A Day of Fun and Fond Memories in LS

first_imgLITTLE SILVER – It was a fun day but for many of those attending the Little Silver Men’s One Pitch Tourna­ment, it was also a day to remember their friend and neighbor.This year’s event was in honor of Jonathan Bitman, a borough resident, borough councilman and a longtime member of the Little Silver Crocs, the over-40 softball team, who died on Sept. 4 at age 52 after battling pancreatic cancer.The tournament, held Saturday, Sept. 29, on the sports fields behind borough hall and the public library, featured the usual softball games, cheers and shouts of players and spectators, music, laughter and conversations, along with the sizzle of grills cooking burgers and hot dogs. It was a great day for the participants, families and community members but for some, including event organizers Doug Glassmacher and Peter Roskowinski, it was a bittersweet day with Bitman’s absence felt by those who knew him.According to Glassmacher and Roskowinski, Bitman was a member of the Crocs since the team was formed more than a decade ago.“Jon was a catcher,” Glassmacher said. “He was like Yogi Berra back there,” joking and trash talking with teammates and to the batters.As a catcher, Bitman was “very effective” and always batted in the same spot in the lineup – last, Roskowinski said.During this year’s tournament there were six Little Silver teams, one from Rumson and another from Shrewsbury competing in a series of games with batters facing one pitch, which allowed for quite a few games during the day, Glassmacher said.The day was – and has been – more than about softball. Bitman always saw it as a sort of community day, with music, food, and activities for the kids.“Our motto is ‘there’s more to being a Croc than playing ball,’” Glassmacher said. “Like Jon, we’re very community-oriented.”“All I can say is Jon would have been the first person setting things up” and he always spent time behind the grill, said Little Silver resident Chris Curley. “He’s still here in spirit.”“It’s a sad day,” resident Cindy Mendoza said, “but it’s a good day.”Mendoza has been a “Crocette,” one of the women who help out, since the beginning. “I’m one of the originals,” she said as she sold 50/50 tickets.She acknowledged that residents of the borough are usually quick to answer the call for help when situations arise. “That’s what impressed me about this town,” she said. “People do step up.”Rich Movelle, who lives in Tinton Falls, played for the Rumson team. About six years ago the event was dedicated to helping a member of his team who was stricken with ALS. Movelle said that while he takes his softball seriously, “the game is not as important as the money to help the family.”“He did love the Crocs,” said Bitman’s sister, Paige Ascher of Maplewood.“And he always enjoyed a good burger,” said Russ Ascher, Paige’s husband, jokingly recalling his brother-in-law.“He would be the first one out here to help another person,” Paige Ascher said. “This really is a fitting tribute to him.”The proceeds raised throughout the day and afterward will go to help Bitman’s daughter, Cori, a college sophomore, continue her education, Roskowinski said.The fundraising had gone well and “exceeded our expectations,” Roskowinski said after the event.People can still contribute by mail to the Jon Bitman Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 143, Little Silver, NJ 07739; or through sites.google.com/site/lscrocs/home. By John BurtonJon Bitman remembered at softball tournamentlast_img read more

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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SUNDAY JULY 10, 2016

first_imgSANTA ANITA HOSTS BREEDERS’ CUP NOV. 4 & 5CHAMPION STELLAR WIND WORKS FOR HIRSCHSMITH BACK HOME FOLLOWING BELMONT SCORESECURITY’S MIKE JACOBELLIS RETIRES TODAYDERBY WINNER NYQUIST BREEZES TOMORROW Brandon Boulanger5861510%21%$159,199 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Mike Smith45158133%53%$1,014,947 Richard Baltas6410121416%56%$477,060 Doug O’Neill10512222111%52%$872,676 Richard Mandella4195722%51%$724,512 Brayan Pena676589%28%$154,340 James Cassidy4574616%38%$427,845 Rafael Bejarano19044423123%62%$2,523,132 Kent Desormeaux61119618%43%$484,775 FINISH LINES: Kentucky Derby king Nyquist will work five furlongs at 6:30 tomorrow morning under Mario Gutierrez, trainer Doug O’Neill reported Sunday. A decision on his next race is expected in the next few days . . . Coppa, who remained unbeaten in three starts with her win in Belmont Park’s Grade III Victory Ride at 6 ½ furlongs Saturday under Joe Talamo for Phil D’Amato, is being considered for Saratoga’s Grade I, $500,000 Test Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs Aug. 6, the trainer said . . . Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund, a candidate for Del Mar’s San Diego Handicap July 23, worked six furlongs in company Sunday for Bob Baffert in 1:13.20 from the gate. Stablemate Vale Dori got 1:13.40 . . .GOOD LUCK TO TRACK ANNOUNCER MICHAEL WRONA, AS HE AND FIANCE’ KATHY KENNEDY WILL MARRY NEXT SUNDAY IN LAKE TAHOE . . . There are mandatory payouts in the Pick Six and Super High Five today. The total Pick Six pool is expected to exceed $500,000. Tiago Pereira11012161711%41%$539,967 CHAMP STELLAR WIND IN ‘EXCELLENT’ DRILLStellar Wind, champion three-year-old filly of 2015, worked six furlongs in company under Victor Espinoza Sunday in 1:14.20 as she prepares for a rematch with three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder in the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar July 30.Beholder and Stellar Wind ran one-two in the Grade I Vanity Mile at Santa Anita June 4.John Sadler, who trains Stellar Wind for the Hronis brothers, Kosta and Peter, had Carnival Lights as her workmate. She was clocked in 1:15.80.“It was an excellent work,” Espinoza said of Stellar Wind. “She was brilliant today. Now she’s ready to go. The Vanity got her fit for the next race and even though it’s against Beholder who’s a champ, too, you never know what will happen. Stellar Wind is doing great.”The Vanity was Stellar Wind’s first race since last Oct. 30, when she finished a troubled second by a neck in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland. (Current Through Saturday, July 9) TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Mark Glatt7314151119%55%$503,651 MIKE JACOBELLIS TURNS IN BADGE TODAY            After serving for 10 years with Santa Anita Security, which was preceded by a 32-year run with LAPD, Mike Jacobellis will retire from The Great Race Place today and be honored in a Winner’s Circle ceremony following the fourth race.A graduate of Alhambra High School, Jacobellis, who is currently an Area Manager overseeing plain-clothed personnel, leaves a legacy of good will with fans, jockeys, horsemen and fellow employees.“We are very fortunate to have had Mike on staff for the past 10 years,” said Santa Anita Chief of Security, Lou Scalera. “Mike gets along with everyone and he’s an outstanding cop. He retired from LAPD as a Detective Sergeant and he pays attention and follows up on things in a very professional manner.“Although he’s leaving us to spend more time with his family, we will have him here for the Breeders’ Cup in November and we hope to have him next year on big days, like the Santa Anita Derby and the Big ‘Cap.“Given the fact that he’s met so many owners, trainers and jockeys over the years, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see him every now again as a fan. It’s hard not to develop a love for this game when you’re so close to everyone involved in it.” Chad Lindsay731381218%45%$315,100 Martin Pedroza831391216%41%$403,100 Flavien Prat15840272325%57%$1,946,640 Edwin Maldonado15627231717%43%$1,094,450center_img Bob Baffert561612629%61%$862,103 Stewart Elliott979879%25%$395,200 Tyler Baze19631403816%56%$1,573,731 Peter Eurton4796519%43%$500,660 Simon Callaghan3173223%39%$316,965 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Philip D’Amato992520925%55%$1,606,938 Mario Gutierrez78916612%40%$695,300 Joseph Talamo13926192019%47%$1,527,073 Alonso Quinonez56610711%41%$266,730 HOME COURSE ADVANTAGE FOR BREEDERS’ CUP?Santa Anita hosts the Breeders’ Cup World championships for an unprecedented ninth time come Nov. 4 and 5.Whether it can be a home course advantage or not depends on who you talk to. Trainer Ron Ellis, for one, says there is a benefit in not shipping and running on a track just a hundred yards away in your own back yard.“I think it’s similar to a football team that doesn’t have to play on the road,” said Ellis, who hopes to have his crack sprinter, Masochistic, ready for either the Dirt Mile or the Sprint.“While they’re not necessarily creatures of habit, athletes and horses seem more comfortable in familiar surroundings. The home teams don’t have to travel, nor do horses based at Santa Anita, and that can reduce intangibles such as stress, which doesn’t help.”Bob Baffert, whose horses have flown worldwide, says it makes no never mind to him and his stock.“It’s more of an economic advantage than anything,” said the Hall of Fame trainer who has made Santa Anita his base of operations for more than two decades. “You don’t have to spend any extra money shipping because the horses are here.“There might be a horse or two that wouldn’t have shipped well, but otherwise, I don’t think it’s a big deal. If you have good horses, they’ll come through. All my horses ship well. I ship a lot and they’re used to it. My success rate is pretty high.” Martin Garcia811361416%41%$712,434 Peter Miller591015717%54%$485,955 Mike Puype54117620%44%$360,850 John Sadler65971414%46%$750,278 Fernando Perez10113111113%35%$557,713 Jerry Hollendorfer771581519%49%$1,050,183 SMITH RETURNS FOLLOWING SUBURBAN WIN AT BELMONT PARK            Mike Smith, who joined fellow Hall of Famer Gary Stevens for a special Beholder/Songbird poster signing prior to Sunday’s races, was still “feeling it” following his big win aboard Effinex in Saturday’s Grade I, mile and a quarter Suburban Handicap yesterday at Belmont Park.“When he puts it all together, he’s a serious horse. He can run with the best of the best,” said Smith of the Jimmy Jerkins trainee who is pointing to an eventual engagement in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5. “He can beat ’em when he puts his mind to it; he’s just not always in a stable frame of mind (jokingly).”Yesterday he was on and ran brilliant . . . Belmont’s a funny track. The size of the track, the turns . . . You can pull the trigger way too soon there and it can play tricks on you . . . but I’ve been there since the ’80s, so it helps to know it. I love going, but I love coming back!” Santiago Gonzalez18323253113%43%$1,138,703 Patrick Gallagher2972224%38%$266,100last_img read more

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$2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Quotes & Recap

first_imgSecond-place trainer Mark Casse (Valadorna) – “She ran great. She had a good trip and was maybe just a little bit late getting out with the soft fractions, but I was proud of her. It was the way I expected her to run. She’s a very good horse. She needed (the education she got in her last race) today.” ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2016) – Ciglia Racing, Exline-Border, Gulliver Racing, Sharon Alesia et al’s Champagne Room ($69.20) blew past early pacesetter Noted and Quoted at the head of the stretch and then held off a late bid from Valadorna by three-quarters of a length to win the 33rd running of the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), the first of nine World Championships races Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Park.Trained by Peter Eurton and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Champagne Room covered the mile and a sixteenth on a fast track in 1:45.12. It is the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Eurton and second for Gutierrez, who won last year’s Juvenile on Nyquist. CHAMPAGNE ROOM WINS 14 HANDS WINERY BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES Breeders’ Cup World Championships – Saturday, Nov. 5 It was the second victory in five starts for the Kentucky-bred daughter of Broken Vow. Third-place jockey Mike Smith (American Gal) – “We broke real bad and it cost me the race. That’s all it was.” Third-place trainer Bob Baffert (American Gal) – “I thought she ran an incredible race considering how wide she had to go the whole way. She’s shown she can go a distance and what a good horse she is.” Winning trainer Peter Eurton (Champagne Room) – “I wasn’t feeling utterly confident (coming down the stretch). She was actually moving pretty well. She was getting a little tired, but there wasn’t anyone catching her. I’m feeling pretty good right now. This means an awful lot to me.” 14 HANDS WINERY BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES QUOTES Winning jockey Mario Gutierrez (Champagne Room) – “I had a perfect trip. She broke really sharp. I was able to settle behind the speed and when I asked her, she ran with all her heart today.” Second-place jockey Julien Leparoux (Valadorna) – “We had a pretty good trip, but there wasn’t much pace. I had to wait a little bit on the turn and I think the winner got away from us. She ran a big, big race.”last_img read more

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