By Bryan Jeon
Big Brown Wins Preakness
Big Brown easily won the Preakness by 5 1/4 lengths on Saturday, running away from the pack from the final turn. The colt, who is unbeaten in five starts, will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978. The last leg: the Belmont Stakes on June 7.
It’s been a 19-year drought, but put me down for at least $100 on Big Brown in three weeks. Hopefully, the odds won’t be as bad as it was in the Preakness, where Big Brown ended up having 1-5 odds. As of Monday, 5 horses entered in the Belmont have been in one of the previous two races.
Relive the Preakness here:
Top Women Abruptly Retire
The No. 1 women’s tennis player Justine Henin retired immediately last Wednesday, making way for Maria Sharapova‘s fourth time she has been ranked the top player. Henin, who at age 25 is winner of seven Grand Slam titles, is the first woman to retire while holding the No. 1 ranking.
Just one day later, 37-year-old Annika Sorenstam decided to call it quits at season’s end. Sorenstam has won 72 tournaments to date, third all-time, including three this year. The woman that Tiger Woods has called “the greatest female golfer of all time” won LPGA Tour player of the year a record eight times, including five straight seasons (something Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can’t even say he did, with his record six NBA MVPs).
How many times do you see athletes go out on top? Historically, this would be the first time in women’s tennis. And to retire at age 25, that’s the life. It’s crazy to hear Henin say she just doesn’t have it in her anymore when she’s the No. 1 player in the world. We’ve watched two of the best players ever in their sport, but I think we’ll pull through with No. 1 Lorena Ochoa virtually winning every weekend and the ever-so athletic build and audibility of Sharapova’s play.
NHL Playoffs – Stanley Cup Finals
Sidney Crosby reaches the Stanley Cup Finals in just his third season in the NHL, helping Pittsburgh back there for the first time since they completed back-to-back championships in 1992. Since then, the Detroit Red Wings have won three times and will make their fifth appearance in the Finals this year. You’ve got to watch hockey at its best, and this Finals will not disappoint.
Western Conference Finals
Last game: Detroit beat Dallas 4-1
Eastern Conference Finals
Last game: Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia 6-0
Pittsburgh won 4-1
Stanley Cup Finals
Game 1: Pittsburgh at Detroit Sat. at 5p PT on Versus
Candace Parker – the Real Deal
The number one overall draft pick Candace Parker absolutely tore up the court on Saturday, leading the L.A. Sparks to a 99-94 victory over the defending champion Phoenix Mercury in the season opener. Parker had 34 points, the most ever in a WNBA debut, to go with 12 rebounds and 8 assists. She wasn’t without help though, as Lisa Leslie, who missed last season on maternity leave, had a solid 17 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 blocks. Those two are going to be a force to reckon with, and they have got to be the early favorites for the championship. I caught some of the game, and I’m glad I did. Parker is a woman among girls, if you will, finishing just two assists shy of becoming the first WNBA rookie to record a triple-double.
Who said no one watches WNBA? With an attendance of 13,749, that’s far more than what the Indiana Pacers averaged this season, with a per-game attendance of 12,221. The Sparks have a whole week off and next play on Sunday against the Atlanta Dream at 12p PT.
A Look Ahead: Hatton Returns
Ricky Hatton returns to his hometown in Manchester, England to fight Juan Lazcano on Saturday. He is looking to rebound from the December knockout from Floyd Mayweather but did get one nice thing out of the defeat: he took home close to $40 million from the fight in Las Vegas. Catch Lazcano (37-4-1, 27 KO) v. Hatton (43-1, 31 KO) on Versus.