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Belmont Stakes gives horse racing its moment as only game in town



Belmont Stakes gives horse racing its moment as only game in town

This won’t be the Belmont Stakes as we know it, the first leg instead of the last, no potential Triple Crown on the line, no screaming New York horse racing fans socially sardined together, but the sport deserves a standing ovation in these parts anyway.

Because at a time when Major League Baseball is shooting itself in the cleat and alienating fans with a ghastly display of greed during a pandemic, horse racing is giving New York the only game in town, giving bettors a seductive siren call, giving the sport an opportunity to perhaps win back fans it has lost over the years.

“I do think the fact that we’re one of the few sports that was conducting live-action give an opportunity maybe for some people who haven’t been following racing to follow it, or people maybe haven’t been following it recently to come back,” trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Between Saturday’s Belmont Stakes and the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5, the NBA, NHL and college football will have come back, the NFL will have opened training camps, but all bets are off as to whether the continued animosity between the owners and players will cancel the MLB season entirely.

In the meantime, horse racing is making hay where the sun shines. Belmont’s June 3 reopening signaled a return, however small, to normalcy and provided a ray of hope.

The Sport of Kings: King For A Day.

“Hopefully we’ve made a good impression,” Pletcher said. “I think they’re very well-televised, and hopefully can carry some momentum.”

Pletcher has won three Belmont Stakes (Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017). When Rags to Riches became the first filly in 105 years to win the race, a crowd of 46,870 watched. That was 46,870 more fans than will be at this Belmont Stakes.

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“It’ll certainly be far different,” Pletcher said. “I’ve always said the Belmont Stakes, especially when there’s a Triple Crown at stake, is one of the most exciting sporting events in the world. Match it up there with Super Bowls and World Series and everything else. So when you take that traditional 90-100,000 fans out of the grandstand, it’s gonna be a far different scene for sure.

“It’s sad in some ways, but we’re grateful that we’re getting the opportunity to run. … One thing I think we’ve all seen from the [NBC] coverage is that horse racing makes good TV, so hopefully we can build on that.”

Because of NYRA health protocols, the owners will have no option other than watching the race on TV.

“It’s still the Belmont,” said Tap It To Win trainer Mark Casse. “Just that we’re running it speaks volumes. Disappointing, but I can tell ya, it’s not gonna make us want to win it any less.”

Tiz The Law is the prohibitive Favorite, but you count out a Pletcher horse at your own peril.

His Dr. Post didn’t make his 3-year-old debut until March 29 before overcoming some adversity and winning the 1 1/16 mile Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream by 1 ¹/₂ lengths on April 25.

“He’s a horse that’s probably benefited from the changing of the traditional Triple Crown calendar,” Pletcher said.

Farmington Road, not as much. “He’s probably a horse who would have benefitted from the traditional distance,” Pletcher said.

The one-turn nature of the race could help Farmington Road. “I think you’ll see the group kind of a little closer together,” Pletcher said, “so hopefully that’ll be to the benefit of Farmington Road, who instead of being way out of contention early on will hopefully be in contact with the main part of the field.”

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Belmont serves as Pletcher’s home base. The track announcer and race caller the day that he captured his sweetest New York win with Rags to Riches was Tom Durkin. At Belmont Stakes 2020, it will be John Imbriale, and it will not be difficult to hear him. But the silence of all the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB voices will be deafening.

“If we have to do without fans,” Casse said, “then so be it.”

A home run of sorts for horse racing. Much better than a shameful called third strike on MLB.

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Who is Paulo Bento, the Portuguese coach from South Korea who coached Cruzeiro?



The coach commanded the Portuguese national team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and left the South Korean national team after being eliminated in Qatar.

Portuguese coach Paulo Bento qualified South Korea for the playoffs of the World Cup, something the team had not achieved since 2010, when the South Korean team reached the 1/8 finals of this championship. But 4-1 rout against Brazil as a result, shortened the path of the Asian team, as well as put an end to the work of Paulo Sousa in the national team.

Paulo Bento started his career as a coach with the youth team of Sporting Clube Portugal in 2004. At the club, he commanded the youth team for two seasons, winning the junior national tournament in his first year. Incidentally, the coach took over the first team shortly after he announced his retirement as a player.

Given his prominence in the youth categories, Paulo was chosen to replace José Peseiro, who was eliminated in European competition, in the professional team of Sporting CP for the 2005 season./2006.

Professionally, Bento was runner-up for four seasons in a row in the Portuguese Championship. Despite this, the coach won two Portuguese Cups and two Candido de Oliveira Super Cups. On November 6, 2009, the coach resigned.

Having distinguished himself at Sporting, Paulo Bento was announced as Portugal’s coach on 21 September 2010 after the World Cup in South Africa, where the then-champion Spain was selected in the round of 16.


In qualifying, the coach managed to show good results in the first games, plus, of course, take Portugal to the semi-finals of Euro 2012, taking off from Spain on penalties. Having stood out in competitions, the coach extended the contract until Euro 2016.

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However, after losing to Albania in qualifying for Euro 2016, the coach could not resist and was fired in September 2014. The unsuccessful campaign at the World Cup of the same year in Brazil also affected.

After the Portugal national team, Paulo Bento returned to Brazil in May 2016, but this time to coach the Cruzeiro club. With a contract until December 2017, the coach made his debut in the second round of the Brasileirão the same year.

Paulo Bento Cruzeiro Brazilian Championship in Sao Paulo 05062016Washington Alves/Light Press/Cruzeiro

However, Bento only lasted 17 matches in power with six wins, three draws and eight losses, leaving the team in second-to-last place in the tournament.

On 11 August 2016, the coach was announced as the new commander of Olympiacos, Greece, where he remained until 6 March 2017, winning the Greek title. Following this, Paulo Bento was announced as Chongqing Dangdai of China leading the team for only 15 matches.

20221124 Paulo BentoGetty Images

On August 16, 2018, Paulo Bento was announced as the new coach of South Korea following the departure of Shin Tae-yong, who lost in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.

As part of the South Korean national team, the coach has 55 wins, 12 draws and eight losses, having won the East Asian Cup title and classified the team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. After being knocked out against Brazil in the 1/8 finals, the Portuguese announced his retirement from the national team.

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Pioli ‘pulls’ Leao by the ears and says the Portuguese ‘must make a dash’



Pioli 'pulls' Leao by the ears and says the Portuguese 'must make a dash'

FROMTefano Pioli, Milan coach, gave an interview on the Italian radio program Sky Calcio Club on Sunday in which he talked about Rafael Leao’s participation in the 2022 Mundial, a test in which the Portuguese striker was a replacement for Fernando Santos. ‘, indicating that he has been talking to his player over the past few days.

“If we talk? They have an obligation to call me at the end of the game. He is happy because Portugal is doing well. It is clear that he would like to play more. I can take advantage of this for a contract extension,” said Pioli, who also spoke about the Portuguese’s renewal process.

“He is fine with us and management and Rafael are talking. We are waiting for good news,” the Transalpine coach fired.

Looking at his player’s short playing time at this 2022 World Cup, Pioli admitted that Rafael Leau would like to have more playing time for the national team, but hinted that the Portuguese striker is not unhappy.

“If he plays a little? It’s hard to judge because Portugal has a very high quality team. Rafael is happy because Portugal is having a good World Cup, but there is a lot of quality and competitiveness in the attacking sector of the Portuguese team. “, – stressed the coach of the Italian, who also left a small warning to Rafael Leau.

“When you see him in training, you immediately understand that he has incredible potential. He has technique and speed that few others have. Over the course of a period, he had to develop and adapt to the reality at Milan, where the pressure is different from what he is. he was in Lille. It took time, but his potential to become a great player was always there. But he still needs to make the leap to become a champion because he can be even more decisive in the opponent’s zone,” he stressed.

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“If you think about Rafael from two years ago, he has made tremendous progress. He’s missing a few things, but he’s smart and approachable. I can give him all the ideas he wants, but his talent must be left free. should improve his heading, given his physique,” he concluded.

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Portugal, nuts and the Portuguese consumer: a successful trilogy



Portugal, nuts and the Portuguese consumer: a successful trilogy

Nuts have become part of a limited group of Portuguese agri-food sectors that manage to achieve much-desired food self-sufficiency. In the case of almonds it is 170% and in the case of chestnuts it is 116% in relation to the national consumption.

The value of Portuguese agricultural production in 2021 was 9.6 billion euros, representing a growth rate of 14.6% compared to 2020, and therefore it is fair to say that dried fruits today, with a production of 80,000 tons and exports reaching 100 million euros contributed. to this success.

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