Other Sports

 
      === News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, July 23 ===
 
 
         === Broncos' Bowlen steps aside due to Alzheimer's disease ===
 
 Englewood,  CO  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Denver  Broncos  owner Pat  Bowlen  has
 relinquished day-to-day control of the team due to Alzheimer's disease.
 
 The  team  made the announcement  Wednesday, saying the 70-year-old Bowlen had
 been privately battling the disease in recent years.
 
 "The Broncos are very saddened that Mr. Bowlen is no longer able to be part of
 the  team's daily operations due to his condition," the club's statement read.
 "We continue to offer our full support, compassion and respect to 'Mr. B,' who
 has faced Alzheimer's disease with such dignity and strength."
 
 Bowlen  had already placed his ownership share into a trust that is controlled
 by  non-family  members with  a long-term  goal for one  his seven children to
 eventually run the franchise.
 
 "Plans for this trust were arranged by Mr. Bowlen beginning more than a decade
 ago  as part of his succession plan to keep the Broncos in the Bowlen family,"
 the statement continued.
 
 Daily  operations of the  team will be assumed by club president Joe Ellis and
 John  Elway will continue to run the football department. Ellis, who will take
 on  the role of CEO, has spent the past 17 years with the Broncos, while Elway
 rejoined the club in the front office in January 2011.
 
 "Mr.  Bowlen has  entrusted Joe and me  to run this franchise the way he would
 want it to run," said an emotional Elway at a news conference Wednesday. "It's
 a  sad, sad  day. Pat's been a mentor.  He's been someone I've looked up to. I
 wouldn't  be where I  am today without Pat Bowlen. I can't say enough for what
 he's done for me."
 
 Bowlen,  who purchased the team in 1984, told the Denver Post in May 2009 that
 he  was  suffering from short-term  memory loss. The  family and team told the
 paper  early  Wednesday that  his  condition  had developed  into  Alzheimer's
 disease, a brain condition that progressively worsens and has no cure.
 
 "Pat  has always  wanted the focus to  be solely on the Denver Broncos and the
 great  fans who have supported this team with such passion during his 30 years
 as  owner," said  Bowlen's wife, Annabel, in a statement. "My family is deeply
 saddened  that Pat's health no longer allows him to oversee the Broncos, which
 has led to this public acknowledgment of such a personal health condition.
 
 "Alzheimer's  has taken so much from Pat, but it will never take away his love
 for the Denver Broncos and his sincere appreciation for the fans."
 
 Bowlen was one of the leaders in the NFL, serving on ownership committees that
 included labor and broadcasting.
 
 The  Broncos  have reached  the Super  Bowl six  times during Bowlen's 30-year
 tenure,  winning  back-to-back titles  after the 1997  and '98 seasons. Denver
 lost to Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII in February.
 
 
                       === Gronkowski cleared to play ===
 
 Foxboro,   MA  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  New  England  Patriots  tight  end  Rob
 Gronkowski  has been  medically  cleared  to take  part  in  all workouts  and
 practices during training camp after recovering from knee surgery.
 
 Patriots  coach Bill  Belichick revealed  the news  during a  press conference
 Wednesday morning.
 
 "He's been cleared to play," said Belichick.
 
 Gronkowski  suffered a  torn  ACL last  December  in a  Week  14 game  against
 Cleveland  and underwent  surgery in  January. There  was speculation  that he
 could begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
 
 The 25-year-old Arizona product played just seven games last year and finished
 the season with 39 receptions for 592 yards with four touchdowns. He began the
 2013  campaign on  the PUP list while recovering from offseason procedures for
 his back and forearm.
 
 Gronkowski,  entering  his fifth season,  hasn't played  a full 16 games since
 2011,  when he caught  90 passes for 1,327 yards with 17 touchdowns. He played
 just 11 games in 2012 because of a broken arm.
 
 
                          === Jets add Jason Babin ===
 
 Cortland, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Jets have agreed to terms with
 linebacker/defensive end Jason Babin.
 
 The  11-year veteran was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars last month after
 leading  the club with 7 1/2 sacks last season. He had just re-signed with the
 Jaguars  in March after  voiding the final two years of his previous deal only
 three days earlier.
 
 Babin  started all  16 games for Jacksonville  in 2013 and added 40 tackles to
 his  sack total. He  had joined the Jaguars late in the 2012 season and played
 five games for the club after being released by Philadelphia.
 
 The well-traveled 34-year-old Michigan native has 62 1/2 sacks and 347 tackles
 in  130 NFL  games with Houston, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Tennessee
 and Jacksonville.
 
 To  make room on the training camp roster, the Jets released cornerback Lowell
 Rose.
 
 The  Jets  also placed guard Willie  Colon and linebacker Antwan Barnes on the
 active physically unable to perform list with knee injuries.
 
 
                  === Eagles T Johnson suspended for PEDs ===
 
 New  York, NY  (SportsNetwork.com)  - Philadelphia  Eagles  right tackle  Lane
 Johnson has been suspended four games without pay by the NFL for violating the
 league's  policy on performance-enhancing substances by taking a medication he
 says he failed to check out properly.
 
 The  suspension was  reported by media outlets last month and announced by the
 NFL on Wednesday.
 
 Johnson started all 16 games as a rookie last season after being drafted No. 4
 overall by the Eagles out of Oklahoma.
 
 He  said in  a statement issued by  the team that he "mistakenly and foolishly
 put  a prescribed medication in my body to help with a medical issue" while he
 was training in April.
 
 "I  mistakenly failed to  clear it with Eagles trainers and check the NFL list
 of  banned  substances," Johnson said. "I  am extremely sorry for this mistake
 and I will learn from it and be smarter in the future."
 
 Johnson is eligible to participate offseason and preseason practices and games
 but  will  miss the  first four  regular-season contests against Jacksonville,
 Indianapolis, Washington and San Francisco.
 
 He can return to the active roster on Monday, Sept. 29.
 
 "We're  very  disappointed to learn  of his suspension,"  the Eagles said in a
 statement.  "We  have spoken to  Lane about the  details of the suspension. He
 understood  what  he did wrong and  took full responsibility. The key for him,
 however,  is to  learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation
 for the 2014 season."
 
 
                     === Cardinals place Mathieu on PUP list ===
 
 Tempe,  AZ  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The Arizona  Cardinals placed safety Tyrann
 Mathieu  and tackle Alameda Ta'amu on the physically unable to perform list on
 Wednesday.
 
 Mathieu is still recovering from tearing  the anterior collateral ligament and
 lateral  collateral  ligament in  his left  knee during  a game last December,
 which   caused   him  to  be   placed  on  season-ending  injured  reserve  on
 two days later.
 
 Speaking  shortly  after the injuries  occurred, Cards head coach Bruce Arians
 stated  that  the former LSU star  wouldn't likely to be medically cleared for
 the start of next summer's training camp after undergoing surgery.
 
 He  finished  his rookie campaign  with 68  tackles, two interceptions and one
 sack over 13 games.
 
 Ta'amu is also coming off an ACL injury suffered late last season.
 
 Arizona also released wide receiver Kelsey Pope.
 
 
                   === Avs ink O'Reilly to two-year deal ===
 
 Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Ryan
 O'Reilly to a two-year contract on Wednesday.
 
 The deal avoided salary arbitration.
 
 According  to the Denver Post, O'Reilly will make $5.8 million this season and
 $6.2 million in year two of the deal.
 
 O'Reilly,  the 2014  Lady Byng  Memorial Trophy  winner for  sportsmanship and
 gentlemanly  conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability, led the
 Avs  with 28 goals and added 36 assists for 64 points last season. He also led
 the  NHL  with 83 takeaways,  marking the second time  in his career that he's
 paced the league in that category (2011-12).
 
 Additionally,  O'Reilly was  called for  just  one minor  penalty all  season,
 joining  Butch Goring  (1977-78,  Los Angeles)  as the  only  players ever  to
 receive two or fewer PIM over 80 or more games.
 
 "We are pleased to have Ryan under contract," said Avalanche vice president of
 hockey  operations Joe  Sakic in a statement Wednesday. "We are looking at the
 upcoming training camp and season with a lot of excitement."
 
 Just 23 years old, O'Reilly has already played five seasons in the league, all
 with the Avs, and has 73 goals and 118 assists for 191 points.
 
 
                     === Rangers, Kreider agree to deal ===
 
 New  York, NY  (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers agreed to terms with
 restricted free agent forward Chris Kreider on Wednesday.
 
 Kreider  had  17 goals and 20  assists in 66  games with the Rangers this past
 season,  ranking  second among  NHL rookies  in power-play  goals with six and
 fifth in goals.
 
 During the Rangers' playoff run, the 23-year-old Massachusetts native recorded
 five goals and eight assists for 13 points in 15 games.
 
 Kreider has skated in 89 career NHL games, registering 19 goals and 21 assists
 for 40 points. He also has 22 points in 41 Stanley Cup playoff games.
 
 
                      === Yankees place Johnson on DL ===
 
 Bronx,  NY  (SportsNetwork.com) - The  New York Yankees placed infielder Kelly
 Johnson on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left groin.
 
 Johnson is batting .219 with six homers and 22 RBI this season. He was hurt in
 Tuesday's game against Texas.
 
 Playing  right field for  the first time, Johnson made a nice running catch in
 right-center field and struggled running to first in his next at-bat.
 
 The  Yankees, after a 14-inning marathon against the Rangers on Tuesday, added
 bullpen  depth on  Wednesday by selecting the contract of pitcher Chris Leroux
 from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
 
 To  put Leroux  on the  40-man roster,  the Yankees  designated pitcher  Bruce
 Billings for assignment.
 
 
            === Indians send House to Columbus, bring up Ramirez ===
 
 Minneapolis,  MN (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The Cleveland  Indians have  optioned
 pitcher  T.J.  House to Triple-A  Columbus and recalled infielder Jose Ramirez
 from the minor league club.
 
 House  pitched five  innings in  Monday's 4-3  loss to  Minnesota and  did not
 factor  into the decision  after yielding three runs on six hits. The lefty is
 1-2  with a 4.50 ERA in 10 games, all but one as a starter, for the Tribe this
 season.
 
 Ramirez will join the Indians for the second time this season. He was 2-for-25
 with  an RBI in 11 games during May. In 60 games for Columbus, the 21-year-old
 Dominican  native  was batting .302  with 15 doubles,  five homers and 29 runs
 batted in.
 
 
                    === Cards activate Siegrist from DL ===
 
 St.  Louis,  MO (SportsNetwork.com)  - The St.  Louis Cardinals have activated
 pitcher Kevin Siegrist off the 15-day disabled list.
 
 Siegrist  had been  sidelined since late May because of a left forearm strain.
 He  recently  worked 4  2/3 scoreless  innings over  five appearances during a
 rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield.
 
 The  lefty  was 1-1 with  a 3.60 ERA  and 27 strikeouts  over 20 innings in 23
 games for the Cardinals this season prior to his DL stint.
 
 St. Louis optioned pitcher Nick Greenwood to Triple-A Memphis to open a roster
 spot  for  Siegrist. Greenwood  was 1-1  with 4.74  ERA in  nine games for the
 Cardinals  since  his recall last  month, including two perfect innings during
 Tuesday's loss to Tampa Bay.
 
 
           === Padres' Maybin suspended 25 games for amphetamine ===
 
 New  York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin
 was  suspended 25 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for an
 amphetamine  he  says he  was taking to  treat attention deficit hyperactivity
 disorder.
 
 The suspension, announced Wednesday, is effective immediately.
 
 Maybin is eligible to return to the active roster on Aug. 20.
 
 In  a  statement issued by the  Major League Baseball Players Association, the
 outfielder  said he's  been receiving treatment for ADHD for several years and
 previously had a therapeutic use exemption.
 
 "Unfortunately,  in  my attempts  to switch  back to a  medicine that had been
 previously  OK'd, I neglected to follow all the rules and as a result I tested
 positive," Maybin said.
 
 "I  want to  assure  everyone that  this  was  a genuine  effort  to treat  my
 condition  and I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball
 career.  I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and I
 will take my punishment and will not challenge my suspension.
 
 "I  apologize  to my family,  friends, fans,  teammates, and the entire Padres
 organization. I look forward to returning to the field and contributing to the
 success of my club."
 
 Maybin,  27, is batting  .247 with a .286 on-base percentage, one home run and
 nine RBI in 62 games for the Padres this season. The eight-year MLB veteran is
 a career .248 hitter.
 
 "Cameron  has accepted full responsibility for his violation and apologized to
 his teammates and coaches," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We are all looking
 forward to his return."
 
 
           === Felton sentenced to community service in gun case ===
 
 New  York, NY  (SportsNetwork.com) - Dallas Mavericks guard Raymond Felton was
 sentenced  to community service after pleading guilty to a gun charge in a New
 York court on Wednesday.
 
 Felton  will perform 500 hours of community service and was also issued a fine
 of $5,000 after his guilty plea, which stemmed from a February arrest while he
 played for the New York Knicks.
 
 The  Mavericks acquired  Felton in a trade  with New York last month. Just two
 days  before  the deal,  Felton reached  a plea  agreement with prosecutors to
 avoid  jail time. He will be able to perform his community service outside the
 state of New York.
 
 Felton,  then playing  for the  Knicks, turned  himself in  to authorities  in
 February,  hours after  a game  against the  Mavericks, and  was charged  with
 felony  possession of  a firearm.  New York  has strict  gun possession  laws,
 which normally carry automatic jail sentences.
 
 Reports  in  February had  indicated  that  Felton's  estranged wife  and  her
 attorney brought the gun to police. The two were in the middle of a divorce.
 
 There  was  speculation at the time  that Felton had threatened the woman with
 the weapon, but that was never established.
 
 Felton  averaged  a career-low 9.7 points  and 5.6 assists for the Knicks last
 season.
 
 
           === Lewis needs knee surgery, contract with Mavs void ===
 
 Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks have voided the contract
 of forward Rashard Lewis.
 
 Lewis  had agreed to terms on a veteran minimum contract with the Mavs on July
 19, but a recent physical revealed a knee injury that will require surgery.
 
 "It came to our attention during Rashard Lewis' physical that he is in need of
 a  medical procedure  on his  right knee,"  Mavericks president  of basketball
 operations Donnie Nelson said. "We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery
 and continued success in his remarkable career."
 
 Lewis  appeared  in 60  games with  the Miami Heat  last season, averaging 4.5
 points in just over 16 minutes of action.
 
 Over  his 16-year  career, Lewis has averages of 14.9 points and 5.2 rebounds.
 He is 45.2 percent career shooter, hitting 38.6 percent of his 3-pointers.
 
 
                       === Nets sign Brown, Jefferson ===
 
 Brooklyn,  NY  (SportsNetwork.com) - The  Brooklyn Nets  signed a pair of 2014
 draft picks Wednesday, inking guard Markel Brown and forward Cory Jefferson to
 multi-year contracts.
 
 Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
 
 Brown,  the  44th overall  pick in the  2014 NBA Draft,  was acquired from the
 Minnesota  Timberwolves on draft night in exchange for cash considerations. He
 completed  his senior  season at  Oklahoma State,  averaging 17.2  points, 5.3
 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
 
 Jefferson,  the 60th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the
 Philadelphia  76ers on draft night in exchange for cash considerations. During
 his final season at Baylor, he averaged 13.7 points and 8.2 rebounds.
 
 
                        === Hornets sign PG Roberts ===
 
 Charlotte,  NC  (SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets signed point guard
 Brian Roberts on Wednesday.
 
 Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 
 "Brian  is a quality  point guard who we believe will play a key role for us,"
 Hornets  general manager Rich Cho said. "We look forward to having him as part
 of our team."
 
 In 72 games last season, including 42 starts, Roberts averaged 9.4 points, 3.3
 assists  and  1.9 rebounds.  He spent  the last two  seasons with New Orleans,
 averaging 8.2 points, 3.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 150 games.
 
 
          === Granollers into quarters; Garcia-Lopez exits Gstaad ===
 
 Gstaad,  Switzerland  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Former champion Marcel Granollers
 cruised   into   the  quarterfinals,  while  two  seeds,  including  Guillermo
 Garcia-Lopez,  came up  second-round losers Wednesday at the Swiss Open tennis
 event.
 
 The second-seeded Spaniard Granollers grounded Swiss wild card Yann Marti 6-1,
 6-4. The 2011 champ will next face fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on Friday.
 
 Former  top-10 Argentine  Juan  Monaco upended  the third-seeded  Garcia-Lopez
 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 and is now 6-2 lifetime against the Spaniard, while another mild
 upset  came when  Brazilian Thomaz  Bellucci drove  out fellow  South American
 Federico  Delbonis of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 on the red clay at Roy Emerson Arena.
 Bellucci  was  the Gstaad champion  in 2009  and 2012 and  is now 12-2 at this
 tournament.
 
 Bellucci and Monaco will square off in the quarters.
 
 Another  second-round  result saw Andujar  level Slovenian Blaz Rola 6-3, 6-3,
 while  one  final first-round affair  saw Swiss  wild card Henri Laaksonen get
 past  French  qualifier Gianni Mina  7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3)  in a match that was
 suspended on Tuesday.
 
 On  Thursday, top-seeded Russian veteran and reigning champion Mikhail Youzhny
 will  open his  week  with a  second-round match  against  Frenchman Kenny  De
 Schepper.  Youzhny  titled  here  last  year  with  a  victory  over  Dutchman
 Robin Haase in the final.
 
 The 2014 Swiss Open champ will earn $105,000.
 
 
                      === Jovanovski reaches Baku QFs ===
 
 Baku,  Azerbaijan  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Fifth seed  and 2012 champion Bojana
 Jovanovski  was  an easy second-round winner  Wednesday at the Baku Cup tennis
 event.
 
 The  Serb subdued  Poland's Katarzyna Piter 6-3, 6-1 on the hardcourts at Baku
 Tennis Academy.
 
 Jovanovski's  quarterfinal opponent  on Friday will be Japanese qualifier Misa
 Eguchi.
 
 A  mild  Day 3 upset  came when  France's Pauline Parmentier dismissed eighth-
 seeded Slovak Jana Cepelova, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Parmentier will now appear in her
 first quarterfinal since 2012.
 
 Some  other second-round  action  saw  Israeli veteran  and  last year's  Baku
 runner-up  Shahar  Peer overtake Serbian  qualifier Vesna Dolonc 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
 and  Eguchi drill  Pole Urszula Radwanska 6-2, 6-1. The 183rd-ranked Eguchi is
 playing in her first-ever main draw on the WTA.
 
 Top  seeds  Sorana Cirstea, of Romania,  and Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, will
 see second-round action on Thursday.
 
 Svitolina  won her  first WTA  title  at this  event last  year, beating  Peer
 in the final.
 
 The 2014 Baku champ will claim $43,000.
 
 
                 === Nibali increases Tour lead in Stage 17 ===
 
 Saint-Lary  Pla d'Adet,  France (SportsNetwork.com) - Vincenzo Nibali of Italy
 increased  his overall  lead at the Tour  de France on Wednesday with a strong
 third-place finish in Stage 17.
 
 Poland's  Rafal Majka  won the  stage,  a short  and grueling  124.5-kilometer
 mountain trek through the Pyrenees, finishing atop the Pla d'Adet in a time of
 3 hours,  35 minutes and 23 seconds. It  was his second  stage win of the 2014
 Tour, as he captured Stage 14 last week in the Alps.
 
 Italy's  Giovanni Visconti was 29 seconds behind in second place, while Nibali
 made  a  move to distance himself  from his nearest competitors in the overall
 classification  with an  attack near  the conclusion  on the  highest category
 climb. He finished third for the stage -- 46 seconds behind the winner.
 
 Nibali started the day 4 minutes and 37 seconds in front of Alejandro Valverde
 and  now owns  an advantage  of 5:26  over the  Spaniard, who  was another  49
 seconds behind the winner in 10th on Wednesday.
 
 "I've  got a nice lead, but considering (Thursday's) stage to Hautacam and the
 time  trial,  I preferred to go  and gain a few  more seconds and be even more
 serene, just in case something would happen," Nibali said about why he decided
 to attack rather than remain with the other top riders.
 
 Frenchmen  Thibaut Pinot,  Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet occupy the
 next  three  places. Pinot, who  was 11th on  Wednesday, is six minutes behind
 Nibali,  while  Peraud finished  alongside  Nibali  on Wednesday  and  remains
 another  eight seconds  behind. Bardet is 7:34 off the pace after placing 12th
 on Wednesday.
 
 American  Tejay Van  Garderen is still sixth overall after finishing alongside
 Pino and Bardet on Wednesday.
 
 A trio of Category 1 climbs preceded the highest category finish on Wednesday,
 the shortest non-time trial stage of the 2014 Tour.
 
 Heading  up  the final  ascent of  the Pla d'Adet  were four riders, including
 Visconti,  who left  the group  with about  nine kilometers  remaining. Majka,
 though, caught him with four kilometers left and the two stayed together until
 the  Polish rider  took off  with about  2 1/2  kilometers to  go and  was not
 caught.
 
 "I'm just so happy about this result and the results that we have accomplished
 in  the last couple of days," said Majka, who owns the polka dot jersey as the
 leader in the mountains classification.
 
 Nibali  had the yellow  jersey group a few minutes behind the lead pack at the
 start  of the final  ascent, but Peraud pulled away and only the yellow jersey
 was  able to keep  up, leaving Valverde with a struggle to maintain his second
 overall position.
 
 "I  was  able to  recover my  rhythm and to  limit the  damage with Nibali and
 Peraud,"  said Valverde.  "It's true  that I  have close  rivals in  Pinot and
 Peraud,  but Peraud is  the one I fear the most because he's very good in time
 trials."
 
 Stage  18 on Thursday  is the last of three days in the Pyrenees and the 145.5
 kilometers from Pau to Hautacam features two climbs of the highest category --
 the first up the Col du Tourmalet before a finish at the top of the Hautacam.
 
 
                  === Tonalist headlines Jim Dandy Stakes ===
 
 Saratoga Springs, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist tops
 a  field of  seven 3-year-olds  for Saturday's  $600,000 Jim  Dandy Stakes  at
 Saratoga  Race Course.  The 1 1/8-mile stakes  is the final local prep for the
 $1 million Travers on August 23.
 
 Trained  by Christophe Clement for Robert Evans, Tonalist will again be ridden
 by Joel Rosario and break from post 4.
 
 "We  have  him in  the Jim  Dandy, but  we also  want him  to make the Travers
 afterwards,  so we're  just trying to keep  a little bit of room to work after
 the Jim Dandy," Clement said during a conference call on Tuesday.
 
 The  colt won  the Belmont Stakes at  odds of 9-1 versus 10 other 3-year-olds,
 including  Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome. He came away
 with a head victory in the final jewel of racing's Triple Crown
 
 "He  gives you the  feeling he tries very hard to the end," Clement added. "Is
 it  because he  tries hard or is it  because he's got the will to win. I'm not
 exactly  sure. But, yes, he always seems to be doing his best from the quarter
 pole to the wire."
 
 With three wins from five career starts, Tonalist has banked $957,000.
 
 Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, trained by Dallas Stewart, has been
 entered  after originally being slated for Friday's Curlin Stakes at Saratoga.
 Owned  by West  Point Thoroughbreds,  the  colt has  drawn post  6 with  Shaun
 Bridgmohan set to ride.
 
 "He  really  likes this track. I  thought he liked  it a lot as a 2-year-old,"
 Stewart  said. "He  was training here. He  ran here one time, but it was muddy
 and  it just didn't work out good. But he trains very well on it and he worked
 good."
 
 Commanding  Curve is  coming off  a  disappointing ninth-place  finish in  the
 Belmont  Stakes and  is still seeking his second career win. Earlier this year
 he  was sixth  at Fair  Grounds in  the  Risen Star  Stakes and  third in  the
 Louisiana  Derby. He rallied to get second behind California Chrome in the Run
 for the Roses as a 37-1 longshot.
 
 The colt has earned $542,434 in eight starts.
 
 Wood  Memorial winner  Wicked  Strong will  start from  the  outside post  for
 trainer Jimmy Jerkens, with regular jockey Rajiv Maragh in the saddle.
 
 Owned  by Centennial  Farms, Wicked Strong posted fourth-place results in both
 the  Kentucky Derby  and Belmont Stakes (dead-heating with California Chrome).
 The colt will be wearing blinkers for the first time Saturday.
 
 "I  really  feel he  didn't give  us his  best (fourth  in the Belmont)," said
 Jerkens.  "He's  run very well, but  he needs to  run a little better. If (the
 blinkers)  make  a little bit  of a  difference, it's worth  a try. I like his
 reaction to the blinkers. I think they kept him a little straighter, more into
 the bridle the whole way."
 
 Wicked Strong has two wins from eight starts for $884,610.
 
 Here  is the complete field for the Jim Dandy: Cousin Stephen, John Velazquez;
 Legend,  Luis  Saez; Ulanbator,  Julien Leparoux;  Tonalist, Joel Rosario; Kid
 Cruz,  Irad  Ortiz Jr.; Commanding  Curve, Shaun Bridgmohan and Wicked Strong,
 Rajiv Maragh.
 
 Post time for the Jim Dandy will be approximately 6:01 p.m. ET.
 
 
 
 
 
 07/23 15:55:17 ET

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