Indianapolis, Ind. — Indy 500 qualifying saw its first true “Bump Day” since 2011, today. The top of the speedway chart is the secondary story, with two cars — both driven by fan favorites — failing to make the field of thirty-three. Drivers James Hinchcliffe and Pippa Mann find themselves on the outside looking in, for different reasons. After rain twice halted qualifying earlier in the day, Hinch went out to try and make the field and experienced a major wobble in his car, forcing him to return to pit lane for repairs. But the gun that marks the end of qualifying would sound before his #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car could make another attempt. Asked about speculation that his team may still secure a spot for him in the 500 by “buying a ride” the Canadian driver indicated he would be open to the prospect — saying, “I’m here to race.” The most recent precedent for such a move in IndyCar is from 2011. Then, Michael Andretti’s Andretti Green Racing did the same for Bump Day victim, Ryan Hunter-Reay.For Pippa Mann, a part-time driver that competes only in the Indy 500 each year, missing “the show” was for an entirely different reason. At a tearful post-race press conference the 34-year-old British driver said her Dale Coyne Racing team worked late into the night last night, but simply could not find the speed for her car.As for the fastest cars of the day, three-time winner Helio Castroneves put together the fastest four-lap average early in the session, at 228.919 miles per hour. Indianapolis native, Ed Carpenter, was second-quickest at 228.692 mph, and Frenchman Simon Pagenaud was third fastest at 228.304 mph. The top nine qualifiers today are locked into starting in the first three rows, but will now compete in a single-attempt shootout on Sunday for their starting order. The rest of that top nine are: Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais, Spencer Pigot, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, and former IndyCar star Danica Patrick — who’ll be making her first Indy 500 appearance since 2011.The rest of the field (positions 10-33) are also guaranteed to start somewhere in rows four through eleven, and will likewise compete again Sunday to determine their position on the grid.Qualifying resumes Sunday at 2:45 p.m. at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 102nd running of The Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 27th on Country 103.9, WRBI.
Paul Deegan believes star mare Midnight Soprano could take her game to another level this season ahead of her return to action in the Cork Racecourse Mallow Noblesse Stakes. The six-year-old won five races, including two Listed prizes, during a superb 2012 campaign and looks to have a fine opportunity to open her Pattern-race account in this mile-and-a-half Group Three. From what he has seen at home, Deegan thinks there are signs Midnight Soprano is in better shape than she has ever been. “It’s a good Group Three but she won’t mind the ground and gets the trip well. She’s fit and she’s well and I’m looking forward to getting her started. She has been an absolute star for us over the past few seasons, a beautiful natured mare and a pleasure to have in the yard,” said the trainer. “She has done better over the past winter than any before, and has really strengthened this time around. Hopefully it brings about another bit of improvement in her. “She won the Saval Beg on really soft ground last year but she seems to go on most types of ground. Her sister (Celtic Soprano) got a bit sharper as she got older and this mare might be the same. A mile and a half is probably her optimum trip. She takes very little work and gets naturally fit. Her last few pieces of work have been very pleasing.” The Kevin Prendergast-trained Majenta takes a significant step up in class, just a week after winning in handicap company at the Curragh. Prendergast said: “She’s run three times and won twice, and we’d like to get her some black type. Her owner Joerg Vasicek is a breeder and he got the record price of 215,000 euro at the Goffs Land Rover Sale for a three-year-old during the week. “She’s come out of the Curragh race very well. It looks a hot contest but she’s getting weight-for-age, and we’ll be hoping to get her into the placings.” A field of 10 has been declared, with Dermot Weld’s Ribblesdale heroine Princess Highway the highest rated filly in the field. There are two challengers from Britain in Ralph Beckett’s Cubanita and Testosterone from Ed Dunlop’s yard. Beckett said: “She’s in good form and I think the trip and ground should be in her favour, which is why we’re travelling over with her. She’s obviously got her work cut out to beat Dermot Weld’s filly, but she’s in great shape and we’ll give it a go.” Press Association
A 13-year-old girl was shot on West 16th Street Wednesday afternoon, according to Riviera Beach Police.They say she was shot inside a house and sustained non life-threatening injuries.The circumstances that may have led up to the shooting are unknown at this time.Police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown says they do not yet have a suspect in custody.This is a developing story.
Deep wide receiver class jockeying at NFL scouting combine Associated Press “I think in today’s day and age where these guys were starting 7-on-7, it’s almost like AAU basketball,” Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said. “The receivers are so much more advanced in terms of their fundamentals coming into college and the league than maybe they have been in the past. It’s really just the NFL offense that will take time. So I think there’s some guys sitting here today that I think will have a chance to make a pretty immediate impact, and I’m excited about that.”Receivers may still need to adjust to the NFL’s press coverage but just as often they’re the ones putting the DBs on their heels from the get-go.“Historically, receivers have struggled a little bit with the learning curve up to the NFL. But in the last three, four or five years, we’ve seen a lot of guys make immediate” impacts, said Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta. “Especially last year, if you look at the class, you’ll see a bunch of guys come in right away and make big plays. We were fortunate last year with Marquise and even Miles (Boykin) to a degree made plays for us. We’re excited about those two guys and we look at this year’s draft class as an opportunity for us to improve at the position even more.”Every team does. “So, there’s depth throughout and there’s quality up top,” Mayock said. And there’s jockeying for cream-of-the-crop status when they showcase their skills during on-field workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium in prime time on Thursday night.The best of the bunch is probably Jeudy or Lamb, but they all sport that one attribute that premier pass catchers also possess: a confidence bordering on cockiness.Jeudy said he’s the best, but he’s hearing everyone else say they’re the best.“I feel like everybody should think they’re the best receiver coming out in the class,” Jeudy said. “You’ve probably heard every GM and coach talk about this wide receiver class; it is a good one,” Jets GM Joe Douglas said. “Just watching them go across the stage, there is a lot of talented players and we see how much the pass game affects the National Football League. So we do feel good about this group.”Actually, teams feel great about the 2020 receivers.Teams are more willing than ever to bypass the old wait-and-watch standby for a plug-and-play approach with bigger, faster, quicker pass-catchers coming out such as Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore who made an immediate impact in 2018, followed by Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, Marquise Brown, Terry McLaurin and A.J. Brown, who wasted no time establishing their credentials last season.“There is a lot more receivers coming into the draft because there’s just a lot more receivers in college football and high school football,” Rams GM Les Snead said. “A lot of teams running three, four, five wides.”It starts way before college. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — If your favorite NFL team doesn’t have a Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones or Courtland Sutton streaking down the field, making cornerbacks cringe and constantly redefining the highlight catch, just wait.Chances are good they’ll grab one in this year’s draft.The NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis features a tantalizing wide receiver class unlike anything ever seen at the league’s annual gathering of top prospects. February 26, 2020 “I think it’s a combination of things,” Washington Redskins coach Ron Rivera said. “I think teams are starting to understand how you use players. But I also do think because the ball is being thrown so much in college football the receiver is learning to be an explosive guy. “I also think the body types of the receivers is changing,” Rivera said. “I think they’re getting bigger and stronger. There’s a lot more guys that are coming out that are ready to go and are dynamic players. The guys I think people are really looking for are these bigger receivers who are dynamic with the ball in their hands.”Guys such as Colorado’s Laviska Shenault, Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk and Clemson’s Tee Higgins.Just to name a few.The wide receiver group is “as deep as I’ve seen,” NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “I’ve got 27 wide receivers with top-three round grades in this draft. And consider average 31 are taken. We had a max of 35 taken in (2015). So this is a really phenomenal group of wideouts.” There’s someone for everyone this year, whether they’re looking for a deep threat, a crisp route-runner, a fearless man going over the middle or even taking the direct snap like Shenault did so often at Colorado.“Receiver, of all positions, probably comes in the Baskin Robbins 31 favors,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. “Size, speed, length, run after catch, all sorts of variables.”This year, especially.“I think there could be a lot of guys drafted all the way through from 1 to 7 (rounds),” Beane said. “We were talking about it the other day. There’s going to be guys drafted on the third day of the draft who may come in and take a veteran’s spot on a team. It’s that deep.”Las Vegas Raiders GM Mike Mayock noted an average of 12 wide receivers have been selected in the first three rounds over the past decade, and this year’s group features twice that number who are graded by teams as top-100 talents. They all might end up being part of the best wide receiver class ever.___Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL