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Island Nation of Cape Verde Rebounds in 2021 as Casino Revenue Jumps 122%

Cape Verde doesn’t have a very large casino market. In fact, the island nation in the Atlantic Ocean has just one casino. However, its 먹튀검증 revenue saw a huge year-on-year growth of 122% in 2021.


Cape Verde

Aerial view of Praia city in Santiago, Capital of Cape Verde. This is one of two areas that was expected to have a casino. However, only the casino in Sal is currently open. (Image: CNN)

COVID-19 forced Cape Verde to put the brakes on tourism, just like everywhere else. However, it was able to find new ground last year. The country’s gaming regulator reports that its gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2021 was €1.06 million (US$1.21 million). That’s a significant improvement over the $547,000 a year earlier.


A small part of that stability can be attributed to the only casino currently active. It is located on the island of Sal, the country’s top tourist island.


In 2019, Cape Verde’s GGR was $1.68 million, so there’s still room for improvement. With relaxed travel restrictions starting to appear around the globe, 2022 could be an even better year.


Cape Verde is a group of 10 volcanic islands spanning a total of 1,557 square miles in the Atlantic Ocean. It belonged to Portugal until 1975, when it gained its independence. About 420 miles west of the westernmost point of the African continent, it has successfully developed its own economic stability since it became independent.


Cape Verde Looks to Become a Gaming Hub

There are two casino concessions issued in Cape Verde. One covers the Sal gaming zone and the other, the Santiago gaming zone. A total 메이저사이트 of five gaming zones have been designated in the country, with the other three in São Vicente, Boavista, and Maio. However, none has a casino.


The Ministry of Tourism has begun to develop plans for casinos and resorts as a way to build sustainable tourism in the country.


Gaming is a sector in which we want to continue to invest, respecting all international rules and good practices, because it attracts a type of customer that has a very reasonable purchasing power,” Carlos Santos, the Tourism Minister, explained two years ago.


The plan received a lot of attention and enthusiasm. Supporting it was a project that had been in the works, which would become the anchor of gaming across the entire archipelago. However, the future of that project is now in jeopardy.


Macau Legend Development Tied to Cape Verde

In 2015, Macau Legend Development (MLD) reached an agreement to build a large, $290-million casino resort in Praia, on Santiago Island. Construction began in 2016 with a simple groundbreaking ceremony. Since then, work has been sporadic, and the project is still incomplete. At the time, the resort had a target inauguration of 2019.


Now, with the recent arrest of Levo Chan, the project may face more delays. Chan was the head of the Tak Chun junket, as well as the CEO of MLD.


MLD’s board has stated that it’s “business as usual,” despite the Chan scandal. The company had originally made its arrangement with Cape Verde through its founder and cochair, David Chow. However, Chow has continued to 토토사이트 reduce his stake in the company.


It’s still possible that Cape Verde can realize its dream of increasing its footprint in the global gaming market. For now, with no work being done on the MLD property, it has to rely on its Sal casino to recover lost ground.

Spotlight Sports Creates Olympic Betting Microsystem for Sweden’s Svenska Spel

Sweden’s Svenska Spel is getting its own Olympics sports betting platform. Spotlight Sports Group has developed a novel interactive 먹튀검증 Winter Olympics microsite for the gaming operator.


Beijing Winter Olympics

Luo Zhihuan holds the torch after receiving it from Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng. This year’s Olympic games will see a range of new betting options, including an exclusive betting microsite in Sweden. (Image: Fox News)

The Winter Olympics are, finally, here. They were put on hold two years ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even now, there is debate over whether they should proceed.


But many feel that the pros outweigh the cons, and as they say, the show must go on.


It has been forecast that betting on the Olympic Games is going to be big business this year. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working overtime to keep any potential match-fixing concerns to a minimum. Regional support from sports betting data platforms is going to assist, as well.


Local Betting Microsite Tailored to Swedes

In Sweden, sports bettors will have access to their own niche betting microsite. Spotlight Sports, an official sponsor of the Swedish Winter Olympic team, developed it specifically for Svenska Spel, the state-owned gambling operator. The goal is to provide bettors with “independent previews,” as well as 메이저사이트 betting odds and expert analysis.


The microsite offers local-language options, which will appeal to bettors. Spotlight Sports is overseeing the entire process, from setting it up and hosting it, to managing the site and its content.


Delivering in Swedish, Svenska Spel can use the microsite to activate their sponsorship of the Swedish Winter Olympics team and create a content destination for their customers,” states Spotlight Sports Group Account Director James Fitzpatrick.


Winter Olympic Games Now Set to Begin

Wednesday’s Olympic Games started when Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng lit the torch from a cauldron that was in the form of a traditional vessel called a zun. He then gave it to Luo Zhihuan, who, as a speed skater, was China’s first champion in winter sports.


The COVID-shortened Olympic torch relay followed. Among the torch holders are Yao Ming, a Chinese former NBA basketball star, and a soldier who was wounded in a deadly 2020 border clash with India.


The torch relay typically lasts for at least five days (the longest was 142, in the Athens Olympics in 2004). However, this time, it will only last three. The route that takes the flame to landmarks such as the Great Wall is much smaller than the world-spanning tour in advance of Beijing’s 2008 Summer Games, which was interrupted by protests.


COVID-19 will ensure that only a 토토사이트 select few people will see the relay. This will also be true during the games running February 4-20. The relay takes place in a closed-loop, keeping competitors and other Olympic personnel out of sight.


The flame will be lit at the opening ceremony of Friday’s Olympic Games. From there, it will continue its journey to the competition zones.

Why Tunisia-Mali AFCON Refereeing Scandal Probably Wasn’t Match Fixing

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) game between Tunisia and Mali ended in chaos and confusion Wednesday. That’s after Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe blew his whistle for full time in the 85th minute.


Janny Sikazwe

Tunisia-Mali referee Janny Sikazwe 먹튀검증 is harangued by Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier and his technical staff after blowing the full-time whistle prematurely for the second time. (Image: Metro)

The bizarre and unprecedented incident at the Limbe Stadium in Cameroon sparked protests from Tunisian players, who were trailing 1-0 after a 48th minute Ibrahima Kone penalty.


Apparently realizing his error, Sikazwe restarted the game. Then, in the 87th minute, he sent off Mali’s Bilal Toure. It was a straight red for a relatively innocuous foul.


And then he blew the final whistle again, this time at 89 minutes and 47 seconds.


Hell Breaks Loose

Cue pitch invasion by Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier and his technical staff, who surrounded the official gesturing furiously at their watches.


Kebaier said later he had expected at least six minutes of added time beyond the regulation 90, after a second half that had been plagued by stoppages. There were several VAR checks, two penalties (Tunisia missed), and that strange sending-off.


Sikazwe and his fellow match officials were eventually escorted from the pitch by security for their own protection.


But the weirdness didn’t stop there. More than 20 minutes later, players were told to get back on the field to finish the game, this time with a different referee.


Mali players reappeared, but they were told to leave shortly afterwards because Tunisia was refusing to come out.


The stand-in ref then blew the final whistle, awarding Mali the win.


Kebaier said his players had been sitting in post-game ice baths for 20 minutes and were done with the whole shitshow. He says he wants the match to be replayed.


But Was it Match-fixing?

The controversy has once again sparked concern about corruption in international soccer.


Many fans took to social media on Wednesday to speculate that the referee had attempted to end the game early because he had been bribed to let Mali win, maybe by a shadowy gambling syndicate or corrupt Malian officials.


Those voices grew louder when it 메이저사이트 emerged that Sizaswe was investigated and suspended by FIFA for possible corruption in 2018.


This was because of several dubious decisions in an African Champions League match between Esperance and Primiero Agosto. But he was ultimately exonerated, and the suspension was lifted three months later.


And in this case, the corruption theory doesn’t really stack up.


Breaking it Down

For a start, there are subtler ways for referees to influence soccer games than by finishing them five minutes early, a tactic that’s guaranteed to grab headlines worldwide.


And if the fix was in for Mali to win the game, why did Sikazwe award Tunisia a penalty and send Toure off?


That red card was dubious. But if it had been pre-ordered by a gambling syndicate, why did it come after Sikazwe had initially tried to end the game with no sendings-off?


And if the two penalties were pre-arranged, why did the referee initially not award them, only to change his mind after intervention from the video assistant referee (VAR)?


Many questions. But in this case, the official explanation appears to be the most plausible.


AFCON officials said Thursday the referee has been treated in the hospital after the game for suspected heatstroke and severe 토토사이트 dehydration.


It seems that running around for 89 minutes and 47 seconds in 93-degree heat and 65 per cent humidity in Limbe can do strange things to a man.

DraftKings Soars Amid Hope Morgan Stanley Upgrade Marks Bottom

DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) ranks as 먹튀검증 one of Wednesday’s best-performing gaming equities. It rose on hopes that an upgrade from Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen marks an end to a long-running slide for the online sportsbook operator.


DraftKings

DraftKings ads in New York City’s Time Square, seen above. The stock is on pace for its showing since September 2020 thanks to a Morgan Stanley upgrade. (Image: Via News)

In a note to clients today, Allen boosts his DraftKings rating to “overweight” from “equal weight” while maintaining a $31 price target on the stock. That implies upside of 60 percent from the Jan. 25 close.


On the back of Allen’s call, DraftKings is higher by almost 12 percent in midday trading on volume that’s more than triple the daily average. That puts the stock on pace for its best intraday performance since September 2020.


While acknowledging DraftKings still isn’t profitable, Allen points to New York as evidence there’s still something to the sports betting investment story.


[New York] results on Friday remind us that the US sports betting/iGaming market is likely to be very large, with only a handful of market share winners. We expect DKNG to be one of them, and with sentiment at an all-time low on near-term loss concerns, we see now as a good time to invest for the long term,” Allen said in the note.

DraftKings got another lift with the Arizona Department of Gaming reporting November sports betting statistics. The operator 메이저사이트 has a 31.9 percent share of that fast-growing market, putting it ahead of all its rivals.


For DraftKings, It’s a Start

Allen’s commentary on DraftKings likely comes as a relief to beleaguered investors in the slumping stock.


Entering today, the shares were already down 29.67 percent year-to-date, and almost 72 percent below the 52-week high. Prior to the Morgan Stanley call on the stock, analyst sentiment on DraftKings to start 2022 was mostly dour. That’s with the shares faltering amid analyst price target cuts and as investors grow increasingly antsy about the timeline to profitability.


Investors also expressed concern about the broad landscape of sportsbook operators in the US and the resources required to get ahead in that field. For its part, DraftKings is a big spender on promotions to lure new clients. However, Allen notes the competitive arena already shows signs of thinning, and that’s to DraftKings’ benefit.


“Currently in every state that releases market share data, the top 5 operators have at least 82 percent combined share. Though there is a lot negative written about the levels of marketing and promotional spending, this has driven a very concentrated market that only players of scale can really compete in,” notes Allen.


Don’t Ignore DraftKings

Profitability remains a prime investor concern. But amid the aforementioned slide, DraftKings stock may be residing at levels that are too compelling to ignore.


While we and the market have been focused on near to medium-term profit concerns, we believe at the current price, one 토토사이트 should not ignore that DKNG is a leading market share player in what will be a very large, profitable market,” Allen added.


If the stock can build on today’s momentum, it’s possible short sellers that battered the stock last year could be forced to cover part of their positions, potentially fanning the flames of a rally.

Super Bowl LVI Early Odds: Los Angeles Rams to Host ‘Underdog’ Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals have tried to shake off the underdog tag as they’ve advanced to their first Super Bowl in 33 years. However, that’s what they start off as when they face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI in 먹튀검증 two weeks.


Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow gets hoisted on the shoulder of teammate Tyler Shelvin after the Bengals 27-24 overtime win in Sunday’s AFC Championship at Kansas City. With the win, the Bengals advanced to their first Super Bowl since 1989. (Image: Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

The Rams – the second team in as many years to play on their home field in the Super Bowl – opened as a 3.5- to 4.5-point favorite over the Bengals just moments after they knocked off the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in Sunday night’s NFC Championship.


The Bengals advanced thanks to a historic comeback earlier Sunday in the AFC Championship. After trailing by 18 points in the second quarter, Cincinnati stormed back and stunned two-time defending conference champion Kansas City 27-24 in overtime.


Within minutes, most sportsbooks had moved the Rams to a four-point favorite, although BetMGM kept their initial spread of 3.5 points.


On the straight-up moneyline, odds on the Rams currently range from -185 (meaning a $185 bet would net a $100 profit) at Caesars Sportsbook and Superbook Sports to -200 at PointsBet. Bengals straight-up odds ranged from +155 (meaning a $100 bet would net a $155 profit) to +166 at FanDuel.


The points total range from 49.5 to 50 at most books. That means oddsmakers likely expect both offenses to make a decent showing in two weeks.


Why the Rams are Favored

Besides playing on their home 메이저사이트 turf, part of the reason why the Rams are favorites in some oddsmakers’ eyes is the fact that coach Sean McVay has taken them to the Super Bowl before — in Super Bowl LIII.


The Rams lost that game to the Patriots in 2019 by a 13-3 score.


Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, said in a statement that experience, plus moves the team made to acquire such players as quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and linebacker Von Miller, gives the Rams the edge.


They are all-in this year as they proved by the trades that they made… (T)he Rams’ experience and their defense puts the line at 4,” Mucklow said. “If there is much movement, it would likely be tonight, assuming there no major health issues that would drastically impact the line. It will sell on Monday.”


Caesars took in $180,000 on the Rams moneyline odds in the first two hours after their Sunday night win, Mucklow said.


Improbable Bengals Mount Historic Comeback

Last week, after the Bengals upset the top-seeded Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional Round, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said he had grown tired of the “underdog” status his team had been given by oddsmakers and football analysts.


“I’m tired of the underdog narrative,” Burrow told reporters after the Jan. 22 win over the Titans. “We are a really, really good team. We are here to make noise.”


The Bengals certainly made noise on Sunday. They matched the largest comeback in an NFL conference championship game after falling behind 21-3 midway through the second quarter. At one point, Circa Sports had the Bengals at +1800 to win the game, which equals an implied probability of 5.26%.


But just as they did earlier in the month against Kansas City, the Bengals mounted a furious second-half rally against the Chiefs, and for the second consecutive week, rookie kicker Evan McPherson scored the game-winning field goal on the game’s final play.


Cincinnati is an improbable Super Bowl team. In the 2020 season, they finished with a 4-11-1 record. Burrow, a rookie last season, ended his first year early because of torn knee ligaments. Before the 2021 season kicked off, BetMGM offered +15000 odds on the Bengals to win the Super Bowl. At the SuperBook, their odds were +20000.


Now, they’re one game away from making some bettors a really nice return.


What Oddsmakers Expect

Mucklow said that while Caesars made the Rams the favorites, they won’t write off Burrow because of what he’s shown 토토사이트 in the playoffs. He’s expecting bettors to wager on the Bengals moneyline, the Rams on the spread, and the over on the points total.


“So, if the Rams cover and the game goes over, it’s the public’s Super Bowl,” he said. “We want a close, competitive game. The last thing we want is a blowout because it spoils the in-play. With close games, the market lives longer. People can bet on them as well, and everybody’s ticket is alive. It makes it more fun. We would prefer a low-scoring, competitive game.”

Medina Spirit Disqualified as Kentucky Derby Winner, Bob Baffert Suspended 90 Days

UPDATE 4:30 pm ET – This story has been updated to include comments from Bob Baffert’s attorney, the impact of the suspension, and reaction from Churchill Downs and animal welfare advocates on the decision to disqualify Medina Spirit as the Kentucky Derby winner.


Medina Spirit, who won the 2021 Kentucky Derby for trainer Bob Baffert, was officially stripped of the win by racing stewards Monday. That’s after it was determined the colt violated a drug test. In addition, the stewards also suspended the Hall of Fame trainer for 90 days and fined him $7,500 for the violation.


Medina Spirit

Medina Spirit, seen here edging 먹튀검증 Mandaloun in the 2021 Kentucky Derby, was officially disqualified as the winner Monday in a ruling handed down by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stewards after an excessive amount of betamethasone was found in his system. Bob Baffert, who trained the colt, was fined $7,500 and suspended 90 days. (Image: Coady Photography)

An attorney for Baffert told Casino.org his client will appeal the decision immediately to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.


A week after Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby – giving Baffert a record seventh win in the classic horse race – reports surfaced that the colt tested positive for an excessive amount of betamethasone. In an emotional press conference with reporters after the news broke, Baffert denied the horse had been given the substance. However, days later, he learned that it was part of a topical solution a veterinarian gave the horse to treat a skin condition.


The drug test found 21 picograms of the anti-inflammatory agent per milliliter of blood in the horse’s system. Kentucky racing standards allow for 10 picograms per milliliter.


The stewards’ ruling not only strips Medina Spirit of the win, it also means his connections must forfeit their prize money as a result. The ruling also means Mandaloun will be deemed the Kentucky Derby winner, the second time in three years the result was changed by a stewards ruling.


Churchill Downs issued a statement Monday afternoon congratulating the connections to Mandaloun for winning the 147th running of the prestigious race.


“Winning the Kentucky Derby is one of the most exciting achievements in sports and we look forward to celebrating Mandaloun on a future date in a way that is fitting of this rare distinction,” the track said in a statement.


The ruling, though, does not change any wagering results.


After news of the failed drug test, Churchill Downs announced it would suspend Baffert from its tracks – and the Kentucky Derby – for the next two years. The New York Racing Association also took action, but its initial action was thrown out by a federal judge, who claimed the racing operation did not give Baffert due process before handing down its decision. Earlier this year, NYRA held an inquiry in its case against the trainer.


Medina Spirit continued to race after the Kentucky Derby and finished third amid heightened scrutiny in the Preakness two weeks later. The colt then won two more stakes races before finishing second to Knicks Go in November’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in California.


A month later, Medina Spirit would collapse and die after a training session at Santa Anita. A necropsy report released earlier this month found no definitive cause of death.


Baffert Lawyer: Decision “Runs Contrary” to Facts

In a statement to Casino.org, Baffert attorney W. Craig Robertson said he was “very disappointed” by the decision handed down Monday by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s (KHRC) Board of Stewards. Baffert, Medina Spirit owners Zedan Racing, and their attorneys appeared before the stewards at a hearing last Monday on the matter.


It runs contrary to the scientifically proven facts in this case and the rules of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission,” Robertson said in an email. “We will be filing an immediate appeal.”


That appeal goes straight to the KHRC. Should the state’s regulatory body for horse racing uphold the stewards’ decision, Baffert and Zedan Stables could then file another appeal in Franklin Circuit Court. That’s the state-level court in the state capital of Frankfort, where the commission and most state offices are based.


Getting to the stewards’ hearing last 메이저사이트 week involved a protracted legal battle over the sample for Medina Spirit. Under testing guidelines, the sample taken after a race is split. Should the first part of the sample come back positive, the second part is then tested.


A Franklin Circuit Judge last year ruled that Baffert and Zedan would get 20 milliliters of the second half of the split sample to be tested at a lab of their choosing.


In December, Robertson announced that the sample showed the betamethasone found in Medina Spirit’s system was from a topical medication and not an injection. He claimed that was key because state guidelines deal with injection protocols.


The stewards’ ruling Monday did not note the difference, only that a Class C drug violation was found. As it was Baffert’s fourth drug violation across jurisdictions in less than a year, the penalties for him were heightened to a 90-day suspension and $7,500 fine.


The ruling calls for the suspension to take effect on March 8 and run through June 5. Suspensions are recognized across state lines, meaning Baffert could not enter horses for any race during his suspension.


Unless he can get a stay on the suspension or get it overturned, that would cover such Kentucky Derby prep races as the Louisiana Derby, the Arkansas Derby, the Santa Anita Derby, the Wood Memorial, and the Blue Grass Stakes – although Churchill Downs has not been awarding Baffert-trained entries any points in prep races already. The suspension would also cover the Preakness Stakes.


Another Baffert attorney previously said the trainer is considering a federal lawsuit against Churchill Downs that would seek to let him enter horses in Derby preps and the Derby itself if they earned enough points.


The status of that, though, is unknown. A message to Clark Brewster was not immediately returned on Monday.


Implications from a Historic Decision

Medina Spirit becomes just the second horse to lose a Derby title to a failed drug test. Dancer’s Image lost the 1968 Derby due to a failed drug test. In 2019, Maximum Security passed first under the wire, but stewards ruled minutes after the race that he interfered with other horses, causing the colt to be taken down from the board.


The disqualification of Medina Spirit is historic for racing, and the public relations hit against Baffert, the individual most see as the greatest trainer in racing history, is far more significant than the fine and suspension.


Kentucky officials previously fined Baffert $1,000 after his filly Gamine tested positive for the same substance after the 2020 Kentucky Oaks, which was run in September of that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


In July 2020, Arkansas officials suspended Baffert for 15 days after lidocaine was found in Gamine and Charlatan during races held in May of that year. In April 2021, the Arkansas Racing Commission voted to uphold the drug test rulings. However, they lifted the suspension in lieu of two $5,000 fines. The commission also allowed the horses’ victories to stand in those races.


There had previously been allegations surrounding Justify, Baffert’s Triple Crown winner from 2018, after claims arose nearly 18 months later that the colt tested positive for scopolamine after winning the Santa Anita Derby – the race that allowed Justify to enter the Kentucky Derby.


Kathy Guillermo, a senior vice president for PETA, called on racing officials Monday to strip Justify of his Triple Crown status.


Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, thanked the KHRC “for taking action against American horse racing’s most infamous violator” and said other agencies need to follow suit.


“Baffert continues to drag horse racing through the mud in scandal after scandal, and we call on every racing jurisdiction in the nation to hold him accountable by reciprocating the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s suspension in their own state,” said Irby in a statement. “We’re elated that Baffert won’t 토토사이트 be participating in the upcoming 2022 Kentucky Derby and believe the horses will be better off, and the event will have more credibility, without him.”


Irby’s group was pivotal in lobbying for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, a law passed by Congress in late 2020 that seeks to nationalize drug and safety standards in the sport. The push for the law came in earnest after a rash of horse deaths in 2019 raised concerns about the welfare of animal athletes.


The law calls for the US Anti-Doping Agency to oversee drug testing in racing, but negotiations broke down between the independent agency and the board tasked with launching the new national effort to improve racing’s integrity.

Bob Baffert-Trained Newgrange the Favorite in Saturday’s Derby Prep at Oaklawn

The road to the Kentucky Derby swings 먹튀검증 through Arkansas on Saturday. A field of 11 horses is expected for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. But the morning-line favorite is a horse currently ineligible to run in the Run for the Roses that will take place in 10 weeks.


Newgrange

Newgrange, seen here winning last month’s Southwest Stakes, returns to Oaklawn Park on Saturday as the favorite in the Rebel Stakes. The Bob Baffert-trained colt is perfect in the first three starts of his career. (Image: Coady Photography)

Bob Baffert’s Newgrange is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the 1-1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds. The colt is 3-for-3 in his young career, including two Derby prep stakes wins last month. However, because he’s a Baffert-trained horse, Churchill Downs has ruled him – like others trained by Baffert – to be ineligible for qualifying points in prep races.


Churchill Downs banned Baffert from its tracks for two years after Medina Spirit tested positive for excessive amounts of betamethasone in his system after crossing the wire first in last year’s Kentucky Derby. Earlier this week, stewards from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) officially disqualified Medina Spirit – who died on the track after training at Santa Anita in December – as the winner. In doing so, the stewards also slapped a 90-day suspension on Baffert, effective March 8.


Due to reciprocity, Baffert’s suspension in Kentucky would keep him from entering horses elsewhere in the US until June 5. The Louisville Courier Journal reported Friday that the commission declined to stay the suspension pending Baffert’s appeal.


The appeal process first goes through 메이저사이트 the KHRC itself, and then, if the panel opts against overturning the stewards’ ruling, Baffert could then take the appeal through the state court system. There’s also a strong chance Baffert would file a lawsuit against Churchill Downs Inc. for blocking him from entering horses in the Derby and other races at the Louisville track and other Churchill Downs properties.


A Clear Favorite

While we all wait for the administrative and legal drama to unfold, the races will continue. And if Newgrange wins on Saturday, that will keep others from getting 50 qualifying points and a near-certain spot in the May 7 Derby. The second-place horse will receive 20 points, with 10 points and five points going to the third- and fourth-place finishers, respectively.


Newgrange is certainly the class of the race. After winning a maiden race in his debut last November at Del Mar, he came back on New Year’s Day to win the Sham Stakes. He went wire-to-wire at Santa Anita, and widened his lead over the field as the race progressed. He finished 2-3/4-lengths ahead of fellow Baffert-trained colt Rockefeller.


Four weeks ago, Baffert brought Newgrange to Hot Springs to race in Oaklawn’s Southwest Stakes. It was a different race than the Sham. In the Southwest, he broke wide at the start and rallied from a close fourth position at the top of the stretch to win by a length and a half.


I was impressed with his last win because he was sort of stop and go the whole way and still found a way to win,” Baffert said. “That’s the sign of a good horse. I’m happy with the way he’s coming into this race.”


While he broke from the 10th gate last month, Newgrange gets the more desirable second post on Saturday. John Velazquez will get the mount again.


“We have to break well,” Baffert said. “So, that’s the key, no matter what post you have. But it should maybe be easier on him. Had to use him up outside last time.”


A fourth win in as many races could put Newgrange in line for Oaklawn’s big race, the April 2 Arkansas Derby – one of the top Derby preps.


Whether Baffert will be there remains to be seen.


Barber Road Gets Another Shot

Newgrange’s primary competition looks to be Barber Road. The John Ortiz-trained colt finished second to Newgrange in the Southwest. Barber Road was chasing him at the wire, but a five-wide trip was too much ground to overcome.


A winner of a maiden and an allowance race, Barber Road has placed in his last three starts – all stakes races. Jockey Reylu Guiterrez will get the ride, and he’s been on the colt in four of the six races.


Barber Road will break from the ninth gate. However, Ortiz said he’s not terribly worried about starting wide.


“I’m worried about my horse running his best race,” Ortiz said. “We’ve competed against the top horses in here already. We’re just going along for the ride. The speed is on the inside. I think Reylu, he’ll have the right plan. It’s all in his hands.”


Ben Diesel, who was passed by 토토사이트 Newgrange and Barber Road in a third-place finish in the Southwest, is the third choice on the morning line at 6-1. Jon Court will ride the Dallas Stewart-trained colt, which will break from the seventh gate.


The complete field for the Rebel is available here. Post time for the race is 6:22 pm ET, and the race will be aired on Fox Sports 2.