SANTA ANITA DERBY WINNER ROADSTER, IDLE SINCE KENTUCKY DERBY, HEADS SUNDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 AFFIRMED STAKES AT 1 1/16 MILES BAFFERT HAS POWERFUL THREE-CARD HAND THAT INCLUDES MUCHO GUSTO & KINGLYARCADIA, Calif. (June 12, 2019)–Bob Baffert holds a powerful three-card hand as his Santa Anita Derby winning Roadster, Mucho Gusto and Kingly loom large among a field of six sophomores in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita. Named for Harbor View Farm’s homebred Triple Crown Champion of 1978, the Affirmed will be contested at a mile and one sixteenth.ROADSTEROwner: Speedway Stable, LLCTrainer: Bob BaffertAn authoritative half length winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 6, this Quality Road colt was never a factor over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs, finishing 16thin the Kentucky Derby on May 4. Sidelined due to an entrapped epiglottis following a third place finish as the 3-5 favorite in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 3, Roadster came back running three starts back for Baffert on March 1, as he tried two turns for the first time in a 2 ½ length allowance win at a one mile. Although ridden by Florent Geroux in the Run for the Roses, he’ll be reunited with Mike Smith, who had ridden him in his first four starts, in Sunday’s Affirmed. The leading money winner in the field with $706,200, he has three wins from five starts.MUCHO GUSTOOwner: Michael Lund PetersenTrainer: Bob BaffertOff as the prohibitive 1-2 favorite, this Kentucky-bred colt by Mucho Macho Man annexed his third graded stakes win on May 18, as he cut back in distance off of a disappointing third in the Grade III, 1 1/8 mile Sunland Derby to take the Grade III, seven furlong Lazaro Barrera Stakes here by 3 ¼ lengths. A 4 ¾ length winner of the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes going 1 1/16 miles three starts back on Feb. 2, Mucho Gusto could prove an elusive front-running target under regular rider Joe Talamo.KINGLYOwner: Clearview Stables, LLC, RAC O4 Racing, LLC and Michael MeeganTrainer: Bob BaffertA first out maiden winner going six furlongs at Del Mar on Dec. 1, this son of Tapit comes off a third place finish to Affirmed rival Visitant in the one mile Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on May 19. A half length victor over Visitant two starts back in the 1 1/8 mile California Derby on April 27, Kingly is 5-2-2-1 and will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez for the third consecutive time. With his last three starts coming on synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate, he’ll return to Santa Anita’s main track for the first time since Jan. 31, when he was third as the 8-5 favorite in a one mile allowance over a sloppy track.VISITANTOwner: Williamson Racing, LLCTrainer: John F. MartinA winner of three out his four starts, all at Golden Gate, this homebred colt by Ghostzapper rallied from off the pace to win the one mile Alcatraz on May 19 by 1 ¼ lengths, earning an Affirmed-best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 91. With regular rider William Antongeorgi in town to ride, it would appear Visitant will have plenty of pace to run at as he gets a major test for class.THE GRADE III AFFIRMED STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 8 of 9 Approximate post time 4:35 p.m. PTVisitant–William Antongeorgi–122Always Forgiven–Kent Desormeaux–120Manhattan Up–Tiago Pereira–120Kingly–Mario Gutierrez–122Roadster–Mike Smith–124Mucho Gusto–Joe Talamo–124First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
File poto: Doc Lawson, president of DonamiSports and Henry Browne technical director of the LFA review a grassroots programIt is good news that the Liberia Football Association has appointed Coach Henry Browne to resume his previous position as the technical director of football development in the country.Coach Browne and Coach Kaetu Smith developed a five-year football development program that did not get the support of the previous administration.Now with his return as the technical director, Coach Browne will now have the opportunity to work freely, without anybody calling the shots and dictating to him how to manage and handle what he knows best.LFA President Mustapha Raji is a man who knows the men who can deliver the goods. And his support to Coach Browne is commendable.I recall when Coach Browne held the technical director post, he held discussions with Mr. Doc Lawson, president of the grassroots development United States-based not for profit organization, DonamiSports.Back in 2014, Coach Browne’s outfit and DonamiSport collaborated to complete a selection of the best young soccer talents that could have traveled to Dallas, in the United States to participate in the Dallas Cup.But the plan was sabotaged by the deadly Ebola Disease. Now, according to Doc Lawson, he has received an invitation for the 2020 Dallas Cup to prepare a team of a U-14 soccer team from Liberia to participate in the tournament. And so Coach Browne’s return to the LFA is a perfect time for the LFA and DonamiSports to work together towards the selection of a national U-14 team for 2020.The Dallas Cup is the most prestigious youth soccer tournament in the United States and it is widely regarded as one of the most competitive in the world. It was founded by the Texas Longhorns Soccer Club in 1980 as a way for the club to return the friendship shown to their teams that had traveled throughout Europe, according to its website.Held every spring during Easter Week, the invitation-only Dallas Cup selects the best teams out of the hundreds of qualified applications the tournament receives each year. Although there have been several iterations over the years to the format, the Dallas Cup currently comprises eight age groups from U-13 through U-17, U-19 and the U-19 Gordon Jago Super Group.The tournament traditionally consists of approximately 40% international teams, 40% state-side teams and 20% Dallas area teams. Each year more than 100,000 spectators watch teams from all over the world participating in intense games where only the best return home with the Dallas Cup Champion’s prize, the coveted Boot and Ball trophy.The long list of players that have gone on to have professional and international careers is an impressive one. A partial list includes David Beckham, Clint Dempsey, Chicharito, Landon Donovan, Raul, Michael Bradley, Wayne Rooney, Kleberson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Giovani dos Santos, and Brian McBride. In fact, Dallas Cup alumni have gone on to play in over 430 World Cup matches.Coach Browne and Doc Lawson are passionate about grassroots football and with their collaboration, Liberia could send a representative to Dallas, Texas, the United States in 2020.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)