‘GET BACK TO BASICS,’ SAYS SMITH WHO RIDES HEAVILY FAVORED OMAHA BEACH IN SATURDAY’S GRADE I, $300,000 RUNHAPPY MALIBU STAKES ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2019)–Along with a record 26 Breeders’ Cup wins, two Eclipse Awards, a pair of Kentucky Derby wins that include a Triple Crown in 2018, New Mexico native Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith also includes three wins in Santa Anita’s signature opening day Grade I stakes, the $300,000 Runhappy Malibu, which is contested at seven furlongs.Chances are good (4-5) that Smith will notch Malibu win number four on Saturday with the Richard Mandella-trained Omaha Beach, who will be making in all likelihood his penultimate start prior to a career finale in the Grade I, $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.Scratched three days prior to this year’s Kentucky Derby due to an entrapped epiglottis, Omaha Beach, a striking dark bay or brown colt by War Front, is owned by Rick Porter’s Foxhill Farms, Inc. and will be making his 10th career start.Back in town following a Christmas visit with family and friends in New Mexico, the man known in racing circles as “Big Money” Mike, addressed Omaha Beach and the state of racing as Santa Anita stands at the precipice of its 83rd Winter Meet opening day. Q. Mike, a lot of fans feel a bit cheated, like we haven’t really been able to see enough of Omaha Beach. I know you feel the same way and you must be looking forward to riding him in the Runhappy Malibu? A. Oh, without a doubt. Man, he’s the kinda horse that I wish we had the whole rest of the (New) year with him. He’s incredible to ride, fun to ride and so much fun to watch run. He’s a brilliant horse, very athletic and hopefully we can pull it off and dazzle the fans tomorrow. Q. Can you share with us how much horse you thought you had coming out of the Arkansas Derby and heading into the Kentucky Derby? A. I couldn’t wait to ride him. He was training incredible going into the Derby all the way up until he got that infection in his throat…The way the racetrack came up on Derby Day, with the off-track. We all saw that he had been brilliant on that kind of a track. He’s as good (in the mud) as he is on a fast track…We had a great post and everything was going our way until that happened and it was just a huge misfortune that he didn’t get his chance on that day. Q. After missing the Derby, you beat a really good horse (Shancelot) in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (Grade I, Oct. 5) and you were then the even money favorite here in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. You were charging at the end, but did you feel like Omaha Beach had too much to do? A. He was very, very unlucky. He slipped behind leaving the gate and then the kickback was just too much for him. He still ran a game second and I truly believe if he’d have jumped well (from the gate) and not slipped, it could’ve been a different outcome. Q. You’ve won this race three times, including last year with McKinzie. Coming into this year’s Malibu, is Omaha Beach the best horse you’ve ever ridden in this race? A. Oh, without a doubt. If all goes well, and he runs his race, you might see something really special, he’s training that good. Q. Mike, Omaha Beach is scheduled to go to stud at Spendthrift Farm this spring. Is there any chance you could talk to his connections into letting him run all the way through his 4-year-old year? A. I’d love to. After the Pegasus, I think it’s up to Mr. Hughes (B. Wayne, Spendthrift owner) I believe, I’m really not a 100 percent sure, but I think that was the deal when they sold him as a stallion prospect. We gotta talk to Mr. Mandella (laughing), he’s had some good fortune with Mr. Hughes. Maybe we can talk them into leaving him around for the rest of the year…You never know. Q. If you could address the entire racing industry as we approach the New Year, do you have any advice, given all that we’ve been through in 2019? A. That’s a tough question. I think we’ve got to get back to the basics and do all the little things right all over again. A lot of (these problems) are in-house stuff that we need to take care of and I think once we do that, this great sport will carry on. A horse is an amazing animal. They bring so much joy and so much pleasure to so many people, in so many different ways. I truly believe in my heart of hearts, that this is a sport that should go on to the end of time…The good Lord willing and horses stay happy and safe, I think the game will get back on track on its own. Once these great horses start running, you can’t help but want to come out and watch ’em and love ’em. Q. Mike, I know you feel happiness is a very important component to a successful racehorse. What makes them happy and how do you know when they are? A. You see it in them. They just shine, they exude wellness. The people, the trainers that take care of them, they do such a tremendous job…When a horse gets happy, sound and healthy, let me tell you something…When you get all those elements going in the right direction, that horse is gonna be a tough horse to beat, especially when he’s got that kind of talent to start with. With the Runhappy Malibu carded as the ninth on a blockbuster 11-race program, there is special early first post time on Saturday at 11 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9 a.m. and all attendees will receive Santa Anita’s traditional wall calendar free, with paid admission. For more information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
REVEALED The striker, who is the son of former Leeds United and Manchester City star Alf-Inge Haaland, is regularly being scouted by Europe’s top clubs and interest in him is high.Manchester United have so far been leading the race for the teenager, who is considering his options this summer. Juventus are trying to beat Manchester United to the signing of teen star Erling Braut Haaland.The 17-year-old is already playing in the first team for Norwegian side Molde and he is being tipped as a star of the future. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade But now, according to Norwegian broadcast TV2, Juventus have muscled into the race for Haaland and put forward a formal offer.The Italian champions have made a bid of £4.5m for the Norway Under-19 international and they are confident it will be accepted.Juventus’ sporting director Fabio Paratici is currently away working on a deal for Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.However, it is understood one of his backroom team has flown to Norway to broker a deal with Molde this week.Should Haaland move to Juventus it is reported that he will be loaned out for his first season at the club. The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father RANKED moving on targets Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Latest transfer news LIVING THE DREAM 1 targets three-way race TOP WORK IN DEMAND Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ LATEST Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer
For the ultimate Anzac Centenary experience with a Hellenic twist, a 12-day guided tour to Greece in April was launched this week, offering deep insights into the remarkable role played by the island of Lemnos in particular in the Gallipoli legend.Organised by the World Hellenic InterParliamentary Association, the tour, which begins on April 17, will immerse those taking part in every aspect of the island’s relationship to the Dardanelles campaign, with interpretive events at key locations and what will be immensely moving commemorations at the East Mudros Bay and Portianou war cemeteries on the island.Lemnos, in the northern Aegean, was the principal assembly point and supply-base for the Gallipoli landings in April 1915.With participants joining official parliamentarians, the tour program will include exclusive access to official events on Royal Australian Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy vessels and attendance at civic receptions.After four days on Lemnos the tour moves to the mainland, where a second generation of Anzacs fought in April 1941, and will visit the town of Vevi, where Australian forces were defeated in the opening days of the German invasion of Greece.On Anzac Day itself, the tour will be in the Greek capital in time for the dawn service at Phaleron War Cemetery, followed by a reception held by the Australian Embassy.An extended five-day tour to Crete beginning on April 28 will take in the main Battle of Crete sites.Tour organiser John Pandazopoulos told Neos Kosmos that the trip will be a unique opportunity to gain a unique insight into the historic events that took place on the island, and a chance to visit other key ANZAC sites in Greece.“This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in the special relationship forged between Greece and Australia in wartime,” said Mr Pandazopoulous, the former Victorian state MP.“It is going to be a very special trip. The Australian and NZ embassies in Greece are of course pulling out all the stops to make the official events spectacular.”Mr Pandazopoulos has been a vocal campaigner in efforts to lobby the Greek state and regional authorities to embrace the concept of an ‘ANZAC trail’ – to promote sites of historical significance – and the many unmarked battlefield sites where Australian and New Zealand troops fought.The cost of the 12-day tour – organised by licenced agent Anzac Tours in Greece – starts at $3,480 (€2,390) with a single supplement of $860 (€590). The tour fee includes accommodation in four and five-star hotels, coach travel and guides.For further information and the tour brochure contact John Pandazopoulos on 0408 3100733. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Every year Star Trek‘s futuristic sci-fi technology comes closer to just being “technology.” We live in a world where video chats, communicators, and real-time translators are normal, where androids are becoming more and more realistic and food replicators are almost here thanks to 3D printing. The next step? Phasers!Next month the Smithsonian Channel will air a two-hour Star Trek special to celebrate the show’s 50th Anniversary, which will take a look at some of the technologies the show predicted. In this just-released segment of Building Star Trek, future phaser use is predicated by laser scientist Rob Afzal of Lockheed Martin who, let’s be honest, has one of the coolest titles in the world. (“What do you do?” “I’m a LASER SCIENTIST.”)Now laser weapons are a thing right now, but they’re not exactly useful. To showcase the potential power of laser weapons, it’s demosntrated how they used a High Energy Laser (HEL) to detonate a rocket being launched from 1.5 kilometers away.It’s proven tech, but to produce the amount of energy required to shoot a HEL requires a staggeringly powerful generator. Before Rob started on the project the generators were the size of houses or planes, not exactly easily applicable in a battlefield scenario.“The next breakthrough would be from being able to store enough energy in a device like this [shows phaser] so that you can get your effect,” says Afzal.Now he’s developed a complete laser system that’s small enough to be deployed on the back of a flatbed truck. It’s still not exactly the most mobile thing ever, but they’re working every day to shrink it further and further. Ultimately, a pistol-sized HEL will be a game-changer that could change the face of warfare forever.Building Star Trek will air on the Smithsonian Channel on Sunday, September 4 at 8p.m. Set phasers… well, hopefully you’ll be able to set phasers soon.