In the English Premier League, Jordan Ayew and his Aston Villa side continued their winless run as they were beaten at home by Watford.Jordan scored the second of Aston Villa’s two goals but his team were unable to match the three scored by the away side who left Villa Park with all three points.The Ghanaian played the full game for his side.Leicester City’s Jeffrey Schlupp came on as a second half substitute in their game against Manchester United at the King Pow Stadium.The Ghanaian and his home side drew 1-1 with the Red Devils as Jamie Vardy of Leicester set a new Premier League record by scoring in his last 11 consecutive league games.Christian Atsu missed AFC Bournemouth’s massive comeback game at home to Everton as the Ghanaian continues to recover from injury. Atsu’s side came from three goals down to draw 3-3 in their game against Everton.Abdul Baba Rahman dropped to the Chelsea bench for their Premier League visit to London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur. Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side played a goalless draw in the London derby.Andre Ayew and his Swansea City side were once again denied a win as the Welsh club’s struggle in the Premier League continues.The Ghanaian and his side traveled to Anfield where they were denied all three point by Liverpool via a James Milner spot kick. Ayew played the full game for Swansea City.In the English Championship, Albert Adomah played 63 as his Middlesbrough side won by two goals without reply against Huddersfield Town.In the Italian Serie A, Ghanaian midfielder Afriyie Acquah played the full game for his Torino side against Bologna. Acquah and his team won their home game by two goals to nil. Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu featured for his Udinese side in their away game against Chievo Verona. Udinese edged the home side to take all three points with a 3-2 victory. Badu who scored for his side last week played in the full duration of the five-goal thriller.Isaac Cofie played the full game for Carpi in their 2-1 victory away at Genoa.Kwadwo Asamoah missed another game for Italian Champions Juventus as the Ghanaian continues to struggle with injury this season.Wakaso Mubarak made an 81st minute appearance for his Las Palmas side in the Spanish La Liga against Deportivo La Coruna.The Black Stars midfielder and his team lost the game at home by two goals without reply.Inaki Williams played 68 minutes for Athletic Bilbao in their away game against Rayo Vallecano. Bilbao won the game by 3-0 via a hat trick by Aritz Aduriz. Thomas Teye Partey made his long awaited debut for Atletico Madrid in their Spanish La Liga game against Espanyol.The Ghanaian and Atletico Madrid won the game by 1-0 on home soil.In the French Ligue 1, Abdul Majeed Waris continues to serve his five-game ban as his FC Lorient side drew 1-1 with GFC Ajaccio.Adam Kwarasey was in goal for Portland Timbers in their MLS play-off game against FC Dallas. The Ghanaian goalkeeper conceded two goals in the 2-2 draw but his side progressed with a 5-3 aggregate score line. Harrison Afful played 77 minutes for Columbus Crew in the 1-0 away defeat to New York Red Bulls. The Ghanaian and his team progressed in the MLS play-offs with a 2-1 aggregate score line. Afful and his side set up a tie against Adam Kwarasey’s Portland Timbers.Ghanaian player Llyod Sam played the full game for New York Red Bulls.Ebenezer Assifuah played the full game for Sion in their home defeat against Thun in Switzerland.Michael Essien made his much awaited Panathinaikos debut in the game against Iraklis on Saturday. The Ghanaian midfielder played the full game as his side lost by a goal to nil. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports
The Nelson Neptunes are ready to use home pool advantage to defend their Kootenay Regional Title this weekend at the Nelson and District Aquatic Centre.The meet begins Saturday morning before concluding Sunday afternoon. The top swimmers in each event have an opportunity to represent the zone at the BC Provincial Summer Swim Association Championships August 17-20 in Kamloops.Teams from Castlegar, Trail, Grand Forks, Creston, Kimberley and Colville, Wash., are expected to attend the meet.
UNIQUE BELLA GLIDES TO 7 ½ LENGTH TRIUMPH IN GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA YNEZ STAKES AS SMITH & HOLLENDORFER TEAM FOR SEVEN FURLONG WIN IN 1:22.21
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2017)–Unique Bella demolished four rivals in taking Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita by 7 ½ lengths under Mike Smith. Assuming command three furlongs from home, Unique Bella’s only race from that point to the wire was with the clock, which stopped at 1:22.21 for seven furlongs. A rousing 10 ¼ length maiden winner in her second start on Nov. 26 at Del Mar, she provided trainer Jerry Hollendorfer with his second consecutive win in the Santa Ynez and she already has fans and media alike wondering if she could be as good as her 4-year-old stablemate, superstar filly Songbird.“I’m just blessed, that’s all I can say,” said Smith when asked if he thought Unique Bella might be as good as soon-to-be two time Eclipse Champion Songbird. “Now, it’s more reasonable to compare her (to Songbird). Again, she’s very, very talented but with room to grow. Hopefully with each step, she’ll get smarter about certain things.“When I saw everyone else send, I thought it was a good time to take a hold of her and see what happens. It didn’t seem to bother her. When we hit the far turn, it was like she was breathing different air. The decisions I make are quick, but you have to make it all seem casual…”Although she had been odds-on throughout the post parade, Unique Bella ended up going off at even money in the short field of 3-year-old fillies, as a massive amount of money to win came in on eventual third place finisher Shane’s Girlfriend. As a result, Unique Bella paid $4.00, $2.60 and $2.10.Owned by Don Alberto Stable, Unique Bella, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit, from the Unbridled’s Song mare Unrivaled Belle, is now two for three and with the winner’s share of $120,000, has earnings of $162,400.“Today, she showed that she’s brilliant,” said Hollendorfer. “We thought she’d jump out of there a little better. I thought she would be close to the lead. Mike used his judgement, got behind and then got to the outside, so it worked out well…We purposely waited this long with her and pointed towards this race. I don’t know if we’ve seen all there is to Unique Bella, but I’ll ask Mike.”Also trained by Hollendorfer and a 10-length maiden special weight winner in her second start on Dec. 18 at Los Alamitos, It Tiz Well made a good run through the lane to be second, 2 ½ lengths in front of Shane’s Girlfriend.Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, It Tiz Well was off at 12-1 and paid $5.80 and $2.60.Trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Flavien Prat, Shane’s Girlfriend was shortening up off a 13 ¼ length win in the one mile Grade III Delta Downs Princess Stakes on Nov. 19, but was never a threat to the winner today. Off at 4-5, she finished 2 ½ lengths in front of Princess Karen and paid $2.10 to show.Fractions on the race, which was run on a main track that had been upgraded to fast, were 22.33, 44.58 and 1:09.28.Santa Anita will open for a five-day week on Thursday with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.
TYLER BAZE, SHOW STEALER, SECOND: “I keep thinking that someone will hook up with Vale Dori and I’ll get the dream trip, but no one hooks up with her.“I let (Show Stealer) sneak up there a bit on Vale Dori down the backside. I didn’t want to leave her a whole lot to do, knowing how slow we were going. She ran a great race once again, though. One of these days, she can outrun the rest of them so . . . ” BOB BAFFERT, VALE DORI, WINNER: Asked if she is getting better: “She keeps beating the same group, so that’s good. She’s just steady and she’s right there. The gate thing, I think she’s very funny about her head. I think the gate guy might have touched her near her ear, and she will do that. You’ve got to be real careful with her.“I don’t know (if she backed out). She jumped up and tried to flip or something. I don’t know what it was. Something got her, but she will do that. She was a little fresh today. I missed some time with her during the rains, so she was coming in here a little bit fresher. We missed a lot of days when it was raining so we just took it easy with her. These races have been keeping her fit so I don’t have to do too much in between.“We’re definitely looking at the Santa Margarita (next, Grade I, $400,000, 1 1/8 miles on March 18). That’s the plan. Those South American horses, they love mud, they like wet tracks. It’s good to know, but she’s been a joy to train . . . She’s making money, we enjoy watching her run and she tries hard every time.” MIKE SMITH, VALE DORI, WINNER: “She got a little excited in the gate today. I’m not really sure what happened in the gate, something spooked her. She just reacted to it and almost went all the way over. It might have hurt us a little bit. She was aggravated for a good eighth of a mile before I talked her out of it. After that, she was well within herself.“She tends to look around a little bit down the lane. I stay really busy on her.“The horses sounded like they were right behind me but no one was! I was there, riding her harder than I probably have to. I swear it sounded like they were right behind me.“She’s just gotten good. There’s not a Songbird or Stellar Wind in there, so that certainly helps. But she’s climbing the ladder. At some point she’s going to deserve a chance at them.“If anyone had hooked up with her today, she would have sat off of them no doubt, just no speed today.” JOCKEY QUOTES TRAINER QUOTES NOTES: The winning owner is Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum.