The horses at the Woodbine Racetrack backstretch will continue to be cared for throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.Woodbine Entertainment announced on Tuesday that it remains committed to stabling horses on its backstretch, even though the start date for the 2020 thoroughbred racing season has been postponed.
“These horses need a home and our land and facilities were created exactly for the purpose of caring for these animals,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment.“Furthermore, horse people have requested that we keep our backstretch open and we have only done so in accordance with the government deeming stabling an essential business. We have also followed strict government direction to minimize the risk in the spread of COVID-19.”
The Woodbine season was supposed to begin on April 18. No new start date has been announced. To date, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Woodbine backstretch.
Santa Anita will remain closed for racing, at least through the upcoming weekend, as a result of last week’s order by the Los Angeles County Health Department, according to a track press release Tuesday. The $1 million Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks, the track’s premier races for 3-year-old colts and fillies, were scheduled for Saturday but will be rescheduled once racing resumes. …
Maple Leafs captain John Tavares has been trying to keep himself occupied at his Toronto home with the National Hockey League season on pause in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s one part of his life that takes precedence.
“I’m just really enjoying spending time with my son,” Tavares said on Monday during a video conference call organized by the NHL. “When you’re travelling through the season, you’re in and out so quickly, you don’t get to experience that consistency.
“Just having that time to be around on a daily basis and be able to help out and spend time with them has been fantastic.”
Tavares and his wife, Aryne, became parents last September with the birth of their son Jace.
During the call — which included fellow Atlantic Division players Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Brady Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators — Tavares made it clear he’s not taking the time off from the game for granted.
“With the uncertainty, it’s a good time to disconnect and relax and slowly build yourself back up, as hopefully some positivity comes around the corner,” Tavares said. “The first couple of days I just tried to get an understanding of where things are at and what has hit us. Since then, (you) try to develop some type of structure to create some normalcy.”
No one has a true idea of when we’re going to see professional athletes back on the job, never mind those in the NHL, but that wasn’t at the forefront for the players on the call.
For Tavares, it was about recognizing those he knows in New York from his days as an Islander, as well as Leafs fans.
That the Leafs were inching their way toward clinching a playoff berth when the NHL went on pause doesn’t matter a heck of a lot now.
“I know a few people who are right in the fire of it, and seeing how it’s spreading and really making the impact that it is in New York, I really hope everyone there is staying safe and following the health recommendations,” Tavares said. “Whether it’s former teammates, staff and people I know very well, the fans down there, people I interacted with there, I wish all the best to them and hope it can get better.
“In Toronto, we certainly miss playing in front of our fans and going to Scotiabank Arena and competing to play in the playoffs and the opportunity that we had in front of us.
“It’s a really special thing to be a Maple Leaf, and we never take that for granted and miss it. People have been really good in my area understanding (to follow the advice of local authorities and health professionals), we’re all here supporting each other, helping each other to do the best we can to get this back to normal as quickly as possible and (to) help everyone on the front line who are making a lot of sacrifices to keep everyone safe.”
There was some levity during the call. Chara got a laugh when he said that Tuukka Rask would be the teammate he would least want to be quarantined with because of Rask’s flatulence issues.
If he had to pick a teammate to be in quarantine with, Tavares said it would be Mitch Marner or Justin Holl.
“The type of energy they bring around the locker room, how much fun they have every day is something anyone would enjoy,” Tavares said. “Two guys who are a lot of fun to be around.”
Who among teammates is Tavares glad he is not in quarantine with?
“Good question … can’t think of anyone right off the top of my head,” Tavares said.
Among the way the Leafs are keeping in touch with each other is via group chat.
“We can’t leave each other too long without giving it to one another,” Tavares said. “You miss being around the guys.”
Unlike many, Tavares hasn’t been glued to Netflix to watch the documentary Tiger King, though his wife has been watching it and the small bits Tavares has seen are “pretty mind-boggling.”
If Tavares could have one album to listen to during the time at home?
“I like a lot of 90s stuff, so whether it would be Dave Matthews Band or Goo Goo Dolls or U2, something like that,” Tavares said.
Jayson Tatum admitted to something not many others will. The 22-year-old Tatum, who took his game to another level en route to earning the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February, explained how he became obsessed with becoming an NBA All-Star entering the 2019-20 season. Tatum, who earned his first All-Star selection Jan.…
Jayson Tatum admitted to something not many others will. The 22-year-old Tatum, who took his game to another level en route to earning the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February, explained how he became obsessed with becoming an NBA All-Star entering the 2019-20 season.
Tatum, who earned his first All-Star selection Jan. 30, opened up about the situation on John Goodman’s “Good ‘N Plenty” podcast Monday. “It was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders when I found out,” Tatum told Goodman. “And kind of ever since then I’ve just played a lot more relaxed and a lot more free, and I think that had a lot to do with it.” Tatum followed it up by averaging 30.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocked shots during February. It was a world of difference from his mindset prior. “Early in the season, I put so much pressure on myself mentally,” Tatum said. “Obviously, I wanted to win. I wanted us to be a really good team, but I also thought about making the All-Star Game every day.
“Every time I had a bad game I remember I would text (shooting coach) Drew (Hanlen) and I’d be like, ‘Drew, I don’t think I’m gonna make it anymore’ and he’d be like, ‘Bro, relax,’” Tatum continued. “And then I would have a good game and I’d be like, ‘Bro, I think I’m gonna make it.’” Tatum added that the death of Kobe Bryant in late January, around the same time he learned he was an NBA All-Star, also played a role in his incredible stretch. “It was kind of intertwined,” Tatum said. “All those things happened at the same time.”
We’re in the midst of unprecedented times. So, with the NBA doing everything it can to try to salvage its season, while still attempting to do so with a sense of normalcy, the league could look to a familiar location. CNBC’s Jabari Young reported last week the league could venture to Las Vegas and thus accomplish both.…
NBA Rumors: Las Vegas Has Emerged As ‘Best Location’ If League Returns — NESN.com We’re in the midst of unprecedented times. So, with the NBA doing everything it can to try to salvage its season, while still attempting to do so with a sense of normalcy, the league could look to a familiar location. CNBC’s Jabari Young reported the league could venture to Las Vegas and thus accomplish both. “According to NBA executives and agents who discussed the matter with CNBC on condition of anonymity, the league remains focused on a return after suspending operations following Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. Las Vegas has emerged as the best location to resume the season, according to league executives,” Young wrote Thursday. Why Las Vegas? The NBA has held summer league tournaments on the campus of UNLV. Over the past two years, all 30 NBA teams have participated, which depicts how organizations have found ways to play at one central, and determined, location. CNBC added how the decision could help the NBA “retain some of its revenue domestically and perhaps in China,” which The Washington Post reported could cost the league $1 billion. An NBA spokesperson told CNBC the league has “considered many scenarios,” but it is not close to unveiling a plan yet. NBA commissioner Adam Silver had previously said he’s ‘optimistic,’ but added that he didn’t have a good sense for how long it could be.
While the NHL was put on hold, Zdeno Chara celebrated his 43rd birthday.
Well, celebrated might be too strong a word.
Chara, whose birthday fell on March 18, was supposed to be in Anaheim for a game against the Ducks. Instead, he spent the day in his car completing a 20-plus hour drive from Boston to his off-season home in Florida with his wife and three kids.
“Strange times,” said Chara, who joked during an online conference call with three other Atlantic Division captains on Monday that it could have been worse. At least Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and notoriously gassy stomach wasn’t also on the road trip.
“The way he farts,” said Chara, “the smell is awful.”
That joke got a big laugh out of Toronto’s John Tavares, Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk and Detroit’s Dylan Larkin. But for most of the call, Chara was somber, if not serious, about how things have changed because of the coronavirus.
The severity of COVID-19 has halted the NHL’s regular season and crippled life as we know it. Normally, Chara might have gone out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. This time, he wisely kept it more low key.
“You reach a certain age,” he said, “and you try to hide it.”
That Chara would seek refuge down south made sense for a number of reasons. For one, it’s a lot warmer in Florida than it is in Boston. Chara said he has a pool where he can stay in shape swimming laps and plenty of room outside for him and his kids to run around and play.