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USC men’s basketball: In surprise move, Shaqquan Aaron declares for NBA Draft

first_imgMarch could not end without one more splash of madness for USC men’s basketball, as redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron declared for the NBA Draft on Friday.The 6-foot-7, 190-pound forward averaged 7.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.8 minutes per game this season. Aaron has not signed an agent, leaving him eligible to revoke his draft status up to 10 days after the NBA Combine in May.For weeks, USC fans have dreaded head coach Andy Enfield’s talented young roster disintegrating one-by-one as players declare for the draft, but no one expected Aaron to make the first move.His decision to declare for the draft might come as a surprise given the arc of his season, and, more broadly, his career at-large. He began the year in USC’s starting rotation but failed to win back his role despite sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright’s injury. In late January, Aaron exploded off the bench for 23 points versus UCLA at the Galen Center to lead the Trojans’ to their regular season marquee victory. He earned Pac-12 Player of the Week for his performance. However, he couldn’t replicate that performance down the stretch. In three NCAA Tournament games, Aaron averaged 7.7 minutes a game, but he failed to score.Aaron sat out the 2015-16 season after transferring from Louisville. In March of 2016, he had surgery to repair an old pinky fracture suffered at Louisville. While with Rick Pitino’s Cardinals, Aaron appeared in 23 games and made two starts. He averaged 1.3 points and 0.7 rebounds per game.At Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Washington, Aaron led his squad to consecutive Class 3A titles. In 2013-14, he won Washington Player of the Year Honors and was ranked No. 26 nationally by 247Sports.com and No. 33 in the ESPN 100.last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – THURSDAY MARCH 12, 2015

first_img-30- SPEEDY DEMONICA MAKES STAKES DEBUT IN IRISH O’BRIENDemonica makes her debut on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course when she runs in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs–a race which is part of the Golden State series for California-bred or sired fillies and mares, age four and up.It will also mark the stakes debut for the California-bred daughter of First Defence trained by John Sadler for the C R K Stable. She is coming off four straight grass races at a mile or longer, winning twice on the front end, as is her wont.“I don’t know if there’s much speed in there, but she’ll probably be in front,” said Joe Talamo, who has ridden her in her last four races and retains the mount Saturday. “Last time she ran well but that was when the turf was real soft from recent rain. She still held on pretty well (finishing fourth by three lengths), so I think she’ll like the cutback in distance.”The Irish O’Brien: Bert’s Melody, Brice Blanc, 8-1; Demonica, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Warren’s Gussie, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Go West Marie, Gary Stevens, 2-1; Qiaona, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Velvet Mesquite, Mike Smith, 9-5; and Star Field, Tiago Pereira, 6-1. Elvis Trujillo16419191312%$1,114,650 Fernando Perez14414171410%$632,810 Jeff Bonde2990331%$322,480 Richard Mandella4888917%$561,916 Richard Baltas54129422%$478,028 Martin Garcia11123151221%$1,690,580 Mike Smith8617191220%$2,071,181 FINISH LINES: Trainer Steve Knapp plans to give Grade III Las Flores winner Harlington’s Rose a slight break after her win under Joe Talamo Sunday and look for a race late next month. “There are no races for her now anyway,” said Knapp, whose previous graded stakes win came when $50,000 claim Icantgoforthat took the Grade II Monrovia Stakes in 2003 . . . Tom Quigley‘s guest handicappers this weekend in the East Paddock Gardens at 11:20 a.m. will be Peter Fornatale, Daily Racing Form Contest Editor, Saturday, and Jonathon Kinchen, seventh-place finisher ($59,000) in the 2015 NHC event, Sunday . . . Through 44 racing days, perennial Southern California riding champ Rafael Bejarano has opened his biggest lead yet in Santa Anita’s standings, 50-29 over runners-up Kent Desormeaux and Tyler Baze . . . Eerie racing rarity: Crimson Giant, owned by Bryan Carney who recently sold his popular watering hole called “The Hundred to One Club,” finished 13th and last in Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap. No surprise there. Beaten more than 31 lengths, the same margin by which Secretariat won the 1973 Belmont Stakes, Crimson Giant went off at odds of–you guessed it–100-1. Tyler Baze22229232713%$1,611,754 Victor Espinoza14226282018%$1,791,408 (Current Through Sunday, March 8) Kent Desormeaux14929271819%$1,638,860 John Sadler9412151313%$812,066 Gary Stevens8313131416%$1,230,648 ‘SHIP AND WIN’ PROGRAM EXPANDS IN CALIFORNIA APRIL 2“Ship and Win,” an incentive program to attract out-of-state horses to race in California that met with fine success over the past four seasons at Del Mar, will expand to take in the entire Southern California racing circuit beginning April 2.The arrangement, which will apply to horses starting at Santa Anita, Los Alamitos and Del Mar, will guarantee a $1,000 appearance fee and a 30 percent enhancement to all purse money earned in their initial start for horses not raced in California the past 12 months.Funding for the program will come from the three Southern California racetracks, the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Marketing Committee, which is tasked with promoting racing in the state.“Horse recruitment and increasing field size are top priorities for TOC,” said Joe Morris, the ownership group’s president. “We supported the ‘Ship and Win’ program at Del Mar the last four years and believe it will be equally successful year-round for Southern California.”Southern California’s exceptional weather, year-round racing in a relatively compact area, the attractive venues and substantial fan base are strong selling points to out-of-state horsemen. Its top riders and lucrative purse offerings add further luster to that formula.“It’s been a very good program for my owners and my horses,” said trainer Mark Casse, who brought in a large string of runners to Del Mar for the first time last summer with the “Ship and Win” program providing a key push. “It’s a major expense to ship out there, so the bonus monies certainly helped. And now that we’ve seen that we can come and compete well, we’ll be bringing out more horses this year, including some of our better 2-year-olds. Several of my owners have never raced in the west with the exception of the Breeders’ Cup, so this has opened a door for them to try California.”In his first season at Del Mar, Casse started 38 horses at the summer meet and won five races and over $600,000 in purses. He had 13 “Ship and Win” horses who made 25 starts and accounted for two wins, seven seconds and five thirds.“Ship and Win” is not just for out-of-town horsemen, though. Local trainers and owners have tapped into its lure and more are expected to go outside the state to bring back runners this year with the expansion set to begin.Trainer Bob Hess, Jr. had a stellar summer at Del Mar in 2014 with 15 wins and nearly $600,000 in purses. He had 16 different “Ship and Win” horses in his barn and they accounted for six victories, a pair of seconds and a third.“I’m a big fan of ‘Ship and Win’,” said Hess. “We have the best stage in the country for presenting horse racing, but we need to get people aware and involved in being part of it. A program like this is a part of the puzzle, part of how we actually get people to realize how good it is to race in California.”Southern California’s three racing secretaries – Rick Hammerle at Santa Anita, David Jerkens at Del Mar and Bob Moreno at Los Alamitos – are all strong supporters of the expansion of the program. Santa Anita will kick-off the year-round “Ship and Win” on April 2 and race through June 28. Los Alamitos picks it up from there from July 2 to July 12. Del Mar’s summer session then goes from July 16 to Sept. 7. Each of the tracks finishes out the year with additional meets – Los Alamitos (tentatively set for 9/10 to 9/20), Santa Anita (9/24 to 10/25), Del Mar (10/29 to 11/29) and Los Alamitos (12/3 to 12/20).Racing officials at the tracks can be reached about the program either on-line or by phone: Santaanita.com (626 574-6473); Delmarracing.com (858 792-4230); Losalamitos.com (714 820-2658). Further information about “Ship and Win” also can be found on the Calracing.com website.PAPER WORK SNAFU COSTS PEDROZA STAKES MOUNTMartin Pedroza, about to serve a three-day suspension issued by the California Horse Racing Board, on how he missed riding Private Zone in Saturday’s Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap:“The Gaming Commission in Florida told me my license there had temporarily been suspended and it was no big deal for us to renew it. So we did everything we needed to do and sent the paper work to them at the last minute, but it was in a stack with other applications, from Black Jack dealers to waitresses, you name it.“Just because I was a jockey, I had no priority, and the paper work wasn’t read in timefor my license to be approved. Everybody here tried to help, the stewards from here, the stewards from there, Mike Smith . . . But I never thought I needed to do something about my license being temporarily suspended then, because I never thought I was going to Florida anytime soon, so we let it go. It was kind of our fault.”Formerly trained by Doug O’Neillbut now trained by Jorge Navarro, Private Zone finished second by a half-length as the 6-5 favorite under Carlos Marquez Jr.Pedroza’s long-time agent, Richie Silverstein, said he is “hoping to” regain the mount on three-time Grade I winner Private Zone in the future. Mike Puype78711119%$350,346 Martin Pedroza14014201810%$602,484 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Steven Miyadi3175223%$213,620 Tiago Pereira981291312%$404,268 Flavien Prat10310121110%$567,386 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Drayden Van Dyke16217182110%$1,114,916 Joseph Talamo18921203211%$1,448,340 Brice Blanc4272417%$287,640 Corey Nakatani11019111617%$930,678 Brandon Boulanger1056586%$200,416 Peter Miller11520221317%$1,117,956 Jerry Hollendorfer13426182019%$3,024,008 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Bob Baffert8318151122%$1,673,492 Santiago Gonzalez80891210%$484,614 Rafael Bejarano19950302525%$2,308,138 Doug O’Neill12815122012%$782,114 Peter Eurton6711111016%$636,416 Felipe Valdez53810915%$253,828 James Cassidy5486915%$318,600 Mark Casse53105719%$775,868 Mark Glatt5489915%$412,522 FILLY ON WINNING MENU FOR CELEBRITY CHEF FLAYDEMONICA RETURNS TO SPRINT IN IRISH O’BRIENPOPULAR ‘SHIP AND WIN’ PROGRAM STARTS APRIL 2PAPER WORK DELAY COSTS PEDROZA STAKES MOUNT Mario Gutierrez8361077%$362,380 Ron Ellis4583718%$322,030 Philip D’Amato571210921%$568,340 FLAY STAYS IN ‘KITCHEN’ WITH FILLY’S HEAT Renowned celebrity chef Bobby Flay hopes the filly he owns, Dame Dorothy, serves upanother victory when she runs in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Santa Margarita Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.A $390,000 daughter of Bernardini bred in Pennsylvania, Dame Dorothy will be seeking her sixth win from seven career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. She won her first four starts, was third in the Grade III Comely at Aqueduct at nine furlongs on Nov. 29, then captured Gulfstream Park’s Sunshine Millions Distaff at seven furlongs on Jan. 17.“It seems like she shipped in here in great order,” said trainer Mike McCarthy, former assistant to Pletcher who is babysitting Dame Dorothy for the nation’s second-leading money winning trainer through March 10 with $2,890,154, behind only Jerry Hollendorfer at $3,362,670.“She trained super this morning,” McCarthy said. “She galloped a mile and looked lively.”The Santa Margarita: Legacy, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Cassatt, Kerwin Clark, 3-1; Dame Dorothy, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Thegirlinthatsong, Mike Smith, 9-2; Tiz Midnight, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Uzziel, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; and Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze, 2-1. A. C. Avila2572328%$208,298 Michael Pender3866316%$172,240 Thomas Proctor4166315%$491,028 Hector Palma2564124%$141,000 Edwin Maldonado971181211%$437,824last_img read more

Rep VanWoerkom announces May coffee hours

first_img07May Rep. VanWoerkom announces May coffee hours Categories: VanWoerkom News State Rep. Greg VanWoerkom, of Norton Shores, recently announced where he will be available to meet with Muskegon County residents during the month of May.“I value the input that comes out of these regular coffee hour discussions,” Rep. VanWoerkom said. “If you have any thoughts or concerns about state government, I encourage you to attend.”Rep. VanWoerkom announced separate dates in several communities where he will be available to meet directly with residents.Friday, May 17 at the following times and locations:9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, 5169 Harvey St. in Norton Shores; and11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Overboard Inn, 6027 Main St. in Twin Lake.Friday, May 24 at the following times and locations:8 to 9 a.m. at Ravenna Round Table, 12396 Stafford St. in Ravenna; and10 to 11 a.m. at Granny’s Griddle, 5624 E. Apple Ave. in Muskegon.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. VanWoerkom may call his office at (517) 373-3436 or email GregVanWoerkom@house.mi.gov.###last_img read more