(Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey…)
Yes He Did returns from layoff with win
Yes He Did won Saturday's $42,000 feature at Laurel Park off a 14-month layoff when he rallied from far back to beat seven rivals. Dismissed at 10-1 and breaking from the extreme outside post, the roan gelding carried apprentice Jevian Toledo to a 31/2-length victory over late-closing Thurmont. The son of Exchange Rate was claimed by trainer/co-owner Linda Gaudet in December 2011. He was 0-for-10 with five in-the-money appearances in 2012 and missed all of 2013. "Big effort. I am very pleased," Gaudet said. "He had some surgery. We gave him plenty of time and he came back strong. This was a big step today. I wanted to get over this hurdle. You never know after that long away. He just kept getting better and better during training so we decided to take this shot rather than coming back in an easier spot." The 5-year-old gelding completed the 6-furlong distance in 1 minute, 13.06 seconds and paid $22.40.
Schedule: Beginning this week, Laurel will conduct live racing four days a week for the final seven weeks of the winter meeting after racing Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays since the beginning of the year. Friday was added to the program as a makeup for scratching Jan. 11; there will be a holiday card Feb. 17; and Friday racing will be added to the schedule Feb. 28 for the balance of the stand, which ends March 29. Live racing shifts to Pimlico Race Course for the spring meeting April 3.
Reynolds, Peterson earn two Navy awards each
On Friday night, Navy sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds was named the winner of the E.E. "Rip" Miller Award, which is presented to the season's most valuable player as voted on by his teammates. This is the second consecutive year that Reynolds has won the award after becoming the first freshman to win the award last year. Reynolds was also named the winner of the Roger Staubach Award, which is presented to the player who demonstrated leadership and a winning attitude in contributing to the team's success and embodied honor, courage and commitment on and off the field. Senior linebacker Cody Peterson also received two honors: the Jeffrey R. Korn Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award, which is given to the first classman on the team who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom and on the football field, and the First Lieutenant Ron Winchester Unsung Hero Award, which is presented to an unheralded senior recognized as an overachiever and role model as selected by a vote of his teammates. In other news, two rising seniors, fullback Noah Copeland and safety Parrish Gaines, were elected team captains for the 2014 season.
Baseball: The Milwaukee Brewers brought back a familiar face Friday, agreeing to terms with reliever Francisco Rodriguez on a one-year contract. Rodriguez, 32, spent two-plus seasons in the Brewers bullpen before being dealt to the Orioles before last year's trade deadline. Over 48 combined games with the Brewers and Orioles, Rodriguez went 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 10 saves.
Minor league basketball: The Bay Area Shuckers (9-1) won their fifth straight American Professional Basketball League game and set a franchise record for victories with a 141-112 rout of the visiting Beltway Bombers (5-4). Kelvin Bright scored 29 points for the Shuckers, and Rocky Coleman (Towson University, Walbrook) and Gus Chase (St. Frances) had 16 each. Bay Area leads the Patriot Division by two games.
College softball: Senior outfielder Maureen Hepner hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning, leading Towson (2-0) to a come-from-behind 8-7 victory over Eastern Michigan (1-2) at the USC Upstate Classic in Spartanburg, S.C. Hepner, who was 4-for-5 with two RBIs, drove in Hailey Balk with the game-winning run.
—From Sun staff and news services