NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CMC):Jamaican Shaun Bridgmohan wrapped up 2016 in style, producing a dominant front-running effort with favourite BELIEVE IN BERTIE to win the co-feature US$104,400 Pago Hop Stakes in a new track record at Fair Grounds on New Year’s Eve.In firm turf conditions over a mile, Bridgmohan and the three-year-old filly led into the first turn and then made all the running to reach the wire 73/4 lengths clear in a breezy time of one minute, 34.22 seconds.The time eclipsed the one-year-old record of 1:34.51 set by six-year-old PAROLED in 2015.”She’s got such a high cruising speed, so I just wanted to stay out of her way and be a good passenger,” Bridgmohan said afterwards.”She was doing it so easily. I never even had to pull the stick on her.”BELIEVE IN BERTIE broke from the far outside, but quickly made up ground to head Gianna’s Dream into the first turn to set a steady pace.She was easy through the quarter run in 24.01 seconds, but quickened to reach the half mile in 47.27, to be nearly eight lengths clear of the field.Bridgmohan then carried the filly to the six-furlong pole in 1:10.85 and burst into the stretch without a serious challenger. The pair completed the final quarter mile in a speedy 23.55 seconds to pass the wire dominantly.”It was an awesome effort and we’re very proud of her,” said trainer Brad Cox.The victory was BELIEVE IN BERTIE’s fourth in nine starts and it carried her career earnings to $271,522.
FILE – In this Jan. 26, 2018, file photo, New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) controls the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix. Porzingis’ left knee is healing well from a torn ACL and he will be re-evaluated in mid-February 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)NEW YORK — Kristaps Porzingis’ left knee is getting better, though it could be at least two months before he plays again.Team President Steve Mills said Friday the team is pleased with Porzingis’ recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament ACL, and another round of testing scheduled for mid-February could clarify his timeline for his return.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES The Knicks hope their All-Star forward will be ready to play this season, but won’t push it.“We’d like him to get on the court, we’d love to see him play,” Mills said. “But we also acknowledge that he is a really, really important part of the long-term future of this franchise and one thing we’re not going to do is take any real risk.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefPorzingis was hurt Feb. 6 after landing on a dunk in a game against Milwaukee. He has gone through a series of tests during his rehab, but Mills said they want to see more improvement before the 23-year-old Porzingis can move onto the next level of activity.For now, he is working individually with a coach, able to do some pull-up shooting and dunking. But Mills won’t speculate about when Porzingis can do more, or even if he will get on the court in February if he meets the necessary benchmarks at the next evaluation. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Australian Open to have 10-point tiebreakers in deciding set “It’s a fluid process so I don’t want to say that’s what will happen, but I also don’t want to say that it’s impossible to happen,” Mills said. “I’m not really sure. We’re going to see as he sort of ramps up his progression how he feels.”The Knicks are near the bottom of the league with a 9-24 record entering their game Friday against Atlanta, so Porzingis won’t be able to save them this season. But having him on the court could help them in the summer, as potential free agents may want to see if the 7-foot-3 Latvian is fully back before they would consider the Knicks.But Mills said that won’t play into the Knicks’ thinking.“The most important thing for us is to have Kristaps on the court when he feels comfortable being on the court and we feel comfortable that he should be out there,” Mills said. “That’s more important than any timetable this season, some point in the summer. The most important thing is that we know that we’ve got this guy in a place that he feels comfortable on the floor and we feel comfortable in his ability to be part of what we’re doing long term. That’s more important than anything else that we can lay out.”Mills also declined to discuss how Porzingis’ recovery would factor into whether the team offers him a contract extension in the summer.ADVERTISEMENT He believes Porzingis — who grew so fed up with the franchise in its final days under Phil Jackson that he skipped his exit meeting before returning to Europe for the summer — is pleased with the team now. Mills said Porzingis is almost always at the practice facility and sits with teammates during film sessions.But Mills said there haven’t been any discussions about if Porzingis wants to join them on the court this season.“We really haven’t talked about it because we’ve always left it in the context of he’s going to play whenever we feel like he’s ready to play and whenever he feels like he’s ready to play,” Mills said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? View comments