▪ It’s finally time for Good Magic. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner will make his 2018 debut in Saturday’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Chad Brown, who won last year’s Preakness with Cloud Computing, Good Magic had a solid work last Saturday in preparation for his fourth lifetime start. The son of Curlin ran second in both a maiden special weight and the Grade 1 Champagne before his BC Juvenile win.
Bolt d’Oro, the Juvenile favorite who ran third that day at Del Mar, makes his 2018 debut on March 10 in the Grade 2 San Felipe at Santa Anita Park.
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▪ It was a rough go for Dan McHale, who lasted just three seasons as the head basketball coach at Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels went 38-55 overall and 16-34 in the OVC in McHale’s three seasons as head coach.
Meanwhile, McHale’s predecessor is having problems of his own. In his third season at Fordham, Jeff Neubauer’s Rams are 9-19 overall and 4-12 in the Atlantic 10. Neubauer is 39-49 at the school.
▪ Hope former Lexington Catholic star Ben Revere makes it with the Reds, but his signing appears to be more of an insurance policy for Cincinnati.
▪ Great news for local Reds fans that WLXG 1300 will air all of Cincinnati’s games this season. There might even be a few wins sprinkled in there now and then.
▪ Just as the SEC Tournament packs its bags for St. Louis next week, Missouri reports that its athletic department is running at a deficit for the first time since joining the league.
▪ By the way, hopefully holding the SEC Tournament in St. Louis is a one-time thing. Same for the Big Ten holding its tournament in New York.
▪ Interesting news from USA Today: The SEC is the only conference in which every public-school head coach is making at least $2 million a year.
▪ Jon Gruden on tech in the NFL: “I’m trying to throw the game back to 1998. I’m not going to rely on modern technology. I will certainly have some people that are professional that can help me from that regard. But I still think doing things the old-fashioned way is a good way.”
▪ Since losing most valuable center Anfernee McLemore to a broken leg and dislocated ankle, Auburn has lost three of its last four games. The Tigers are now tied for first in the SEC with Tennessee. (Auburn owns the tiebreaker thanks to an early-season win over the Vols.)
▪ Speaking of skids, Alabama has lost four in a row and may be sliding off the NCAA bubble. The Tide was trounced 73-52 at home by Florida on Tuesday night.
▪ After leading the pack for nearly the entire season, Oklahoma guard Trae Young has to be falling out of National Player of the Year contention, right? Right now, I’d vote for Villanova’s Jalen Brunson.
▪ Among the experimental changes being tried in this year’s NIT, here’s one I like: Resetting the shot clock at 20 seconds after an offensive rebound.
▪ Last Saturday in the 87-66 loss at Kentucky, Missouri freshman Jontay Porter went 1-for-8 from the field and scored four points with seven rebounds in 28 minutes before fouling out. Tuesday night in a 74-66 win at Vanderbilt, Porter scored 24 points with seven rebounds and six assists.
▪ ESPN’s Dan Dakich on Duke’s Marvin Bagley: “I know this is blasphemy, but Bagley is all about Bagley. I mean honest to goodness I can see in 18 minutes why Duke was able to go on a run when he was hurt. You hate to say that about a kid but he is about himself.”
If only Dakich would open up more.