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  • 26 Jul
    导出博客文章LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Im a Chatterbox came through as the 2-5 favorite Sunday in
    easily winning the 61st running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster Stakes at
    Keeneland to stamp her ticket to the Breeders Cup.With a perfect trip under
    Florent Geroux, Im a Chatterbox put the 1-1/8-mile race away shortly after
    straightening for home, winning by seven lengths over Paid Up Subscriber. Genre
    was another five lengths back in third in a field of just five fillies and
    mares.Ive waited a lot of years to win this race, said Larry Jones, the Kentucky
    native who trains Im a Chatterbox for owner-breeders Fletcher and Carolyn Gray.
    Its wonderful.Im a Chatterbox returned $2.80 after finishing in 1:49.98 over a
    fast track.Shown live on NBC Sports, the Spinster was marred by the breakdown of
    longshot Miss Pink Diva, who sustained a catastrophic left-hind injury upon
    entering the first turn. Trainer Buff Bradley confirmed afterward the 4-year-old
    filly had to be euthanized. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan was not injured.Im a
    Chatterbox, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Munnings, now has won 8 of 16
    starts. She earned $325,000, lifting her bankroll to $2,209,614. It was her
    third Grade 1 victory, following the Cotillion in Sept. 2015 and the Delaware
    Handicap in July.The Spinster is a Win and Youre In event toward the $2 million
    Breeders Cup Distaff, where a formidable test awaits Im a Chatterbox. Songbird,
    Stellar Wind, Beholder, Cavorting, and Forever Unbridled are among the others
    expected for the Nov. 4 Distaff at Santa Anita.On another sun-splashed afternoon
    that attracted a crowd of 18,454, Paid Up Subscriber, the 3-1 second choice,
    grabbed the early lead from her rail post under Jose Ortiz and held a tenuous
    lead over Im a Chatterbox through moderate fractions. But after six furlongs,
    when Geroux let Im a Chatterbox loose, it was game over.The filly put me in a
    great position, exactly where I wanted to be, said Geroux, who continues to
    enjoy a breakthrough year. When she turned for home I was very impressed with
    her.The $2 exacta (3-1) paid $5.80 and the $1 trifecta (3-1-5) returned
    $4.Racing resumes Wednesday at Keeneland after a two-day break.
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    . LOUIS -- Attorneys for the St. GREENVILLE, S.C.
    -- Mariano Rivera III never played Little League. He never made the varsity
    baseball team in high school. But someday, he might make the major
    leagues.Riveras path to the bigs is the unlikeliest and likeliest story you
    could imagine. In an American youth sports culture designed around programs that
    train toddlers like pro athletes, Rivera barely played baseball as a kid, and
    when he did, he wasnt particularly good. But through his veins runs the
    bloodline of the greatest relief pitcher the game has ever known.Rivera, though,
    doesnt want to be his dad.When he was a kid, he avoided playing baseball, opting
    instead for soccer and swimming. At 14, he finally went out for Babe Ruth but
    wasnt anything special. In high school, at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, New York,
    he played junior varsity and mostly pinch ran. He threw a total of six innings.
    Because Rivera didnt think he would play much, he declined to go out for
    baseball his senior year.On a whim, Rivera walked on at Quinnipiac University in
    Connecticut before he transferred to Iona. He had the name, and by then enough
    of a game, to compete as a pitcher. But he was nothing special for the Gaels,
    either. After redshirting, he posted a 5.40 ERA in 13 games as a sophomore in
    2014.The Yankees drafted Rivera in the 29th round of the 2014 draft. But Mo III
    didnt sign, in part because he wants to be his own man.As a junior, he
    dominated, whittling his ERA to 2.65. In 85 innings, he struck out 113 and
    walked 27. The Washington Nationals were not doing anyone any favors when they
    picked him in the fourth round in 2015. They thought he could be a major leaguer
    on his own merit.Now 22, Rivera is -- what else? -- the closer for the Class-A
    Hagerstown Suns. According to his pitching coach, Sam Narron, his 95 mph
    fastball is already good enough for the bigs. He has a slider and a changeup. He
    does not throw a cutter.In his second year in the minors, he has a 4.20 ERA,
    which is mostly due to a couple of bad outings. He has struck out 43 and walked
    22 in 60 innings. In June, he was a South Atlantic League All-Star.He deals with
    more attention than your average minor leaguer. Whenever he takes the mound,
    Rivera has two shadows following him, his and his fathers. For his first
    professional game at State College last year, the St. Louis Cardinals affiliate
    played his dads signature song, Metallicas Enter Sandman. A Red Sox minor league
    affiliate in Lowell did the same thing this season.The son has heard fans yell,
    Youll never be your father! This is almost comical because he doesnt want to be,
    which is how his father, his mother, Clara, and his grandma, Anna Diaz, raised
    him.They taught me that from day one, Rivera said. They wanted me to make my own
    path, to be a man. From a very young age, they wanted me to know what I wanted
    and fight for it every day. Thats why Im here.For the first nine years of his
    life, Rivera mostly lived away from his father and mother. He was born in Panama
    in October 1993, after his dad, 23 at the time, had finished Rookie League ball.
    His parents decided it would be wiser for Rivera to grow up in Panama under the
    guidance of his adoring grandma, rather than living the nomadic existence of the
    minor and major leagues. Each offseason, his parents returned to Panama.The
    elder Rivera and his wife lived in a small apartment in New Rochelle, New York,
    until 2002. Then they bought their first house in Rye. Rivera had made more than
    $25 million by then. Soon after, his 9-year-old son came to live full-time with
    his parents.When he arrived in the States, the younger Rivera did not speak
    English. He had a tutor attend classes with him and was the youngest kid in his
    grade. Along with the language barrier, Rivera didnt really understand his
    fathers prominence, which turned compliments into fear at summer day camp
    whenever the others kids mentioned the Yankees No. 42.They started talking about
    my dad, Rivera recalled. To me, my dad was a regular dad. They would say, Your
    dad is famous. I thought they were talking bad about my dad. I came home crying
    from the bus. I said to my grandmother, You know what they are saying? They said
    my dad is famous! I had no idea what that was. It was all new.Soon after, Rivera
    started popping up in the Yankees clubhouse, like many ballplayers children do.
    But there were no signs that he wanted a career in the big leagues. He continued
    to prefer soccer and swimming.In high school, Rivera said his fastball was only
    in the low 80s, which might explain why he pitched only six innings of junior
    varsity balll.ddddddddddddHe went to college, improved his mechanics and, though
    he is still slight -- at 5-foot-11, 155 pounds, he is 3 inches shorter and 40
    pounds lighter than his dad -- his fastball started to gain steam, and scouts
    noticed. The Yankees first drafted him in the 29th round, as an homage to his
    lineage more than anything else. When the Nationals took him in the fourth
    round, the seriousness of Riveras passion took hold.With each step, his dad is a
    presence, but he tries not to crowd his son. The older Rivera has more baseball
    acumen than most, but he advises in a quiet fashion. Mariano knows a lot but
    says very little, said Fern Cuza, Riveras long-time agent.At the beginning of
    July, the greatest closer of all time showed up in Hagerstown. Rivera usually
    catches the Suns when they play closer to his Westchester home in Lakewood, New
    Jersey.His dad was in town in good ol Hagerstown, Suns manager Patrick Anderson
    said. Normally, he goes up to Lakewood when we play in New Jersey. But in
    Hagerstown, he came down, and he came into the office, and I said I wanted to
    get more information about his son, so he started telling me about how he grew
    up. It was a good conversation. He told me how they didnt give him everything.
    He earned everything.At the end of the conversation, he said to me, Do you mind
    if I go out there and work out with the boys? I was like, Yeah, and I turn
    around, and he is wearing [his sons] shorts and Nationals shorts and T-shirts.
    He came out and did a throwing program with his son and spoke to the boys.He
    talked to them about being good teammates and how amazing it was to have [Derek]
    Jeter, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte [alongside him]. Those guys were all about
    the team. The message to the boys was it is about the team. It is not about
    yourself. You want to get yourself better, but it is about the team concept, and
    how he presented it was amazing.The younger Riveras minor league teammates seem
    to like him because he plays down his name. His roommate, Rhett Wiseman, grew up
    near Boston. Wiseman joked that his roommates dad caused me a lot of tears. He
    has noticed that Rivera doesnt flaunt his fathers legend.I think it is great
    that he is with the Nationals, Wiseman said. It gives him the opportunity to
    create his own path. He is a very independent guy. He doesnt say, Im Mariano.
    Give me this. He is not entitled. He works for everything he gets.So far, this
    has meant not throwing the cutter, his fathers signature pitch. He has worked on
    it and tried out some grips but so far is sticking with his 91 mph slider.He
    wanted to create his own legacy, Wiseman said. I think it took him a couple of
    years [to decide] that it is a pitch I want to add, Im ready to add.Rivera said
    he has not added a cutter, but you can imagine that might be the next step in
    his maturation as a closer.He is also not your average prospect -- and not just
    because of his name. Because he didnt go through the manufactured, for-profit
    grinder of youth baseball, his arm might be in better shape.Hes got a fresh arm,
    thats for sure, said Narron, who pitched a single game in the majors in 2004
    with the Texas Rangers. You have a lot of guys here, you have some mileage on
    their arm. Everything is new to him. You get some guys who are jaded because
    they are like, Ive played forever. Ive played since I was 5. Everything is new
    to him, so he wants to get as much information as he can. He is a sponge out
    there.Narron notices how Rivera reacts to crowds. There are more fans who want
    his autograph and picture because of his father.You see how he handles that. It
    is unbelievable, Narron said. He does a tremendous job with that little bit of
    weight on his shoulders. From what I have seen, he has handled it as well any
    human being could be expected to handle it.The funny thing is that the old tale
    about his father is how he found 3 miles per hour on his fastball in the minors.
    Rivera credited it to God. It is part of his legend. There is something funny
    about the young Riveras story too. When you talk to him, he has the same grace
    as his father. He is very polite. As hard as he tries not to be, he is very much
    like his old man.?His story -- if he makes the majors -- could be just as
    remarkable as his dads, a man who was just honored with a plaque in Yankee
    Stadiums Monument Park.If I had a career like my dad, I would be beyond happy,
    Rivera said. But at the same time, I dont want to be my dad. ' ' '