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  • American Pharoah poised for more history

    first_img The Boss On this day, though, Pharoah will be The Boss. “We have a legend here with American Pharoah,” says Dennis Drazen, a management consultant to the track. “People are going to be talking about being there the day American Pharoah ran at Monmouth Park in the Haskell.” Thrilled to have American Pharoah, track officials this week boosted the total purse of the race by $750,000 to a record $1.75 million. The winner’s share is $1.1 million. A record crowd approaching 60,000 is expected. A three-day “Pharoah Phan Phestival” began on Friday, with giveaways, contests and a chance for fans to watch American Pharoah on his morning gallops. About 5,000 showed up Friday. The Triple Crown winner is the overwhelming 1-5 favourite in an eight-horse field going 11/8 miles. “He has so many fans,” says trainer Bob Baffert, who said his wife, Jill, told him that a little TV was tuned in to the Belmont at the beauty salon she goes to in Beverly Hills, California. “There’s people in front of his barn in the mornings and people watching him gallop and cheering for him every time. It’s fun to really share him with the fans.” From the moment American Pharoah won the Belmont, Zayat hasn’t wavered in his desire to keep racing his prized horse – even though he’s sold the breeding rights for what could be as much as $30 million, with a stud fee that could be in the $100,000 range. NEW JERSEY (AP): From a beauty salon in Beverly Hills to an intersection in Zurich, people are talking about American Pharoah. Derek Jeter. Carrie Underwood. Drew Brees. Even Cheech and Chong. All have chatted up either the owner, trainer or jockey of American Pharoah in the weeks after the horse became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years with a sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. “He’s captured the imagination of the nation,” says Ahmed Zayat, the effusive Egyptian owner who travels the world on business and resides in Teaneck, New Jersey. “More than just a nation, if I dare say.” Today, American Pharoah returns to the races in the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, the Jersey Shore track a few furlongs from the home of rocker Bruce Springsteen, whose classic Born to Run has become the Haskell pre-race anthem.last_img read more

  • Rodriguez Hits Tainted 660th

    first_imgBOSTON — No. 660 is in the book. Will $6 million get in the bank?That’s the amount in a marketing agreement that the New York Yankees may have to pay Alex Rodriguez for tying Willie Mays’ total of 660 homers, fourth most in major league history.He slugged that on May 1, a no-doubt, tie-breaking, pinch-hit liner over the Green Monster in the eighth inning that lifted the Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.But Rodriguez and the Yankees appear to be on opposite sides of the $6 million issue.“I’m so in the moment right now and really grateful and appreciative to be playing baseball,” Rodriguez said. “Those things will take care of themselves”When he and the Yankees negotiated a 10-year, $275 million contract in December 2007, they also signed a separate $30 million marketing agreement.It called for $6 million each for up to five accomplishments, payable within 15 days of designation by the team. The accomplishments were contemplated to be home runs 660, 714, 755, 762 and 763.But the Yankees are considering letting the milestones pass without making a designation. They’d likely say that Rodriguez’s suspension all last season for involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal ruins the marketing possibilities for the milestones.A failure to declare a milestone and make a payment likely would trigger a grievance on Rodriguez’s behalf by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Barring a settlement, the case would be heard by an arbitrator.Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t think that issue would be a distraction to Rodriguez. “He’s so happy to be playing, I think he’ll block it out,” Girardi said.Rodriguez wasn’t allowed to play last year. He returned primarily as a designated hitter while Chase Headley handled his former spot at third base.“I was in a cave in Miami, serving my time,” Rodriguez said. “I am very thankful to the Yankees and major league baseball for allowing me to play this game.”That’s a more conciliatory tone than he took during his failed fight to overturn his suspension when he angered the Yankees by suing, among others, the team physician for the treatment of a hip injury that resulted in surgery. The lawsuit was eventually dropped.After hitting No. 660, he praised the Yankees, major league baseball, the Red Sox and even their fans, who booed loudly when he came to the plate and as he jogged around the bases, expressionless, after his shot to left.“I usually don’t hear the difference” between boos when he plays on the road in different stadiums, Rodriguez said with a grin, “but that boo was pretty intense. It was pretty passionate.”With one out and the score tied 2-2, Rodriguez hit for Garrett Jones and looked at three straight balls from Junichi Tazawa (0-1). Then the reliever fired a 95 mph fastball right down the middle. Rodriguez didn’t miss.“I hit that one good,” he said.He slapped hands with his first- and third-base coaches as he circled the bases and with on-deck hitter Stephen Drew after crossing the plate. His teammates stayed in the dugout.But when he arrived there many of them, and Girardi, high-fived him. Some enthusiastically slapped his back.“I was hoping he would swing” at the 3-0 pitch, Yankees starter CC Sabathia said. “Everybody was excited.”Until then, Rodriguez had been 1 for 16 as a pinch hitter in his career. That hit was a single.The homer was much bigger. It made a winner of Esmil Rogers (1-1). Andrew Miller earned his ninth save.“Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on his 660th home run,” Mays said in a statement. “Milestones in baseball are meant to be broken and I wish him continued success throughout his career.”When told of that, Rodriguez appeared emotional and said, “I love Willie. He’s one of my heroes. I’m speechless.”And, of course, his homer won the game. “I’m very excited,” he said. “A year ago today I never thought I’d be hitting home runs and helping the Yankees win. Being in the middle of it is fun again.”_____By Howard Ulman, AP Sports WriterAP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributedTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

  • Ready, Get Set, Start-up

    first_imgThe change of guard does not seem to have dimmed Karnataka’s entrepreneu­rial spirit, especially in Bengaluru. There are ever more start-ups registering for business, a reflection of the new Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government continuing the pro-entrepreneur policies of the previous regime. In the past 2-3 years, special emphasis has been,The change of guard does not seem to have dimmed Karnataka’s entrepreneu­rial spirit, especially in Bengaluru. There are ever more start-ups registering for business, a reflection of the new Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government continuing the pro-entrepreneur policies of the previous regime. In the past 2-3 years, special emphasis has been given to women leaders, technology and innovation and e-commerce to drive entrepreneurial growth. The focus is now on encouraging start-ups to go beyond Bengaluru.A few ministries like social welfare are actively trying to make entrepreneurship inclusive through incentive programmes. The recently launched Unnati scheme is aimed at creating end-to-end infrastructure for start-ups and entrepreneurs from the marginalised sections of society. Likewise, under the Airavata scheme, the government has partnered with cab aggregators to provide employment to the Dalit community. The long-term plan is to see success stories among the SC/ ST communities. We want economic opportunities and income levels to improve in other towns, says Karnataka social welfare minister Priyank Kharge.Two weeks ago, the Samruddhi scheme was launched where private enterprises will train youths from backward communities in skill development and entrepreneurship. Some 30 companies have already signed up for the training programme, which is targeting 25,000 youths. In manufacturing, the big push is in the areas of LED lights, integrated circuit boards, textiles, mobile phone components manufacturing, sports and fitness goods, and others with a budgetary allocation of Rs 500 crore in 2018-19 for skill development of human resources.Chitradurga, Tumakuru, Ballari, Ramanagara, Mysuru, Yadgiri, Uttara Kannada and Haveri districts are the focus areas to promote entrepreneurship. In 2017-18, the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development of Karnataka (CEDOK) in association with UNDP implemented the Disha scheme to impart training to entrepreneurs in 16 districts. So far, 32,000 people have benefitted. The government intends to extend this scheme to all districts of Karnataka in 2018-19, targeting 100,000 people.advertisementlast_img read more