Oldsmar, FL (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Trainer Todd Pletcher has been dominating the Sam F. Davis Stakes in recent years and has another opportunity to win the event with its 32nd renewal on Saturday. The $250,000 stakes, with a field of 11 three-year-olds, will be conducted over a distance of 1 1/16-miles. Pletcher, who has won the last two and four of the last six editions, has entered Ecabroni for St. George Stable. The gray colt has drawn post four with Javier Castellano riding. Castellano won last week's Holy Bull Stakes for Pletcher aboard Algorithms at Gulfstream Park.
The colt is trained by Augustin Bezara and is working on a three race win streak with total earnings of $104,460.
Prospective, owned by John Oxley, was a disappointing 13th in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. He began his career at Woodbine in Canada with two wins in three starts, including capturing the Grey Stakes in October. The colt has the largest bankroll among the starters at $191,317.
The Sam F. Davis Stakes is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. (et) and is the final local prep for next month's Tampa Bay Derby.
Arcadia, CA (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Three of the eight three-year-olds entered in Saturday's $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park are trained by a pair of Hall of Fame conditioners with Kentucky Derby aspirations. The 1 1/16-mile stakes is a stepping stone to the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7. Bob Baffert has entered a pair of colts with stakes winning Liaison slated as the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Owned by Arnold Zetcher, the three-year-old will start from post two with Rafael Bejarano returning to ride.
Liaison has won three of four starts, all last year, with wins in the Real Quiet Stakes and CashCall Futurity. He comes into his 2012 debut with earnings of $469,560, easily the most of the entrants.
Sky Kingdom, 6-1 in the program, was fourth in the CashCall, but came back last month to win an allowance race at Santa Anita. In five starts he has two wins for $125,930.
Jerry Hollendorfer, 2011 Hall of Fame inductee, will saddle 5-2 second pick Rousing Sermon for owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams. Joe Talamo will be aboard the chestnut colt leaving from post six.
Here is the complete field for the Robert B. Lewis in post position order: Isn't He Clever, Corey Nakatani, 6-1; Liaison, Rafael Bejarano, 9-5; Groovin' Solo, Victor Espinoza, 12-1; I'll Have Another, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Sky Kingdom, Martin Garcia, 6-1; Rousing Sermon, Joe Talamo, 5-2; Empire Way, Joel Rosario, 6-1 and Chips All In, Alonso Quinonez, 6-1.
In the wake of the news that the 49ers have signed receiver Michael Crabtree after an extended holdout, there has been not a hint of the dollars to be paid to Crabtree.
And since this means that his agent hasn't leaked the numbers, it means that his agent feels no specific motivation to do so.
Possibly because his agent isn't all that thrilled to have his name on the deal.
So the numbers will come from sources other than Crabtree's agent. And we've gotten our mitts into them.
Per a league source, Crabtree has signed a six-year, $32 million contract. (The total includes guaranteed money, base salaries, and the one-time incentive based on achieving minimum playing time.)
The deal also includes $17 million in guaranteed money.
As reported elsewhere, the deal can void to five years based on performance triggers, wiping out a final year base salary of $4 million. But they won't be easily reached.
The source tells us that, in his first four seasons (including 2009), Crabtree must either qualify for two Pro Bowls, or he must qualify for one Pro Bowl in one year and he must participate in 80 percent of the offensive snaps in a separate year in which the team makes the playoffs.
In other words, if in 2010 he qualifies for the Pro Bowl and the team makes the playoffs and he participates in 80 percent of the snaps, he'll still need to make it to the Pro Bowl or achieve the 80-percent/playoffs in another season.
Since the chances of Crabtree making the Pro Bowl or participating in 80 percent of the offensive snaps this year is roughly zero percent, he'll have three years to get it done.
And it won't be easy. Frankly, he'll be hard pressed to make it to one Pro Bowl in three years with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith, the other Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, DeSean Jackson, Johnny Knox, Percy Harvin, Greg Jennings, Roddy White, T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the same conference for sportsbook betting.
So, by all appearances, it's a six-year deal. And at $17 million in guaranteed money, the per-year guarantee is a tepid $2.83 million per year.
There's another problem with the deal -- it has no mid-tier incentive package. Instead, the additional $8 million that Crabtree can earn (pushing the max value to six years, $40 million) requires the kind of unrealistic, mega-star performances that no rookie is likely to ever achieve.
So while the contract paid to Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji covers five years and pays $22.5 million, he has the ability (if he's a solid player) to make up the difference between his base deal and Crabtree's five-year, $28 million haul via the mid-tier incentive package in Raji's deal.
And unless Crabtree meets the performance thresholds necessary to void the sixth year, he'll be stuck under contract for another year at a base salary of only $4 million.
There's one other area of concern with the deal. Crabtree, per the source, received no option bonus. Instead, he has significant money tied to a fairly new device known as a "discretionary salary advance," which unlike an opition bonus is subject to forfeiture if Crabtree decides in a year or two that he wants to hold out for a better deal. (We're also told that the 49ers have included language that would make certain escalators subject to forfeiture, too.)
Meanwhile, the deal falls well short of the mark for which Crabtree and agent Eugene Parker were aiming -- the five-year, $38.25 million contract paid by the Raiders to receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the seventh overall pick in the draft.
Even if Crabtree successfully voids the final year, he'll make more than $2 million per year less on average than Heyward-Bey.
Thus, as we explained earlier in the day, this is a deal that Crabtree could have done in July, which would have given him a much better chance of making a contribution to the 49ers during his rookie year.
So while the final outcome can be described as win-win, the broader view suggests that it's really a lose-lose situation.