Bears

Whiskey Ticket wins Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course

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Whiskey Ticket wins Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course

Whiskey Ticket held off fast charging Conquest Curlinate by a nose Saturday to win the $400,000 Illinois Derby for 3-year-olds at Hawthorne Race Course.

Ridden by Martin A. Pedroza, Whiskey Ticket ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.82 on the fast track and paid $6.40, $4 and $3.20 as the second choice in the eight-horse field.

Whiskey Ticket had a clear lead halfway down the stretch when Conquest Curlinate made a strong move from the outside and just ran out of track.

"Turning for home I was screaming bloody murder and whipping him left-handed and right-handed," Pedroza said. "I don't think he ever saw the horse coming on the outside. Anyway, we got the job done."

Trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Karl Watson, Michael E. Pegram and Paul Weitman, Whiskey Ticket looms as a possible entrant for the Preakness Stakes — the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Whiskey Ticket, shipped in from California, won his second consecutive race. He won March 19 at Santa Anita in his debut.

"I was a little concerned before the race," Pedroza said. "He was a little anxious. Not nervous, but anxious."

Conquest Curlinate returned $6.00 and $4.60, and Phenomenal Phoenix paid $4.80 to show.

Conquest Curlinate, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, was coming off a third-place finish at Oaklawn on Feb. 19.

"I had to ride on him a little bit just to get him going," Bridgmohan said. "He takes a little encouragement. He's a big kid that's still learning but at least he's going in the right direction."

Phenomenal Phoenix, with Luis S. Quinonez on board, was bumped at the start of the race and eventually started to gain ground in the stretch, but didn't have a final kick.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

Chris Emma, Matt Zahn and Gabe Ramirez join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh joins the panel to discuss the Bulls’ terrible defensive performance as well as Zach LaVine’s impressive season debut.

11:35- Khalil Mack is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Can the Bears pull off the upset against Tom Brady?

23:50- NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Tom E. Curran joins Kap to talk about how New England views the Bears and discuss how Matt Nagy’s team can exploit the Patriots’ weaknesses.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.

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Bulls announce substitute broadcasters for first five Neil Funk-less games

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USA TODAY

Bulls announce substitute broadcasters for first five Neil Funk-less games

If you haven't heard, Neil Funk is cutting 20 road games from his 2018-19 Bulls' play-by-play schedule.

Friday, the Bulls announced that Adam Amin, Andy Demetra and Kyle Draper will fill in for Funk for the first five of those games.

Amin, a play-by-play commentator for ESPN, will games on Oct. 22 against the Mavericks and Nov. 14 against the Celtics. He grew up in Addison, resides in Chicago and also does play-by-play for Bears preseason games.

Demetra is from Oak Brook and currently is the play-by-play broadcaster for Georgia Tech basketball and football. He will call games on Oct. 26 against the Hornets and Oct. 27 against the Hawks. He has previous play-by-play experience with the SEC Network, Pac-12 Network and Fox Sports South.

Draper will call the Bulls' Nov. 7 game against the Pelicans. He is the Celtics' pregame and postgame host for NBC Sports Boston and an occasional play-by-play annoucer and sideline reporter for the Celtics.

The Bulls said they will continue providing updates on substitute broadcasters as they are scheduled.