When the sun comes up over Louisville on Saturday, shining down on the roses and through the twin spires, it will be time for the greatest two minutes in all of sports. Few moments in sports can capture so much history. Winners. Champions. Legends. They all come together in the heart of racing. It is neither the oldest, nor the longest Triple Crown race, yet it is the most important. It was 1875 when Aristides was the first to come down the famed Churchill Downs stretch and be named the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Yet it wasn’t until the 1890s when the race truly became what it is today, with the famed twin spires as the backdrop of a mile and a quarter test for the garland of roses. Ben Brush, the first to taste the roses, became an instrumental part of the pedigree of 48 of the past 50 Derby winners.
Just a year removed from a Triple Crown, our second this decade after a long, and at many times seemingly endless, drought, we begin again with a new set of three year olds, all with a chance to cement themselves in history. As the sun sets on Churchill Downs, a winner will be crowned, perhaps even a champion, and maybe, just like a year ago, a legend will be born. Twenty horses. Ten furlongs. Two minutes. One victor. 145 years of history – all down to 1.
Kentucky Derby weekend is unlike any other. While the Breeders’ Cup may have the champions, Royal Ascot the pageantry, Saratoga the unchanged history, and Dubai the riches, nothing shares the same feeling that is felt come the First Saturday in May. Moments after the Breeders’ Cup Classic wraps up, the focus of racing shifts away from the championship division and goes towards a bunch of then two year olds, all full of energy – and inexperience – that are gunning for one goal, be one of the twenty in the starting gate come 6:50pm on May 4th. As the months tick by, the list slims and the cream of the crop rises to the occasion. Races, in all corners of the world, name their representative to send to Kentucky. From California to Florida, Ireland to Japan, horses across the world compete for much more than putting their name on a local trophy. This weekend is another such occasion, when a culmination of months of work joins to one.
This weekend, champions of yesterday and today will arrive to the famed circle of Churchill Downs to compete for the ultimate prizes. While we will watch many greats race on the undercards on Friday and Saturday, the features are for the three year olds in the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. With that, let’s get into my selections for the weekend. I will note, these races were handicapped for a projected wet ground, as heavy rains are in the forecast for the weekend in Louisville.
Continue reading “Kentucky Derby 2019 – Weekend Selections”
With the untimely scratch of our Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach, this field takes a slightly different turn for home. While the predicted pace doesn’t look to have been changed by much, although Maximum Security will look to have a bit more breathing room without Omaha Beach running right with him, the odds have, with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Game Winner the new favorite. If he stays as the favorite come post time, he will be the first Kentucky Derby favorite not to have won on the year since Timber Country in 1995.
Now, as we take a look at the field, we need to see who is a contender and who is a pretender. With the scratch of Omaha Beach, this has shaken things up and moved some talented horses up.
Continue reading “Kentucky Derby 2019 – Contenders & Pretenders”
There is no better week of the year than Kentucky Derby Week. The Run for the Roses is just days away so its time to analyze the field as we search for who will come out on top under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.
All this week I will have analysis on the field, leading up to my selections for all the weekends big races on Friday morning. Today, we will look at the field now that the post positions have been drawn to find out a bit more about the field of 20.
Continue reading “Kentucky Derby 2019 – Field Analysis”
It’s the NFL’s version of Christmas! Nothing screams the start of a new season like the NFL Draft. Unlike the last few years, this year we have gotten a very mixed back of talent, a lot of players that could be stars and a lot that look like they need more time – all in the first round. Topping the draft boards for many teams are the defensive trio of Quinnen Williams, Nick Bosa, and Devin White – but the biggest question is who of them will come off the board first? With that, let’s get started with the first ever Tagline Sports NFL Mock Draft.
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Back on my old site, Horse Racing Station, I had released my own Speed Figures for Harness Racing… Thought it was about time that I carried them over to Tagline Sports.
Previously named Pure Speed Figures, Tagline Numbers are harness racing speed figures that capture how fast a horse paced/trotted in respect to both the track, quality of race, and balance of speed between beginning of the race and the last quarter. Based on years of collected data from every track, Tagline Numbers allow for comparison between tracks and go beyond just the time.
With that, download my Tagline Numbers speed figures below and enjoy the races from The Meadowlands on Friday, March 15th! And if you see me at the track – come say hi!
Tonight, the Alliance of American Football has the chance to change the model of football, forever. Previously, college was the make-or-break for football players. One chance to make the NFL. Otherwise, your potential career is left up to chance.
With the Alliance of American Football, the brainchild of Charlie Ebersol, a developmental league, at the professional level, is alive. Attempted previously with the XFL (which will soon be back in 2020), developmental football was never an option – gimmicks, calendar placement, and television reach made a league financially impossible. Now, it has a chance. Filling the void left between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft, the AAF aims to provide fans with an enjoyable 21st century style of game – faster paced, more data, more fun. It is also a return to normalcy – what happens on the field is what we care about; less penalties, less referees dictating games, and less arguments.
Continue reading “Alliance of American Football – A Game Changer?”
Final two days of Bowl Season before the National Title Game next Monday night. Here are my selections for all the Bowl Games to end the season:
Continue reading “College Football Bowl Season – 12/31-1/1”
The New Year’s Six Starts TODAY! Our College Football Playoff Semifinal matchups take place tonight, with a battle of traditional powerhouses to start us off in the Peach Bowl. Here are my selections for the day:
Continue reading “College Football Bowl Season – 12/29”
In the past six games, the Baltimore Ravens are 5-1, with their lone loss coming to the Kansas City Chiefs in Overtime at Arrowhead. The ten 4-5 Ravens looked like their season was all but lost, as they had a slate of games that would put them finishing at 8-8, if they were lucky. In a game where Joe Flacco didn’t throw for one touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers, ultimately ending up with a hip injury (a type of injury that has plagued the Ravens franchise for years), it looked as if all was lost for the Baltimore football club.
And then Lamar Jackson showed up. The complexion of this team changed. The old-school run first mentality that the Ravens had back in the day with Jamal Lewis or Ray Rice popped back up to the top and the defense that had been topping the league for the first half of the season just got even better. As described by many, this is a team doing everything the other 31 teams aren’t – run first, pass second. With stars like Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Jared Goff lighting up the scoreboard through the air, the Ravens are ticking critical seconds off the clock by keeping it on the ground. An offense that was more than pass happy with Flacco had completely changed… and became one of the most dangerous threats to the heavy hitting teams in the NFL.
Continue reading “Lamar Jackson: The Future?”