A controversial Kentucky Derby, James Harden battling Steph Curry, parity in the NHL Playoffs, and Canelo Alvarez highlighted the sports week. Check out our Sports Update for May 6, 2019!
2019 Kentucky Derby Ends in Controversy
Maximum Security easily handled his 19 foes in the Kentucky Derby on May 4. Well, he easily handled them until he didn’t. What happened in the Run for the Roses this year? The stewards decided to take the objections lodged by Flavien Prat, rider of second-place finisher Country House, and David Cohen, eighteenth place finisher Long Range Toddy, into account.
After taking the objections into account, they decided to change the result and place Maximum Security seventeenth, just in front of Long Range Toddy. That moved Country House up to first, where he paid $132.40 to win.
Country House is the highest paying Derby winner since Donerail in 1913. Although he didn’t exactly earn the victory, the results will stand. You’re probably wondering why the stewards made the change in the first place.
Maximum Security, the leader from the outset, changed lanes while running around the turn. His jockey Luis Saez believed that the screaming and yelling from the Churchill Downs grandstand caused his horse to swerve right. While swerving right, Maximum Security shut off War of Will from going in between he and Country House.
War of Will had to quickly take up, which caused a chain reaction that affected both Bode Express and Long Range Toddy. The three horses involved in the incident ended up fading and finishing near the back of the pack while Maximum Security pulled away in the stretch for the easy win.
Only it wasn’t a win. Country House goes on to the Preakness Stakes for a chance at the Triple Crown while Maximum Security’s owner, Gary West, has lodged an appeal. If the appeal doesn’t work, West said he might consider suing in some way.
The Beard and Steph throw down in NBA Playoffs
The Kentucky Derby controversy overshadowed an excellent NBA Playoff game between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors.
Knowing the close to impossibility of winning a series (especially versus Golden State!) down 0 games to 3, Rockets’ superstar James Harden sunk 41 in Game 3 to lead Houston to a 126-121 overtime victory. With a Game 4 victory on Monday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, the Rockets could tie up the series.
Houston was up 3 games to 2 when point-guard Chris Paul got injured in last year’s battle with Golden State. The Warriors won both games in Oakland, but if Houston does manage to tie the series on May 6, we could be looking at a 6 to 7 game slug fest. Golden State hasn’t dominated during the playoffs this season like they did the past couple of seasons while Harden might be over the shooting malaise that confounded him in Game 1 and Game 2.
For the Warriors to win, though, Steph Curry must go tit-for-tat with The Beard. Steph has gone 18-of-25 from the field and 8-of-32 from behind the arc in the series. Golden State will lose Game 4, and probably the series itself, if Steph doesn’t break out of his slump.
On Sunday, the Denver Nuggets tied up their series with the Portland Trail Blazers at 2 games apiece. The Nuggets beat Portland 116-112. Just like what appears might happen in Warriors-Rockets, Nuggets-Blazers could turn into a 6 to 7 game series between two evenly matched teams.
Over in the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee is up 2-1 over the Boston Celtics. The Bucks failed in Game 1, falling to Boston 112-90. Since the loss, Giannis and his teammates have asserted their dominance. They won Game 2 123-102. They beat the Celtics in the TD Garden 123-116 in Game 3.
The Toronto Raptors got back on the winning track in Game 4. They won the first game against the Philadelphia 76ers, but lost Game 2 and Game 3. In Game 4, they beat the 76ers 101-96.
All four NBA Playoff Series could go 6 or 7 games. If one does end early, it might be Bucks-Celtics. Milwaukee appears to have gotten it’s footing in the series.
Overall, there’s more parity in the NBA than there has been in years. That’s excellent news for both NBA fans and NBA bettors.
Boston hopes to close out Blue Jackets on May 6
The Boston Bruins hope to close out the Columbus Blue Jackets on May 6 by winning their third straight game in the best-of-seven series. Boston had lost 2 of the first 3 games before dominating Columbus 4-1 in Game 4. In Game 5, Boston won 4-3. The Bruins look like the Stanley Cup favorites. If they knock out the Blue Jackets on Monday night, their Stanley Cup Championship odds should significantly drop.
Carolina closed out the New York Islanders 4 games to 0 on May 3. Carolina awaits the Boston-Columbus series winner. The Hurricanes have won 6 straight. They should give Boston, or Columbus if the Blue Jackets can mount a comeback, all they can handle.
In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars play Game 7 in their series on Tuesday, May 7. Blues-Stars has been one incredibly competitive series. Home ice hasn’t meant a whole lot between the two Central Division foes.
Home ice advantage also hasn’t meant a lot between San Jose and Colorado. Those two play Game 6 on May 6. If a Game 7 is required, the Sharks are up 3-1 in the series, it will take place on Wednesday, May 8.
Canelo stakes claim to pound-for-pound boxing title
The other big piece of sports news that happened this past week had Canelo Alvarez easily beating Daniel Jacobs in a championship boxing match on Saturday night. Jacobs had a lot of physical tools, but none of them deterred Canelo from dominating his opponent.
Alvarez’s only loss occurred against Floyd Mayweather way back in 2014. Alvarez wasn’t nearly the fighter then that he is now. If Floyd were to fight Canelo today, he’d probably lose. Alvarez so thoroughly outclassed Jacobs in the unanimous decision win, that he’s got a right to claim he’s the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.
Rumor has it, Canelo could next fight Gennady Golovkin for the third time. Although Canelo beat Triple G in the second fight, the first fight was a draw. Canelo-Triple G III would instantly become the biggest fight of the year were it to happen this fall. If the two fought the way they did in the first two battles, it would also become a boxing classic.
Until next week, good luck!
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