Editor’s observe: That is the Monday Sept. 5 version of the “Sport Day with Kevin Modesti” e-newsletter. To obtain the e-newsletter in your inbox, join right here.
Good morning and blissful Labor Day. I can’t let the weekend go by with out highlighting maybe the only best athletic efficiency of the yr in Southern California.
- Columnist Mirjam Swanson kicked off Week 1 within the NFL with a prediction the Rams would possibly (or won’t) need to hear.
- Andy Ruiz Jr. beat Luiz Ortiz at Crypto Enviornment, and right here’s what may very well be subsequent for the heavyweight from Imperial County.
- The Dodgers clinched the season sequence over the Padres, reducing their magic quantity to 9.
- The Angels misplaced however went 6-3 in consecutive sequence with the Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros.
- Javier Hernandez made “the incorrect choice” on a last-minute penalty kick, his coach mentioned, costing the Galaxy a win.
- LAFC’s dropping streak is over.
- And we have now day-after studies on opening-game winners USC and UCLA, and appears at what’s subsequent for the Trojans and Bruins.
Now, let’s discuss Flightline’s 19¼-length victory within the Pacific Traditional at Del Mar on Saturday. You may learn protection by Artwork Wilson for our papers right here. Additionally tales by Invoice Heart for the San Diego Union-Tribune right here, John Cherwa for the Los Angeles Occasions right here, Tracy Gantz for Blood-Horse journal right here, and Jay Privman for the Every day Racing Kind right here.
Horse racing could be mystifying to many sports activities followers, however the methods handicappers and historians assess horses aren’t a lot totally different from the best way we assess human athletes and groups. The questions requested embody: What have they received? Who’ve they overwhelmed? How did they give the impression of being doing it? What do the numbers say? What sort of respect do opponents present?
Flightline’s efficiency at Del Mar, his fifth emphatic win in 5 profession races over 16 months, demonstrates that the 4-year-old colt is a minimum of nearly as good as one of the best American thoroughbreds of the 2000s.
• He already has three victories in Grade I stakes, essentially the most prestigious North American races. That’s one thing that even few Triple Crown stars obtain of their first 5 begins. The $1 million Pacific Traditional is among the sport’s heavyweight contests, for 3-year-olds and up, and Flightline received it like Mike Tyson in his prime.
(Flightline missed the Triple Crown races as a result of he didn’t race for the primary time till per week earlier than the Kentucky Derby of his 3-year-old season. That is the principle cause he isn’t as well-known as he may very well be.)
• The sphere he beat at Del Mar included a minimum of Nation Grammer, winner of this yr’s $12 million Dubai World Cup and runner-up within the $20 million Saudi Cup, the world’s richest thoroughbred races.
Flightline toyed with one of the best horses he has confronted, in a 1¼-mile race that had been seen as a take a look at of his capability to race round two turns.
• Taking the lead on the backstretch, leaving opponents far again within the haze on the flip for residence, he evoked recollections of a minimum of Secretariat within the 1973 Belmont Stakes transferring (all collectively now) like an amazing machine.
“Take a very good take a look at this, ‘trigger you’re not going to see this too usually, possibly by no means once more,” Del Mar announcer Trevor Denman informed followers as Flightline raced alone previous the grandstand. You may take a very good look right here.
• Seems could be deceiving, so what do numbers say?
Horse bettors have been doing analytics longer than baseball and different sports activities. The important thing racing numbers are velocity figures, kind of an equine equal of baseball’s OPS+. Essentially the most-quoted velocity figures, those popularized by former Washington Submit racing author Andy Beyer, awarded Flightline a determine (126) for the Pacific Traditional win that’s the best recorded on a dry observe in North America since 1997.
• I mentioned one think about assessing an athlete is the respect proven by opponents. Are they so deferential that they attempt to avoid going through him? That is the unanswered query about Flightline, whose subsequent begin ought to come within the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Traditional at Keeneland, in Kentucky, on Saturday, Nov. 5.
With huge cash to be received within the Traditional – even for the house owners of horses who run second, third and so forth – Racing Kind author David Grening reported East Coast trainers nonetheless plan to problem Flightline.
So the problem of proving Flightline to be one of many nice trendy American thoroughbreds goes on for coach John Sadler, jockey Flavien Prat and the horse himself.
However thus far, so … nicely, “good” doesn’t actually do him justice, does it?
Artwork Wilson tweeted that Flightline’s Pacific Traditional was the “most dominating efficiency I’ve witnessed in particular person.” That’s saying one thing, as a result of Artwork has been going to the races since 1971.
• Angels open a house sequence in opposition to the Tigers (6:38 p.m., BSW). There’s one month left in theregular season and Shohei Ohtani’s battle with the Yankees’ Aaron Choose for AL MVP.
• Dodgers and Giants (7:10 p.m., SNLA) have performed a number of traditional sequence in September. Not this September,with San Francisco 27½ video games behind L.A.
• Angel Metropolis FC takes on the Mexico ladies’s nationwide crew in Copa Angelina at Banc of California Stadium (6 p.m., TUDN). Preview.
• Galaxy II, one level out of a USL playoff spot with sevengames to play, hosts Hartford Athletic in Carson (7:30 p.m., ESPN+).
• Del Mar’s 10-race Labor Day card (1 p.m.) options two minor stakes. Juan Hernandez, main the jockey standings, rides favourite BigHopes within the Beneficiant Portion.
I requested school soccer followers how their views of USC or UCLA – or each – modified after the groups’ season-opening wins.
Tom Burns emailed with excessive reward for brand spanking new USC coach Lincoln Riley: “Riley has the chance to hitch the ranks of coaches (John) McKay, (John) Robinson and (Pete) Carroll. (Saturday) was a very good begin in that course. Rebuilding the Trojans is a big process (however) eliminating dumb penalties, transferring the ball and primary fundamentals will carry the day.”
Who’s the best racehorse in your lifetime? Electronic mail responses to KModesti@scng.com. I’ll print one of the best of them.
Talking of horse racing, blissful retirement to Jay Privman, nationwide correspondent for the Every day Racing Kind. Jay’s farewell column remembers his beginnings on the Los Angeles Every day Information.
The advantage of not being a fan of any crew…. you may get excited/nervous about each sport.
— James H. Williams covers UCLA soccer (@JHWreporter) September 5, 2022
– James Williams (@JHWreporter) whereas watching LSU rating with :00 on the clock solely to have Florida State block the PAT kick to avoid wasting a one-point win final night time.
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