NFLX, MLB Diamond Dust, Travers Stake, Barclays + Free Plays for Saturday, August 25, 2012

Around the horn in the NFLX

Last night in NFL preseason action, there were six games on the Week III “Go” night schedule, the dog and the under both going 4-2.

Eagles rookie Nick Foles had his second big game in a week leading Philadelphia to a 17-3 halftime lead in a 27-10 win at Cleveland. Foles was 12-19 for 146 yards and two scores. Trent Edwards was 14-17 for 127 yards and a score in mop up. These teams meet again in two weeks in both teams respective openers so this one was as vanilla as it gets. The Falcons spanked the Dolphins 23-6 in Miami, the Dirty Birds enjoying a 126 yard edge in total offense and 13 extra minutes TOP in the win. Tampa Bay rolled out to a 20-7 halftime line lead over New England before hanging on 30-28. Tom Brady was a lackluster 13-20 for 127 a score and a pick. He also lost a fumble on a sack. Eli Manning left the Giants with a 17-7 halftime lead over the Bears but Jason Campbell rallied Chicago back in the second half with a 20-17 win. Matt Forte had 39 yards on ten carries. Seattle is 3-0 in the preseason after a 44-14 beat down of the Chiefs in Kansas City. Rookie Russell Wilson made a big statement with a 13-18 185 yard and two score night. He also rushed twice for 58 yards. San Diego used four FGs to beat Minnesota 12-10 in the Metrodome, the Vikings the victim of four turnovers.

In tonight’s NFLX action ….. the No/1 and No.2 picks in this year’s NFL draft go at it as Andrew Luck and the Colts invade Washington to take on RG III and the Washington Redskins. The Skins are favored by three and the hook, the over/under has been all over the place before settling on 42 1/2. There is a 40% chance of rain at kickoff. The Bills opened as one-point favorites over Pittsburg but the Steelers are now -2.5 and headed North. The total is a 40-and-a-half. Detroit is favored by three at Oakland, the high/low set at 43. Weather will be near perfect in Oakland. In a possible Super Bowl preview, Houston travels to New Orleans to face the Saints. The Whodats are favored by a FG, the total is down a half tick to 44. In the 8:00 PM EST finale, the Rams travel to Big D to meet the Cowboys. The Pokes are -5.5 with the total 41. Rain may force Dallas to close the roof at Cowboys Stadium.

MLB Diamond Dust

You could make a pretty good argument that nobody is hotter than the Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre. Two nights after hitting three homers in a game against Baltimore, Beltre hit for the cycle in the Rangers 8-0 win over Minnesota. Over the past four games, Beltre is 12 of 18 with five homers, three doubles and a triple. Matt Harrison pitched eight innings of two-hit shutout ball to get his 15th win. Ironically, Beltre had hit for the cycle once before, in 2008 at Rangers Ballpark as a Seattle Mariner, getting three of his hits against Harrison.

The Red Sox and the Dodgers are reportedly in talks on a blockbuster trade that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and Carl Crawford to Los Angeles. In return, the BoSox wouuld get James Loney and four prospects. This is clearly a money dump by Boston who is 68-86 since Aug. 31 of last year. Gonzalez, Beckett, and Crawford have a combined $250 million in salary due. SP3 will keep you posted on the story.

The Travers Stake, Bodemeister and Hanson retired

The summer Super Bowl for thoroughbred racing’s three-year-old colts takes place today with the 143rd running of the Travers Stake at Saratoga. Alpha is the 5/2 morning line favorite with Neck n’ Neck and Street Life also getting serious consideration. Two of the key players in the spring’s Triple Crown season were retired due to injury this week. Front running speedball Bodemeister, second in the Derby and in the Preakness, was retired due to a shoulder injury. 2011 two-year-old Breeders Cup champ Hanson has been retired because of a tendon injury to his left forelock.

PP Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Morning Line Odds

1 Speightscity 126 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Gary Contessa 30-1
2 Five Sixteen 126 Rosie Napravnik Dominick Schettino 15-1
3 Golden Ticket 126 David Cohen Kenny McPeek 20-1
4 Stealcase 126 Shaun Bridgmohan Mark Casse 15-1
5 Street Life 126 Jose Lezcano Chad Brown 5-1
6 Alpha 126 Ramon Dominguez Kiaran McLaughlin 5-2
7 Atigun 126 Mike Smith Kenny McPeek 12-1
8 Neck ‘n Neck 126 Leandro Goncalves Ian Wilkes 9-2
9 Liaison 126 Rafael Bejarano Bob Baffert 8-1
10 Nonios 126 John Velazquez Jerry Hollendorfer 4-1
11 Fast Falcon 126 Junior Alvarado Nick Zito 20-1

Brian Blessing of Bookmaker analyzes the 143rd Travers Stake

Garcia and Watney lead after 36 at The Barclay

Sergio Garcia and Nick Watney are tied for the lead after 36 holes at The Barclay being played on the famous Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, Long Island. Garcia and Watney are both eight-under, one shot better than Vijay Singh and Bob Estes. Tiger Woods is looming large heading into the weekend just three back. Tournament co-favorite Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson both made the cut at even par, eight shots back. Twenty-six golfers are within five shots of the lead, 75 golfers survived the +1 cut.

Rain gives Mears the pole at Bristol

Rain washed out qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Irwin Tools Night Race so the leaders at practice, Casey Mears and Brad Keselowski, will start from the front row. Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Aric Amirola, Jeff Burton, Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin, Marcos Ambrose, and Kyle Busch round out the top ten. Greg Biffle leads The Chase standings by 20 points over Matt Kenseth and 22 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr. There are just three races left until The Chase with the top 12 point getters qualifying.

The favorites for tonight’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol at Bovada

Kyle Busch #18: 15/4
Brad Keselowski #2: 11/2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88: 10/1
Denny Hamlin #11: 10/1
Greg Biffle #16: 10/1
Matt Kenseth #17: 10/1
Jeff Gordon #24: 12/1
Jimmie Johnson #48: 12/1
Kasey Kahne #5: 12/1

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