six-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds.The $300,000 Gallant Bob was the third stakes win of the year for Noholding

in BullyGeister 06.01.2019 08:45
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CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson returned to work this week, eager to finish on a lot more upbeat note than it did last year.The Tigers won the Atlantic Coast Conference title, rose to No. 1 in the country in starting 14-0. But they fell to national champion Alabama 45-40 in the title game, leaving a sour aftertaste to one of the programs best seasons.Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said that has fueled his team ever since it returned to campus as Arizona runner-ups last January.Theyve had a sense of urgency from day one that has not changed, Swinney said. It has not changed from anything weve done. Ive never had to say, `Hey, lets go. When I walk into meetings, theyre ready.The Tigers start with an experienced offense filled with playmakers, beginning with quarterback Deshaun Watson, who became the first Football Bowl Subdivision player to throw for more than 4,000 yards and rush for more than 1,000 yards.The 6-foot-2, 216-pound junior was third in last years Heisman Trophy race, but is already a favorite to capture this years award.Watson has said as long as he graduates -- on track to do that in December -- and helps Clemson achieve its goals, he will likely fulfill his life-long dream and jump to the NFL.All that, Watson said, is for later. Now, hes fully focused on leading the Tigers on another successful college football run.Im very excited with the skill guys and the all the weapons we have on this team, Watson said.The Tigers look like an offensive juggernaut rarely seen in the college game. Besides Watson, Clemson returns tailback Wayne Gallman and tight end Jordan Leggett -- both who took good looks at the NFL before choosing to come back.Gallman set Clemsons single-season rushing mark with 1,527 yards. Leggett had a career-best 40 catches for 525 yards and eight touchdowns.Also back is junior receiver Mike Williams, a 1,000-yard pass catcher who missed all but 15 minutes of the season when he injured his neck while crashing into a goalpost stanchion making a touchdown catch in Clemsons opening game.Williams said watching last year from the sidelines was difficult. But he used the time to better learn defensive schemes and work on the little things that can make a difference on the field.Im real hungry right now, Williams said.Watson and Williams showed what might be this season, the quarterback lofting a pitch-perfect pass into Williams arms for a touchdown during the session.For all the offensive optimism, Clemson has plenty of defensive questions. The Tigers lost eight starters, six who left early for the NFL draft including standouts in defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd and cornerback Mackensie Alexander.Sophomore defensive lineman Albert Huggins said the Tigers have brought in top-level talent on defense the last several years and gave young guys enough opportunities for them to be ready when called to play.Look at linemen Christian Wilkins and Austin Bryant, two sophomore who played key roles in last years run to the College Football Playoffs. Bryant filled in for an injured Lawson early on in the CFP semifinals win over Oklahoma and held tough throughout.We have to replace those key guys and starters, but we have competitive depth, Wilkins said. Its next man up.And next season up for the Tigers.If there was any lingering hangovers, positive or negative, after last season, Clemson addressed that on the scoreboard at the indoor practice facility as practice began. 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BENSALEM, Pa. -- Noholdingback Bear ran into traffic entering the far turn of the Grade 3 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing on Saturday, but jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva kept cool, regrouped, and then rallied in the stretch to score by 1-1/4 lengths in the six-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds.The $300,000 Gallant Bob was the third stakes win of the year for Noholdingback Bear, who will now be pointed to the $1.5 million Breeders Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5, according to his Woodbine-based trainer, Michael DePaulo.Noholdingback Bear is owned by the Bear Stables of Danny Dion, who was thrilled in the winners circle after the race, congratulating Da Silva, appropriately, with a bear hug.When the gates opened for the $300,000 Gallant Bob, Threefiveindia stumbled badly but quickly recovered as Awesome Speed and Navy Hymn went for the early lead. Noholdingback Bear settled just off the top pair.Things tightened for Noholdingback Bear entering the far turn, and Da Silva eased him back. He moved up between horses on the turn, then took the lead in mid-stretch and drew off to win by 1-1/4 lengths while only feeling Da Silvas whip late.We got squeezed back a little, but it wasnt that bad, Da Silva said. My horse was very relaxed and I just waited for the stretch. I always had a lot of horse.Noholdingback Bear paid $8.20 to win as a slight favorite over Threefiveindia, who, after his stumble, took up a stalking position along the inner rail and then finished third, beaten a half-length for second by late-running Mind Your Biscuits. Awesome Speed was fourth.Noholdingback Bear was timed in 1:09.61. The fractions were 22.14 and 45.29.Noholdingback Bear raced at Gullfstream Park early this year, finishing second in the Grade 3 Hutcheson, fourth in the Grade 2 Swale, and second in the Texas Glitter.dddddddddddd.I think the difference is now hes a better, stronger horse, DePaulo said.Noholdingback Bear came into the Gallant Bob off a third-place finish in the seven-furlong Kings Bishop at Saratoga.Seven-eighths may be a little far for him, DePaulo said.The Breeders Cup Sprint, like the Gallant Bob, will be run at six furlongs.Alphabet Soup: Grannys Kitten by a neckJockey Florent Geroux, aboard Grannys Kitten, cut the corner into the stretch of the Alphabet Soup Handicap at Parx Racing on Saturday, then outfought determined pacesetter Ill Call to win the $100,000 turf stakes for Pennsylvania-breds by a neck.Sent off favored in the 10-horse field, Grannys Kitten paid $4.80 and was timed in 1:43.21 for 1-1/16 miles. The Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey-owned 4-year-old is now 4 for 14 in his career. He is trained by Mike Maker.Ill Call set a steady pace of 24.27, 48.94, and 1:12.75 while being stalked by 7-2 Uncle Dave. Ill Call fought back when the winner came up inside of him entering the stretch and was still trying hard at the finish. Uncle Dave finished third, 2-1/4 lengths behind Ill Call. It was another two lengths back to 9-2 Edge of Reality in fourth.The Alphabet Soup was the first stakes win for Grannys Kitten, who in his prior three starts had finished third in the Robellino Stakes at Penn National, second in the Leemat at Presque Isle, and second in the Mystic Lake Mile at Canterbury Park. 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