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Running notebook: Back from flat

I am back from a week's vacation in the Midwest. I brought my running shoes, naturally, and didn't get out as much as often as I would have liked.

But let me say this - the eastern part of the Dakotas would be a great place to have a marathon. Because, it's mighty, mighty flat. Wow. You couldn't almost see the finish line from the start of a marathon, even if it were 26.2 miles straight down a road.

I'm back for a big weekend in local running, with a couple of races of note coming up:

* WNY Running Hall of Fame 5K, Elmwood & Bidwell in Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. tonight, 479-8511. The Class of 2013 is introduced to the running community tonight, as five more members go in. The race course is a fast one as well. This has been a nice night over the last two years, and it should be another good one tonight. One warning: remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to the master of ceremonies of the induction ceremony.

* Rowin', Throwin' & Growin' 5K, 511 Ohio St. in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Saturday, 713-0262. It's an unusual name for a race, so you should know it goes to benefit Carly's Club. Easy to wonder if the $35 day-of-race registration fee will scare some people off.

* Dan Feather Memorial 5K, 487 Baker St. in Jamestown, 9 a.m. Sunday, 488-2203 x230.

* Fleet Feet 15K Run into Buffalo, Canalside in Buffalo, 8 a.m. Monday, 332-3501. It's the only 15K run of the year, and this has quickly evolved into a nice event. Fine course, too.

-- Budd Bailey (pardon my shameless plug of linking my name to information about my newly-released book)

Post Time: Friday racing notebook

By Gene Kershner

The Grade 1 $750,000 Woodward Stakes is the big race this holiday weekend at Saratoga and will be televised on Saturday afternoon along with the Grade 2 $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap and the Grade 1 $500,000 Forego on a two-hour "Summer at Saratoga" NBC Sports Network production (4 - 6 p.m. EDT).

Some thoughts as we head into the final weekend at the Spa…

- The Travers was an interesting race that 33-1 Moreno almost stole from the big stars. Lukas looks like a genius for putting blinkers on Will Take Charge in the Dandy whose form carried over to the Midsummer Derby.

Palace Malice's connections sure would like a do-over after his terrible break and big finish, basically running out of racetrack and barely nosed out of the show by Orb.

Orb showed he indeed needed another race after the 11-week layoff. I'm not totally sold that he'll be doing big things in his next race, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and will likely be taking a stand against.

- It was nice to see what Will Take Charge could do with some running room. We'll likely see a fairly big field for the Classic so you might have seen his best and he's raced eight times already this year.  But he along with Moreno look like they are headed to Parx and the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 21.

- Setting the over/under for Verrazano's retirement for next Saturday.

- The Grade 2 $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters is scheduled for a Monday night (Sept. 9) this year, which seems to be a change in schedule from past years when the race was held on a Friday evening. It's the biggest race on the calendar at PID and for some reason they are also running the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile on Sunday night, which is opening day for NFL Football instead of on the undercard of the Masters. Interesting marketing move.

- Fort Erie Race Track honored the late Bob Summers on their final Tuesday night twilight card of the year with the $30,000 Bob Summers Memorial Cup. A good crowd was on hand to see a 7-year-old Medaglia d'Oro gelding named d'Oro Diablo win the Summers Cup. Mrs. Summers and some of his cousins were on hand along with Fort Erie trainer Nick Gonzalez and Buffalo Raceway's Sam Pendolino to honor and remember the Happy Handicapper.

- Sounds like 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan is headed to Woodbine on Sunday Sept. 15 to defend his Woodbine Mile title. Good news for our neighbors to the north.

- Fort Larned scratched out of the Woodward on Thursday, leaving a field of six and Paynter will assume the role of morning line favorite. I like Successful Dan off his near miss in the Whitney and Flat Out, who always gives you an honest race and shows a couple solid workouts since his last outing at Belmont.

- NFL Hall of Famer Bill Parcells will run his ridgling Saratoga Snacks (6-1) in the Forego against Zayat Stables' powerful even-money coupled entry of Fast Bullet and Justin Phillip.  The James Marvin winner on opening day Sage Valley (7-2) will try and challenge the Zayat duo both coming off big wins. Fast Bullet won the Grade 2 True North H. on Belmont Stakes day and Justin Phillip won the first Grade 1 of his career in the Vanderbilt earlier in the meet.

- The Grade 2 Baruch will be run as Race 7 and is not a part of the guaranteed $1 million Pick-4. When tracks don't bunch the graded stakes races together in late Pick-4, it drives me and other horseplayers crazy. Instead, two claiming races after the Woodward are part of the late Pick-4. Nonsense.

- How good was Game On Dude's Pacific Classic? The question is, was last year's Classic an anomaly or is he setting us up again for a big letdown in November?

- As reported on earlier in the week by the Daily Racing Form's Matt Hegarty, a new law is set to go into effect on Jan. 1 will require out-of-state account-wagering operators to pay a 5-cent fee for every dollar wagered through an out-of-state ADW by a New York resident, with the majority of those fees going to their New York competitors. Wonder who will end up paying for that? 

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

Bandits notebook: Trying again on the playoffs

It doesn't pay to go on vacation when it comes to the Bandits. While I was away last week, work came out that the National Lacrosse League is changing its playoff format for 2014.

ILIndoor.com had the story on Friday. For those of you who didn't like the idea of one team out of nine missing the playoffs, this is a step forward. Three teams will sit out the postseason under the format, and two of them will be in the East. Minnesota is switching from the West to the East.

In the first round, the 2nd seeds will play the 3rd seeds in each division. The winners play the division champions in a best-of-two format. All right, that's not exactly right. The lower seed hosts one game, and then the upper seed hosts a game a week later. If there's a split, the teams will play a 10-minute minute game to determine who will win the series. It's a little contrived, but it will be dramatic at times.

We'll have two division champions at that point, and we'll go through the same process to determine an overall league champion.

The league doesn't have a collective bargaining agreement yet, and that will be something to watch in the weeks ahead, and this sort of move needs to be part of the CBA. So ... the league hasn't confirmed it. But ILIndoor.com is really good on this stuff.

Remember, an 18-game regular season is planned for 2014. So a few weeks will be added to the season in order to fit everything in.

--- Budd Bailey

Post Time: Travers undercard full of big races

By Gene Kershner

The three graded stakes races preceding the $1 million Grade 1 Travers Stakes on Saturday afternoon will feature competitive racing at Saratoga Race Course. The Grade 1 Test Stakes, a sprint for three- year-old fillies, the Grade 2 Ketel One Ballston Spa Stakes for fillies and mares three-years-old and up and the Grade 1 Foxwoods Kings Bishop, a 7-furlong sprint for three-year-olds will highlight the undercard on the Spa's signature day.

There will be 14 races in all with the first race going to post at 11:35 a.m. The "Summer at Saratoga" series continues with a national telecast on NBC (Ch. 2, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.), the Travers is scheduled to go off at 5:45 p.m. local time. The Travers preview will be in Saturday's News, be sure to check it out.

Let's take a look at the three undercard races and some thoughts when building a Pick-4 ticket that starts with the Test in Race 9.

Race 9: Grade 1 Test Stakes. This is a loaded field with some very talented 3-year-old fillies, including west coast shipper 5-Sweet Lulu (5-2) who has Julien Leparoux in the irons. She hasn't run on anything other than a synthetic surface, but she is showing a tremendous workout pattern and Jerry Hollendorfer thinks enough of her to ship her east for this spot. While she's not my top choice, it would be hard not to include her on a multi-race ticket. I'm looking for 9-Wildcat Lily (6-1) to have her breakout race, she sports a bullet workout at Gulfstream on Aug. 17 (best time out of 100 starters working 4-furlongs that day). She finished only a half length behind 6-Lighthouse Bay in the Grade 1 Prioress and has not finished outside of the exacta in seven straight races. 8-My Happy Face (3-1) will be cutting back off her second place finish in the CCA Oaks where she finished six lengths behind the likely 3-year-old filly champion Princess of Sylmar. With Rosario in the irons for a white-hot Chad Brown, she's on my ticket.

Race 10: Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes. Whenever I look at a turf race the three jockeys I focus on are Lezcano, Castellano and Johnny V. They happen to be on the three horses that should land on my P4 tickets Saturday afternoon. 1-Laughing (7-2) was the class of the Diana and she comes in third off the layoff for Alan Goldberg and has Lezcano in the irons, a 20 percent winner on the weeds. 5-Hungry Island (5-2) has never missed the board at 8 1/2-furlongs and Castellano is a hot jockey right now, also wins 22 percent of the time on the grass. Has been rested since Belmont Stakes day for Shug McGaughey and shows some sharp workouts in her past performances. Johnny V is aboard 4-Centre Court (3-1), who will look to rebound from her disappointing performance in the Diana. She too has never been out of the exacta in five starts at the distance. If you're looking for a long shot to put on your ticket and have room for her 8-Embarr could steal it on the front end. She also has finished in front of Laughing in the past so she has some class.

Race 11: Grade 1 King's Bishop.  This race has a full field of 14 and should be the one to go deepest in. The full field sprints give me fits so I'll be going at least five deep in this one. The 7-furlong sprint features the Grade 2 Amsterdam winner 2-Forty Tales (5-2) for the Pletcher/Rosario combination that is winning 23 percent of the time and in the money 62 percent of the time together. He's put together two impressive graded stakes victories between the Grade 1 Woody Stephens and the Amsterdam and could make it three in a row. A Post Time favorite is 5-Majestic Hussar (10-1) who we saw win in person at Gulfstream at the same distance in the slop defeating a certain horse named Palace Malice that day. The son of Majestic Warrior is two for three at the Spa and comes in second off the layoff for Eddie Kenneally.  8-Declan's Warrior (5-1), Nick Zito's chance at getting back in the winner's circle finished a close second to Forty Tales in the Stephens and was closing fast in the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam. If he can stay closer to the pace, he may warrant a look and it doesn't hurt that Hall of Famer Johnny Velazquez is in the irons. Don't overlook the performance of 10-Let Em Shine (6-1) in the Woody Stephens after three straight victories. His fourth place finish was only a  length back and he led most of the way. He gets a jockey upgrade with Hall of Famer Mike Smith and could win at a nice price. For our long shot toss in, we'll include 4-Slan Abhaile (20-1), a Hard Spun colt for trainer Dale Romans. The distance fits and he sports a nice 5-furlong workout, so he could be ultra-fit for this race.

Good luck and let's cash some tickets!

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

Post Time: Travers draw and trainer quotes

By Gene Kershner

This morning the post position draw for the 144th edition of the $1 million Grade 1 Travers Stakes was held in the paddock at Saratoga Race Course. The News will be in Saratoga Springs this weekend to preview the race in Saturday's paper and provide a post-race recap in Sunday's News. Verrazano was made the morning line favorite at 2-1 in the field of nine.

Here are some quotes provided by the New York Racing Association Press Office from this morning's draw and the official posts and morning line odds for Saturday's big race which will be nationally-televised on NBC (Ch. 2 4:30 - 6 p.m.).

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Verrazano:

"I thought [distance concerns] existed [for other people] until he won the Haskell the way he did. The track was very demanding that day, probably the slowest Monmouth track I had ever seen. For him to draw away like he did at the end of a mile and an eighth, to me, put away any concerns about that. Just watching the horse train over the last year and a half, I never thought he had any distance limitations."

Pletcher on Palace Malice:

"I think, ideally, you'd like to be outside of Moreno, who you think will be the most likely pacesetter. Sometimes you worry about post positions and the race doesn't unfold the way you think it will."

Pletcher on both horses coming off big races:

"We're concerned we're trying to match lifetime-best performances in four weeks. It's always a balancing act. We just hope they can come over and run their races, and everything we have seen in their training since the Jim Dandy and the Haskell indicates to us they're still in peak form. We hope it's still the case Saturday afternoon."

Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey, trainer of Orb:

"I think when we put him on the van to go to Fair Hill the day after the Belmont, he was pretty spent. He was a horse then; I think he's come back a lot more of a horse for his experience down there. He only had the tack off of him for two weeks, so it wasn't like he wasn't training very much. But, he got bigger and put on some weight, and mentally he's probably a lot sharper than he was. We'll find out Saturday whether that experiment worked or didn't work."

D. Wayne Lukas, trainer of Will Take Charge:

"The Derby experience seemed to affect him mentally. He got a little bit more involved than you may want to think. He came out of that a little less focused than he should have been; then I kept the blinkers on him. When I went into the Jim Dandy, I decided to do something different - we pulled the blinkers off. I thought that made a big difference. That let him see everything."

Eric Guillot, trainer of Moreno:

"On the first turn, I'll be three in front and they'll sit back. Then they'll get confidence up on the backside, and they'll get to the bear grease again. Nah, it's the same deal - no sub-24[-second] quarters. Every quarter has to be 24 and change. If they let me get off with that, this horse has a high, high cruising speed. He's more efficient than Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. How efficient is that?"

Dallas Stewart, trainer of Golden Soul:

"You know that last race [the Haskell] was just a throwout, as we say, it just was not a good race for him. This scenario, there's very nice horses here, there should be a good pace, but they're going to finish. They're not just going to back up. He's going to need to run his race to be right there. I feel good about it."

 

Here are the post postions and morning line odds for the $1 million Travers Stakes:

PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Romansh Albertrani J Castellano 12-1
2 Orb McGaughey J Rosario 4-1
3 Verrazano Pletcher J Velazquez 2-1
4 Golden Soul Stewart R Albarado 20-1
5 Will Take Charge Lukas L Saez 10-1
6 Moreno Guillot J Ortiz 12-1
7 War Dancer McPeek A Garcia 15-1
8 Palace Malice Pletcher M Smith 5-2
9 Transparent McLaughlin I Ortiz 12-1

 

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

Post Time: Princess of Sylmar rolls in Alabama

By Gene Kershner

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- There is no question who the best 3-year-old filly in the land is after this afternoon's Grade 1 $600,000 Alabama Stakes as Princess of Sylmar rolled to an open lenghts victory over Southern Cal shipper Fiftyshadesofhay at Saratoga Race Course.

The daughter of Majestic Warrior took command at the quarter pole and cruised home under a handride by jockey Javier Castellano to complete her third straight Grade 1 victory. The Kentucky Oaks champion became the second horse in two years to complete the CCAO-Alabama double at the old Spa. Last year, Questing swept both races for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin who trained third place finisher Carnival Court.

Princess of Sylmar paid $3 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show, completing the mile and a quarter in 2:03.21. Fiftyshadesofhay, trained by Bob Baffet who did not make the trip on Saturday, paid $2.50 to place and $2.60 to show. Carnival Court returned $3.50 for the third place finish.

The win by trainer Todd Pletcher was his first in 10 Alabamas with 13 starters, who extended his lead for the Spa trainer title with the victory.

Big Blue Kitten ($7.90) won the Grade 1 $600,000 Sword Dancer on the undercard charging past Twilight Eclipse in the final furlong for leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey for trainer Chad Brown and jockey Jersey Joe Bravo.

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

 

Post Time: Breeders' Stakes not for the birds

By Gene Kershner 

Beaten a half-length by Midnight Aria in the Queen's Plate, Up With the Birds (6-5) will look to bounce back in the win column in Sunday's $500,000 Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack. The 1 1/2-mile race on the Woodbine turf is the final jewel of Canada's Triple Crown. Uncaptured, a dirt specialist, won the second jewel, the Prince of Wales, at Fort Erie Race Track last month defeating River Seven, the only horse scheduled to run in all three legs of the Crown.  

The field of 10 attracted seven newcomers to the Canadian Triple Crown trail and of the starters, five are geldings. There are no fillies entered in the race. Sam-Son Farms would hold the record for most wins by an owner in the race by notching its sixth should the morning line favorite Up With the Birds come through with a victory. Eurico Rosa da Silva, will retain the mount on the Stormy Atlantic colt for the sixth time. 

Trainer Malcolm Pierce decided not to run Up With the Birds in the Prince of Wales to point him towards the 123rd edition of the Breeders' Stakes. "He's had no reason for time off. I just felt it was the right thing to do by the horse," Pierce told the Woodbine media office. "We decided to take a pass on the Prince of Wales and point to the Breeders' and have a very fresh horse to go a mile and a half," said Pierce.

Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield will be seeking his ninth Breeders' win, holds the current record for trainer wins, will run Global Express (5-2), a Street Sense colt making just his fourth career start.He broke his maiden on the grass going 1 3/8-miles impressively last month winning by over eight lengths after two starts on the Polytrack.

River Seven (8-1), trained by Nick Gonzalez, will look to improve on his second place finish at Fort Erie, losing by only a length to the highly talented Uncaptured. The versatile gelding owned by Tucci Stables will look to show his versatility on all three surfaces. The son of Johannesburg will be ridden by Plate-winning jockey Jesse Campbell who will ride him for the first time. Da Silva rode River Seven in the Prince of Wales and opted for Up With the Birds.  

Pyrite Mountain (6-1) returns after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Plate, shows two straight bullet workouts on the turf and could be coming into the race sitting on a big one. If his morning line sticker of 6-1 manages to hold by post time, he could be the value horse in the race. Trainer Mark Frostad held out to the Woodbine media that his hors may favor the grass. "This horse is probably better on turf than he is on any other surface. We got in a lot of trouble (in his first turf start), but what convinced me that he's a good turf horse is the way he closed in that race when he finally got loose. He closed a lot of ground in the stretch. I think he'll be much better on the turf. He's ready for this dash,” he said.

Post Time Outlook: 1-Pyrite Mountain; 2-Up With the Birds and 3-Global Express

The field for the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes - Sunday August 18 at Woodbine Racetrack

PP

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

Odds

1

Pyrite Mountain

Frostad

Boulanger

6-1

2

Scipio

Baker

Wilson

12-1

3

Global Express

Attfield

Contreras

5-2

4

Highland Bay

McClachrie

Stein

20-1

5

Up With the Birds

Pierce

da Silva

6-5

6

Faithful Rose

Singh

Dos Ramos

30-1

7

Bookies Nightmare

Costigan

Moran

20-1

8

Dragon Puff

DiPasquale

Pizzaro

30-1

9

River Seven

Gonzalez

Campbell

8-1

10

Who's Mr. Hughes

Keogh

Moreno

20-1

 

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

Post Time: Friday racing notebook

By Gene Kershner

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The "Summer at Saratoga" series continues Saturday afternoon (NBC Sports Network, 5-6 p.m.) with a pair of Grade 1 stakes races, the $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational on turf and the $600,000 Alabama Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on dirt.

The 13-horse Sword Dancer field includes Phipps Stable star Boisterous (5-2), the morning line favorite who won the Grade 1 Man O'War last month at Belmont Park. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has the mount for trainer Shug McGaughey.

The field is strong with top challengers Big Blue Kitten (4-1) and Jersey Joe Bravo coming in from Monmouth to ride the homebred Kitten's Joy horse for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the current leading owners at the Spa meet.  In addition, Big Blue Kitten's trainer Chad Brown has been nearly unbeatable training on the turf this summer. Stellar turf jockey Javier Castellano will be aboard Twilight Eclipse (5-1) who finished behind Boisterous in the Man O'War for West Point Thoroughbreds and trainer Tom Albertrani. D. Wayne Lukas will run the ever present Optimizer (6-1), who is still searching for his first Grade 1 victory.

If you're looking for a long shot play in the Sword Dancer, Tannery (20-1) is a consideration, as he has an excuse for his last race hitting the gate at the break, and fared very well in his two prior races. He has the pedigree to go long and might be worth putting him underneath on some exotic tickets.

Post Time Outlook: 1-Boisterous; 2-Big Blue Kitten and 3-Tannery

The Alabama is a matchup of super trainers Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert, both entering talented 3-year-old fillies with sight set on the divisional championship.  Baffert won the race in 1999 with Silverbulletday and Pletcher is looking for his first Alabama with 11 starters in nine previous Alabamas.

Pletcher's Princess of Sylmar will look to add to her Kentucky Oaks and Coaching Club American Oaks victories with a win in the Alabama. The 3-5 favorite has looked much the best and would likely claim the 3-year-old filly crown with a win on Saturday. Pletcher doesn't feel that the added distance should affect his filly. "She should excel with the added distance," said Pletcher of Princess of Sylmar, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Majestic Warrior.

Baffert will counter with his filly Fiftyshadesofhay (2-1), second choice on the morning line and winner of the Grade 2 Black-eyed Susan on Preakness weekend at Pimlico and the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows last month. The Pulpit filly out of a Real Quiet mare should have no issues with the 1 1/4-mile trip around the Spa oval. Hall of Famer Johnny Velazquez will be aboard the talented filly with the Southern California connections.

Looking for a surprise in the Alabama? Don't count on it as the top two look tough to beat, but Kiaran McLaughlin has entered an interesting filly, Carnival Court (15-1) for Darley Stable, who will run on Lasix for the first time. The lightly raced Street Sense filly could surprise in the Alabama. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. who was aboard last year's Alabama winner, Questing, will be in the irons on Carnival Court.

I'm looking for the upset in the Alabama even though the Princess looks awfully tough:

Post Time Outlook: 1 - Fiftyshadesofhay; 2-Princess of Sylmar and 3-Carnival Court 

The field for the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama:

PP

Horse

Jockey

WGT

Trainer

Odds

1

Tell a Great Story

Lezcano

121

Correas

12-1

2

Montana Native

Alvarado

121

McPeek

10-1

3

Galloping Giraffe

Maragh

121

Pletcher

20-1

4

Princess of Sylmar

Castellano

121

Pletcher

3-5

5

Carnival Court

Ortiz, Jr.

121

McLaughlin

15-1

6

Fiftyshadesofhay

Velazquez

121

Baffert

2-1

 

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

Running notebook: Racing in the moonlight

It's amazing just how popular the Moonlight Run has become over the years.

It's the only race of the year that is held at dusk, and more than 1,000 runners again invaded Williamsville on Wednesday night to take part. What's more, it always seems to fall on a clear night so that runners will have more than enough light to avoid the odd pothole while finishing the race.

In fact, the race has come close to outgrowing its starting area. There are plenty of people jammed into a small road. But it's a problem other races would like to have.

The race schedule this weekend is crowded, but they should be held under perfect conditions. Here's the rundown from buffalorunners.com:

* iWacko Sarah Johnson Memorial 5K Run, Clark's Park in Wilson, 9 a.m. Saturday, 440-6516. Good to see this race stage a second running in tribute to the woman who was killed in a house explosion last year.

* Sunset Bay Experience 5K, Sunset Bay Beach Club in Irving, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 907-0219.

* Beast of Burden Ultra Marathon, 50 and 100 miles, 718 Market St. in Lockport, 10 a.m. Saturday, 609-9000.

* 32nd annual Don Carroll Toys for Kids 5K Run, Jackson Square in Batavia, 6:15 p.m. Saturday, (585) 250-4222.

* Run for Row 5K, Como Park in Lancaster, 9 a.m. Sunday, 891-3941.

* 2013 TRZ, 5K and 10K, Firemen's Grounds in Frewsburg, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 397-2519.

Also coming up on Sunday - a column in The News on one of the most important figures in Western New York's running history as he says goodbye. Don Mitchell has always been a friend to this column, no matter who wrote it, and he'll be missed by all of us.

-- Budd Bailey

Mickelson, Woods turn in final PGA Championship scorecards

By Aaron Mansfield

PITTSFORD – World No. 2 Phil Mickelson finished his time at the 2013 PGA Championship with a round of 2-over to put him 12-over for the tournament. He is currently third-to-last.

“I didn’t play very well the last two weeks,” Mickelson said, including in his reference last week’s Bridgestone Invitational, where he finished tied for 21st at 1-over. “I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to go home and take a few weeks off, get my short game sharp and start back up in four or five days for the FedExCup. I’m not going to worry too much about it.”

Mickelson was -1 through four holes today but, for the second consecutive day, he triple-bogeyed a hole - this time the 428-yard, par-4 No. 5.

The man just above him in the world rankings who won the Bridgestone Invitational, No. 1 Tiger Woods, finished with an even round today and is currently tied for 43rd after finishing 4-over for the tournament. The even round matched his best of the tournament (Friday).

“I put four good rounds last week; unfortunately, it wasn't this week,” Woods said. “Didn't seem to hit it as good and didn't make many putts until the last few holes today. But I didn't give myself many looks and certainly didn't hit the ball good enough to be in it.”

* * *

Follow reporter Aaron Mansfield on Twitter @aaroncmansfield.

 

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