THIS IS SHOWDOWN SATURDAY !!! I’ll Have Another Scratched, Pacquiao/Bradley + Free Plays for Saturday, June 9, 2012

Showdown Saturday: Celtics/Heat Game Seven, Kings/Devils Game Five, The Belmont Stakes, Euro 2012, Pacquiao/Bradley, Sharapova and a whole lot more

I’ll Have Another scratched from Belmont, retired from racing

I’ll Have Another will not become horse racing’s twelfth Triple Crown winner. Instead he’s become the 22nd horse to win the the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and not win the Belmont. He’s the third horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown and not race in the Belmont, the first since Bold Venture in 1936. I’ll Have Another galloped easily on Friday but in the coolout, heat and swelling was found in the right front leg. A vet was called, a scan was done, and tendinitis was the diagnosis, an injury that would require 3-6 months rest before training could resume. The horse was then retired.

The Belmont now appears to be a consensus three way race between Dullahan, Union Rags, and Paynter. FWIW, Dullahan would have been Sportsbetting3’s choice to win regardless of whether I’ll Have Another Ran or not. SP3 expects the strapping son of Even the Score to stalk the field and then roar down the middle of the track to win the 144th Belmont Stakes.

Boston at Miami, win or go home

It’s win or go home tonight in South Beach as the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat meet in tonight’s decisive Game Seven. The winner moves on to meet the Oklahoma City Thunder for the NBA championship. The Heat opened as eight point favorites with the total 179. Celtic money has dropped the impost to 7.5 and the total has dropped to 178. There is no secret to the key in this game, Boston has to score to win. The over is 8-3 in the Celtics 11 playoff wins and they scored 101, 93, 94 in their series wins, 79, 111 (OT), and 79 in their series losses. Rondo and Pierce are Game Seven’s key players, Pierce cannot go 4-18 from the field, and Rondo cannot commit seven turnovers.

Devils hope to repeat Game Four effort

The New Jersey Devils are loose and playing with house money heading into tonight’s elimination Game Five at the Prudential Center. Down 3-0 and looking to avoid getting swept, the Devils put together their best 60 minutes of the series beating the Kings 3-1 and putting Los Angeles champagne on hold for another 72 hours. New Jersey opened as a -115 favorite with the total 4 1/2. The Kings are now -110 with the over on the total -120. The series has been a tight checking and physical to this point with not a lot of shots on goal. Look for the play to be somewhat more wide open tonight with more scoring chances for both sides.

New Jersey coach Peter De Boer keeps an eye on things

Saturday features the Group of Death in Euro 2012

If you are even an occasional fan of soccer, you can’t help but be excited about this afternoon’s schedule as Euro 2012’s “Group of Death” takes center stage. The Netherlands takes on Denmark in the 12:00 Noon EST start while tournament favorite Germany takes on Portugal and Christiano Ronaldo at 2:45 PM EST. If you don’t follow soccer, this would be like putting the Packers, Steelers, Giants, and Ravens in a four-team round robin with two teams moving on. The Netherlands is a +125 full goal favorite over Denmark, the total is 2 1/2 with the under -135. In the second game, Germany is -205 with the Portuguese +155 on the takeback. The total is 2 1/2 with the under -130. In Friday’s Group A action, Poland and Greece played to a 1-1 draw. Russia throttled the Czech Republic in the second game. SP3 sponsors have all kinds of promotions going for Euro 2012. Take a look or you will simply be missing out.

Pacquiao vs Bradley tonight in Las Vegas

Lots of rounds over lots of tough fights over a lot of years may have finally taken its toll on energizer-bunny Manny Pacquiao. The eight-division world champion and the “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s did not look good in his last fight, a close majority decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez. Tonight, he takes on 28-0 Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Gardens in Las Vegas hoping to show that he still has something in the tank. Bradley steps way up in class here with his best wins coming against Lamont Peterson and the ancient Joel Casamayor. Pacquiao is a -450 favorite with Bradley +325 as the dog. The round prop is 9 1/2 with the over -260.

Free Plays

(NBA) Boston/Miami Over 178

(NHL) New Jersey even over LA Kings

(MLB) Pittsburg (MacDonald) -155 over Kansas City (Mazzaro)

(MLB) Los Angeles (Kershaw)/Seattle Under 6.5 -115