Justin Case for May 10, 2011

And the Derby winner is. Animal Kingdom.

There's something about the Kentucky Derby that grabs my attention. I'm from Cincinnati so Louisville is less than 2 hours away and a good part of my family is from Kentucky so as a descendent of the Horse racing capital of the world I have to pay attention.

If you've never been to Churchill Downs, make sure you get there. You don't even have to be a sports fan to appreciate all its glory. I was fortunate enough to be selected to a student journalism seminar at Churchill Downs when I was in college. We got an all-access pass basically to see everything. We had to work too. We turned stories and conducted interviews and woke up at 5 a.m. to do those stories but it was all worth it. The 3-day experience is something that I've never forgotten and the lessons I learned there I still use today.

I had Dialed In to win but Animal Kingdom won it. Now he goes to the Preakness. A win there and he'll try to become the first horse in 33 years to win the Triple Crown with a win at the Belmont.


The Virginia Department of Athletics has added more General Admission seats at Davenport Field. The additional 249 seats will be located behind the right-field wall and will be available starting with the home series against Miami (May 13-15).

The stadium's seating capacity will increase to 5,074 starting May 13.

"I have dreamed of the day our fan support would be at a level that would demand our stadium to accommodate over 5,000 fans," Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor said. "Because of the overwhelming support of our fans, this day has arrived. Our players are having a tremendous season, they appreciate the support of our fans, and we need our fans to pack Davenport Field for our remaining four regular-season games.

UVa has program in every sense of the word. In years past UVa has been good but didn't have enough pitching to legitimately contend for a national title. They do this year. They have at least 4 starters who would be No. 1 guys on a majority of other college teams. Danny Hultzen is the leader. He'll be a top 10 (my guess is a top 5) pick on June 6th. He's a junior so he could come back but I think he goes pro. I'm working on a story on him. I planned to do it when they played N.C. State a couple Fridays ago but the game got rained out. They play Miami this Friday so I'll try again.


How bad were the Lakers on Sunday? Geesh. What a way to go out, in a sweep and looking like a bunch of class-less jerks. Lamar Odom shoved Dirk and Andrew Bynum threw a vicious forearm at JJ Barea as he went to the hoop. Bynum was tossed. I just read an SI article on him and nothing from that article led me to believe that Bynum would be that type of player. He'll be fined and then suspended once the next season rolls around but frustration from a sweep led him to deliver the blow. The real blow was dealt by Dallas. They drained 20 threes and won 122-86. See you later Lakers and consequently my pick to win it all over the Heat. FYI - Dennis Carter had Dallas beating the Lakers.


Did you get a chance to see ESPN's story on Luis Salazar? It was on Sunday night. I just search and there's no link to the video. I was lucky enough to be one of the first journalists to interview Luis once he came to Lynchburg. He's told his story a billion times and each time he does it professionally. You'd think telling it over and over and over again would get to him but no, he's a pro and treated each reporter like it was the first time he'd been asked the questions surrounding his injuries.


The Hillcats are not playing too well. They're 10-18. They have a quick three game home stand this week against Frederick T, W, Th. It's about time a Thursday Cheers comes around. It took more than a month for $1 beers. June is the money month - $4 beers nights in one month.

That's all for now. Rock it out.