Trainer Ness earns win No. 2,000 of his career
Trainer Jamie Ness won for the 2,000th time in his career when Caylee's Song took Thursday's second race at Laurel Park. The 6-year-old gelding beat six other claimers and paid $4 as the even-money favorite. Ness narrowly missed reaching the plateau in the opener when Pelican Cove was beaten by a head. Ness watched on his iPad from Tampa, Fla., where he was spending Thanksgiving with family. He will look for his seventh consecutive training title at Tampa Bay Downs when that meet opens next week. "It just seems like yesterday I won my 1,000th," Ness said. "The last 1,000 came pretty fast. I am happy for my staff and my owner," Midwest Thoroughbreds. Ness won his first race with Blue Rocket at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., on Aug. 21, 1999, and had 230 victories through 2006. Since 2009, his runners have visited the winner's circle nearly 1,500 times. "I took my bumps and bruises the first few years and just tried to learn how to do things right," said Ness. "I made a lot of mistakes, and every time I did, I tried not to do it again." Last year, the 39-year-old led all North American trainers with 395 victories, including 83 at Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, after finishing as the runner-up in 2010 and 2011. Ness has 20 victories at the current fall meeting, two behind Hugh McMahon. "I bought a house near the Baltimore airport in September and plan on spending the winter here in Tampa and in Maryland," Ness said. "I will keep 35 or 40 horses at Laurel, a barnful at Tampa and a few at Gulfstream." Apprentice Victor Carrasco was aboard for the milestone score. The 21-year-old won two races on the holiday card, also reaching the wire first with Isolation Road in the opener. He leads the Laurel fall standings with 41 victories and ranks 17th in North America with 184 scores. Carrasco has won 21 races at Laurel this month and in the process has moved to the top of the North American apprentice rankings in both victories and earnings ($3,622,465).
Friday: Jeremy Rose had only one mount but made the most of it when he drove Hope In Your Rope to a victory by three-quarters of a length in the finale. The win was the first for Rose since returning several days ago after missing three months of action. The 34-year-old, long a fixture on the Maryland and Delaware circuits, is most famous for his ride in the 2005 Preakness, in which he prevented Afleet Alex from falling after clipping heels, then righted him and rode him to victory. In 2001, Rose won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Rider. Trainer Hamilton Smith saddled Hope In Your Rope, who was breaking his maiden in his fourth lifetime start. The son of Yes It's True paid $11.
Duke men picked No. 1 in Inside Lacrosse preview
Defending men's national champion Duke is ranked No. 1 in Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook heading into the 2014 season. The Blue Devils were also picked as the preseason favorite by Division I coaches. Led by eighth-year coach John Danowski, Duke returns a great deal of talent from its championship team. At midfield, former Boys' Latin star Christian Walsh (16 goals, 17 assists) and dominant faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler (339-for-526, 209 ground balls) are back for their senior seasons; seniors Jordan Wolf (57 goals, 28 assists) and Josh Dionne (45 goals) and sophomore Case Matheis will start on attack. Among area teams in the Yearbook Top 25, Maryland was chosen sixth (fifth in the coaches' poll), Johns Hopkins 14th (ninth), Loyola 19th (12th) and Towson 20th (21st).
More men's lacrosse: Loyola was voted No. 1 in the Patriot League preseason coaches' poll. Navy was picked sixth.
Women's college basketball: Towson announced a four-player recruiting class that has signed national letters of intent to join the team for the 2014-15 season. Shanea Butler, Braysia Hicks, Breonn Hughey and Daijha Thomas make up coach Niki Reid Geckeler's first recruiting class at Towson.
Men's gymnastics: The U.S. team, including Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, finished fifth in the qualification round at the DTB Cup — Team Challenge in Stuttgart, Germany, just missing advancing to the final round. The men's team earned a total score of 173.850 in the qualification round, slipping behind Great Britain after the sixth rotation. Japan turned in the top score in the qualification round at 176.450, followed by China at 175.750. Host Germany was third with 174.700, with Britain taking the fourth spot at 174.250. The top four of the 12 competing teams advanced to today's finals, which use the same format. The event format is a four-man team, with three competing on each event and the top two scores count. The United States did not enter the women's team competition.
—From Sun staff and news services