He's an Eclipse Award--winning trainer, but Todd Pletcher has never won the Runfor the Roses. Maybe this is the year. Pletcher did produce the unlikelyBelmont winner Rags to Riches, who in 2007 became the first filly to win therace since 1905. On Saturday (NBC) his colt Dunkirk tries to become the firsthorse since 1882 to take the Derby after not racing as a 2-year-old.
Hatton vs. Pacquiao
How can you tell Manny Pacquiao is one of the world's best fighters? His 48-3-2record, his recent WBC lightweight belt ... and now a bobblehead in hislikeness. The San Francisco Giants honored Pacquiao with a giveaway on April21. It was a promo for his light welterweight bout on Saturday in Las Vegas(HBO PPV), where he will try to turn Ricky Hatton into a bobblehead.
The Cardinals' plumage
Many a team has bonded over the growth of facial hair, but St. Louis has anovel theme: anything goes. Rick Ankiel has a classic '70s 'stache. Jason LaRuehas a Fu Manchu fit for Charlie Finley's A's. And Ryan Franklin and Jason Motteappear to have been signed off the old House of David barnstorming team. It'sworking: The Cards lead the NL Central.
Breaking the Slump
Every golfer hits rough patches; the good ones find a way out. NBC's JimmyRoberts asked many of the best—including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and PhilMickelson—how they handle slumps; the result is an enjoyable book, solace toanyone who has hit into a lake. There are celebs here too, including GeorgeH.W. Bush. No, the slump he discusses is not the '92 election.
May 3, 2009
An assault on Everest
Right now most 17-year-olds are searching for the courage to line up a promdate. Johnny Strange of Malibu, Calif., has something bigger in mind: He'strying to become the youngest American to climb Everest. Strange has alreadysummited five of the seven tallest peaks; he wants to be the youngest toconquer all. Read his ascent blog at strangeoneverest.com.
Friday is May 1, a traditional spring celebration and what passes for Labor Dayin much of the rest of the world. So let's give Aaron Maybin, the Penn Statedefensive end whom the Bills drafted at No. 11 last Saturday, a proper send-offto his NFL career and hope the fifth month is kinder to Marlins outfielderCameron Maybin, who was hitting .189 with 22 K's in 53 at bats at week'send.
The Pop CultureGrid
|Athletes in the mix||Susan Boyle is ...||Talent I wish I had||Spa treatment I'm in dire need of||Blame it on the____||Biggest fear in life|
|RYAN HUNTER-REAY IRL driver||A skin treatment guru?||Being a curler||A mud bath||Economy||A big spider|
|RYAN LUDWICK Cardinals RF||I don't know. An actress?||Playing the drums||A massage||The rain||A plane crash|
|SAM QUERREY ATP Player||The author who wrote Twilight||Ability to be invisible||Manicure and pedicure||Backhand volley||Being electrocuted|
|JOHNNY DAMON Yankees LF||I have no idea||Playing the guitar||Waxing||Alcohol||Not being able to move|
Inside the Grid
Arachnophobia is the cause of Hunter-Reay's recurringnightmare: a spider "rappelling from the ceiling," he says, "andonto my face while I sleep." As for Querrey's being afraid of an electricalshock: "It just seems like that would really hurt, and it would suck to diethat way."