“He seems to be in good form and we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully it’s a race he can run well in.” Flaxen Flare’s seven rivals are headed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Marchese Marconi and Midnight Oil and Digeanta from the Willie Mullins stable. Trainer Gordon Elliott has chosen the Killarney Veterinary Clinic Race at the County Kerry track as the comeback run for last season’s Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle winner ahead of the valuable handicap at the Ballybrit venue on August 1. “We’ve got to start him off somewhere. He’s going for the Galway Hurdle in a couple of weeks but we want to get a pipe-opener into him so this will just be a runaround for Galway,” said Elliott. Press Association Cheltenham Festival hero Flaxen Flare warms up for a crack at the Guinness Galway Hurdle with a run on the Flat at Killarney on Tuesday.
Whitaker turned pro in 1984 after the Olympics and went on to become a world champion in four different weight classes: lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight.In his professional career, he had 40 wins (17 of which were by knockout), four losses and one draw. He was recognized by boxing publication Ring Magazine as Fighter of the Year in 1989. In 2002, the magazine ranked him the 10th greatest boxer of the last 80 years. (CNN)-Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, considered one of the greatest lightweight boxers of all time, died Sunday after he was hit by a vehicle in Virginia, police said.He was 55 years old.Officers received a call around 10 p.m. ET about a incident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, Virginia Beach police said in a news release.The pedestrian, who died at the scene, was later identified as Whitaker.The driver remained on site with police, the release said, and the investigation remains active.“We lost a legend truly one of boxing’s greatest Pound 4 Pound champions my father Pernell Sweetpea Whitaker,” his son, Domonique Whitaker, wrote in a Facebook post. An illustrious careerWhitaker, a southpaw known for his defensive prowess, grew up in Norfolk. As an amateur boxer, his record was 201-14 with 91 knockouts. He won Olympic gold at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles and also won gold at the 1983 Pan American Games and silver at the 1982 World Championships. Whitaker retired from fighting in 2001 and worked as a trainer. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.
That something is Kedon Slovis, who shattered the program records for both passing yards in a season by a freshman and single-game passing yards by any quarterback in a sterling 515-yard, four-touchdown performance. Slovis was absolutely lights out, putting the pressure on UCLA’s offense by guiding the Trojans to an early lead and responding with scores every time the Bruins mounted a comeback attempt. Aidan Berg is a junior writing about sports. He is also an associate managing editor for Daily Trojan. His column, “Berg is the Word,” runs every Monday. The University must balance that requirement with the priority of holding onto Harrell. It needs to find an inspired coaching candidate — no, not Urban Meyer — that will be willing to retain and work with Harrell and his crew. This is why USC cannot afford to get rid of Harrell. The relationship between an offensive coordinator and their quarterback is crucial to a team’s performance, and the Trojans have found one that works — really well. Slovis has shown he can be one of the best quarterbacks in school history, but we don’t know what he looks like with someone else calling the shots. Even with the injuries at running back, it shouldn’t have taken that long to develop a complementary run game. But it’s also important to remember that Harrell is young and coaching his first season in a Power 5 conference. Just like Slovis, he’s had a fantastic first season, and he’s only going to get better. Slovis is the perfect signal-caller for Harrell’s modified Air Raid approach. He almost always makes good decisions, so he can sling the ball more than 50 times without risking too many turnovers. He’s also got fantastic accuracy and knows how to find his receivers in positions for them to make plays with the ball. The crazy thing is that due to the attack’s execution-based nature, Slovis is only going to get better over time. He’s had a few freshman mistakes where he tried to force the ball between defenders, but that’s something he can iron out. Saturday’s game continued the trend of Slovis putting up monstrous numbers — and not just for a freshman. Over his final five games this season, Slovis averaged 404.6 passing yards and 3.8 touchdowns per game while completing over 70% of his pass attempts. If there were fantasy football for the college game, Slovis’ home stretch would have won the league for many of his owners. USC fans have obviously loved what they’ve seen from the once-unheralded three-star recruit, but there’s a small discrepancy between their future hopes for Slovis and their demand that the University move on from Helton. If USC elects to hire a new head coach, he will almost definitely want to bring on a whole new staff, including an offensive coordinator to replace Graham Harrell. Harrell isn’t necessarily a perfect offensive coordinator either. He sometimes gives up on the run game a little too easily, and Saturday was the first time the Trojans could really make a team pay for dropping eight by running the ball effectively. USC football has been heading for a head coaching change ever since the team’s embarrassing 56-24 home defeat to the Oregon Ducks a few weeks ago. At the time, the Trojans were 5-4, and no matter how the rest of the season went, it seemed like the right time to move on from Clay Helton and bring in a staff that could help the considerable talent on this roster reach true contender status. The Trojans have something special on their hands. It’s rare to have two key pieces of your team be so productive and yet have so much room to grow. It’s even rarer for those two pieces to fit perfectly together. It’s been an encouraging end to the season, but if Harrell doesn’t return next year, the offense will enter the 2020 season opener against Alabama with more questions than answers. To protect Slovis’ seemingly definitive status as a star to rely on for the next three years, USC should do whatever it can to avoid this result. Harrell has been a huge factor in Slovis’ success. The freshman quarterback has said so himself, crediting Harrell’s scheme (and his teammates) for his big numbers. Remember that Slovis didn’t even get the first-team reps until after sophomore JT Daniels went down with a knee injury in the team’s opener. Imagine what he can do with a full spring and fall camp as well as a season of experience under his belt. I’m not going to claim that Slovis couldn’t look just as good under some other offensive coordinator. He has talent that most evaluators obviously missed in the recruiting process. From mental processing to arm talent, Slovis has looked close to the total package these last few games. But we know that he works with Harrell, and that’s not something USC should mess with. USC now has a delicate tightrope to walk. It needs to bring on a new head coach so that it can reach its rightful aspirations as a College Football Playoff contender. It needs a head coach who not only inspires devotion from his players, as Helton does, but spurs them on to new levels of play. It also needs an improved defensive staff, as evidenced by the 35 points allowed to a seemingly unstoppable UCLA offense Saturday. While I still believe that is the correct course of action, something about Saturday’s 52-35 victory over UCLA complicates the coaching matter just a bit.