Solo Performer attempts to uphold form with a couple of old foes when he takes the plunge in the feature race beneath the Dundalk floodlights. Press Association The Harry Rogers-trained eight-year-old had the returning duo of Gretzky and Paddy The Celeb well held over this mile-and-a-half trip towards the end of March. Now he gets the chance to add further credence to that half-length success in the www.dundalkstadium.com Handicap. Solo Performer is 3lb higher than when he struck last month, but he won at Dundalk over an extended mile and a quarter in January 2012 off this same mark of 90. Chris Hayes has won six races aboard the gelded son of Distant Music and renews the partnership in the 20,000 euro contest. Among the opposition is Fairview Star, a recent course-and-distance winner. Eoin Griffin’s charge successfully switched to the Flat following a rather inauspicious spell over hurdles and in bumpers. Something Graceful is also entitled to improve for her fifth-placed finish in a mile-and-a-half handicap at the Curragh a fortnight ago. Jim Bolger’s four-year-old filly appeared ill at ease on the soft ground and remains 3lb lower in the weights than when she won over a mile and a quarter at Leopardstown last August. There could be plenty more to come from Muizenberg Nights in the Hen & Stag Packages At Dundalk Stadium Handicap after she broke her duck over this same track and trip earlier this month, though Tommy Stack’s filly faces some in-form rivals in the shape of Versilia Gal, Monakova and Toberton. The Dundalk Stadium On Facebook Maiden brings proceedings to a close and Dermot Weld’s Spirit Of Concorde is sure to be very popular. The Authorized gelding has found only one too good on both starts to date and he should be sharper for his recent reappearance run.
For the first time this season, the Wisconsin football team is atop the Big Ten West standings.With a grueling three-game streak looming, the No. 25 Badgers (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) avoided any potential letdown by taking care of Purdue (3-7, 1-5 Big Ten), 34-16 Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. The win moved Wisconsin into a three-way tie for first in the Big Ten West with Nebraska and Minnesota.The Badgers won their fourth-straight game Saturday with both an effective run and pass game. UW running back Melvin Gordon had 249 all-purpose yards including 205 rushing yards, going over the 200-yard mark for the fourth time in his career, while quarterback Joel Stave went 19-for-29 for a season-high 219 passing yards with two touchdowns.“The balance on offense was definitely a step in the right direction,” Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen said. “We ran the ball well at times, we threw the ball well at times and it was a good mix.”It was a sluggish first quarter for both Purdue and UW before Gordon found the end zone for the first score of the game which came on a 14-yard run with 2:35 left.In the second quarter the Badgers took over, outscoring the Boilermakers 17-3 to take a 24-6 lead at halftime. Stave threw his first touchdown of the game to Gordon in the second as he took a pass down the sidelines and hurdled a defender to score on the 27-yard pass. Stave then once again led the Badgers down the field, going 80 yards on 10 plays in 2:29, capping the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Alex Erickson.Stave’s performance in the first half was his best of the season, going 15-for-20 for 190 yards with the two touchdown passes. He also completed passes to four different receivers with Jordan Fredrick leading the way with four catches for 51 yards. In all, Stave found eight different wide receivers Saturday. Fredrick finished the game with a team and career-high 64 receiving yards.“[Stave] really threw the ball well, and into the wind. That was great to see,” Andersen said. “It was great to see us mix it around. Different guys caught the ball and we caught some contested balls. Three or four times those balls were highly contested and we found a way to make the play so there was definite improvement there. The production in the throw game was great for Joel.”But Purdue would not go away quietly, scoring the first 10 points of the third quarter. Purdue’s Akeem Hunt pulled the Boilermakers within eight at 24-16 when he hauled in a 79-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin Appleby.However after the score from Hunt, the Wisconsin defense would shut out the Boilermakers the rest of the way and score 10 unanswered points. UW’s final touchdown of the day came on a 13-yard run from quarterback Tanner McEvoy and kicker Rafael Gaglianone added a 31-yard field goal to put Wisconsin up for good, 34-16.The Badgers finished the game with 489 yards of total offense, which more than doubled Purdue’s total of 230. Stave and McEvoy, who ramped up the two-quarterback system by both playing on the same drive for the first time this season, combined for 225 passing yards while UW outgained Purdue on the ground 264-26. McEvoy also had 42 rushing yards on only four attempts.Saturday’s game was yet another dominating performance for the Wisconsin defense who continues to lead the nation in fewest yards allowed per game. UW had four sacks, three of which came from outside linebacker Vince Biegel, and the defense as a whole had 10 tackles for loss with four of those coming from Biegel.“It was important for us to get to the quarterback,” Andersen said. “But for us to be able to get into a position, and change things up a little bit in the halftime, have a couple pressures they hadn’t seen. Again the staff did a great job and the kids took the pressures and applied them … it definitely got [Purdue] out of a rhythm in the throw game.”Wisconsin will now head back to Camp Randall for the biggest game of the season as they take on No. 11 Nebraska in what could determine who wins the West division. Following Nebraska, the Badgers will continue their final stretch of games with a road test at Iowa before closing the season at Camp Randall against first place Minnesota.And it appears that the Badgers are peaking at just the right time with one of the country’s best rushing attacks, a two-quarterback system that becomes more effective each week and a defense that is one of the best in not only the Big Ten but all of college football.