You did it, Big Blue Nation! After a long, slow work week, you finally made it through to the weekend. And not just any weekend, it’s Father’s Day Weekend!
With summer well underway, many families use their time off this weekend to get outside, swim in the pool, take a trip to the lake, grill out, drink a beer or two, and spending quality time with family to celebrate fathers.
We’ll have a few dad-specific posts here on the site tomorrow highlighting some popular fathers and father figures we’ve seen over the years in the world of UK Athletics, but until then, relax and enjoy yourselves while you spend a little extra time with your loved ones.
Now, though, let’s jump into today’s news.
History will be made this afternoon as the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes will be the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
Typically the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont will officially jump ahead of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes following numerous schedule changes due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Originally slated to run on June 6, a shortened Belmont Stakes will run this afternoon at 5:42 p.m. ET, while the Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled to September 4, while the Preakness Stakes is now scheduled for October 3.
What are some quick hitters you need to know about today’s event?
Taking place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, the race will take place without spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic, but will still be broadcast live on NBC. The race itself has been shortened from a mile and a half to a mile and an eighth to “properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training,” per the NY Racing Association.
So who are the favorites?
Tiz the Law leads the way at 6-5 odds, followed by Sole Volante at 9-2, Dr Post at 5-1, and Tap It to Win at 6-1.
Here’s the entire list of updated betting odds:
- Tiz the Law (6-5)
- Sole Volante (9-2)
- Dr Post (5-1)
- Tap It to Win (6-1)
- Pneumatic (8-1)
- Max Player (15-1)
- Modernist (15-1)
- Farmington Road (15-1)
- Fore Left (30-1)
- Jungle Runner (50-1)
— Belmont Stakes (@BelmontStakes) June 20, 2020
PGA Tour play continues
While most of the attention will be on the Belmont today, the PGA Tour is set to continue today, as day three of the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, SC will take place throughout the morning and into the afternoon.
Through two rounds, Webb Simpson leads the way at -12 overall, followed by Bryson DeChambeau and Corey Conners tied for second at -11. Ryan Palmer and Matthew Fitzpatrick are tied for fourth at -10, while Abraham Ancer and Jhonattan Vegas, Matthew NeSmith, Brooks Koepka, and Ian Poulter are all tied for sixth at -9 overall to round out the top ten.
The purse is set for $7,100,000.
Outside of current competitors, golfer Nick Watney became the first player on the PGA Tour to test positive for COVID-19 and withdrew from the event leading up to day two of the event on Friday.
“Nick will have the PGA Tour’s full support throughout his self-isolation and recovery period under CDC guidelines,” the PGA Tour said in a statement. “For the health and well-being of all associated with the tournament and those within the community, the TOUR has begun implementing its response plan in consultation with medical experts including working with those who may have had close contact with Nick.”
UFC Fight Night
Thought we were done with sports for the day? Not so fast.
This evening, 12 fights are set to take place in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex.
Seven preliminary bouts are set to begin at 5 p.m. ET, followed by five on the main card at 8 p.m. ET. All of the action can be found live on ESPN.
Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov represent the headliner in a heavyweight clash against top-ten fighters in their respective weight class. Blaydes comes in as a heavy favorite with a 13-2 record and is on the verge of a shot at the heavyweight title at No. 3 overall. Volkov, the No. 7 heavyweight fighter, comes in as the betting underdog, despite winning seven of his last eight fights.
Here are all of tonight’s fights and the betting odds for each:
- Curtis Blaydes (-400) vs. Alexander Volkov (+310)
- Shane Burgos (-150) vs. Josh Emmett (+125)
- Raquel Pennington (-180) vs. Marion Reneau (+155)
- Belal Muhammad (-125) vs. Lyman Good (+105)
- Roosevelt Roberts (-260) vs. Jim Miller (+210)
- Bobby Green (-260) vs. Clay Guida (+210)
- Justin Jaynes (+290) vs. Frank Camacho (-380)
- Oskar Piechota (-125) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (+105)
- Brianna Van Buren (-220) vs. Tecia Torres (+180)
- Gillian Robertson (-120) vs. Cortney Casey (+100)
- Roxanne Modafferi (-120) vs. Lauren Murphy (+100)
- Max Rohskopf (-195) vs. Austin Hubbard (+165)
Bill Self fights back with the NCAA
Kansas head coach Bill Self isn’t going down without a fight.
According to a report by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach this week, Self’s attorney, Scott Tompsett, has filed a letter to the NCAA threatening legal action as a result of its investigation into the Kansas basketball program.
In the letter sent to NCAA vice president of legal affairs and general counsel Scott Bearby, Tompsett says the purpose of the letter is to “formally put the NCAA on notice of Mr. Self’s current and prospective claims against the NCAA relating to the NCAA’s infractions investigation of the KU men’s basketball program and Mr. Self.”
Should he bring legal action against the NCAA, it will be for negligence, defamation, and fraud, among other claims.
“Without limiting Mr. Self’s claims, he is considering bringing legal action against the NCAA and NCAA officers, employees and representatives for negligence, breach of contract, defamation, fraud, tortious interference with contract and tortious interference with prospective contract,” Tompsett’s letter states, via ESPN.
Kansas is currently being charged with five Level I violations, the most severe, including lack of institutional control.
Terrence Clarke’s 60-inch jump is must-see TV
Before closing out the morning, you can’t leave before checking out Kentucky signee Terrence Clarke’s ridiculous 60-inch box jump, which was published by the five-star guard’s trainer just a few days back.
That kid has some serious bounce.