The Hardys Reportedly Not Re-Signing With TNA Impact Wrestling

Haye loses cool, Bellew calls him a ‘broken man’

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Haye loses cool, Bellew calls him a 'broken man'

Federer, Monfils Roll In Dubai Openers

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Roger Federer's quest for an eighth Dubai title could hardly have started better on Monday at the Aviation Club. The third seed raced past Frenchman Benoit Paire, winning their first-round contest 6-1, 6-3 in 54 minutes at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

It was Federer's first match since winning the Australian Open last month, his 18th Grand Slam title. But the 35-year-old Swiss showed no rust in the rout, winning nearly 70 per cent of his service points and saving all three break points faced. Federer broke Paire twice in the first set as the Frenchman struggled to stay in rallies. The Swiss broke twice more in the second set to earn his fourth win in as many tries against Paire during their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

“I think I returned very well for a first round. I was able to get my second serves in deep, was able to go into the offensive quickly,” Federer said. “Didn't have to move that much. It was very quick rallies. So we'll see how that's going to turn out. But obviously couldn't be a better first round for me here in Dubai.”

Federer will meet a Russian in the second round, either veteran Mikhail Youzhny or qualifier Evgeny Donskoy. The seven-time Dubai champion is making his 13th appearance at the ATP World Tour 500 event. He improves to 48-5 at the tournament with the win against Paire.

“I have played here for so many years, seen the tournament grow,” Federer said. “Fans and myself know how special it is for me to be back on the court. It was a nice welcome. Very thankful always.”

He faces a tough road from here, though. Top seed Andy Murray and second seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka could meet Federer in the semi-finals and final, respectively.

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Fourth seed Gael Monfils also advanced in straight sets on Monday, dismissing Egyptian wild card Mohamed Safwat 6-4, 6-3 in 80 minutes. “You always expect a tough match, but I wasn't expecting that he had so much power with his forehand. His forehand was super fast and deep, wasn't missing that much,” Monfils said.

The Frenchman is playing in Dubai for only the second time. He fell in the first round in 2008. He will meet Brit Daniel Evans or German Dustin Brown in the second round.

Philipp Kohlschreiber moved to within two match wins of the 400th victory of his career on Monday by beating eighth seed and last month’s Apia International Sydney titlist Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-6(1). “Hopefully I can achieve the mark here in this tournament,” said Kohlschreiber, who now has 398 match wins. “It would be great [and] mean I'm in the semi-finals.” He will next face #NextGenATP Daniil Medvedev or wild card Omar Alawadhi.

Three Spaniards – sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, Marcel Granollers and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez – all advanced to the second round during the afternoon session.

Bautista Agut overcame #NextGenATP Russian Karen Khachanov 6-1, 7-6(4) in 85 minutes, while Granollers lost just three of his first service points in beating Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-2 for a second-round clash against Wawrinka or Damir Dzumhur. Garcia-Lopez defeated Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes.

Watch Full Match Replays

Doubles Seeds Safely Through To QFs

Top seeds and ATP Finals titlists Henri Kontinen and John Peers lost just two of their service points in cruising past Alawadhi and Amirvala Madanchi 6-1, 6-1 in 37 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals. Fourth seeds and 2015 semi-finalists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau overcame Mate Pavic and Alexander Peya 7-6(2), 6-1 in 64 minutes.

Federer Rolls In Dubai Opener

Provided Courtesy of Tennis - ATP World Tour, Read More.

Roger Federer's quest for an eighth Dubai title could hardly have started better on Monday at the Aviation Club. The third seed raced past Frenchman Benoit Paire, winning their first-round contest 6-1, 6-3 in 54 minutes at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

It was Federer's first match since winning the Australian Open last month, his 18th Grand Slam title. But the 35-year-old Swiss showed no rust in the rout, winning nearly 70 per cent of his service points and saving all three break points faced. Federer broke Paire twice in the first set as the Frenchman struggled to stay in rallies. The Swiss broke twice more in the second set to earn his fourth win in as many tries against Paire during their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

“I think I returned very well for a first round. I was able to get my second serves in deep, was able to go into the offensive quickly,” Federer said. “Didn't have to move that much. It was very quick rallies. So we'll see how that's going to turn out. But obviously couldn't be a better first round for me here in Dubai.”

Federer will meet a Russian in the second round, either veteran Mikhail Youzhny or qualifier Evgeny Donskoy. The seven-time Dubai champion is making his 13th appearance at the ATP World Tour 500 event. He improves to 48-5 at the tournament with the win against Paire. Federer is trying to win an eighth title at an event for the first time in his career.

“I have played here for so many years, seen the tournament grow,” Federer said. “Fans and myself know how special it is for me to be back on the court. It was a nice welcome. Very thankful always.”

He faces a tough road from here, though. Top seed Andy Murray and second seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka could meet Federer in the semi-finals and final, respectively.

[ALSO LIKE]

Philipp Kohlschreiber moved to within two match wins of the 400th victory of his career on Monday by beating eighth seed and last month’s Apia International Sydney titlist Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-6(1). “Hopefully I can achieve the mark here in this tournament,” said Kohlschreiber, who now has 398 match wins. “It would be great [and] mean I'm in the semi-finals.” He will next face #NextGenATP Daniil Medvedev or wild card Omar Alawadhi.

Three Spaniards – sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, Marcel Granollers and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez – all advanced to the second round during the afternoon session.

Bautista Agut overcame #NextGenATP Karen Khachanov 6-1, 7-6(4) in 85 minutes, while Granollers lost just three of his first service points in beating Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-2 for a second-round clash against Wawrinka or Damir Dzumhur. Garcia-Lopez defeated Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes.

Watch Full Match Replays

Doubles Seeds Safely Through To QFs

Top seeds and ATP Finals titlists Henri Kontinen and John Peers lost just two of their service points in cruising past Alawadhi and Amirvala Madanchi 6-1, 6-1 in 37 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals. Fourth seeds and 2015 semi-finalists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau overcame Mate Pavic and Alexander Peya 7-6(2), 6-1 in 64 minutes.

McCraken Stays Ahead Of Irish War Cry In NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll

Provided Courtesy of News – Horse Racing News | Paulick Report, Read More.

The “Road to the Kentucky Derby” ran through New Orleans at the Fair Grounds with the running of the G2 Risen Star Stakes. Won by Brad Grady and trained by Joe Sharp Girvin (84) advances into the top-ten to ninth position in week five of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll, which results were released today.

The Tale of Ekati colt earned 50 qualifying points, ranking him number one in the newly released Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. His next start could come in the G1 Louisiana Derby on April 1.

Owned by Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC's  and trained by Ian Wilkes, McCraken remains in first place  (17 first-place votes, 344 points) and holds on ever so slightly after being installed as the favorite at 5-1 in the final third of four Kentucky Derby Future Wagering Pools, which results were released this Sunday from Churchill Downs. The final Derby Future Wagering Pool takes place on March 31- April 2. Currently with 20 qualifying points the G3 Sam F. Davis S. winner is ranked fifth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard for a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6. The Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 11 is under consideration for his next start.

The undefeated Holy Bull (G2) winner Irish War Cry (10 first-place votes, 309 points)  holds the second berth for trainer Graham Motion and is currently ranked 13th on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 10 qualifying points.

Moving into third is Mastery (3 first-place votes; 214 points) with Classic Empire (2 first place votes, 206 points), dropping down a notch to fourth.  Mastery is ranked 14th with 10 qualifying points while Classic Empire is ranked second with 32 points on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard respectively.

Rounding out the field is: El Areeb (1 first-place vote, 203 points); Unique Bella (5 first-place votes, 181 points); Gormley (140); One Liner (91); Girvin (84) and Gunnevera (69).

The NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll is the sport's most comprehensive survey of experts ranking the generation of Thoroughbreds that includes all Triple Crown contenders. Every week eligible journalists and broadcasters cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.  The Top 3-Year-Old Poll concludes June 12 after the Belmont Stakes.

The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses four and up remains status quo with no changes in this week's top-ten.

Eclipse Award Champion Arrogate (38 first-place votes and 380 points) received all first place votes after his spectacular win in the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park on January 28.

Ranked second is 2016 Eclipse Champion Female Songbird (285) followed by Gun Runner (263) and Eclipse Award Turf Champion Tepin (228) in fourth.

Rounding out the top-ten are: Shaman Ghost (200); Hoppertunity (139); Drefong (73); Neolithic (67); Lady Eli (61) and Midnight Storm (56).

The NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll concludes November 6 after the running of the Breeders' Cup.

The full results for both NTRA weekly Thoroughbred polls can be found on the NTRA website.

The post McCraken Stays Ahead Of Irish War Cry In NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

Steelers place franchise tag on Le’Veon Bell

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The Steelers placed the exclusive franchise tag on Le'Veon Bell on Monday, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The exclusive tag means he cannot negotiate with any other team.

Divisidero Headlines 63 Nominees To Woodford Reserve Turf Classic

Provided Courtesy of News – Horse Racing News | Paulick Report, Read More.

Gunpowder Farms LLC's defending winner Divisidero and a powerful trio of female stars in Lady Eli, Miss Temple City and Quidura (GB) head a strong roster of 63 older grass specialists nominated to compete in the 31st running of the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I) for 4-year-olds and up on the star-studded Kentucky Derby Day racing program on Saturday, May 6 at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/8-mile test on the Matt Winn Turf Course, which is run immediately prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), annually attracts many of the nation's most accomplished turf stars. Past winners include two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, one of two horses to earn a pair of victories in the race, and Eclipse Award champions Manila, Paradise Creek, Sky Classic and English Channel. Einstein (BRZ), a Grade I winner on both dirt and turf, won back-to-back renewals of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in 2008-09.

The Churchill Downs-based Divisidero, a 5-year-old son of 2005 turf champion Kitten's Joy, collected his only triumph in four 2016 starts when he held off World Approval to win the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and collect the first Grade I triumph of his career. Trained by William “Buff” Bradley, Divisidero is unbeaten in two outings over the Churchill Downs grass course, having earlier won the 2016 American Turf (GII). The Kentucky-bred Divisidero has a career record of 4-1-3 in 11 races and has earned $740,950.

Any of the three female stars nominated to the 2016 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic would likely be a major contender against male rivals should they appear in the starting gate on Kentucky Derby Day.

Sheep Pond Partners' Lady Eli returned from a months-long battle against the potentially-fatal hoof ailment laminitis to a three-race autumn campaign against female opponents in 2016 highlighted by a victory in the Grade I Flower Bowl at Belmont Park and close runner-up finishes in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) at Santa Anita and the Ballston Spa (GII) at Saratoga. Trained by Chad Brown, the 5-year-old daughter of Divine Park has a career record of 7-2-0 in nine races with earnings of $2,169,800.

The 5-year-old Miss Temple City competed a spectacular 2016 campaign for trainer Graham Motion with a victory in the Matriarch (GI) at Del Mar in December. Prior to that victory she earned a pair of Grade I wins over males in the Shadwell Turf Mile and the Maker's Mark 46 Mile, both run at Keeneland. In both of those races she defeated Tourist, the eventual winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile (GI) at Santa Anita, a race in which Miss Temple City ran fifth. The Club Racing LLC, Allen Rosenblum and Sagamore Farm's daughter of Temple City has compiled a career record of 6-3-2 in 15 races with earnings of $1,453,038.

Gestut Faerhof's Quidara (GB), a 4-year-old daughter of Dubawi (IRE) also trained by Motion, has three wins in four races that include last fall's Valley View (GIII) on the grass at Keeneland.

Other stars made eligible to compete in the 2017 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic include Shadwell Stable's Almanaar (GB), a Brown-trained import who scored his first U.S. victory Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (GI) in early February, and the three horses who finished immediately behind the 5-year-old gelding in that race. They are Wertheimer and Frere's runner-up All Included; Calumet Farm, Sagamore Farm and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' third-place finisher War Correspondent; and James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners and Head of Plains Partners LLC's Secretariat (GI) winner Beach Patrol, who finished second but was disqualified to fourth.

Other stars nominated to the Derby Day turf test include Golden Pegasus Racing and Earle I Mack's Bolo, winner of the last two runnings of Santa Anita's Arcadia (GII) for trainer Carla Gaines; Terry Hamilton's Heart to Heart, a Brian Lynch-trained son of English Channel who won Belmont Park's 2016 Knickerbocker (GIII) and is unbeaten in three stakes races on the grass at Churchill Downs; Matthew Schera's Isotherm, winner of Santa Anita's San Marcos (GII); Wimborne Farm's Kasaqui (Arg), runner-up in the Arlington Million and winner of the 2016 Arlington Handicap (GIII) at Chicago's Arlington Park; Nelson McMakin's Plueven (Fr), winner of Churchill Downs' Wise Dan for trainer Phil Sims; St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds' Ring Weekend, winner of the Seabiscuit (GII) at Del Mar and Saratoga's Bernard Baruch (GII) in 2016 and Santa Anita's Frank F. Kilroe Mile (GI) in 2015; Sir Dudley Digges, the Ontario-bred winner of Canada's 2016 Queen's Plate; Take the Stand (Arg), winner of Fair Grounds' Mervin Muniz Memorial (GII) in 2016; Randall Bloch, Phil Milner, John Seiler and Amteitam LLC's Thatcher Street, winner of Churchill Downs' River City Handicap (GII) for trainer Ian Wilkes; Juddmonte Farms' Time Test (GB), a Brown-trained son of Dubawi (Ire) who took the Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2) at Britain's York in 2016; and Finish Line Racing LLC, the Elwood Johnston Trust and Taste of Victory Stables' What a View, winner of the Kilroe Mile in 2016.

Churchill Downs-based trainer Mike Maker nominated 12 horses to the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, the highest total for an individual trainer. His accomplished group of nominees includes Skychai Racing LLC's Da Big Hoss, winner of the Kentucky Cup Turf (GIII) at Kentucky Downs and the American St. Leger (GIII) at Arlington Park; Three Diamonds Farm's Bigger Picture, winner of the 2017 John B. Connelly at Sam Houston Park and the 2016 Red Smith Handicap (GIII) at Aqueduct; Charming Kitten, winner of the 2015 William L. McKnight (GIII) at Gulfstream Park; Granny's Kitten, winner of the Col. E.R. Bradley (GIII) at Fair Grounds; Michael Hui's Greengrassofyoming, winner of Arlington Park's Stars and Stripes (GIII); International Star, winner of the 2015 Louisiana Derby (GII); Oscar Nominated, winner of the 2016 Spiral (GIII) at Turfway Park and the Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs; 2016 William L. McKnight (GIII) winner Taghleeb; and Enterprising, winner of last weekend's Fair Grounds Handicap (GIII).

Six of Maker's nominees race in the red and white silks of Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who led all owners in total nominations with six. The Ramseys own Sir Dudley Digges, Oscar Nominated, Charming Kitten, Granny's Kitten, International Star and Keystoneforvictory.

The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic's late nomination phase is underway and owners and trainers can nominate their horses with payment of a $1,000 fee before that window closes on at 11:59 p.m. (all times Eastern) on Saturday, April 15. After that, supplemental nominations can be made with a payment of $15,000 at the Turf Classic's time of entry on Wednesday, May 3. The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic is limited to 14 starters, with preference given to winners of graded turf stakes and, after that, highest earnings in stakes races on turf in 2016-17.

A total of 78 horses were nominated to the Turf Classic in 2016, a number that included five late nominees.

The post Divisidero Headlines 63 Nominees To Woodford Reserve Turf Classic appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

First Two Students Selected For American Horse Council’s Internship Program

Provided Courtesy of News – Horse Racing News | Paulick Report, Read More.

The first two students for the American Horse Council's (AHC) Internship Program have been selected: Holden Rafey of Bethesda, MD and Sarah Benknopf of Marietta, GA.

“We are excited to have Holden and Sarah join us here in Washington, DC” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “They are both very active within the equine world already, so this is a great opportunity for them to learn more about the AHC and our role in advocating for the equine industry. We have had such a great response to the internship program being offered, and are looking forward to seeing the talented students that continue to apply.”

Holden Rafey is currently a Junior at Walter Johnson High School in Maryland. She is currently a youth-correspondent and blogger for the Maryland Horse Council, and is a two-term Junior Committee member of the Washington International Horse Show. “I was very excited to learn about this internship opportunity, and quickly applied,” said Ms. Rafey. “I cannot wait to begin my week as an intern for the American Horse Council, and am sure I will learn many interesting things about horse industry advocacy as well as the legislative process. This opportunity will help me make informed decisions about how I will spend my future helping the horse industry.”

Sarah Bernknopf is currently a Junior at the University of Kentucky, majoring in Equine Science and Management, with a minor in Business. “As an Equine Science student from the University of Kentucky, I am so excited to have the opportunity to come to Washington and intern with the American Horse Council,” said Ms. Bernkopf. “It is important to learn about all aspects of the industry no matter what equine job you have, and I look forward to learning about the impact the AHC has on promoting and protecting the equine industry.”

The AHC is still accepting applications for two remaining internship spots for 2017. Please visit the AHC website here for more information and how to apply.

The post First Two Students Selected For American Horse Council’s Internship Program appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

Le’Veon Bell: Receives franchise tag from Steelers

Provided Courtesy of RotoWire.com NFL Latest News, Read More.

Le'Veon Bell: Bell (groin) received the franchise tag from the Steelers on Monday, Adam Schefter ESPN reports. Visit RotoWire.com for more analysis on this update.

Beth Phoenix Talks WWE Hall Of Fame Induction, Edge’s Reaction, Possibly Wrestling For WWE Again

Provided Courtesy of WrestlingInc.com WWE News, Read More.

Beth Phoenix Talks WWE Hall Of Fame Induction, Edge's Reaction, Possibly Wrestling For WWE Again
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