Horse Racing

On The Farm: Loman Ends Slump In Dash Victory

On The Farm: Loman Ends Slump In Dash Victory

Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010
Posted: 10:45 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
Seth Lomans mini-slump came to an end in a big way Saturday night as he paced Winston-Salem to a 5-1 victory over Frederick at Harry Grove Stadium.

Loman had been mired in an 0-for-15 slump heading into Saturdays contest but the hitless streak came to an end as he went 3-for-3, including a pair of doubles, drove in two runs and was hit by a pitch. It marked the 26th time he was hit by a pitch this season, extending his own Carolina League record.

Brandon Short also had three hits and drew a walk, though his effort extended his hitting streak to five games rather than breaking up any slump. Short is hitting .382 over his last 10 games.

It made things easier for Nate Jones 9-5, who allowed a run on five hits over seven innings. Brandon Kloess closed things out with two scoreless frames.
Bristol Rookie
Burlington finally scored a run against the Sox but Bristol still came out on top, earning a 4-3 victory Saturday night. The Royals saw their scoreless-inning streak against Bristol stretch to 39 innings before they broke through with two runs in the fourth but by then, the Sox had already taken a 4-0 lead.

Robert Cummings hit his first homer of the year, a two-run shot, in the fourth that stretched the Bristol lead to 4-0. It was more than enough for Matt Heidenreich, who won his third consecutive start to improve to 5-2. He allowed three runs one earned over six innings.

In other action, Mike Blanke had a double and two RBIs to lead Great Falls to a 3-2 victory at Billings. Stephen McCray picked up the win after allowing two runs in five innings. Doug Murray and Jacob Wilson tossed four no-hit innings of relief. Charlotte dropped a 6-1 decision at Norfolk. Brandon Hynick 1-3 took the loss, allowing three runs in five innings. Kannapolis dropped a game below .500 after losing an 8-2 decision to Savannah at Grayson Stadium. The Intimidators managed only five hits and Matt Wickswat 6-5 took the loss. Mobile scored a pair of ninth-inning runs to complete a comeback and defeat Birmingham, 5-3. The Barons held a 3-0 lead before the BayBears got on the board with a three-run sixth. Sal Sanchez had a pair of hits, including a homer and two RBIs, for Birmingham. Infielder Robbie Hudson was added to the roster from Charlotte prior to the game.

CUBS Peoria A
The Chiefs received a great effort from their bullpen on Saturday in a 4-3 victory at Kane County. The Peoria pen tossed four scoreless innings and scattered four hits with Manolin De Leon picking up the victory after his two scoreless frames. It was his first victory of the season.

Ryan Searle started and allowed three runs on eight hits over five innings before giving way to De Leon. The Chiefs had only six hits but one of them was a two-run homer by Brandon May in the fifth inning, tying the score at 3-3. The Chiefs took the lead in the seventh on a fielders choice that brought home Nelson Perez.
Tennessee AA
Ian Canzlers three-run homer in the sixth innings lifted Tennessee to a 3-2 victory over Chattanooga Saturday night. The Lookouts had scored twice in the second inning and held the lead until Canzlers blast, his 18th of the year, came with one out in the sixth.

Craig Muschko 8-3 was the beneficiary of the homer, earning his fifth consecutive victory after allowing eight hits over five innings. A trio of relievers tossed shutout ball with Aaron Shafer pitching a scoreless ninth to earn his first save.
DAYTONA A
The Cubs split a doubleheader with Dunedin at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday, taking the opener, 2-1, before dropping the nightcap, 4-3. Still, the split combined with Tampas loss at Clearwater increased their lead in the Florida State Leagues North Division to 1.5 games.

Kyler Burkes RBIs single in the bottom of the seventh of the opener was the game-winner, making a victor of Casey Lambert, who tossed two scoreless innings. DJ Lemahieu had a pair of hits, extending his hitting streak to 15 games with a pair of hits. It marked the seventh consecutive game in which he picked up a pair of hits.

Lemahieu extended his hitting streak to 16 games in the nightcap but had only one hit. Hes batting .446 21-for-65 during the streak, raising his overall average from .291 to .311. Dunedin scored twice in the seventh inning off Oswaldo Martinez to earn the victory.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

There's no rainouts in horse racing

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There's no rainouts in horse racing

It is playoff time here in Chicago. The hometown Cubs are back to their third consecutive NLCS. The Bears have played in gorgeous weather to open their season. The Bulls and Hawks get optimal conditions indoors. In racing, this isn’t always the case and last Saturday was one of those instances. 

After nearly two months of drought conditions in the Chicagoland area, racing at Hawthorne Race Course to close out the summer harness season was optimal. While the sprinklers were used constantly to keep the turf course green, the pond at Hawthorne had nearly dried up.

All of that came to an end last week at Hawthorne as Mother Nature was not quite as generous to open October. With the fall thoroughbred season commencing, the skies opened as well, with rain falling on numerous occasions to kick off the season. That was clearly the case last Saturday, when over five inches of rain came down during the course of the Hawthorne racing card.

In baseball, there would be a rain delay or cancellation. Youth sports teams get the day off. Outdoor attractions closed as flooding was prevalent in numerous locations. Here at Hawthorne…..we race.

At any racetrack, the equine stars are the showcase, but there are so many others necessary to put on the show. The folks brave the conditions and have to be well prepared.

Five stories above the racetrack, Hawthorne track announcer Peter Galassi provides the play-by-play for the racing action. With over 65,000 races called on his career, Peter has seen it all.

“I’ve called races in every weather condition possible and what we raced in Saturday was one of the tougher conditions to call in,” Galassi said. “When I announced races at Balmoral Park, fog would be my biggest concern. Fog was the worst. We had an occasion where myself, and our track stewards had to go from our location on the roof down to trackside for a race because the fog was so bad. We had to get below the fog to get a vantage point. Here at Hawthorne, dealing with the rain, especially at the rate it came down last Saturday, is very tough. Consider the windows of my announcer’s booth being the windshield of a car, but without window wipers. Streaks of water rolling down the panes of glass in your direct view. Add to that the glare of the lights off the glistening racetrack and thoroughbreds and riders covered in mud. It isn’t always the easiest, but what these athletes deal with on the track and in those conditions are far worse than what I am subjected to.”

Moving trackside, the race begins at the Hawthorne starting gate. Veteran assistant starter Bill Fultz and crew are responsible for safely loading the horses into the gate and keeping the horses calm in preparation for a fair start. While the job is complicated and dangerous on a clear day, the focus needed on a day where the weather conditions are menacing only increase.

“When the weather is tough and we are dealing with rain or snow, additional clothing and gear for our crew is needed,” Fultz said. “This is a physically demanding job as we are in the mud, working with horses, making sure they are safe, while also focusing on our safety. Fortunately we have an experienced crew that takes a lot of pride in their job and I feel it shows in the horses’ clean starts and performances.”

On horseback, the jockeys are limited in numerous aspects. On a good day, a rider has to not only worry about maintaining their weight, but also controlling a 1,000 lbs. thoroughbred, racing at 35 MPH, while balancing on a pair of two inch wide metal stirrups. In harsh weather conditions, limited additional clothing is allowed as the jockeys goggles become one of the most important pairs of equipment. Last Saturday was a good day for Hawthorne’s second all-time leading rider Chris Emigh as he won a pair of races in the monsoon.

“I figure you can either go out there and be miserable or go out there and have fun,” said the affable Emigh. “A lot of dirt and water gets thrown back at you and you just have to find a good spot in between the sprays of water and mud. Goggles are the key, a normal race I may have three pairs on, but on Saturday that amount doubles. We are controlling our mount, keeping balance, and trying to flip down to a clean pair of goggles numerous times each race. I get concerned when I come to that last pair and still have a quarter of a mile to go. When that happens, we just focus on what visibility we have and your finger becomes your window wiper.”

As all of the action takes place, cameramen positioned in towers around the track televise the action. Positioned at the finish line are Ryan Thompson and Nicole Thomas, the track photographers for Four Footed Fotos that work tirelessly to capture the Hawthorne action. When others may choose to wait until the last minute to capture to winner on the finish line, Ryan and Nicole take the weather as an opportunity to capture great images.

Predicting Cubs-Dodgers NLCS Game 5: 'Why not us?'

Predicting Cubs-Dodgers NLCS Game 5: 'Why not us?'

"NOT IN OUR HOUSE!" a Cubs coach yelled as he walked through the media throng awaiting entry into the clubhouse.

There was Kyle Schwarber standing at his locker, emphatically saying, "we're not gonna go down quietly."

There was Jake Arrieta, already making plans for what he would do to celebrate after the Cubs beat the Dodgers in the NLCS.

What a difference a day makes.

The Cubs looked completely beat and worn down after Game 3 Tuesday night. Kris Bryant echoed the same line — "why not us?" — he delivered last fall when the Cubs were down three games to one in the World Series, but this time, it just didn't feel the same.

Bryant looked shellshocked and admitted the team was drained after the NLDS and traveling across country to get steamrolled by the Dodgers in the first two games of the NLCS.

Wednesday night, things were different.

Even though the offense still hasn't broken out. 

Even though all the Cubs' runs still came off early homers — they have yet to score in this series not off a longball.

Even though Wade Davis is unavailable for Game 5 Thursday — the Cubs haven't won a game this postseason in which Davis did not pitch.

Even though the best pitcher on the planet — Clayton Kershaw — awaited the Cubs Thursday night at Wrigley Field.

The belief was back in the home clubhouse at Wrigley, even if it was just for one day.

But was it just for one day? 

I've been saying it all fall — the only time this Cubs team has played up to their potential is when they've had their backs against the wall. Your back couldn't possibly get more against the wall when down 0-3 in the NLCS, a deficit only one team in baseball history has come back from.

Conceivably, yes, the Cubs can pull this off. They can climb all the way out of this hole and make a second straight World Series.

If any team can do it, it's the group that erased the longest championship drought in American sports history and did it in the most dramatic way imaginable.

Will the Cubs be able to pull it off? 

I have no idea, honestly. I know that's a cop-out, but screw predictions at this point of the postseason. 

There's a very real possibility the Cubs offense finally breaks out and takes one more step toward writing this team's entry into the baseball history books.

There's also a very real possibility Kershaw comes out and slams the door on any talk of Cubs magic and finally pitches his way into the World Series for the first time.

Either way, the build-up to Thurday night around Wrigleyville is gonna be fun as hell.