Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jun 22 2015, Page 26

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - June 22, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE C4 C 4 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2015 SPORTS winnipegfreepress. com S PEILBERG, Austria — Nico Rosberg showed his championship potential by overtaking pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the first turn and going on to win the Austrian Grand Prix in style on Sunday. The German driver, runner- up to his Mercedes teammate in last year’s Formula One championship, took an aggressive inside line to shoot past Hamilton heading into the first turn in an eventful race featuring a heavy crash between Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso and several more retirements. Rosberg’s third win this season took his career tally to 11, and cut Hamilton’s overall lead to 10 points. “ The start made the race. It was a great start and I managed to defend in the first couple of corners,” Rosberg said. “ I was really happy with the car and to see the gap open up to Lewis.” Felipe Massa finished third for Williams, matching his finish from last year. In the fight for the last podium spot, Massa held off Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari by just 0.6 seconds. On another terrible day for McLaren, Jenson Button retired to join Alonso in the garage. Rosberg likes the Red Bull Ring, where he won from third on the grid last year. This time he did it starting from second. “ Yeaahhh!” a jubilant Rosberg shouted on his radio after crossing the line. He has good reason to be happy, having beaten Hamilton in three of the past four races. “ I was able to push from the first lap all the way,” Rosberg said. “ This year I’m just doing a little bit better in races.” It was a frustrating day for defending champion Hamilton, who received a five- second penalty for incorrectly leaving the pit lane. He got penalized for going over the white line when straying to the left after coming out of the pits following his tire change. Hamilton’s seventh pole in eight races, achieved late in Saturday’s qualifying, was perhaps more precarious than on another track. “ Nico did a fantastic job today,” Hamilton said. “ I had a bad start, which lost me ground. I had a problem with the revs.” Rosberg made an aggressive start, giving Hamilton no time to settle as he screeched past him. Within moments of that, there was great drama at the back as two former world champions collided coming out of Turn 2. Raikkonen appeared to lose control of his Ferrari and swerved into Alonso’s McLaren, which ended up on top of the Ferrari as they scraped along the barriers. A worried Button, Alonso’s teammate, asked over the radio: “ Is Fernando OK?” After 10 laps, Button could check for himself, after trundling back to the garage. There was no animosity from either driver as Alonso and Raikkonen shook hands, before walking away from the wreckage of their cars unharmed. They were lucky, considering the state of Alonso’s car. Alonso has now retired from the past four races and has yet to score a point. Button has scored only four. After six laps behind the safety car, the race resumed with Rosberg comfortably holding his lead. With 23 of the 71 laps gone, Hamilton drifted three seconds behind Rosberg, with Vettel lagging 10 seconds back. Rosberg changed for new tires on lap 34, as Hamilton took the lead. It was brief, however, as two laps later the British driver came in for his new tires. His stop was slower than Rosberg’s and the time penalty made it worse. “ I have no idea, to be honest,” Hamilton said when asked to explain his time penalty. “ I don’t think I went over anything.” Vettel’s tire change on lap 35 proved problematic as the new rear right tire got jammed for a few seconds, and that left the German driver chasing Massa for third spot. He almost passed him on the 68th lap, but the Brazilian held on. “ It was a fantastic race today, we managed to get Sebastian with his problem,” Massa said. Massa has now secured 40 career podiums and broken the 1,000 career points barrier. “ My son said I would finish third today — and he was right,” the 34- year- old Brazilian said. Vettel’s title bid for a fifth F1 title is wavering and he is now 49 points behind Hamilton heading into next month’s British GP. — The Associated Press DARKO BANDIC / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg takes a corner during the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, southern Austria. Rosberg rules in Austria Shoots past pal Hamilton to claim Grand Prix By Jerome Pugmire RONALD ZAK / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Formula One driver Nico Rosberg celebrates his victory in the Austrian Grand Prix Sunday. THE party’s still on for the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years — and the owner, trainer and jockey. Since American Pharoah completed his sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, the past few weeks have turned into a whirlwind of TV appearances, first pitches and victory celebrations for owner Ahmed Zayat, trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza. For American Pharoah, too. “ It’s excitement. It’s what you do it for,” Zayat said before his champion was paraded around Churchill Downs to the cheers of 30,000 last weekend. “ But again, it’s all about American Pharoah. He is one hell of a horse.” Here’s a look at who’s been where, done what, and what’s ahead for Team American Pharoah: Bidding wars What’s next for American Pharoah? The Haskell? Jim Dandy? Pacific Classic? here’s what we know as of Sunday: The owner insists his Triple Crown winner will race again and Baffert will decide when and where. Three more starts before retirement is the plan, with the $ 5- million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., Oct. 31, the goal for his finale. Then, it’s down the road to the breeding shed at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud. Any training setback could send American Pharoah immediately into retirement. The $ 1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park in New Jersey on Aug. 2 is the favourite. Baffert has won the race seven times, and there’s lots of bonus money already waiting for the owner, trainer and jockey. Zayat lives in Jersey, too. The $ 600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga in New York is Aug. 1, and it’s doubtful the New York Racing Association would consider offering incentives. Del Mar, meanwhile, is considering a $ 5- million bonus to keep American Pharoah in California. A horse would have to win the $ 1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 22, another race at Del Mar ( likely the Awesome Again), and then the BC Classic to cash in. Parx Racing is making a pitch for American Pharoah to run in the $ 1 million Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 19. American Pharoah As racing royalty, there can’t be enough pampering. Despite winning three races in five weeks at three different tracks, the champ is still on the move. After the Belmont on June 6, he was returned to Baffert’s barn at Churchill Downs, with police escort from airport to stable. He posed for photos with fans, went for a jog or two around the track, was feted at a “ Pharoah Fest” at the track — and strutted his stuff for a photo shoot by Vogue . Thursday, he was back on a plane — dubbed Air Horse One — to Santa Anita. A hero’s welcome followed, with a police escort and huge horse trailer decked out with American Pharoah signage ( on the roof, too, so helicopters could spot it) taking him to the barn. He was met by Baffert and family, a slew of media — and actress Julia Roberts. The colt jogged one mile on Sunday, a celebration is planned at the track on Saturday, and then American Pharoah resumes training. Victor Espinoza The popular jockey has shown up on Access Hollywood, Today and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and did interviews with Charlie Rose, Geraldo Rivera and Rolling Stone magazine. He also took a trip to Nashville, Tenn., where he appeared on the CMT Music Awards show — in an eye- catching red suit — and posed for a photo with Carrie Underwood. Let’s not forget throwing out ceremonial first pitches at Yankee Stadium and at the New York Mets’ Citi Field. He showed up at Churchill Downs June 13 for a celebration that drew 30,000 cheering fans as American Pharoah was paraded on the track. After returning home to California, he popped up at an Angels game, then jumped back in the saddle Thursday after a 12- day break and won two races. Today, he’s visiting patients at the City of Hope hospital in Duarte, Calif., where he’s donating his earnings from the Belmont ( about $ 90,000). He’ll be at Santa Anita on Saturday when American Pharoah is paraded in front of another large crowd. July 4, he’ll be riding in a VIP car at a parade in Sierra Madre. Agent Brian Beach says the jockey has offers ranging from speaking at a business conference in Mexico City to riding at a track in Turkey. Bob Baffert If there’s ever been a happier trainer... well, there isn’t, is there? Never more gracious in a Hall of Fame career that has drawn as much criticism as praise, Baffert wants everyone to share in his good fortune. He’s allowed fans, media and just about everyone else access to his horse. “ I didn’t realize it was going to be this big,” he said. The trainer has made his share of appearances — a victory lap and ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium on June 9 for one — but his focus is on his stable of stars and deciding American Pharoah’s next move. Ahmed Zayat He’s been all over business TV shows, including Squawk Box, Morning Joe and Secret Lives Of The Super Rich. His Zayat Stables own 143 horses other than American Pharoah, and he has another business that frequently takes him to Europe, where he jetted off to a few days ago. The 52- year- old Egyptian who lives in Teaneck, N. J., says, “ This sport without any stars is not good. It is a dying sport and we really needed this and wanted that.” — The Associated Press Triple Crown winner jets about in Air Horse One By Richard Rosenblatt Teenager Henderson wins Symetra Tour event SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Canadian teen Brooke Henderson won the Four Winds Invitational on Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title. The 17- year- old from Smiths Falls, Ont., closed with a 3- under 69 for a two- stroke victory, finishing at 10- under 206 at Blackthorn. She tied for fifth last week in the Women’s PGA Championship, the second of the LPGA Tour’s five majors. Henderson made three straight birdies on Nos. 11- 13, parred the next four holes and bogeyed the last. She opened with rounds of 72 and 65. Second- round leader Dottie Ardina of the Philippines was second. She birdied the final hole for a 74. American Selanee Henderson, Jessica Wallace of Langley, B. C., and Italy’s Giulia Molinaro tied for third at 7 under. Selanee Henderson had a 65, and Wallace and Molinaro shot 70. Henderson is ranked 51st on the LPGA rankings list — making her the highest- ranked player to ever compete on the Symetra Tour. Argos stock up on vets TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts have signed former CFL stars Chad Kackert, Dave Stala and Brandon Whitaker to their practice roster. Kackert played three seasons with Toronto, rushing for 1,467 yards and 12 touchdowns on 228 carries for a 6.4- yard average. He added 50 catches for 454 yards and two touchdowns. The running back was the 2012 Grey Cup MVP after rushing for 133 yards on 20 carries in the Argos’ 35- 22 win over the Calgary Stampeders at Rogers Centre. He broke his left ankle prior to the 2013 East Division final and retired on the first day of training camp in 2014 because the injury hadn’t healed sufficiently. He attempted a comeback later in 2014 but was released after suffering a right hamstring injury and joined the team as a strength and conditioning coach. Stala, a 2010 CFL all- star receiver, has 418 receptions for 5,314 yards and 27 touchdowns over 12 seasons with Montreal and Hamilton. Whitaker spent six seasons as a running back with Montreal, rushing for 3,376 yards and 13 touchdowns and adding 1,659 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He was a first- team CFL and East Division all- star in 2011 after leading the CFL in rushing. He won Grey Cup championships in 2009 and 2010. The Argos also signed offensive lineman Scott Mitchell to a practice- roster agreement and released running back Lyle McCombs. Jays hoping for good news TORONTO — The Blue Jays expect to get an update on Aaron Sanchez today when the team heads to Tampa, Fla., to start a three- game series with the Rays. Sanchez was placed on the 15- day disabled list retroactive to June 6 with a strained right lat muscle. “ We’ll check in with him tomorrow,” Jays pitching coach Pete Walker said Sunday. “ See how he feels playing catch and throwing the ball.” — The Canadian Press American Pharoah Bob Baffert Victor Espinoza Ahmed Zayat Brooke Henderson C_ 04_ Jun- 22- 15_ FP_ 01. indd C4 6/ 21/ 15 10: 04: 53 PM

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