Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Article excerpt

Undefeated colts primed for pre-Derby showdown

Let the campaigning begin. The leading candidates for the Kentucky Derby are on schedule for a fight to the finish line on April 2 in Florida, racing at full throttle for 1 1/8 miles in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. It's a rare showdown of the top 3-year-olds in the land just five weeks before the Run for the Roses, on May 7. And what a matchup of colts: Nyquist, the best in the West with a 6-0 record, vs. Mohaymen, the best in the East with a 5-0 mark. Toss in a $1 million bonus at stake, the role of Derby favorite on the line and a few other more-than-worthy opponents, and this Florida Derby would pack one powerful punch.

"I'm pumped to have Nyquist face the best," trainer Doug O'Neill said. "Mohaymen is definitely a best, but so are we. If they both stay injury free, it will be a great race."

Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains Mohaymen, says "We're going to take one race at a time and we are looking at the Florida Derby in five weeks. He's a very talented horse and he keeps winning."

This coming weekend's Derby prep is the Gotham, at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York. Withers winner Sunny Ridge looks to be the top contender. Probables for the race Saturday include unbeaten Shagaf, Matt King Coal, Conquest Big E, Laoban and Adventist. (AP)

Franchise designation will be nearly $20 million for QBs * If the Redskins decide to place the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins, it will cost them $19.95 million for 2016 under the values agreed upon by the NFL and the players' union. Cousins is one of the more high-profile players whose contract have expired, and quarterbacks carry the biggest tag numbers.

The franchise designation is worth the average of the top five salaries at a player's position or 120 percent of the value of his 2015 salary, whichever is higher. …

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