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Strasburg hits the hill for surging Nationals

As controversy continues to swirl about Washington's plan to shut down starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the young ace with the reconstructed elbow is scheduled to toe the rubber Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco as the Nationals square off against Tim Lincecum and the Giants in the final game of a three-game series between the NL playoff contenders.

Backup pivots in spotlight as Cowboys clash with Raiders

The first full week of NFL preseason action wraps up Monday night (8:00 pm Eastern) with the Dallas Cowboys hitting the field in Oakland as a slight 1-point underdog against the favored Raiders.

This will be the first preseason game for both the Cowboys and Raiders, who finished with identical 8-8 records in 2011 and missed the playoffs. Against the spread, Oakland posted a record of 9-6-1 while Dallas was 5-10-1.

Brown Looks for Déjà vu With Yari in Saratoga Feature

Trainer Chad Brown won the $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) at Saratoga last year with Big Blue Kitten, who had started off his career running for a claiming tag, breaking his maiden for $35,000 at Gulfstream Park.

Fast forward to this year and Brown will saddle Yari in today’s Hall of Fame, a 1 1/16 mile turf event that drew a field of eight.

Top Preseason NFL Trends For Thursday

Washington and Buffalo have played six times in the regular season since 1993 and the Redskins never won.

They never even covered a spread.

Does that matter tonight as the NFL preseason schedule gets hopping? The Redskins are small road favorites against the Bills and hope to ride RG3 fever to a victory.

Some other trends for tonight's slate of six games:

- Steelers are 5-1 ATS past 6 preseason games vs the Eagles (who will be inspired by or drained by the emotion of Coach Andy Reid's personal loss this week)

My Jopia Gets Call in Thursday Spa Feature

The top seven finisher’s from the New York Stallion Series Cupecoy’s Joy all return in today’s feature at the Spa, the $100,000 New York Stallion Series, a one mile race on the inner turf.

The winner of the Cupecoy’s Joy was I Bet Toni Knows, who returned $17.20 for a $2 wager. Today the Eris Reed trainee is the 2-1 morning favorite in the field of ten.

Super Bowl Odds: Jaguars Biggest Longshot

Jacksonville was a 150/1 Super Bowl longshot a month ago and oddsmakers haven't seen anything in the past four weeks to change their mind.

In fact, the Jaguars are now the longest shot on the board at most Vegas sportsbooks at 200/1.

"The Maurice Jones-Drew holdout doesn't help matters and the fact first-round pick Justin Blackmon is behind schedule in training camp after his holdout," said handicapper Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com.

That slide leaves the two longest shots in the AFC South (the Coolts are 150/1).

King Kreesa Looks Tough in New York Stallion Series

The Jeremiah Englehart trained King Kreesa goes for his third win in a row as the likely betting favorite in the $100,000 New York Stallion Series, the fifth race on the Wednesday afternoon card at Saratoga.

The three-year-old gelding is coming off a victory in the London Company at Belmont Park on June 29.

With the late scratches of Mr Algebra and The Snickers Kid, the gelding will take on five foes in the race.

The eighth race on the card is the $100,000 Mandy’s Gold, which marks the return of the 2011 juvenile filly champion My Miss Aurelia.

Orioles Chase Yankees in AL East

The Baltimore Orioles have a chance to catch the New York Yankees in the AL East but they need to win head-to-head battles and make hay when the Yanks face tough foes.

Through Monday's play, Baltimore still trailed New York by 5.5 games, but that lead was nine games not too long ago, and the Yanks are still going to be without Alex Rodriguez for a while.

The O's picked up another game on New York Monday night, as they beat Seattle 3-1 behind Chris Tillman while the Yanks fell to Justin Verlander and Detroit 7-2.

Poker Stars Reaches Settlement in Full Tilt Scandal

After a year of uncertainty in the world of online poker, players have received the good news they have been hoping for.

PokerStars came in and settled with US justice officials in an agreement that allows them to purchase the Full Tilt brand. PokerStars agreed to pay $731 million to cover the cost of the purchase, as well as to settle the civil lawsuits that it has received.

Speedy Ladies Line Up in Friday’s Honorable Miss

Friday’s ten-race card at Saratoga gets underway with a first post of 1:00 ET, and the betting card features a pair of stakes, the $100,000 John’s Call and the $200,000 Honorable Miss (G2).

The John’s Call drew a field of six turf runners who will go the marathon distance of 1 5/8 miles over the Spa turf.

Tahoe Lake, who is coming off a third place finish in the Man ‘O War (G1) at Belmont Park is the 9-5 morning line favorite and takes on five foes in the race that is restricted to non-winners of a graded stake in 2012.

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