HORSEMEN FANCY ‘HOME BOYS’ IN RICH PEGASUS $2 MILLION GUARANTEED IN SINGLE TICKET PICK SIX TRAINER MAKES SHORT WORK OF WET WEATHER STAKES DEBUT FOR KING ABNER IN TURF CLASSIC RICHARD’S BOY BACK ON DIRT IN CAL CUP SPRINT BECERRA GOES FOR ‘MILLIONS’ WITH LONGSHOT ACCELERATE, CITY OF LIGHT DOMINATE PEGASUS WORLD CUPSanta Anita-based horsemen almost unanimously went with the home team when asked their opinions on what horse would win the richest race in North America, Saturday’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. Horse of the Year runner-up Accelerate and his only conqueror last year, City of Light, dominated in a random survey, to wit:David Bernstein: Accelerate. “He’s trained well and he’s a real race horse.”Vann Belvoir: “Accelerate.”Val Brinkerhoff: “Accelerate.”Simon Callaghan: “City of Light.”Jack Carava: “It’s pretty close. They’re two good horses.”Matt Chew: “City of Light. He’s been there two weeks and put himself in the best position. Working over that track can’t hurt.”Peter Eurton: “Accelerate.”Victor Garcia: “Accelerate.”Eoin Harty: “Accelerate.”Dan Hendricks: “Accelerate.”Brian Koriner: “I’m rooting for the home team. Either one would be fine with me.”Eric Kruljac: “I’m rooting for both. I always root for the home team, the West Coast.”Andrew Lerner: “Audible.”Craig Lewis: “Whoever gets the best trip. They’re both good horses.”Alfredo Marquez: “The Southern California horses. It’s a pretty even race.”Sean McCarthy: “City of Light.”Doug O’Neill: “Accelerate.”George Papaprodromou: “City of Light and Accelerate.”Jorge Periban: “Accelerate.”Mike Puype: “Accelerate.”Gary Sherlock: “City of Light.”Javier Jose Sierra: “Accelerate. Nothing can compete with him unless he doesn’t run his race.”Eddie Truman: “Accelerate.”Kathy Walsh: “City of Light. He’s awfully good right now.”Paddy Gallagher: “I like New England.”Post time for the Pegasus World Cup, televised on NBC, is 2:40 p.m. Pacific Time.The field: Bravazo, Luis Saez, 12-1; Something Awesome, Edgar Prado, 20-1; City of Light, Javier Castellano, 5-2; Seeking the Soul, John Velazquez, 12-1; Accelerate, Joel Rosario, 9-5; Tom’s d’Etat, Shaun Bridgmohan, 20-1; True Timber, Joe Bravo, 30-1; Gunnevera, Irad Ortiz Jr., 8-1; Kukulkan, Frankie Dettori, 30-1; Audible, Flavien Prat, 10-1; Imperative, Tyler Gaffalione, 30-1; and Patternrecognition, Jose Ortiz, 10-1.NO PLACE LIKE SANTA ANITA FOR ECLIPSE CHAMPIONSThere’s no place like Santa Anita when it comes to winning an Eclipse Award.That was the case last night at the 48th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony in Florida where nearly 50 percent of the champions from the 17 categories were based in Southern California, six of them at Santa Anita, headed by Horse of the Year winner Justify.The other Santa Anita-based winners were Game Winner, Two-Year-Old Male; Accelerate, Older Dirt Male; Unique Bella, Older Dirt Female; Hronis Racing, LLC, Owner; and Horse of the Year and Three-Year-Old Male Justify, the only unanimous winner, garnering all 249 of the votes cast in that division.Other Southern California-based winners were Peter Miller-trained Roy H, Male Sprinter, and Stormy Liberal, Male Turf Horse.Justify, only the second undefeated Triple Crown winner ever and the second Triple Crown winner in three years trained by Bob Baffert, also gave the Hall of Fame conditioner his third Horse of the Year king, joining 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and Point Given in 2001.Justify won all six of his starts including the Santa Anita Derby in an abbreviated career that began at Santa Anita last Feb.18 and was cut short by injury following his Belmont triumph.Voting was compiled on a 10-5-1 point system basis, establishing the three top finalists in each division. There were 249 votes cast from a possible 271, or 91.88 percent.KING ABNER SEEKS FIRST STAKES WIN IN TURF CLASSICKing Abner makes his stakes debut in Saturday’s $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classicpresented by City National Bank, the richest of four added money events showcasing California-bred horses on an 11-race program that starts at 11:30 a.m.A five-year-old gray gelding by the Tapit stallion Hansen, King Abner has more than paid his way against lesser, with a 5-3-2 record from 15 starts and earnings of $184,646.“He’s continued to get better since we stretched him out,” said trainer Phil D’Amato, “and he’s shown he can run on the grass last time (second by a nose in only his second start on turf). He got beat on the wire but his gallop out was pretty impressive.“That leads me to believe a mile and an eighth (the distance of the race) will not be an issue. It’s tougher company for sure, but we’re going to take a shot and see where we stand. He’s doing really well so we’re excited to see what he’ll do.”The field for the Classic, which goes as the 11th and final race on the card: Accountability, Joe Talamo, 12-1; Unusually Green, Luis Ocasio, 10-1; Rye, Kent Desormeaux, 5-1; The Street Fighter, Tiago Periera, 30-1; Marckie’s Water, Mario Gutierrez, 7-2; Incredible Luck, Edgar Payeras, 30-1; Camino Del Paraiso, Ricardo Gonzalez, 5-1; Tough It Out, Brice Blanc, 15-1; Ashleyluvssugar, Tyler Baze, 3-1; King Abner, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; and He Will, Geovanni Franco, 12-1.DESORMEAUX CONTINUES TO TRAIN, WEATHER OR NOTKeith Desormeaux is in racing for the long haul.Make that “long” as in distance races.The soon-to-be 52-year-old trainer is off to a successful start this meet, with nine wins through 18 racing days, despite rain that for a spell bordered on biblical proportions at Santa Anita recently, creating havoc with horsemen’s training regimen.“I’ve been affected by it, but perhaps a little less than others,” Desormeaux said. “I don’t mind training in the mud a couple of days. It doesn’t bother me that much because I’m prepared to go the distance.“My success overall and at this meet early on has to do with the fact that most of the young horses I buy need a distance of ground, and it’s getting near the time of year where races are written for two turns and beyond.“My horses are bought with that in mind, they’re prepared for that, and now I have the races to run them in, so we’re seeing a little more success.“I’m happy with what we’ve achieved so far, but that said, winning under my system is not a given,” he said. “You still have to run well and win races, but I’m very thankful we started off the meet strong.”Tomorrow, Desormeaux has Irish Heatwave in the $100,000 California Cup Turf Sprint Stakes for three-year-olds at about 6 ½ furlongs. The bay son of Unusual Heat will be seeking his third straight win on the grass and his first stakes victory.“He steadied late in his last race but still won by a nose,” Desormeaux said of the downhill triumph Jan. 1. “The horse looks good. He’s ready, he’s had the prep down the hill, he’s ready to go.”The field for the race, which goes as the third event: Our Silver Oak, Drayden Van Dyke, 5-2; Teacher’s Treasure, Edgar Payeras, 4-1; Takeo Squared, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Irish Heatwave, Asa Espinoza, 7-2; Listing, Mario Gutierrez, 4-1; Tivan, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; and Offshore Affair, Tyler Baze, 12-1.RICHARD’S BOY RETURNS TO DIRT IN CAL CUP SPRINTRichard’s Boy makes an infrequent appearance on the main track Saturday in the $150,000 California Cup Sprint Stakes for older horses at six furlongs.The seven-year-old Idiot Proof gelding has made 26 of his 35 lifetime starts on turf, but has won three times on the main track for Peter Miller, who trains the venerable gray for one of his principal clients, Rockingham Ranch.Richard’s Boy’s main rival appears to be Bob Baffert trainee Heck Yeah, winner of four of five career starts and 3-1 on the morning line despite not having raced since last April 7.The compact but contentious field for the Cal Cup Sprint, which goes as race four: Edwards Going Left, Tyler Baze, 2-1; Minoso, Martin Pedroza, 15-1; Shades of Victory, Giovanni Franco, 12-1; Richard’s Boy, Heriberto Figueroa, 9-5; Heck Yeah, Drayden Van Dyke, 3-1; and Touching Rainbows, Tiago Pereira, 7-2.BECERRA GOES FOR THE GOLD WITH SUNSHINE MILLIONS LONGSHOTRafael Becerra hopes Halo Darlin returns a quick and healthy dividend in Saturday’s $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint for older fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs on the grass.Claimed for $25,000 two races back last Nov. 2, the six-year-old Lucky Pulpit mare won for $35,000 next out on Jan. 10 but will be competing in only her second stakes race in 24 starts tomorrow.“It’s a lot of money, so we’re going to take a shot,” Becerra said. “Her last race was against much cheaper but she didn’t run bad, and she’s doing well, so why not take a chance?“The main thing is, when they’re doing well, you have to take a shot.”The Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf field, race nine: Bella Luma, Geovanni Franco, 8-1; Pulpit Rider, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Halo Darlin, Brice Blanc, 20-1; Fiery Lady, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Cordiality, Drayden Van Dyke, 3-1; S Y Sky, Joe Talamo, 9-5; Queen Bee to You, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; and Barbara Beatrice, Tiago Pereira, 6-1.THREE SIBLINGS TO RENDEZVOUS AT STARTING GATE SATURDAYJon White, who is in his 11th year as Santa Anita’s morning line oddsmaker, has observed something highly unusual regarding Saturday’s $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint.“If all three of them start, there will be three siblings next to each other when they break from the starting gate,” White said. “Pulpit Rider,Halo Darlinand Fiery Ladyall have the same dam, Lady Railrider.Pulpit Rider breaks from post two, Halo Darlin from post three and Fiery Lady from post four. In more than half a century of going to the races, this is something I have never seen before.”Pulpit Rider and Halo Darlin are both by Lucky Pulpit, sire of California Chrome, the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner who was voted Horse of the Year in 2014 and 2016. Fiery Lady is by one of the all-time great California sires, Unusual Heat. The richest race on Saturday’s 11-race card is named in honor of Unusual Heat.Unusually Green, entered in the Unusual Heat Turf Classic, is a son of Unusual Heat and Lady Evergreen.“Lady Evergreen is the dam of Lady Railrider,” White noted. “And Lady Railrider once ran in a Sunshine Millions race herself. Back in the day, Lady Railrider, finished second to Leah’s Secret in the Sunshine Millions Distaff (at Santa Anita in 2009).”Trained by Steve Specht, Lady Railrider amassed earnings of $603,041 from an overall record of 35-9-12-5.$2 MILLION GUARANTEED IN 20 CENT SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOTLive racing resumes today with a nine-race card and fans will be greeted with another $2 million guaranteed Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot, which begins with race four.With $419,616 in “new” money wagered Monday, the Rainbow Six live money pool swelled to $1,558,942. Although there were no single ticket winners, there were 98 consolation tickets with six winners, each worth $2,299.Fans are again advised that Santa Anita will guarantee a $2 million Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot each racing day until a mandatory payout (pending CHRB approval) on Saturday, Feb. 2.Approximate post time for Friday’s fourth race is at 2 p.m. PT. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.‘PHENOM’ JUAN LEYVA HAS TRAINING ON THE HORIZON(From Gulfstream Park Publicity)Since riding in his last race in 2017 at Gulfstream Park, Juan Leyva has made aquick and successful transition from jockey to assistant trainer in Southern California.“I call him ‘The Phenom,’” said Leyva’s boss, John Sadler, who “recruited” the native of Mexico City for his assistant’s position. “He’s going to be a really good trainer. We have a succession plan. When I retire, he’s going to take over.”The 34-year-old former jockey, who made a name for himself in South Florida as the regular rider of champion Musical Romance, has returned to Gulfstream Park with Team Accelerate for Saturday’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational.“It’s really rewarding being a part of that kind of horse,” said Leyva, who has been aboard the 9-5 morning-line favorite in workouts along with his other responsibilities as Sadler’s assistant. “It’s pretty special.”Leyva has had a long association with Sadler, who has been instrumental in both his riding career and his transition into training.“I knew him when he was riding in California. I was the one who told him to get out of there and try a different colony. He made a good career here [in Florida],” Sadler said. “He beat me in the Breeders’ Cup one year, so I make it hard on him all the time.”Leyva, who rode 803 winners between 2000 and 2017, was aboard Musical Romance for her victory at Churchill Downs in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, in which she finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Sadler-trained runner-up Switch. He also rode the Bill Kaplan-trained Musical Romance for wins in the 2011 Presque Isle Masters, as well as the 2012 Princess Rooney and Inside Information at Gulfstream.Hronis Racing LLC’s Accelerate has certainly made his transition to the training side of the business an exciting one.“He’s just an amazing animal, full of power and class. He’s just a spectacular horse,” Leyva said. “Sometimes you just end up getting lucky. I got lucky ending up in the right barn and the right people around me. I have to thank Mr. (Kosta) Hronis and his wife (Stephanie) and brother, Pete, for allowing me to become part of the team.“John recruited me. I couldn’t be happier.”LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:PRINCESS KENDRA WORKING THIS MORNINGPALADAR WORKING 4 FURLONGSKING LEBRON (OUTSIDE) AND RADISH WORKED 4 FURLONGSFAHAN MURA WORKING AHEAD OF THE PEGASUS WORLD CUP TURF INVITATIONALNEXT SHARES WORKING AHEAD OF THE PEGASUS WORLD CUP TURF INVITATIONAL HEAVENHASMYNIKKI PREPARING FOR THE SAM HOUSTON F&M CLASSIC NEXT SUNDAY GAME WINNER WORKING 4 FURLONGS FOR TRAINER BOB BAFFERTACCELERATE’S FINAL PREP AHEAD OF THE PEGASUS WORLD CUP INVITATIONALCATAPULT’S FINAL WORK AHEAD OF THE PEGASUS WORLD CUP TURF INVITATIONALPATH TO PEGASUS: EPISODE 1PATH TO PEGASUS: EPISODE 2PATH TO PEGASUS: EPISODE 3“QUICK QUESTIONS” WITH RICHARD MANDELLA“SHEDROW STROLL” WITH BAFFERT’S FLOR DE LA MARFINISH LINES: Multiple graded stakes winner My Boy Jack, fifth as the second choice to Justify in last year’s Kentucky Derby, returned to Santa Anita Monday from Peacefield Farm in Temecula, “but is two or three months from running,” trainer Keith Desormeaux said. “We took a chip out of an ankle but he’s recovered well and ready to go.” . . . Mark Glatt reports multiple graded stakes winner Sharp Samurai is back in training after recovering from a throat infection, “but as far as a race schedule, I’m a bit up in the air due to the recent wet weather. He’s back at the track and I expect him to run sometime this spring.” . . . Jockey Andrea Atzeni, who maintains a world-class presence despite being winless in 12 attempts during his first-ever run at Santa Anita, will remain at The Great Race Place under the tutelage of agent Matt Nakatani until March 1 before returning across the pond to ride in England when that season begins in earnest. “I’ll try to come back here next year,” said the 27-year-old native of Sardinia, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean near Italy. EX JOCKEY LEYVA RELISHES ROLE AS SADLER AIDE NO PLACE LIKE SANTA ANITA FOR ECLIPSE CHAMPS
JOCKEY QUOTESFLAVIEN PRAT, THOUSAND WORDS, WINNER: “He ran very well. He put me in a good spot and he was comfortable down there. He took the dirt (in his face) well and when I asked him to run, he really accelerated.”ABEL CEDILLO, ROYAL ACT, SECOND: “He tried really hard and I put him in the position I wanted him to go. I was sitting perfect and when I made him move he started moving. He ran a big race.”TRAINER QUOTESBOB BAFFERT, THOUSAND WORDS, WINNER: “Prat knows him pretty well, I didn’t give him any instructions. Both riders were kind of on their own. Prat says he is getting better, he was a sort of immature colt. He grinds and you gotta really work at him. Being stuck down inside he got the worst of it. Usually a young horse like that they don’t run that well and they don’t respond. He’s got that big long stride and the further the better with him. You could tell about the last 50 yards he was really getting going. He came back he wasn’t even tired so that is a good sign. He is progressing with every race and to win three in a row like that it is pretty impressive.“I told Rosario don’t fight High Velocity if he wants to run, I really thought down the backside High Velocity was gonna steal it, he has a lot of speed and he hung in there well.( 3rd place finisher.)“We are just happy for them and the connections. The horses showed up and ran well.”On 3,000 wins: “I’ve always thought things happen for a reason. Running in the Bob Lewis, with a horse named Thousand Words and going for 3,000 wins. I mean you can’t make that up. I had a feeling it was gonna happen in this race, I’ve had a lot of good people work for me through the years, the first 50 wins were probably the hardest, 100 were life changers. I feel very blessed and fortunate that I’ve been able to last this in this business and do so well in this business after coming from the quarter horse business. I’ve never dreamt of coming into thoroughbreds, there was never one instant I was thinking about it. I came over with Mike Pegram and Hal Earnhardt who I still have after all these years, they are a big part of the team.”PETER EURTON, ROYAL ACT, SECOND: “Couldn’t be more happy. He’s just kind of a grinder, he’s just that cool kind of horse that keeps giving it to you.(On racing at San Felipe) “I think so, I’ll get with Mr. Searing and see what he wants to do. Anywhere we can get a mile and an eighth wouldn’t be a bad thing.”NOTES: The winning owner is Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Spendthrift Farm LLC. Bob Baffert now has 3,000 North American victories.
Brisbane dismantled the Penrith Panthers on Thursday night, skipping out to a 28-0 lead before winning 32-18 in an impressive performance at Suncorp Stadium. It was the Broncos’ sixth win of the season and fourth in a row, helping the men from Red Hill recover from the sloppy 2-3 record they had accumulated after five weeks of the competition. Now with a week off from club duty, Bennett will turn his focus to his English coaching responsibilities with England’s national rugby league side to face Samoa on May 6. But fans can be sure Bennett will have Brisbane in the back of his mind this week after the master coach told media he wanted more from his side after the international matches take place. Bennett’s Broncos face winnable games against the Manly Sea Eagles and Wests Tigers in the two weeks before the State of Origin period, with wins a necessity before his team enters the stage of the season they most typically struggle in. “The room for improvement is always the biggest room in the house when you coach so that’s not an issue,” Bennett said. “In saying that, we’re in a good position. We are playing good football. “We haven’t had a bad game all season. We’re committed.”Improving is a task that’s been made harder by an injury to star centre James Roberts, with the 24-year-old having to be carried off the field 10 minutes from full-time on Thursday night. Scans and an x-ray revealed ligament damage in his ankle, a far better result than the break or fracture that was first feared. A return against the New Zealand Warriors in Round 12 is likely for Roberts but Bennett is not worried, saying his side would cope fine without their leading try-scorer. “I think we’re going good. We’re picking up injuries along the way but we’re still getting the job done,” he said. “We lose Ben Hunt and nobody blinks an eye because we’re a confident footy team. He’s a huge player in our team. “That’s the way we make them at the Broncos. We just get on with life and get the job done. “We lose James for a while [but] we’ll get someone in there and get the job done. That’s what they’re doing and they’ve got a great attitude towards that. “We’ve lost Tevita [Pangai Junior] and he’s a pretty big impact player. “We’re not without our moments ourselves. The guys have been wonderful and turn up every week so I couldn’t be more pleased with what they’re doing.”In a sign that will please Brisbane fans, Hunt could be seen running well at Broncos training this week. A return in two weeks time during Round 10 is on the cards but as Bennett explained, hamstrings are a difficult injury to judge. “[You have to remember] it’s a hamstring. It might look good but he’ll still be another two or three weeks I think. I hope it’s less but that’s what the talk is,” he said.
This initiative is in honour of the Kelly family, who tragically lost two sons –Thomas and Stuart – four years apart.Then-18-year-old Thomas was the victim of coward-punch killer Kieran Loveridge in Kings Cross in 2012; Stuart took his own life one year ago, also at the age of 18, after not only losing his brother but having to deal with the fallout including being victimised over the State Government’s introduction of lockout laws in the wake of the initial tragedy.Thomas and Stuart’s parents, Ralph and Kathy, have since launched the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and partnered with the two clubs and the NRL to celebrate Stay Kind day.The initiative is about kindness and respect towards all people, and fostering a supportive environment in all aspects of life and community.”We’ve got an enormous amount of respect for the Kelly family and the way they’ve handled themselves through such a difficult time is a huge credit to them,” Eels skipper Tim Mannah said at Monday’s launch.”To have this Stay Kind initiative, it’s great we can get involved in it, two teams that can celebrate the day and really encourage people to understand it.”The two clubs have a great rivalry and a great history. Whenever we play each other it’s always a good game so we’re hoping it’s a big turnout; one for the game, but two to get behind this initiative and really support it.”The match – which will take place two days before the one-year anniversary of Stuart’s death – highlights the poignancy of the date for the Kelly family.”The courage they’ve shown throughout everything that’s been thrown at them has been huge,” Manah continued.”We’ve got a lot of respect for them and we’re really hoping the fans, even if you don’t support two teams can really come and support a great initiative.”Playing professional sport can really bring the community together. When the rugby league community decides to support something they do a great job of getting behind it and I really hope they can do the same thing with this great initiative.”Tigers back-rower Chris Lawrence said the issue of suicide was one particularly close for the Concord club, who experienced the tragedy of losing promising youngster Mosese Fotuiaka to suicide in 2013.”It’s obviously a big problem in society, youth suicide, and to promote the message of staying kind and respect and kindness in all aspects of life is massive,” Lawrence said.”I think this is why particularly the Wests Tigers wanted to jump on board, obviously we have a bit of a past with Mosese back in 2013 so not only within football clubs but society in general it’s a massive issue that needs more attention and if this is some small way we can shine a bit more light on it then that’s a small [contribution] on our behalf.”Halfback Luke Brooks agreed the chance to be involved meant plenty to the club and the players.”It did affect us a couple of years ago. It’s a great cause and I’m glad the Tigers and Parra as well are getting behind it and hopefully we can get a full stadium out there,” Brooks said. Photo: Copyright Wests Tigers media. (Luke Brooks and Chris Lawrence with the Stay Kind Cup).
The fight broke out right at fulltime when an Eagles official questioned the referees decisions before throwing punches at him. This is when the rowdy Eagles spectators on the grandstand started throwing water bottles and missiles at the umpires and the Gurias player before the crowd from the outer stand launched in from all angles and started beating and chasing the officials and the Gurias players.Minister Justin Tkatchenko expressed his disappointment posting on his Facebook page saying that it is a “very, very, sad day for Rugby League.”“The primitive and the uneducated action of the Hagen Eagles officials and supporters must be condemned at the highest level,” the Minister said.Adding that we have all worked so hard to put Rugby League back on track to take our National Sport to the next level and as Minister I will not allow stupidity and the selfish actions of a few destroy this Sport.“I will be directing in the strongest terms that the officials involved be banned for life from ever participating in Rugby League again and that a criminal investigation be carryout to arrest those that assaulted the umpires and players,” the Minister added.He also stated that the Hagen Eagles must be deregistered and banned for life for not following and upholding the rules of ethics and laws of Rugby League. “This is not the first time this Club and team have caused problems for the Code. We must never tolerate at all this sort of behavior.”Minister Tkatchenko apologised to the People of East New Britain, the Gurias Management, Staff and players for having to go through such disgraceful behavior.“I will do my best working with the PNGRFL to ensure new and tougher penalties are put in place so this disgusting behavior hopefully never happens again,” he stated.
There is no doubt that patience is one of the virtues that Riqui Puig treasures. The young pearl of the quarry has never given up on its goal of consolidating itself as a first team player and has never thrown in the towel or looked for another club to vent. In fact, Riqui Puig has had to wait more than eight months to return to play a game as a starter in the first team. The last time was last season, specifically on May 4, 2019, in the LaLiga match that Barcelona played against Celta (2-0) at Camp Nou. Since then, his first minute counter had been set to zero, at least in the official match. It has taken 263 days to see Riqui Puig again in the starting lineup, coinciding with the arrival of a new coach, Quique Setién, who already made him play his first minutes this season in the suffered victory against Granada (1-0) last Sunday.It seems clear that the arrival of the Cantabrian coach, along with the transfer of Carles Aleñá to Betis in the winter market, is opening a range of possibilities for Matadepera to continue in the first team. And since Setién is in front of the Blaugrana ship, Riqui has not lost any training with the greats and even participated in the dinner that organized the template at the request of the new coach.It is clear that the leading role that Setién wants to give the young canterano could have as a victim the Croatian Ivan Rakitic. The club itself has recognized that its exit in the winter market is not ruled out, as long as an interesting offer appears on the table.
Therefore, since yesterday the changing room changed the chip. “There is no time to lament, the next three games will be key in the season”. This is the wardrobe plot, who met again yesterday in Paterna in the afternoon, for training, after resting yesterday morning.The first of the three key commitments is Saturday before Getafe. And for that duel, Celades will seek to bring freshness to an eleven with players who did not participate against Granada. So, Kondogbia will play safe in the midfield next to Parejo. That is why he did not play against Granada, according to Celades, after the match. TFlorenzi will also be a starter who played just a few minutes in Granada. Gayà will also return on the left side; and Ferran, replaced in Granada, will also be of the game. The return of Granada on Tuesday night was hard. The team looked with possibilities of repeating Copa del Rey final and, in addition, the way in which the outcome of the match occurred, left more than one in the locker room demoralized. However, tAfter the logical mourning for the elimination of Copa, the group changed the chip during the day yesterday.Already in the mixed zone of the stadium of Los Cármenes both Jaume Costa and Jaume Doménech warned. “Tomorrow, clean mind and think about what is coming,” said the protagonist of the controversial play of the game, in the discount. And what is coming is not little. Getafe and Atlético, in Liga, two direct rivals in the fight for the Champions League positions; and the first leg against Atalanta, in San Siro.
It is clear that possession will be one of the keys of the match against Real Madrid, since the Zidane team also needs the ball to manage the matches and because both teams have recently demonstrated their deficiencies at the defensive level. Hence, Setien insisted especially on these two concepts during the morning session.Setién was also correcting his pupils in various phases of the session, although always with his innate optimism and showing himself at all times very satisfied with the work of his men, arriving to congratulate them personally for the work completed in the training.If you want to vibrate with one of the most important games of the year and enjoy the unique atmosphere of The Classic, here you can check the available tickets:Real Madrid – Barcelona. Santiago Bernabéu (01.03.2020 – 21.00) Quique Setién is living the hours before the match against Real Madrid at the Bernabeú with unusual intensity. The veteran Cantabrian coach is especially excited before the possibility of giving a blow of effect in LaLiga: a blaugrana victory in the Bernabéu could the team of Setién to five points of Real Madrid, which would actually be six because I would have the ‘goal average’ in favor, and with only twelve days left to finish the championship.Setién was seen this Friday much more protagonist in training. And that already of itself, the Cantabrian technician is usually very participatory and didactic in the sessions. But Setién is aware, more than anyone, that they have a unique opportunity this Sunday to finish the League and gain credibility and confidence in the face of the Champions League.After the profitable meeting with Pep Guardiola in Madrid after the victory of the City (1-2) at the Bernabéu, the Blaugrana coach assumed some of the concepts and tried to convey them more vehemently if possible to his pupils. “We want the ball more than ever,” he yelled repeatedly the Cantabrian during the game, aware that Real Madrid suffers at the time of defending and that it costs him to arm himself if he does not have the ball on his feet. “We have to make them run,” Setién became disgusted., while his players exercised hard, in a session that many have considered the most intense since Setién took over the team, there in the month of January.
I do not remember and if I remember I would not tell.Is this match a final?For us we have tried that each match is a final. We are going to repeat something we have been doing since we arrived.Does it bother you that you are recorded in the field?We don’t think where the cameras are.Against Sevilla it is a match that can mark the future of the team …The importance of the match is clear. Sevilla is a dangerous team against them, they move better with spaces for their fast players upstairs. That’s where he performs his best game.Do you feel pressure for the two matches that arrive?Both are important. We are excited. Football week, from which one prepares to look for important goals. We have a beautiful battle.What have the three players who arrived from the Portuguese championship contributed?Felipe cost him at the start of the season, in the first two months he played little and based on opportunities, he has found a place within the team and is taking care of him. Hector did not take it into account at the beginning, he began to grow, to play, but he had an injury and left it a month out and in those days there are others who took advantage of his opportunity. One left the space and another occupies it. João Félix started with enthusiasm, had injuries and seeks continuity and place in the team we all need and expect. Where it arrives, it will be where one proposes it. If one wants, it will go far. How do you rate what happened with Eder Sarabia?I have nothing to sayHow do you rate the five days ahead?We do not look five days. Only Sevilla, we have the need to make an important match. Sevilla is strong away from home, added new people like Suso that gives quality share in attack.Have you had to tell your players to forget Liverpool?It has been several years that we have already been in the club and those who have been the longest know what the path is. The most important game is that of Sevilla and we don’t think about the one that will come on Wednesday.How do you see Diego Costa?I see him growing up, looking for his best state, training accordingly to want to improve. He was never a great header, his game was more direct, more vertical, more positional, in that game he felt comfortable. I see him better, he could not show all this the other day, but it is a phase of his recovery and we can count on him.How can you tell that difference factor of the equipment at home and abroad?It is a situation that is seen in the numbers, the team at home has one more step, a different intensity and a different forcefulness. Outside it costs us more and we have to look outside the solutions for the team to improve. In these remaining matches, at home or away is the same.Have you ever had to apologize for something that happened to you in the band?
Until very recently, Ronaldinho was synonymous with joy. A crack that enchanted the world thanks to a huge talent that allowed him to make unimaginable plays. The genius of magnetic smile which also generated a rare sympathy until among the most fierce rivals. A culé capable of leaving standing applauded for Santiago Bernabeu puzzled by his genius. An inspiration for a whole generation. Even for one of the few who can say that he was better than him, Messi. But if Ronaldinho was able to haggle down to the pitch, off the pitch, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira has not had the same success to untangle itself from the marking of the Law.Stopped from the past 6th of March for possession and use of forged Paraguayan passports, the former soccer player turns 40 today, imprisoned, in Asunción. He and his brother, the also former player Roberto de Assis, is it so under investigation for various crimes. His arrest has uncovered a corruption network in Paraguay that has already led to imprisonment from 15 other people accused of tax evasion, money laundering or manufacturing of falsified documents.Since the day that Police went after him In a luxury hotel in the Paraguayan capital, Justice has rejected three requests from conditional freedom or house arrest presented by their lawyers. The judge considers that there is “high risk of leakage of the country “and that Ronaldinho must remain in prison because” his freedom could jeopardize the integrity of the investigation. “Yes for him rest of the world the mess in which Ronaldinho has entered Paraguay has been a big surprise, in Brazil, not so much. He and his brother carry years involved in different court battles. In southern Brazil, where the Assis family has its operations and business headquarters, there are eight lawsuits against the brothers, including millionaire tax debts, in addition to rents and rates of real estate communities and luxury commercial premises in a situation of unpaid.JORGE ADORNO / REUTERS ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>Arrested and handcuffed in Paraguay.JORGE ADORNO / REUTERS Background. Since november 2019 there is a class action lawsuit against the former player and five other partners of the company ’18K Ronaldinho’, accused of an alleged pyramid scam that promised profits of up to 2% a day through investment in a cryptocurrency. Around 800 investors report losses of approximately 65 million euros. The company had no registration with the Transferable Securities Commission (CVM), which governs the investment market in Brazil.It’s not the first time that Ronaldinho looks involved in a financial scam. In 2014 the former player partnered with another cryptocurrency investment firm, “Panela FC”, which the CVM ordered to close a year later for considering that there were irregularities and illegalities in the system used.Ronaldinho had to pay more € 2M of fines for four lawsuits for environmental crimes. The former player had his passport seized and 57 properties blocked. During the process, the Prosecutor’s Office intervened their accounts and he found only € 5 even though he came to be on the list of the richest footballers in the world, with a accumulated fortune of about € 83M, According to the magazine Forbes, in 2015.“His only mistake was have used the passport, even if he had done it in good faith, “explains his lawyer, Sergio Queiroz, by phone from Asunción. The lawyer assures that Ronaldinho thought that the passports were “a gift” that “they had been legally issued”. “He accepted the documents as assumed Spanish nationality at the time, did not imagine that they were false “, Queiroz testifies, which denies that the former player had tried to obtain the papers to make investments in the country.At the moment, the lawyer waiting that the investigation on the mobile phones of the player and his brother show that both are not involved in the other crimes that were uncovered by the Paraguayan Justice and that may “pay the corresponding fines for the crime of use of false documents“and get out of jail” as soon as possible. “The problem is that the closure of borders and the suspension of activities of Justice for the coronavirus have delayed still more the process that, according to Queiroz, “is absolutely abusive”. At the mercy of what the Justice dictates, Ronaldinho will spend his 40th birthday away from the spotlights where it shone like few others. Between bars. No fame, no glamor. With his image and legacy sunk.