A little About Alot Saratoga

The gun debate continues with many questioning when we'll get a serious Federal gun law. Even now that the threatened filibuster appears to be over with Democrats at a 60 vote mark ending that phase of the process, the question of when legislation will actually happen lingers.

What comes next: the actual hard core debate on gun control.

President Obama has been pushing hard for legislation to put more controls in place. He spoke to thousands of supporters Monday at the University of Connecticut's basketball arena saying "sometimes when you watch cable news or (listen) to talk radio or you browse the internet, you'd think, 'man everybody just hates each other. Everybody is at each other's throats. But, that's not how most Americans think about these issues. There are good people on both sides of every issue. So, if we're going to move forward, we can't just talk past one another. We've got to listen to one another."

The President continued in the speech by saying "this is not about me. This is not about politics. This is about doing the right thing for all the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence."

Both sides are keeping a close tab on the numbers and who votes which way.

The first vote Thursday is a "cloture" vote that has the power to shut down a threatened filibuster by conservative Republicans. The "cloture" is the only procedure the Senate can vote on to place a time limit on consideration of a bill to overcome a filibuster.

While this goes forward, the National Rifle Association says it will keep a close eye on all the procedures and will hand out a letter grade depending on how each senator votes.

That National Rifle Association sent a letter to Senators Wednesday saying the proposed bill "would unfairly infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners."

It does seem that the Senate is finally moving forward with the most comprehensive gun safety legislation in almost two decades. There won't be any overnight developments as each side tussles to get what they want into the bill. This will be a long process with a boatload of votes on a bunch of amendments.

"We're going to have amendments on this. Some of them are going to take a little bit of time. We're not going to finish the bill this week. I don't know if we'll finish it next week. But that doesn't really matter," Harry Reid, Democrat-Nevada, said on the floor Wednesday night.

There's a required 30 hours of debate. That part of the process can be waived. The snag there is just one senator can demand full time for arguments.

Three GOP senators say they will extend the debate as long as possible: Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Vice President Biden says public opinion polls show Americans are way ahead of Congress when it comes to legislation, especially for expanded background checks for gun purchasers.

Biden continued by saying "you saw it in immigration, you saw it in marriage issues, you're seeing it now. The public has moved to a different place."

Now America waits to see how the Senate will move on this highly anticipated national public issue that could affect anyone, anywhere at anytime.


source material: USA Today; MSNBC, United States Senate reference glossary

I

Joanne Yepsen, 54, one of the two Saratoga Springs County Supervisors, made it official today that she is running for Saratoga Springs Mayor. Yepsen, surrounded by over a hundred supporters, family and friends along with city Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan and Accounts Commissioner John Franck, both Democrats, appeared alongside her at Lillian's Restaurant on Broadway to cheer her on.

Yepsen told the crowd that she would create transparency, open up City Hall and work hard to bring control and balance to government.

"We are a great city, but we have a lot at stake," Yepsen said. "I believe we can be even better, which is why I am announcing my candidacy for the mayor of Saratoga Springs."

Yepsen will focus her efforts on seniors, sustainable growth for businesses, returning veterans and horse racing.

Yepsen, a small business owner herself with over 25 years of strategic planning and fiscal management, is in her fourth term as the Saratoga Springs Democratic representative to the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors.

Yepsen is the principle and owner of Coltivare, which helps communities and nonprofits with board development, strategic planning, fundraising and event planning, skills well suited for being Mayor of Saratoga. She has proven numerous times over how to work in a collaborative way through a bipartisan legislative process. As county supervisor and a Senate candidate she has been in the forefront on every important local issue to the Saratoga community.

Yepsen recently voted against an attempt to sell the county's nursing home and the board's failed nomination of a politically connected Halfmoon woman to the job of animal shelter director.

In past campaigns she has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, the New York League of Conservation Voters, the Downstate Firefighters and EMS, the Working Families Party, and the Democrats of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County and Rensselaer County. She hopes to gain their support in her campaign for Mayor of Saratoga Springs. Yepsen ran for the 43rd state Senate seat in 2010 but lost to Republican Roy McDonald.

To run for Mayor, Yepsen will vacate her County Board of Supervisors seat which she has held since 2006. And, If elected, she would no longer make $18,508 she makes now as a Supervisor. The pay for Saratoga Springs Mayor is $14,500.

Recently Republican Mayor Scott Johnson announced he will not seek reelection. No names have been announced by the Republicans Party as to who will run for Mayor.



We're all excited for the spring flowers to blossom. The colors and the smells a delight as nature takes its course.

For allergy sufferers it is a double edged sword causing your eyes to redden, your nose and throat to swell. This late cold weather will make trees bloom and build a high pollen count all at once.

This spring's allergy season could be worse than in previous years. Grab your allergy medicine now and prepare. As the mother of two who suffer from allergies I know the misery that's associated with the onslaught of the new season's beauty.

Weeds to spores to grass and tree pollens combined with the warmer temperatures will cause airborne allergen levels to rise. Which means a lot of sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes will be on the way if you're not already affected.

Some scientists say climate change has contributed to recent spring allergy seasons being harsher than usual. High levels of carbon dioxide can be linked to record pollen counts and longer allergy seasons. Whatever the reason, now is the time to figure out your action plan.

One way to avoid spring allergies is to stay inside but that is not practical. Other ways to get relief is to know what type of spores that have hit the air by paying close attention to weather and pollen reports. Take your allergy medicine prior to the arrival of what usually ails you.

Always consult with your doctor as you journey on this road. An allergy skin test is one of the quickest, most accurate and least expensive ways to find out your allergies. Do you suffer from mold, grass pollen or a type of weed allergy? Know what triggers your allergy and be ready with one of the many over-the-counter medications. A generic, non-sedating antihistamine taken each morning will help reverse the effects. If your nose remains congested, add a saline nasal rinse or oral decongestant pill. Also, to soothe your irritated throat from a postnasal drip use medicated throat lozenges. Drink lots of fluids as you will deplete your system as you drain, the antihistamine will dry your nasal passages and you do not want to become dehydrated.

If the over-the-counter remedies don't work ask your doctor about adding a corticosteroid nose spray. As for eyedrops, get one with an antihistamine because these treat the cause of your allergy symptoms it doesn't just stop the redness.

As you see those trees budding and the beautiful spring colors finally brighten our days know there will be those who see the magnificence of spring through the swollen red eyes of their allergies.

Have an ample supply of tissues while you enjoy the wonders of another spring.


Excitement is building: the Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo is this weekend!

By Elaine Hume Peake on September 19, 2012 3:27 PM

Be sure to check out the second annual Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo at the historical Saratoga Race course which gets underway Saturday morning, the first day of fall. The weather is expected to be perfect.

Visit either Saturday September 22nd between 10 am and 6 pm or Sunday September 23rd between 10 am and 5 pm.

Both days will be filled with entertainment, all things equestrian and a way to enjoy a wonderful first day of the new season right here in Saratoga Springs at the most beautiful racing facility in the country: THE SARATOGA RACE COURSE.

Now, to get a real taste of what is to be expect this weekend, be sure to check out downtown Saratoga Springs tomorrow at noon for a fun sneak preview.

On Thursday September 20th from 12 noon until 12:30 pm you will witness a fabulous horse parade to announce to all that the big weekend event is only 2 days away.

As you're working, shopping or enjoying a nice outdoor lunch along Broadway between Congress Park and Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs, New York you will witness Saratoga's second annual "Parade of Horses" for the expo and to benefit the New York Horse Park.

Leading off the parade will be internationally renowned and respected Australian horseman, Guy McLean. McLean won the 2012 Road to the Horse International Championship. McLean will present three exciting and fun shows each day this weekend.

Catch McLean as he walks his horses bareback, cracks an Aussie whip that makes a highly delightful sound from years gone by (which does not touch or affect the horses) from Congress Park to Lake Avenue. McLean will give you and all of Saratoga Springs a taste of his award-winning showmanship as a preview to the Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo that will begin Saturday morning.

The Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo is a unique equine event that will benefit the New York Horse Park as it raises funds to acquire a desired 600-acre plot of land in Wilton to create the park.

"It takes money to create a horse park and that is what we do every single day of the year," says Marsha Himler, President of the New York Horse Park board of directors. "We have made tremendous progress since our event last year and look forward to the Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo to get the region closer to the goal of purchasing land to create the horse park."

"The expo is a part of the ongoing fundraising for the horse park and a way to bring together like-minded people to raise awareness, money and help create the New York Horse Park," said Mick Rodgers, owner of Saratoga Saddlery, an international equestrian boutique located in the middle of Broadway in Saratoga Springs.

As for the Australian dynamic duo of Rodgers and McLean, they became fast friends after several horse shows where the two gravitated because of their heritage, their love of horses and their mutual love of Saratoga as well as the entire region. Rodgers invited McLean back for the second annual expo because of the tremendous excitement this Australian horseman brought to Saratoga.

"The response Guy gets from crowds is astounding. And, with the support of the New York Horse Park, we decided to bring McLean back for year two. I was quite proud of what he did on the Saratoga race track last year and this year will be even bigger. We're extremely lucky Guy McLean supports what we're doing here in Saratoga County and for that we're grateful. The New York Horse Park and the Saratoga Horse and Tack Expo benefits from this relationship which helps build the plans for the future of Saratoga and beyond," Rodgers said with a beaming smile.

Accompanying McLean during next week's expo will be local Artistic Rider and horse trainer JD Winslow, who will show off his draft horses each day. Winslow is a former circus performer with an amazing array of talent when it comes to his magnificent horses.

Both horsemen will perform by the finish line at Saratoga Race Course in space donated by the New York Racing Association, which is a primary supporter of New York Horse Park.

"Without the help of NYRA, this event would not take place," said Himler.

The Saratoga Horse and Tack Expo will also feature an enormous vendor village filled with every equestrian need as well as a tack swap meet inside the Carousel area at the track where area horse owners can swap their no longer needed tack for cash.

Vendors include:

Bits and Pieces Horse Tack
Cargill/Nutrina Conklin (Fastrack)
Critterbling
Dontam Equine Treasures
Double M Tack & Feed
EMBRACE THE RACE
Equine Assistance
Equine Enhanced Movement
Green County Horse Supplies
Impressions of Saratoga
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Malika International Boutique
Mandak Tack and Horse Sales
Mane Stream
MDBarn Master
Purina Animal Nutrition
Rolis Auto Muscle Cars
Saratoga Horse Works
Saratoga Saddlery
Schleese Saddlery
Silver Horse Studio
Versatile Trailers
Susan Hamlin, animval reiki healing
Walkers Farm
Home and Tack

Plus so many more vendors!

Now, with all amazing equestrian techniques that won McLean many awards the expo will entertain, educate and support the NYHP.

McLean can tell you he may have won the 2012 Road to the Horse International and the 2005 Australian Horseman Challenge, where he had two hours to start a young horse and perform a routine, but this style of horsemanship is but one area that will make the New York Horse Park unique. McLean fully supports the efforts underway by a handful of dedicated horse enthusiasts who know the NYHP will support the region year round.

"We don't have horse parks back home in Australia. The Lexington park in Kentucky is amazing and worth aiming for by the New York Horse Park board of directors. To have something like that here in New York would be fantastic and would bring so many people to the region," McLean said. "I'll show my four best horses from Australia which is a treat for me and them because we're here in Saratoga Springs, New York in the fall! You cannot beat that combination."

Again, the Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 and on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, September 23rd.

Entry is $5 for adults, $10 for a family and free for children younger than 12. There will be plenty of food vendors, bouncy castles for kids, pony rides, games and shopping.

All proceeds will go to benefit the New York Horse Park, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Visit www.nyhorsepark.org for more information about the expo and about the New York Horse Park plans. Help build a multi-discipline, world class horse park in Saratoga County to service the entire Northeast. Be a part of the NYHP!


Be sure to check out the second annual Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo at the historical Saratoga Race course which gets underway Saturday morning, the first day of fall. The weather is expected to be perfect.

Visit either Saturday September 22nd between 10 am and 6 pm or Sunday September 23rd between 10 am and 5 pm.

Both days will be filled with entertainment, all things equestrian and a way to enjoy a wonderful first day of the new season right here in Saratoga Springs at the most beautiful racing facility in the country: THE SARATOGA RACE COURSE.

Now, to get a real taste of what is to be expect this weekend, be sure to check out downtown Saratoga Springs tomorrow at noon for a fun sneak preview.

On Thursday September 20th from 12 noon until 12:30 pm you will witness a fabulous horse parade to announce to all that the big weekend event is only 2 days away.

As you're working, shopping or enjoying a nice outdoor lunch along Broadway between Congress Park and Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs, New York you will witness Saratoga's second annual "Parade of Horses" for the expo and to benefit the New York Horse Park.

Leading off the parade will be internationally renowned and respected Australian horseman, Guy McLean. McLean won the 2012 Road to the Horse International Championship. McLean will present three exciting and fun shows each day this weekend.

Catch McLean as he walks his horses bareback, cracks an Aussie whip that makes a highly delightful sound from years gone by (which does not touch or affect the horses) from Congress Park to Lake Avenue. McLean will give you and all of Saratoga Springs a taste of his award-winning showmanship as a preview to the Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo that will begin Saturday morning.

The Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo is a unique equine event that will benefit the New York Horse Park as it raises funds to acquire a desired 600-acre plot of land in Wilton to create the park.

"It takes money to create a horse park and that is what we do every single day of the year," says Marsha Himler, President of the New York Horse Park board of directors. "We have made tremendous progress since our event last year and look forward to the Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo to get the region closer to the goal of purchasing land to create the horse park."

"The expo is a part of the ongoing fundraising for the horse park and a way to bring together like-minded people to raise awareness, money and help create the New York Horse Park," said Mick Rodgers, owner of Saratoga Saddlery, an international equestrian boutique located in the middle of Broadway in Saratoga Springs.

As for the Australian dynamic duo of Rodgers and McLean, they became fast friends after several horse shows where the two gravitated because of their heritage, their love of horses and their mutual love of Saratoga as well as the entire region. Rodgers invited McLean back for the second annual expo because of the tremendous excitement this Australian horseman brought to Saratoga.

"The response Guy gets from crowds is astounding. And, with the support of the New York Horse Park, we decided to bring McLean back for year two. I was quite proud of what he did on the Saratoga race track last year and this year will be even bigger. We're extremely lucky Guy McLean supports what we're doing here in Saratoga County and for that we're grateful. The New York Horse Park and the Saratoga Horse and Tack Expo benefits from this relationship which helps build the plans for the future of Saratoga and beyond," Rodgers said with a beaming smile.

Accompanying McLean during next week's expo will be local Artistic Rider and horse trainer JD Winslow, who will show off his draft horses each day. Winslow is a former circus performer with an amazing array of talent when it comes to his magnificent horses.

Both horsemen will perform by the finish line at Saratoga Race Course in space donated by the New York Racing Association, which is a primary supporter of New York Horse Park.

"Without the help of NYRA, this event would not take place," said Himler.

The Saratoga Horse and Tack Expo will also feature an enormous vendor village filled with every equestrian need as well as a tack swap meet inside the Carousel area at the track where area horse owners can swap their no longer needed tack for cash.

Vendors include:

Bits and Pieces Horse Tack
Cargill/Nutrina Conklin (Fastrack)
Critterbling
Dontam Equine Treasures
Double M Tack & Feed
EMBRACE THE RACE
Equine Assistance
Equine Enhanced Movement
Green County Horse Supplies
Impressions of Saratoga
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Malika International Boutique
Mandak Tack and Horse Sales
Mane Stream
MDBarn Master
Purina Animal Nutrition
Rolis Auto Muscle Cars
Saratoga Horse Works
Saratoga Saddlery
Schleese Saddlery
Silver Horse Studio
Versatile Trailers
Susan Hamlin, animval reiki healing
Walkers Farm
Home and Tack

Plus so many more vendors!

Now, with all amazing equestrian techniques that won McLean many awards the expo will entertain, educate and support the NYHP.

McLean can tell you he may have won the 2012 Road to the Horse International and the 2005 Australian Horseman Challenge, where he had two hours to start a young horse and perform a routine, but this style of horsemanship is but one area that will make the New York Horse Park unique. McLean fully supports the efforts underway by a handful of dedicated horse enthusiasts who know the NYHP will support the region year round.

"We don't have horse parks back home in Australia. The Lexington park in Kentucky is amazing and worth aiming for by the New York Horse Park board of directors. To have something like that here in New York would be fantastic and would bring so many people to the region," McLean said. "I'll show my four best horses from Australia which is a treat for me and them because we're here in Saratoga Springs, New York in the fall! You cannot beat that combination."

Again, the Saratoga Horse & Tack Expo kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 and on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, September 23rd.

Entry is $5 for adults, $10 for a family and free for children younger than 12. There will be plenty of food vendors, bouncy castles for kids, pony rides, games and shopping.

All proceeds will go to benefit the New York Horse Park, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Visit www.nyhorsepark.org for more information about the expo and about the New York Horse Park plans. Help build a multi-discipline, world class horse park in Saratoga County to service the entire Northeast. Be a part of the NYHP!

Today is a day to remember the lost, even for a moment.

Too many want to forget, but we can never forget.

Thank you.

Elaine Hume Peake

Elaine Hume Peake is on vacation with her family.

This column will return Monday August 27th, 2012.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

TODAY: TUESDAY JULY 31st, 2012

LONDON 2012

What to Watch: Day 4 in London Source:

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/ASSOCIATED PRESS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Michael Phelps will likely end Tuesday with an Olympic record of 19 career medals (See below for more details from Bloomberg News)

U.S. women's gymnastics competes in the team final competition now

LeBron James and Team USA takes on Tunisia; Missy Franklin goes for gold again

Michael Phelps eyes history and the U.S. women's gymnastics team looks to grab gold on Day 4 in London.

Jordyn Wieber and the U.S. lead Russia and China heading into the gymnastics team final

Al Tielemans/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED - LONDON -- The final rival for Michael Phelps is a 77-year-old gymnast whose athletic career ended decades ago. Tonight, Phelps swims for history, and with two medal races (the 200 butterfly and 4x200 freestyle relay) and two strong changes to hit the podium, he should end his evening with a record 19 career Olympic medals. That would put him one medal beyond Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, and firmly atop Mt. Olympics.

The American swimmer is the individual headliner on Tuesday but the team to watch will be the U.S. women's gymnastics squad as the team final competition begins at 11:30 a.m. The U.S. women lead Russia and China after qualifying, and it will be an upset if they do not bring home gold. Medals will also be awarded today in canoe slalom, diving, equestrian, fencing, judo, shooting and weightlifting.

What to Watch (All Times ET)

• Phelps won the 200 butterfly in Athens and Beijing and is the favorite for the final, which starts at 2:49 p.m. With any color medal -- Phelps is SI's pick to win gold over Takeshi Matsuda of Japan -- he would tie Latynina for the all-time mark. Though, Phelps had the fourth-fastest run in qualifying, he was quite happy with his swim. Matsuda, South Africa's Chad le Clos and Chen Ye of China are Phelps' strongest competitors.

The women's 200 freestyle (2:41 p.m.) is a stacked race, including Missy Franklin (who won the 100 backstroke final) and Allison Schmitt of the U.S., France's Camille Muffat and Italy's Federica Pellegrini, who won the event in Beijing. Franklin qualified eighth, but will be in the hunt in the final.

[KILLION: Franklin's legend continues to grow]

Australia's Stephanie Rice was the prerace favorite in the 200 individual medley (3:43 p.m.) but watch out for China's 16-year-old comet Ye Shiwen, who set an Olympic record in the semis, and Australia's Alicia Coutts. Rice finished a surprising sixth in the 400 IM, in a race won handedly by Shiwen.

The last medal event of the night in swimming is the men's 4x200 freestyle relay, in which Phelps (and possibly Ryan Lochte) will compete in an event the U.S. has set 11 world records in since 1920. SI predicts a U.S.-France-Australia finish, and it would be shocking if the U.S. does not medal here.

There will also be preliminary heats (starting at 5 a.m.) and semifinals (starting at 2:30 p.m.) in the men's 100 free (the Australian pair of James Magnussen and James Roberts are the ones to watch); women's 200 butterfly (Japan's Natsumi Hoshi is SI's pick in the final), men's 200 breast stroke (Japan's Kosuke Kitajima gets another shot at gold)

• Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber will compete for the U.S. in the gymnastics team final (11:30 a.m. start), leading the competition heading in with a score of 181.863 followed by Russia (180.429), China (176.637) and Romania close behind at 176.264. Great Britain, Japan, Italy and Canada round out the eight teams who advanced to the final at North Greenwich Arena.

[CAZENEUVE: U.S. needs Wieber's best to win gold]

• Wimbledon has plenty of A-listers on center court today, including women's singles action featuring Venus Williams (U.S.) vs. Aleksandra Wozniak (Canada), Jarkko Nieminen (Finland) vs. Andy Murray (Great Britain), Andy Roddick (U.S.) vs. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) and Laura Robson (Great Britain) vs. Maria Sharapova (Russia). The matches start at 7 a.m.

[WERTHEIM: Mixed reviews for Wimbledon's new lawn]

• Archery features men's and women's individual action. Among the American competing today are Jacob Wukie (4:13 a.m.) and Jennifer Nichols (5:44 a.m.).

• Badminton continues with men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles. Play begins at 3:30 a.m. and runs until the final match (which starts at 3:54 p.m.).

After cruising past France in their opener, LeBron James and Co. take on Tunisia today.

John W. McDonough/SI

• Look for the U.S. men's basketball team -- who rolled over France by 27 in its opener on Sunday -- to continue the party against Tunisia (5:15 p.m.) Other games of note include Australia-Spain (6:15 a.m.) and France-Argentina (3 p.m.). Spain defeated China by 16 in its opener.

[THOMSEN: Love becoming key contributor for U.S.]

• Jamel Herring of the U. S. faces Daniyar Yeleussinov in a men's light welterweight bout (opening bouts start at 8:30 a.m.; second session starts at 3:30 p.m.). Boxing also has men's light flyweight action.

• France's Tony Estanguet is SI's pick for gold in the canoe single (C1) men's final (10:06 a.m.) at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

• The U.S. women' soccer team looks to improve to 3-0 in pool play as it faces North Korea (12:15 p.m.) at Old Trafford. Other games of note include Japan-South Africa (9:30 a.m.), Canada-Sweden (9:30 a.m.) and Great Britain-Brazil (2:45 p.m.).

• SI's pick for the women's synchronized 10m platform diving final (10 a.m.) is the Chinese team of Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao. Mexico's Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco are also serious contenders.

• Equestrian medals will be handed out in the eventing team jumping final (5:30 a.m.) and eventing individual jumping final (9:30 a.m.)

• Italy's Andrea Cassara is SI's pick for the men's foil individual finals (2:10 p.m.). The American Race Imboden is also a contender. The prelims begin at 5:30 a.m.

• Argentina is SI's pick in women's field hockey and the U.S. gets its opportunity to upset the favorites today (2 p.m.) at Riverbank Arena. A rising U.S. team defeated Argentina at the '11 Pan-Am Games and lost to Germany 2-1 in its London opener.

• Men's team handball continues with six matches, including Serbia-Croatia (11:15 a.m.) at Copper Box.

• Judo will hand out two medals, including the women's 63kg (11 a.m.) and men's 81kg (11:10 a.m.) Azerbaijan's Elnur Mammadli won the latter event in Beijing and is looking to repeat.

• Norway's Tore Brovold and Valeriy Shomin of Russia are the favorites in the skeet men's final (9 a.m.).

• The men's and women's singles quarterfinals in table tennis will be contested, including an anticipated match between China's Ding Ning and Japan's Ai Fukuhara (7 a.m.). Play commences at 5 a.m.

• There are six men's volleyball matches today, including the U.S. against Germany (11:45 a.m.) and Brazil-Russia (5 p.m.).

• The U.S. men's water polo team plays Romania at 2:40 p.m., one of six matches today in that sport. One to watch is Olympic titleholders Hungary against European championship runners-up Montenegro (3 p.m.).

• Weightlifting will hand out medals today in the women's 63kg and men's 69kg categories.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/ASSOCIATED PRESS

BLOOMBERG NEWS

Germany Wins First Olympic Gold; Phelps Aims for Medal Record

By Bob Bensch on July 31, 2012

Germany successfully defended its title in the equestrian team event for its first gold medal at the London Games, where swimmer Michael Phelps seeks to become the most decorated Olympic athlete in history.

Germany's team of Peter Thomsen, Dirk Schrade, Sandra Auffarth, Michael Jung and Ingrid Klimke won with a score of 133.70 penalty points. Britain, with a team including Zara Phillips, the 31-year-old granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, took the silver medal with 138.20 points and New Zealand won bronze with 144.40. The lowest penalty score wins in equestrian eventing.

That gold medal was the first of 15 to be awarded today, including women's team gymnastics and four in swimming. Vincent Hancock of the U.S. won the men's skeet shooting gold with an Olympic-record score of 123.

Phelps can set the mark for most Olympic medals by winning two in the pool today. The 27-year-old American will defend his title in the 200-meter butterfly and is likely to be part of the U.S.'s 800-meter freestyle relay team, which was the fastest qualifier for tonight's final.

Phelps earned his 17th Olympic medal, a silver in the 400- meter freestyle relay, two days ago, moving within one of the record set by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. He holds the records for gold medals in a single games, with eight in Beijing four years ago, and for his career, with 14.

Venus Williams Advances

China's Ye Shiwen, 16, who set a world record in winning the women's 400-meter individual medley three days ago, will swim in the women's 200-meter IM. American Missy Franklin, 17, looks to win the 200-meter freestyle a day after taking the 100-meter backstroke gold.

Venus Williams of the U.S. moved into the third round of the women's tennis event at Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak. Later today, Russia's Maria Sharapova meets Britain's Laura Robson, while Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays Andy Roddick of the U.S.

The U.S. will seek its first gold medal since 1996 in today's women's gymnastics team event. The Americans had the top qualifying score, finishing ahead of Russia, China and Romania.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

Friday, July 27, 2012

SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES
New York Racing Association

•Met Mile hero Shackleford may alter plans and run in next weekend's G1 Vanderbilt as springboard to Forego

•Hunters Bay, Tu Endie Wei to arrive Monday for G1 Whitney, G1 Prioress

•Quick Call victor Artest possible for August 15 Troy; Upgrade under consideration for G2 Fourstardave

•5 YO mare Island Bound eyes second graded stakes win in G2 Honorable Miss

•McPeek hoping for good late run from Atigun in G2 Jim Dandy

•Low profile Aro returns to Spa for G2 Honorable Miss

•NYRA offering Facebook drawing for Curlin, Rachel Alexandra prints

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Instead of going straight to the Grade 1, $500,000 Forego on Saturday, September 1 as originally planned, multiple Grade 1 winner Shackleford may run on Sunday, August 5 in the Grade 1, $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap.

"There is a slim chance that Shackleford might show up in the Vanderbilt," said trainer Dale Romans. "A lot depends on how he breezes at Churchill tomorrow. It has been in the back of my mind for a while."

Owned by Bill Cubbedge and Michael Lauffer, Shackleford most recently ran perhaps the top race of 2012 to this point, defeating Caleb's Posse by a nose in the prestigious Grade 1, $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap on May 28 at Belmont.

Romans previously indicated that the 4-year-old son of Forestry would await the Forego, but he has seen signs that the 2011 Preakness winner might be ready sooner.

"He's starting to come out of his shell and I don't think it will be as taxing on him as the one and one eighth miles of the Whitney," Romans said. "He's a horse that likes to run, and if nothing else, it would be a good prep for the Forego. He only has three or four more races left in his career, so we might as well get them."

If Shackleford does run in the Vanderbilt, it would be the first time in his career trying six furlongs. Because he was not nominated for the race, he would need to be supplemented for $8,000.
* * *
Trainer Reade Baker said Grade 1 Whitney Handicap candidate Hunters Bay and Grade 1 Prioress probable Tu Endie Wei will work tomorrow morning at Woodbine and ship to Saratoga on Monday morning for their engagements in next Saturday's races.

"Everything's a go," Baker said from Toronto. "We'll have to find out what the weights are for the Whitney before we know for sure."

Winner of three straight at Woodbine, including the Grade 3 Dominion Day at 1 ¼ miles and the Grade 3 Eclipse at 1 1/16 miles, the 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper hasn't run past a mile in the United States since breaking his maiden at Belmont at 1 1/16 miles in May, 2010.

"We've always ended up sprinting in Florida; we've never had the chance to go long," he noted, adding that the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on September 3 and the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 6 were long-term objectives for Hunters Bay en route to the Breeders' Cup.

Tu Endie Wei, 4-1-0 at Woodbine, was making her first start on dirt when she finished third in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Belmont.

"I think that she'll end up running her best races on dirt, not Polytrack," Baker said of the 3-year-old Johar filly. "Given that she had some mucus that day and got shuffled at the start, that might have been the best race of her life."

He indicated that Tu Endie Wei likely would make one more start before the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

Baker said he would like Tu Endie Wei and Hunters Bay to be stabled near Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, whose longshot Emma's Encore won the Victory Ride.

"He and I went out to dinner the night before the race, and he was moaning about not being in the right race with her," said Baker. "He led me down the garden path."
* * *
Trainer Michele Nihei reported that Artest, who rallied from sixth to win Thursday's 5 ½-furlong Quick Call by 1 ½ lengths on one week's rest, emerged from his quick turnaround in fine form.

"Most of the credit has to go to [owner] Dennis Narlinger," she said. "I'm not the type of person to wheel horses back like that. We really wanted to see if this horse wants to be a closing sprinter. It's been a little frustrating, because he's the type of horse that screams talent in the mornings. This morning, the horse was like 'See? I told you this is what I wanted to do!'"

Nihei said the 3-year-old Hard Spun colt possibly could face older horses in the 5 ½-furlong Troy on August 15.

"At the moment we need to see if we can keep him on a progressive racing schedule," said Nihei. "The Troy is three times as far away as the Quick Call was from his last race; we'll look at anything short on the grass."

Nihei added that Upgrade, winner of the Grade 3, seven-furlong Jaipur at Belmont Park on June 8, was under serious consideration for the Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap on August 11.

"It's a mile, but I like the way he's been training the past few days," she said. "It's a challenging spot for him. But he's on schedule for it if that's where we decide to go."

Grade 1 Jamaica winner Prince Will I Am, unraced since the 2011 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap, continues to train well for a return to racing, said the trainer. A third workout is upcoming for the 5-year-old Victory Gallop ridgling, who last Sunday went a half-mile in 49.58.

"We had been looking at the [August 3] John's Call, but that may be a little bit ahead of his schedule," said Nihei. "If not, then we'll look at something for when we get back to Belmont, or maybe at Keeneland."
* * *
Among those pointing to next Friday's Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss is the well-traveled 5-year-old mare Island Bound, a former claimer who earned her first graded stakes victory on June 2 when she rallied from seventh to win the Grade 3 Winning Colors at Churchill Downs. Subsequently fifth in Belmont's Grade 3 Bed o' Roses in her only off-the-board outing of 2012, the daughter of Speightstown likely will have her final prep for the six-furlong race on Sunday, said trainer Ian Wilkes.

"She's really turned the corner this year," said Wilkes. "Last year we were running her for a $30,000 tag. All of a sudden, this year she got good. She's doing well up here, as well. I think in her last race, the inside post hurt her. They went the first quarter in :23, and that kind of left me in the jackpot."

Owned by Robert T. Manfuso, Island Bound is 3-3-0 from seven starts this year with earnings of $155,075.
* * *
Michael Aro might not be a name a lot of race fans recognize, but the 55-year-old trainer has been a pretty good sleeper over the years at Saratoga. In the late 1990s, he shipped in to the Spa four years in a row, winning each time with a tough claimer named Champagne for Lisa.

In 1990, he won the third race on Alabama Day with Keynote Speaker at 25-1.

Aro is the son of a jockey who rode on the Maryland small-track circuit before he got too big, and he cut his teeth as a horseman under the top New England trainer J.J Kelly in the 1980s at Rockingham Park. He keeps a stable of about 14, including steeplechasers, at Parx Racing, and has his sights set on Saratoga again this year.

On Thursday, he plans to run a steeplechaser and then show up for a bigger challenge August 3 with Winning Image for the Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss, a six-furlong sprint stakes for 3-year-olds and up.

"The only thing I've done at Saratoga so far is make a few bucks," Aro said Friday morning. "Keynote Speaker, Champagne for Lisa, she was a nice claiming mare. I've had a few winners."

Winning Image, owned by Martin Scafidi, has won two stakes races this year, both at Parx, and finished third in her most recent start, the $150,000 Sweet and Sassy Stakes on June 23 at Delaware Park.

As usual that day, Winning Image was on the lead, but gave way to third in the stretch.

"That jockey tried to fix running water," joked Aro, referring to regular rider Jose Caraballo, who retains the mount for the Honorable Miss. "I think she'll be on top of her game this time. She worked awful fast the other day (four furlongs in 47.39 seconds on July 25). She's very competitive; she gives 110 percent all the time."

Winning Image has only been off the board in one of her past seven starts, a seventh-place finish behind Nicole H in the Correction on February 4 on the inner dirt at Aqueduct.

"This past winter she came up with a lung infection and that was her only bad race," Aro said.

Four of Winning Image's seven wins have come at Suffolk Downs and the other three were in stakes races at Parx.

Aro believes the 5-year-old Southern Image mare is ready to win at her third track. "She gets up two or three, relaxes, and that's it," he said.
* * *
Though concerned that the 1 1/8 miles of tomorrow's Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy might be too short for Atigun, trainer Ken McPeek said that the Istan colt didn't have to win to move on to the Grade 1, $1 million Travers on August 25.

"We'd like to see him come running late," he said of Atigun, most recently third behind Union Rags and Paynter in the Grade 1, ½-mile Belmont Stakes. "And if he doesn't win, as long as he's competing and gaining ground late, that's fine."

McPeek said he was unconcerned about the potential pace dynamics in the Jim Dandy.

"I never try to guess," he said. "I've seen races where you expected a ton of pace and there was none, and races where you didn't think there'd be any and there was plenty.

We're going to let him run his race and if it sets up for him, fine."

McPeek added that Atigun has been doing well since the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

"It was a good, solid race," he said. "He came out of it fine and easy, no problems."
* * *
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) is conducting a free drawing over Facebook in which three fans will win a print commemorating the respective wins by Curlin and Rachel Alexandra in the 2008 and 2009 Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga Race Course.

The Woodward was a critical piece in the Horse of the Year campaigns for both Curlin and Rachel Alexandra. The name of their foal will be announced later today after the Curlin Stakes, the eighth race on the card.

Entries for the contest will be accepted until 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, August 5, 2012. Contestants must "like" NYRA on Facebook to be eligible to win.

Those who get three friends to sign up will be entered to win a secret prize.

Contact: NYRA Press Office

(518) 584-6200, ext. 4237

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PEOPLE MAGAZINE online just reported:

Robin Roberts to Take Medical Leave for Bone-Marrow Transplant

By Alison Schwartz

Friday July 27, 2012 08:00 AM EDT

As ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today show continue to vie for ratings, Robin Roberts is taking time out to focus on her own battle, with myelodysplastic syndrome.

The anchor, 51, expects to take a medical leave in late August or early September from her morning show, which has reigned over Today for the past four weeks, to undergo a bone-marrow transplant.

"It's fascinating-slash-scary how to prepare yourself for something like this," Roberts told reporters gathered for the Television Critics Association conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., via satellite from ABC's studios in New York, according to New York's Daily News.

Roberts - who revealed she was batting the rare disease of the blood and bone marrow in June with the subsequent news that her sister would donate bone marrow - says she feels "moments of fatigue" lately, although her job has helped her pull through.

"The [ratings] run that we've had has truly energized me," said Roberts, who successfully battled breast cancer five years ago. "It's pretty good medicine - I gotta say."

Filling in through her absence, reports the Daily News, quoting possibilities provided by ABC News president Ben Sherwood: such familiar faces as Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Kelly Ripa and the cast of The View.

PEOPLE MAGAZINE online

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