twice to take their place in the Quarter-Finals, firstly when Danny Ings timed a run perfectly to get in on goal and although John Ruddy saved his initial effort, the ball bounced back off Ings and past Ruddy into the net, and then with time running out the visitors added a second when a mess up at the back saw the ball eventually was laid back to Stuart Armstrong who guided a lovely across goal and in off the far post to seal The Saints passage into the Last Eight.  Disappointment for Wolves who would have fancied a good run in this competition, whilst for Southampton it ended a run of four consecutive defeats and would have given the club a huge fillet after a tough week or two.
Barnsley 0 Chelsea 1
The Championship hosts have seen off League Two Tranmere Rovers in Round Three before they then saw off Championship leaders Norwich City in ties that had both been at Oakwell, and they would to be at home again in Round Five although it would be a much bigger step up against a Chelsea side who had won both their home ties against League Two Morecambe and Championship Luton Town with relative ease, so surely Barnsley would pose no problems for a Thomas Tuchel side who hadn’t lost since the new boss had come in and were fancied to perhaps win the competition? The Tykes though would take inspiration from the Barnsley side that dumped a star-studded Chelsea managed by Avram Grant out of the cup at Oakwell back in 2008 to reach the Semi-Finals that season, although Chelsea would not want a repeat of that!!!
A goalless first period saw The Tykes have the better chances and could and should have been ahead at half time, although the Blues probably should have had a penalty too with their not being any VAR, they had to go with the on-field decisions from the officials, old skool eh. Twenty minutes into the second period though Chelsea did manage to find the breakthrough, although it did look offside from some angles, as a lovely pass by Billy Gilmour released Reece James who took his time before sending a ball across goal for Tammy Abraham to tap home, was he ahead of the crosser, well on further inspection had VAR been in force they may well have allowed the goal to stand as it did seem on further evidence Abraham was just behind James when the pass was made.
The Tykes, therefore, had to try and find something although they had been much quieter in terms of an attacking threat in the second period, although they so nearly levelled with twelve minutes to go Abraham did brilliantly to head a goal-bound effort over his own bar, superb work at both ends of the field from the Chelsea man, and although Barnsley put their opponents under pressure at the end, they could not breach the Chelsea backline and it was Abraham’s second-half goal that proved enough to send them into the Last Eight. A good effort from the Championship side, but they now must turn their attentions to try and reach the playoffs before the season is out
That concludes the Fifth Round then, and the draw for the Quarterfinals was made between the two games this evening, so let’s see what that threw up…
Everton v Manchester City
AFC Bournemouth v Southampton
Leicester City v Manchester United
Chelsea v Sheffield United
Both Manchester clubs have difficult away ties, whilst there is a South Coast showdown at The Vitality Stadium between Championship Bournemouth and Premier League Southampton, and then The Blues reward for squeezing past Barnsley is a home tie with The Blades.
These ties are scheduled to take place over the weekend of 20/21 March so a bit of a gap until the next round takes place.

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Cheltenham Festival suffers fresh blow after Gold Cup sponsor Magners drops out



Cheltenham Festival suffers fresh financial blow after Gold Cup sponsor Magners drops out just 36 days before prestigious raceMagners had already decided not to take up their option for 2022 Gold Cup  The Irish cider brand severed their backing of this year’s race on ThursdayCheltenham-based charity WellChild will replace them as sponsors this yearBy Marcus Townend for the Daily Mail Published: 17:41 EST, 11 February 2021 | Updated: 17:47 EST, 11 February 2021 Cheltenham has been hit with another financial body blow after sponsors Magners pulled out of backing next month’s Cheltenham Festival and sponsoring the centrepiece Gold Cup.The announcement came just 36 days before the race.A Jockey Club spokesman said: ‘The brand will no longer be promoted at the Festival.’ Magners pulled out of backing the Cheltenham Festival and sponsoring the Gold CupMagners did not respond to a request for comment but staging the 2020 meeting against a backdrop of the developing Covid-19 pandemic attracted negative publicity.Racemail revealed in November that Magners would not take up their option to sponsor the 2022 Gold Cup but on Thursday came the even earlier severing of the sponsorship as Jockey Club Racecourses announced the Cheltenham-based charity WellChild would have their name alongside the blue riband event at the four-day Festival.The organisation is a national charity which helps sick children and their families.It is a magnanimous gesture by Cheltenham’s owners, who hope to build brand awareness for a charity which has lost 60 per cent of its income during the pandemic.With no replacement backer yet announced for the Derby at Epsom after Investec pulled out last year, two of Britain’s biggest three races — the exception being the Randox Grand National — are without a sponsor, a headache for Jockey Club Racecourses, which faced a £90million loss in revenue last year.Meanwhile, Newbury will reschedule Saturday’s Denman Chase meeting for a week on Sunday if it fails this morning’s inspection.
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Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea Player Ratings: Abraham on target as Blues labour


Chelsea laboured to a 1-0 FA Cup success over Barnsley away from home to set up a quarter-final with Sheffield United.A single goal from Tammy Abraham was the difference between the sides, with Chelsea struggling for penetration against their Championship opponents.Indeed, they managed only a single shot on target against a team they had more than 70% possession against. Nevertheless, the much-changed side progressed and will not play in the last eight on the weekend of 20th March.Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player StatsHere’s how they fared at Oakwell. ✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCETammy Abraham: 7.4Of all Chelsea’s starting XI, Tammy Abraham saw the ball only more than Marcos Alonso, who was taken off at half-time. His performance, though, was not about volume, it was about two defining moments.The first was being at the right place at the right time to tap into an empty net after a surging run from Reece James. The second was about being at the right place at the right time to stretch every sinew in his neck to head over a goal-bound Barnsley effort.Completing just 58% of his passes, this was not a classy display, but it was a decisive one.Reece James: 7.6Introduced at half-time to bring a spark that the team was lacking, James amply delivered.It was his athletic run and cool head that allowed him to fashion the only goal of the game, while he completed 93% of his passes, including eight in the final third. He was a useful outlet and though he played only 45 minutes critical for the success of his team.❌ BAD PERFORMANCEHakim Ziyech: 5.2After failing to fire in the 0-0 draw against Wolves in Thomas Tuchel’s first match as Chelsea boss, the Morocco international has done his prospects of game time in the weeks ahead little good with his display against Barnsley.He did get four crosses into the box but did not complete a single dribble and had only one touch in the box. Moreover, he did not have any kind of shot and completed just 65% of his passes. ⭐ STAR MANKurt Zouma: 7.7It is fitting, given the flow of the tie, that a Chelsea defender finished with the highest rating. Although the Blues had much of the ball, they finished the match with their backs to the wall.As the ball came into the box, Zouma was a magnet for it. He won all six of his headers and completed six clearances. Moreover, he completed two interceptions and made one recovery. No player saw more of the ball than the centre-back, who touched it 125 times.Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

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5Dimes

5Dimes Takes A Major Step Towards Legitimacy With Isle Of Man Gaming License

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Receiving permission to enter legal gambling markets after years of black market operations is extremely difficult. That hasn’t stopped one of the world’s largest offshore sportsbooks from trying.
5Dimes, formerly based in Costa Rica, has just scored a massive victory in that effort. The company announced on Wednesday that it has received a gaming license from the Isle of Man Supervision Commission.
It will now relaunch its international product from that jurisdiction. The Isle of Man itself is a tiny market, with a population of less than 100,000. However, its Supervision Commission has international recognition. Whereas Costa Rican sites are effectively unregulated, an Isle of Man license is an assurance to other countries that the operator is playing by the rules.
“This licensure is an exciting milestone for the 5Dimes brand,” said Laura Varela, speaking for the company’s Board of Directors. “The Isle of Man is a Tier-1 jurisdiction, known for its advanced approach to gambling and e-gaming legislation and its exceptional reputation in the international gaming community. The Isle of Man sets high standards for its gaming operators and players, and we look forward to upholding the same level of principles and innovation with the launch of 5Dimes.”
Varela is the widow of the company’s founder, William Sean “Tony” Creighton. Tragically, he was kidnapped in 2018 and later found murdered.
Creighton’s death left the company in Varela’s hands. It’s under her leadership that 5Dimes began to try to clean up its act. This began with a settlement made with the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to the tune of $46.8 million.
Initial skepticism may still prove warranted
The key in all of this is that Varela herself hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing. In fact, an investigation by US authorities found that she had no part in the company’s black market operations while Creighton was at the helm. Moreover, she entered into the settlement arrangement with the Pennsylvania authorities of her own volition.
That fact forms the basis on which Varela is attempting to steer the company towards legitimacy. Regulatory bodies vary in the extent to which they separate companies from the people who run them. Some take the position that a company’s misdeeds will follow it no matter who is at the helm. However, others are more receptive to the idea that a change in leadership can wipe the slate clean.
5Dimes suddenly stopped taking bets from US customers at the beginning of September last year. This turned out to be related to the settlement the company paid to the Pennsylvania authorities. In return for admitting to the company’s misdeeds and paying the fine, Varela received immunity from further prosecution – for herself and the company – for any crimes committed prior to September 30. US customers received instructions to withdraw their funds prior to that date.
There are still causes for concern, however. Back in September, there were reports from some US-based customers that 5Dimes representatives had directed them to another offshore site, BetAnySports. This company offers a near-identical set of products, right down to a large portion of the copy on its website. Meanwhile, 5Dimes continues to serve many gray market countries, despite having pulled out of the US and a handful of other regulated jurisdictions.
These residual stains don’t seem to have impacted its ability to get a license in the Isle of Man. Other regulators may see things differently, however.
Not all offshore regulators are equal
To someone unfamiliar with the industry, switching from Costa Rica to the Isle of Man may not seem like a big deal. Both are, in some sense, “offshore” regulatory jurisdictions. Neither can serve US customers legally, as states require companies to host their servers locally.
However, when it comes to offshore regulators, there is enormous variation in terms of level of oversight.
Costa Rica falls at one end of the extreme. Though many companies claim to be “licensed” in the country, there is in fact no such thing as a Costa Rican gaming license. Companies will pay a small amount – $4500 up front and $1950 per year – to register in the country. However, they have no oversight whatsoever, and pay no taxes so long as they don’t serve Costa Rican customers.
At the opposite extreme are the Isle of Man and Malta. They have each made a commitment to providing strict oversight to online gambling companies. That, combined with favorable tax rates, have turned international online gambling into a major industry for them. In September 2012, they pushed further in establishing their trustworthiness by entering a mutual data sharing agreement. Through this, they’ve each improved their regulatory standards, and developed the ability to assist each other in investigations.
Not every legal online gambling country insists that servers be hosted locally. Those that allow reputable, regulated offshore sites to operate tend to look for licenses from the Isle of Man and Malta. Virtually every company you’ll see operating legally in the US will have a license in one or both of these places, if it serves international customers. This includes Flutter, Entain, 888 Holdings and their various brands, among others.
PokerStars was the exception that proves the rule
After settling with US authorities, 5Dimes claimed it would apply for a New Jersey license. It hasn’t received one yet, but it hasn’t been formally rejected either. It’s unclear whether the application was ever filed, if it is still pending, or has been withdrawn.
5Dimes is popular because it has favorable lines and a good reputation compared to other offshore sites. US sports bettors are therefore hopeful about its chances. Those without a personal stake in the matter are more skeptical, however, and for good reason.
We know that it’s not impossible for a company to clean up its act and make it into legal US markets. There is exactly one example of that, namely PokerStars. It served US customers illegally from the 2006 passage of the Unauthorized Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) to the 2011 crackdown known as Black Friday.
That illegal activity has prevented PokerStars from getting licensed in Nevada. Other state regulators, however, have been more charitable. PokerStars is currently active as a poker room in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, while its associated sportsbook Fox Bet is in all of those plus Colorado.
However, PokerStars’ entry to the US demonstrated the effort required to do so. It transformed its corporate identity and went public via a reverse merger with a much smaller company. It distanced itself not only from its original owner, Isai Scheinberg, but all its executives from that era. Finally, it spent years bending over backwards to show a proactive attitude towards compliance. That’s an effort which continues to this day.
If 5Dimes has to go to similar lengths, then its Isle of Man license is only the first of many hoops. It is, however, an important step. Moreover, the speed with which it managed it should give doubters at least a little pause.

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NBA  Says Teams Must Play the National Anthem
Beaver Creek (Colo)

A Surge of Women in Ski Patrols, Once Nearly All Men


They have endured the indignity of being addressed in their uniforms as “he” or “sir’’ at first blush and at times sexism, too, when injured skiers balk at a woman taking charge of getting them down the mountain on a rescue toboggan.But as the number of women in ski patrols has increased, so has acceptance that the service, a network of volunteer and professional organizations nationwide dominated by men for decades, is finally catching up to the times.Kari Brandt, 33, a ski patroller in Nevada, recalled a recent rescue of a 250-pound injured man, who did a double-take upon her arrival, but didn’t utter a complaint as she directed his transport down a mountain on a toboggan.“That was one where I told the other patrollers, ‘I’m taking this toboggan.’ They nodded and said, ‘Yes, you are,’” said Brandt, the ski patrol director at Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village, Nev., and the founder of a group aimed at growing the number of women in the industry. “None of the guests opposed. They didn’t fight back because they could tell I was in charge.”Taylor Parsons, 29, joined the Diamond Peak patrol this season, partly because she had heard accolades about Brandt.“It empowers other women to join when the highest person up is a woman,” Parsons said. “I feel confident around Kari. She rips on her skis and knows exactly what she’s doing in the medical field. It’s inspiring. It definitely makes me want to be better and keep going with it.”Parsons, a snowboarder, was recently working on the mountain when she was flagged down by a father skiing with his young daughter.“He said, ‘I just want to tell you that my daughter wants to switch to snowboarding now, after seeing you,’ ’’ Parsons said the father told her. “‘She thinks it’s so cool a girl can do snowboarding and also do ski patrol.’ That makes you want to keep going just to inspire other little girls.”Ski patrollers, regarded as among the best skiers and snowboarders around, are not only emergency medical workers who treat and transport sometimes severely injured people. Their duties can also include hauling and placing heavy materials like fences, signs and equipment for lift towers and deploying explosives to lessen avalanche dangers. Larger resorts employ dozens of paid patrol members, but thousands serve as volunteers.Either way, men have dominated the ranks but there has been an uptick in the number of women, who now account for 23 percent of the 31,027 patrollers nationwide, up from 19 percent in 2007, according to membership surveys and registration with the National Ski Patrol, the organization that provides most training to people in the service.“There are high expectations for ski patrol, whether that’s physical or mental toughness, emotional intelligence or problem solving on-the-spot,” said Addy McCord, the ski patrol director at Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado. “When there are women on a team like this, it lends an important voice and perspective to the job. I can say that having women on patrol keeps everyone connected. Men muscle their way through the job and women do it with finesse.”McCord, one of the longest-standing professional patrollers in the industry, has been with the Beaver Creek Patrol for 40 years. When she started in 1981, there were only two other women. Now, women make up nearly one-third of her team of more than 60 patrollers.“There is no doubt that I see this trend continuing,” McCord said. “It’s important for women to see themselves represented on patrol and in leadership roles on the mountain. Having not only women, but diversity in perspectives, has elevated this entire team.”In 1985, when Julie Rust began patrolling at the nearby Vail Ski Resort, there was a similar dearth of women on the squad. When she became patrol director in 2001, she and McCord struck an immediate bond and forged ahead together as trailblazers.“The fact that there were two of us in the room, we had each other to lean on,” Rust said, recalling her early days at regional director meetings.“She and I were facing things with a different perspective than others in the industry,’’ she added. “We quietly redirected the meetings, ensuring that everyone’s time was well spent. We were on the periphery, but along the way, it ended up we were in the middle of the group.”The female ski patrollers in leadership positions said they encourage stronger communication, creative approaches to physical tasks and improved teamwork. They said they seek alternatives to scolding errant skiers like taking on a calm, conversational tone rather than yelling.Although they are as thorough as men in directing training, they said they seek to be more patient and accommodating of rookies.“A range of learning styles is how everyone is going to become the most capable patroller possible,” said Shannon Maguire, assistant patrol director at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort. “Retaining females helps retain additional females.”Linda Barthel, a 30-year volunteer patroller at Michigan’s Mt. Brighton and former women’s program adviser to the National Ski Patrol, agreed.“Taking a high-level mogul clinic from an instructor that was also 5-foot-2 was an absolute inspiration; I was ready to follow her anywhere on the mountain,” Barthel said. “As a patroller, we are expected to transport injured guests of any size in a toboggan. During one of my toboggan evaluations, I watched a fellow female candidate — the only other woman in the group — negotiate the loaded sled through a different route than the guys were using, working smarter, not harder. I saw and said, ‘I can do that,’ and I did.”Kolina Coe, 30, remembers her first day on patrol 12 years ago at the Northstar Resort in California at age 18. She said she was nervous about meeting the physical demands of the job and “being surrounded by strong men who were a foot taller.”She rode up the lift with another equally panicked female rookie. By the time they reached the top, they had shaken off their reservations and began diving into the work of setting up fences and tower pads.Now, Coe is the assistant patrol director at Northstar and pro liaison for the National Ski Patrol’s Women’s Program. Even with her long braid, she is often referred to as “sir” by injured skiers and encounters distrust from some patients she has to transport down the mountain. Still, she says gender barriers in the industry are unquestionably collapsing.“As our culture continues to push the needle on social norms, women empower each other and men advocate for their female counterparts,” Coe said. “Whether it’s on ski patrol or in the White House, we’ll continue to see more glass ceilings shattered as this perspective shifts. There’s been a wake-up call that women are just as strong and capable as men.”

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