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Mike Francesa’s Horse Falls in Fountain of Youth Stakes, Kentucky Derby Prep Race

“The reason the victories are so sweet is because thoroughbred racing can be a very cruel game. We continue along the road to the Derby.”

Jordan Bondurant

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We’re a little more than eight weeks away from the running of the 148th Kentucky Derby on May 7, and former WFAN host Mike Francesa is optimistic he’ll have a horse in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Francesa is a co-owner of a horse named High Oak, which is attempting to make the field for the race. The horse was mentioned as part of Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s appearance at last week’s BSM Summit. Russo said having a horse in the Derby would be a bucket list item for Francesa.

“I know Mike better than anybody, and if he’s sitting here on that first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs with a horse going to the gate, that will be, I promise you, the highlight of his life,” Russo said.

High Oak’s first attempt to qualify came on Saturday in Florida in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. The New York Post reported that High Oak was in the mix about two furlongs from the finish when he clipped heels with another horse and fell.

Both the jockeys, Joel Rosario and Junior Alvarado, were thrown from their horses. Alvarado appeared to have suffered a lower leg injury as a result of the fall. But both High Oak and the other horse, Galt, appeared to be unharmed.

Francesa tweeted on Sunday that he wasn’t deterred by the outcome of the race, and that the sights are now set on next month’s Florida Derby where High Oak will once again to attempt to make the run for the roses.

“The reason the victories are so sweet is because thoroughbred racing can be a very cruel game,” Fancesa wrote. “We continue along the road to the Derby.”

Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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Sports Radio News

Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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