Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation. I’ll be you’re host for the Quickies this fine Belmont Saturday.
Speaking of the Belmont Stakes, that contest is today, as you no doubt know, and Justify is seeking to become the second horse in four years to win the Triple Crown, a feat that was accomplished by American Pharoah for the first time in 37 years back in 2015.
As usual, John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader does a great job covering the race. Justify drew the rail for this race, and it isn’t a popular spot from which to win, but Bob Baffert had the ultimate quote about that:
“If he’s great,” said Baffert, “he’ll do it.”
That’s all you can say. I have watched many hopefuls reach this point, and until recently, haven’t seen a successful go since I was in college. I hope he wins it, but I am not sanguine.
Also, you should watch this every Belmont Day. I had no idea when I watched it at the time on an ancient tube-driven color TV of the magnitude, the historical significance of this event. I was only 16 at the time, and such moments are often lost on the young. But I remember it as clearly as if I just watched it yesterday, so I guess it made more of an impression than I thought.
Other odds and ends
Just a few quick remarks about recent events:
- Anthony Bourdain’s passing is a great sadness. My wife loved his show, and even though we only discovered him during his “No Reservations” days, we both enjoyed his wit and style. He will be missed, and the manner of his passing is most unsettling.
- I’m really going to miss C.M. Newton. Petra and I got to meet him at a charity event back in the middle of the last decade, and he was a very nice man indeed. There is also the minor fact that he is a Kentucky legend, having played baseball and basketball at UK and presided as Athletics Director over the resurrection of Kentucky basketball to its former glory from a very dark place. Godspeed, C.M. We will all miss you.
Related: C.M. Newton was a consummate professional throughout his college basketball career.
- The Golden State Warriors were truly impressive last night, and it’s hard to figure out who in the East really has any chance at all to beat them without significant injury. Some might say Boston, but I’m skeptical — they are just too young right now. Cleveland is so clearly inferior it isn’t funny, and I don’t know how they keep LeBron James after last night’s debacle.
- The NBA Draft is coming real soon. I still wonder if there is a promise for Jarred Vanderbilt from some team or other, as Jason speculated the other day.
Tweets of the Morning
The thrill of victory.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 9, 2018
The agony of defeat. pic.twitter.com/7caPsxvsz8
The timeless classic line that rarely fails to capture a season’s end.
I’m not sure who is having more fun at our #FatherSon Camp, the kids or their dads. pic.twitter.com/TUBlpk60UP— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 9, 2018
- Winners and losers from draft final decisions. UK came out somewhere in the middle. National champ Villanova and Louisville were both in the “loser” category, along with Duke. Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina were among the winners.
- Kevin Knox is rising up the draft boards, according to 247Sports.
- The 3-point shot hurt UK last season. Coach Cal wants to fix that. I think he’s got the horses, too.
- BigRedLouie thinks the UK-U of L rivalry will be just as intense as ever with Rick Pitino gone and Chris Mack on the sidelines. I think it may take a year or two, but it will get there.
Other Kentucky sports
- Kentucky wins two national titles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
- Kentucky’s Zach Haake, right-handed pitcher for UK, has been drafted in the 6th round and is ready to sign with the Kansas City Royals.
- UK’s 2018 baseball recruiting class will all attend school. That’s great news.
- UK ladies golf signee Ryan Bender named Courier-Journal’s Girls Golfer of the Year. This is the third straight year she’s won the award.
- Sports Illustrated’s most recent top 25. Looks as good as any I’ve seen.
Other sports news
- Some Italian has apparently ripped off Western Kentucky’s “Big Red” mascot, and has been fighting in the Italian courts for 15 years. Last year, the case seemed to be over with a ruling from the Italian courts that “Big Red” wasn’t copyrightable. But when the designer of the ripoff character admitted his theft, WKU refiled the case and it has survived a motion to dismiss. Interesting read.
- After being swept by Golden State last night, the Cavaliers are searching for answers, and may be losing their superstar.
Derek Anderson hired as an Assistant Coach at Male High School in Louisville https://t.co/DCpWVJk7rY— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) June 8, 2018