Monday, June 27, 2016

2008 Kentucky Derby 134 Prospects

During last year’s Kentucky Derby, Street Sense got ahead and won at 2:02.17. The year before that, Barbaro won in 2:01.36. It is undetermined as to whether this year’s winner will be faster than 2:01.50.

Some experts say that Big Brown could win the Kentucky Derby this year. However, the unbeaten Florida Derby winner will have to contend with some others if he is to win the Run for the Roses. Winner of the Santa Anita Derby, California Colt Colonel John, had a solid practice on the track completing five furlongs in 57.80 seconds.

In the past, Pyro was a favorite among bettors until his disappointing 10th place finish in the Blue Grass at Keeneland. However, his earlier races imply that he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Gayego was the winner of the Arkansas Derby and was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith who also rode Giacomo to victory in 2005.

Eight Belles will be surrounded by 19 colts this year’s Derby. If she wins, she will join 3 other fillies that have accomplished this noteworthy achievement. The others were Regret in 1915, Genuine Risk in 1980 and Winning Colors in 1988.

Street Sense won last year lead by Calvin Borel. If he wins on Denis of Cork he’ll be the first jockey to win 2 consecutive Derbys since Eddie Delahoussaye in the early ’80s. Borel’s mount is currently at 12-1 odds. However, experts say that there are very few who can ride the rail like him.

Dallas Stewart trained Macho Again who won the Derby Trial. “I was encouraged to see Dallas’ horse come back and win the Derby Trial, which legitimizes the race somewhat,” said trainer Graham Motion, referring to the Dallas Stewart-trained Macho Again, who struggled on the Polytrack surface at Turfway in the Lane’s End. “But Adriano certainly couldn’t have won more comfortably.”

Because Adriano had previously run poorly in his only start on dirt at Gulfstream Park in the Fountain of Youth and had all of his success on turf, his trainer hesitated to commit to a Derby start directly after the Lane’s End. Motion said Adriano’s ninth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth could well have been a result of his colt’s prerace misbehavior in the paddock.

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2008 Holiday Barbie Collectable Doll: Gift Buying Guide

For 20 years, Mattel has been producing Holiday Collection Barbie Dolls. The gowns are absolutely beautiful and make a wonderful addition to any collection. These dolls are collected by children and adults alike. This doll is age ranged at 6 years and above.

This years Holiday Barbie is in a stunning voluminous silver and white tiered gown and chandelier earrings. She is available in Caucasian or African American. This doll is very shimmering and stylish, unlike other years where her gown is full and flowing, her gown is more detailed and slimmer. This doll is just as breathtaking as past years. This Barbie stands 13.5″ tall.

If you were to shop on line at www.walmart.com, you would find that they have this doll available on line and in store. They sell this doll for $39.97 and features 97 cent shipping charges. This doll also can be sent to you by site to store for local pick up for free. She is available in both Caucasian and African American.

At www.target.com, the doll is priced at $39.99, and she also is available in Caucasian or in African American. They also have available at Target.com, the 2007 Holiday Barbie, priced at $39.99 also. It is available to ship within 24 hours, and can be found in the Target stores.

At www.amazon.com, you will find that the 2008 Holiday Barbie Doll is available for $39.97, and is also available in Caucasian or in African American. This doll although it is over $25, does not feature free super saver shipping. However, you can choose to purchase not only this years Holiday Barbie, but for other years as well. You can also find here at amazon.com, the following years. Available years include 2007, for $16.95, and is wearing a flowing full gown in red with white trim and matching snow flake necklace and earrings. She stands at 13″ tall. The 2006 Holiday Barbie is also available. Also available from Amazon.com and from other partners selling on their site, 1989, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2005. Also available on Amazon.com is the 2000 Millenium Edition Barbie.

If you were to search at www.toysrus.com, you would also find the 2008 Holiday Barbie Doll in both Caucasian and in African American. These dolls are priced at $44.99. Although they are a little more expensive, they offer free shipping with this doll, making it cost about the same as the other sites, with exception of Walmart’s site to store pick up. At this site, I did not see any gift wrapping options for this item.

If you are an avid collector, or want to collect other dolls in this series, you can also search on other sites such as www.ebay.com, www.overstock.com, and any other auction site. Other good places to look for back years of this series is at flee markets and trade fairs.

Cited:

www.walmart.com

www.target.com

www.amazon.com

www.toysrus.com

Tags:2008 Holiday Barbie Collectable Doll: Gift Buying Guide

2008 Holiday Shopping Tips: 5 Ways to Save a Bundle

Christmas usually seems to creep up on us each year. However, this year it really has. The sales at an all time low, stores have set up their displays, and started their Holiday specials earlier then ever before. So when, and where should we do our holiday shopping in order to get the best deals? This guide will help you get started on filling them Holiday wish list, without breaking the bank.

BLACK FRIDAY

Black Friday is the first Friday following Thanksgiving. There are some great deals to be found on Black Friday, if you know what you are doing. First thing you should do is find a “Black Friday” website that you like. Sites such as www.blackfriday.info are great for keeping the public informed on upcoming deals. Ads start to appear on these sites months before you’ll find them in the paper. The next thing you must do is get your local paper on Thanksgiving Day, and search the sales. This allows you time to check to see if any stores added more to their ad, and look at photo’s of the items. Once you know what deals you want to grab, make a map of your area, and plan out your day. Keep in mind that door busters, and “while supplies last” usually go first. Do not think your going to sleep in on Black Friday, and still find everything you want on sale. Plan to be at your first store a half hour before their doors open. This will allow you time if you run late, and if not you’ll have a great place in line. Once your inside, don’t waste time. Grab the deals you came for, scout quickly for unadvertised deals, and get out of there. Wasting to much time at one store, will cost you a bargain at the next.

CYBER MONDAY

Cyber Monday takes place the first Monday following Thanksgiving. There are some awesome deals online, but be very careful. Before making a purchase check S&H prices, return policies, and the security of the site. You don’t want to type in your credit card number if the site is not secure.

DOOR BUSTERS AND ONE DAY ONLY SALES

This trick works time and time again. You offer an item for $9.99 that usually sells for $49.99 and the next thing you know your store is packed. The reason for this is companies know that there is a 90% chance that a customer will buy more then just the “door buster”. You can find some wonderful gifts by shopping for door busters, and one day only sales. Just tell yourself “I’m only buying this item”, get it, and leave.

OUTLET STORES

Outlet and Closeout stores such as Biglots, are great places to find bargains. You can’t expect to find the years hottest toys there, but you can find plenty of other items. Just use care so that you don’t overspend. Know who you need to buy for, and what you plan on spending before you get there.

PRE-OWNED

Buying used items to give as gifts might not appeal to all of us. However, with some items used, is acceptable. Lets say you have a teenager who wants an electric guitar. What if you could buy a like new electric guitar, and amp for just a small percentage of a new one. It’s time to lose your pride, and check out your local Pawn Shop. You can also find great pre-owned deals via the web on sites such as www.ebay.com , and www.craigslist.com .

There are plenty of ways to make the Holidays affordable. However, it does take effort, and time to do so. In the end it is all worth it, and you’ll be proud of yourself. Have a Happy Holiday everyone.

Tags:2008 Holiday Shopping Tips: 5 Ways to Save a Bundle

2008 NBA Draft Preview: Chase Budinger

Chase Budinger was a standout at the University of Arizona. In order to survive in the NBA though Chase Budinger may have to become more a marksman from the outside, if he can do other things on the pro level that would be great as well. In order to successfully drive to the basket he will need to spend some time in the weight room to adapt to the more physical style of the NBA. He has proven he can play for long stretches without getting much of a rest under former interim coach Kevin O’Neill.

The question for Chase Budinger is what need does he fill for an NBA team? He could turn into a Don McLean type journeymen as a worse case scenario. There is no question the guy can put the ball in the hole, but is he going to be on the right type of team that can maximize his ability.

Some people have a tendency to forget that Budinger was a Co-MVP of the Mcdonald’s All-American Game with former Texas Longhorn and current Seattle Supersonics forward Kevin Durant. The Arizona Wildcats do have a history of producing quality swingmen such as Michael Dickerson (despite premature retirement due to injury) and Andre Iguodala just to name two of many so Chase Budinger could be the next in this line.

Right now most draft boards have Chase Budinger going in the middle of the first round. MyNBADraft.net has him going number thirteen to the Portland Trail Blazers. That would be interesting given the fact that the Blazers already have people like Travis Outlaw and Martell Webster competing for playing time. I’m sure with a young, developing team like Portland Budinger would be able to find a role as he would be helping build a solid nucleus with the likes of Greg Oden as noted by J.A. Adande. and of course Brandon Roy. With a big man like Oden looking to become a major force in the paint you need quality perimeter shooters like a Chase Budinger. So maybe Portland would be a good fit

Sources:

http://ift.tt/1hSFd6F

J.A. Adande “Oden follows in footsteps of misfortune in Portland.” ESPN.com

http://ift.tt/29azMWQ

Tags:2008 NBA Draft Preview: Chase Budinger

2008 NBA Draft: Nicolas Batum Scouting Report

Nicolas Batum has been a highly touted NBA prospect for years, even though he is just 19. This is his first year of eligibility out of France, but scouts have had their eye on him since he was 15 or 16 and they like what they see. He is very long with a wingspan of about 7 feet.

The wingspan gives him great shot blocking ability and a knack of deflecting passes, which will come in handy as a NBA small forward. He can play shooting guard, but small forward is his more natural position. Nicolas Batum might have some trouble guarding NBA shooting guards because they are quicker than he is. He needs to bulk up, but he’s only 19 so he has time to do that. He runs well and has great leaping ability. He should develop into a great finisher on the break. He’s got great playmaking abilities for a small forward.

He’s not going to post anyone up. He is inconsistent from behind the arc, but he can hit it out their on occasion and has the ability to shoot a high percentage in the NBA in the near future. Offensively, Nicolas Batum has a lot to work on. He needs to get quicker, work on his mechanics, and improve his shooting touch. He’s not the most fundamentally sound player, but a good coach can straighten that out. His athletism and length have scouts drooling over his potential, but he has to work on the consistency.

Toronto could take a chance on Nicolas Batum at #17, if they feel he is the best player left. They have a history of going international with their picks. I think that’s the earliest he’d go. Teams like New Jersey and Orlando at #21 and #22 will give him a good look if he’s still there. He won’t slip past Houston at #25. Teams drafting him know they are drafting for the future, but that he could give them a bright one. He frustrates with inconsistency, but captivates with athleticism and skill.

SF/SG Nicolas Batum
6-8 195
France
19 years old

Best case: Joe Johnson

Worst case: Thabo Sefolosha

Tags:2008 NBA Draft: Nicolas Batum Scouting Report

2008 NBA Draft: Ryan Anderson Scouting Report

Ryan Anderson can play both forward positions but his lack of true position hurts his status. He’s not big or strong enough at 6-9 230 to play power forward full time, but not nearly quick enough to play on the wings as a small forward full time. He might not have a position, but he is a basketball player. He has a terrific feel for the game and great fundamentals.

Ryan Anderson should be a good rebounder on the next level even though he’s not big. He’s a great passer for a big man. He can shoot really well and is deadly from the mid range area facing the basket. He’s not great with his back to the basket, turning around and shooting the jumper, but he can improve. He’s not a great natural athlete. He should be able to score fairly well in the NBA. Even though he is just 6-9, he has a Dirk Nowitski esque release point so his lack of height won’t hurt his shot.

He shot the ball very well from the college 3, but might not be a great 3 point shooter in the NBA. He’ll probably shoot the three at about a 30-33% clip which you’ll take out of a power forward. His lack of athletism not only hurt him in the post, but on defense. Ryan Anderson will be easily posted up and easily blown by. He could drive off the dribble well in college, but that might not translate to the NBA. He’s very consistent, but he’s lack of athletism and natural position should make him a second rounder.

However, plenty of teams in the early to mid first round could take a chance on Ryan Anderson because he can stretch the defense and create mismatches against some forwards, especially if he bulks up a little, without taking away from his mobility and agility in the post. Remember, he is still very young and has time to become a better athlete, but it might not happen.

F Ryan Anderson
California
6-9 230
Soph

Best case: Shorter Troy Murphy

Worst case: Austin Croshere

Tags:2008 NBA Draft: Ryan Anderson Scouting Report

2008 NBA MVP Contenders

The Most Valuable Player award was created to honor the first commissioner of the NBA, Maurice Podoloff, and was first awarded in 1956. Each year it is given at the end of the regular season to the player who played a major impact on the success of their team. There are several subjective factors, like the team’s record or the player’s statistics; the voters may take into consideration before they make their decision. As a result, this award has created controversy during the past 50 years between the fans and media members. One interesting fact is since the 1982-1983 season, only players from teams with more than 50 or more wins have won the MVP.

There are several players who have continued their stellar play since the beginning of the season and have earned consideration for the award. If the season ended today, here is a list of those who will be involved with the voting, along with the results.

1) Lebron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) – James is the current NBA scoring leader, with 30.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game thus far in the season. This despite the fact James missed eight games earlier in the season with an injury. What has made James’ season even more impressive is being able to duplicate the same level of production on the home court while they are on the road. The concern before with the Cavaliers was the lack of any real additional support. This changed at trade time when the Cavaliers picked up Ben Wallace and Wally Szczerbiak. Wallace brings a solid defense presence to the team despite the wear and tear on his body, while Wally gives James someone to kick the ball out to for the open shot. With the stranglehold the Pistons have on the division lead, the Cavs are attempting to position themselves for the playoff run and James will be the key to their success. If James continues his strong MVP performance into the playoffs, the Cavaliers will have a chance to reach the Finals. Regardless, James has earned strong consideration for the MVP and will be looking to earn the first award of many that he will receive in his career.

2) Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) – The Los Angeles Lakers are ‘the pick’ for many insiders when it comes to deciding which team will make it out of the competitive Western Conference. At the All-Star game, the talk of the league was the injury to Kobe’s finger. When he made the decision not to have surgery, which would sideline him for at least six weeks, many felt he would be jeopardizing his play on the court. Kobe responded by maintaining his 28 points per game average since the beginning of February. The addition of Paul Gasol has appeared to help fuel Kobe’s intensity on the court. The Lakers have overtaken the Phoenix Suns for the division lead and have built a 3 game cushion in the loss column. Surprisingly, Kobe has not won the MVP award in his career yet, making him the sentimental choice for the award this year.

3) Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic) This was my pre season selection for the MVP award and though he is not the favorite now, Howard will still earns consideration. Currently Howard is averaging 21.7 points, 2.4 blocks, and 14.5 rebounds per game, which leads the NBA. His dominant performance down low is reminding fans in Orlando of Shaq, who helped them reach the NBA finals back in the day. At this point in the season, Howard has already recorded 6 20-20 games. With the Orlando Magic are sitting atop of the Southeast Division with a nine game lead on the next closest team. The Magic should earn the fourth seed spot in the playoffs as they make a run at the Eastern Conference title. Throughout the entire season, Howard is running under the radar this year. Because of this, Howard will be a long shot to win the award despite his dominant performance and the impact he has on the team.

4) Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) – Dirk’s image as a superstar has increased this season as he has become the ultimate team player this year. Now he is willing to give up shots for the betterment of the team. Along with the 23.7 points per game, Dirk is averaging four assists per game, which is currently a career high. Dirk has shown a statistical improvement since the All-Star break, despite the one drawback of his season. Dirk is shooting 33.7% three point percentage, which is the lowest it has been since his rookie season. The trade for Jason Kidd will help Dirk’s number to improve all around during the remainder of the season and make a strong push for the award. The Mavericks are 3.5 games behind the Spurs for the division lead and will have serious competition with the Suns and the Hornets. If Dirk is able to carry the Mavericks on his back and win the division, he should receive serious consideration for the MVP.

5) Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns) – What else can be said about Nash, who career was taken to new heights when he arrived in Phoenix several seasons ago. Nash has improved upon his game this season with the addition of delivering scoring chances when needed. Nash is already averaging a career high 11.7 assists per game. Nash may not be in the running for the MVP award because the Suns may find themselves sitting at home during the playoffs. The trade that brought Shaq to the Suns in February has cost the team chemistry and their division lead. Sitting three games behind the Lakers, the Suns need to focus on winning again and keep pace if they want to reach the playoffs. If the Suns fall out of playoff contention, it is doubtful Nash will receive many votes for the MVP. The last twenty games of the season will be crucial for Nash if he is to have a chance of winning his third MVP award.

Tags:2008 NBA MVP Contenders

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