Local Sports

Snicker Cookie returns for win in $100,000 Sagamore Sired Stakes at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Snicker Cookie picked up where he left off in his seasonal debut Wed. May 22 at Indiana Grand, scoring the win in the sixth running of the $100,000 Sagamore Sired Stakes. The three-year-old son of Noble’s Promise rallied home a convincing winner in the six furlong event.


Coming into 2019 off a win in his last start last fall in the $100,000 Indiana Futurity, Snicker Cookie was ready for action. The sophomore gelding isn’t real quick out of the gate, but his final quarter is always impressive. Ridden by Gabriel Saez for the first time, Snicker Cookie followed along as race favorite Ace of Aces and James Graham led the way. In the turn, Snicker Cookie began to advance and had perfect positioning at the head of the stretch.


Down the stretch, Saez continued to ask Snicker Cookie for more speed and he responded by catching up to Ace of Aces and Solitaire Game ridden by Carlos Villasana. It was a three horse race for a while until Snicker Cookie moved ahead for the win by one and one-quarter lengths over Solitaire Game. Ace of Aces finished third.


“I warmed him (Snicker Cookie) up in the post parade and that helped,” said Saez, who is a native of Panama and a graduate of the Laffit Pincay Jockey School. “The first quarter I kind of worked my way to get going and in the turn he responded very well. Turning for home I asked him for whatever he had and he cleared very well. I want to thank this combination (Bauer and Rigney) for this opportunity today on both of their horses.”


Snicker Cookie, trained by Philip Bauer and owned by Richard and Tammy Rigney’s Rigney Racing, is now two for four in his young career. He increased his career bankroll to more than $141,000 for the Rigney’s who also raised him.


“We turned him out at the end of last year and we felt he needed a race, but we wanted to see how he would do,” said Richard. “This race set up well for him. We plan to keep him here for the entire season this year.”


Rigneys raced Noble’s Promise, the sire of both Snicker Cookie and Fireball Baby, who finished fourth in the $100,000 Swifty Sired Fillies Stakes earlier in the card. Rigneys have approximately 20 broodmares with two, Cookie (dam of Snicker Cookie) and Bubbles and Babies (dam of Fireball Baby), in Indiana. Noble’s Promise stood at Breakway Farm in Dillsboro, Ind. until he passed away last August due to kidney failure. Since that time, the Rigney’s have been looking for a horse to replace as their Indiana stallion and may have found one. They currently own Madison’s Luna, a son of Tapit and winner of the Grade 3 Hutchison Stakes last year at Gulfstream Park. The Rigneys plan to send him to Breakway Farm for either the 2020 or the 2021 breeding season. In the meantime, they are still reaping rewards from the sons and daughters of their first stallion, Noble’s Promise.


“The filly (Snicker Cookie) always trains well but this colt is all business come race day,” said Bauer, who is stabled at Churchill Downs. “This is pretty overwhelming because I had both the mamas of these two as racehorses. The filly had a tough race today but the win from him (Snicker Cookie) is a great way to end the day.”


Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 6. Racing is held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:15 p.m. with Saturdays beginning at 6:15 p.m. For more information, visit the website at www.indianagrand.com.

IHSAA Executive Committee approves football mercy rule

In its monthly gathering following the annual Board of Directors meeting this morning in Indianapolis, the IHSAA Executive Committee unanimously approved a new football mercy rule. 


The rule, which goes into effect this fall, was a joint effort with the Indiana Football Coaches Association to expedite the conclusion of football contests when a certain point differential is reached. With Monday’s vote, when the point differential reaches 35 points in the second half, the game clock will convert to a running clock with the exception of timeouts, scores, and/or injuries. Once implemented, the clock may not revert back to standard timing regardless of the score and coaches will not have the ability to override the implementation of the mercy rule. The 40 second play clock will remain in effect throughout the contest.


The Board of Directors approved 18 rules proposals, three failed to receive support, and two were tabled for further study during its annual review of the By?Laws and Articles of Incorporation. 


All proposals are considered in the order that the rule appears within the current by?laws. The Board of Directors has four options on each proposal: affirm, deny, table or amend. A simple majority is necessary to act on any measure. A copy of today’s agenda is available here and the current by?laws here. All approved measures become effective immediately unless otherwise noted.


The group approved by an 18?1 vote a modification to Rule 2.5, also known as the Tournament Success Factor.  The result lowers the number of points needed (from 3 points to 2 points) by a school already playing in a higher classification to continue playing in that same class for another two years. Schools that win a regional championship in a single season or a sectional championship in back?to?back seasons would remain in that same higher class. The rule up to this point had required three points (two sectional titles and a regional title) to continue in that class.


The following additional items of note were approved during today’s Board of Directors meeting and the ensuing Executive Committee meeting.


? Seven amendments were formally ratified having been approved as temporary regulations since last year’s Board meeting. Most notably among those was the conduct of fans which was added to the same sportsmanship guidelines applicable to the conduct of contestants, coaches, etc. When a fan is ejected from a contest, he/she, too, will be suspended – in their case from attending the school’s next home contest. A second ejection will result in suspension from the next two home contests. Also, the addition of Unified Flag Football as a sponsored sport, its playing rules and season contest information were officially affirmed.


? Approved 19?0 an amendment of the district section of the by?laws to better equalize the size of the three districts by moving Adams and Wells counties from District II to District I and moving Wayne County from District II to District III.


? Approved 17?2 two new sub?sections to Rule 2?2 (Number of Schools in Classes) that when two or more schools with equal enrollment fall at a classification break, each school would be placed in the higher class in all team sports other than football. In football, the school with the larger freshmen class would be placed in the larger enrollment class.


? The elections for next year’s leadership of the Board and Executive Committee also were held. Hebron athletic director John Steinhilber was voted president of the 2019?20 Board of Directors and Delta principal Chris Conley was elected vice president. Knightstown athletic director Matt Martin was named chairman of the 2019?20 Executive Committee and Jimtown athletic director Nathan Dean was confirmed as vice chairman.


Two proposals were tabled by the Board:


? A proposed amendment to expand the definition of “Territory” by Roncalli principal Chuck Weisenbach as it relates to private schools, their established boundaries and out?of?state transfers,was tabled for further study.

? The commissioner submitted a proposal on behalf of the members of the Pocket Athletic Conference which would eliminate the 600 mile round trip limitation with regard to the Out?of?State Contest rule.  After some discussion, the group opted to table the proposal.


The following agenda items failed to receive enough support:


? A proposal to reduce the percentage of member schools that must be participating in a sport before a state tournament series be provided from 50% to 30% failed 1?18. The proposal had been authored by Dave Worland, principal at Cathedral High School and Mark Preston, principal at Lafayette Jefferson High School.


? A proposal made by the commissioner on behalf of the Porter County Conference that would introduce a 1.65 multiplier to the official enrollment of each private school and charter school to determine classifications also failed 1?18.


? The Board rejected 2?17 an amendment to Rule 19?6.1 authored by South Knox principal David

Couchenour that would have permitted full eligibility following a transfer by a student without a

corresponding change of residence by the parent/guardian when the transfer occurs before the

student’s sophomore year.

Several equipment changes highlight high school basketball rules changes

Five of the seven rules changes in high school basketball concern player equipment, including new uniform provisions that will be required in the 2024-25 season.


All seven rules revisions recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basketball Rules Committee at its April 23-25 meeting in Indianapolis were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. 


Effective with the 2024-25 season, the number on the jersey can no longer be the same color as the jersey itself. Currently, the number can be the same color as the jersey if it is bordered by a contrasting color. Despite the contrasting-color border, the committee said the number is still difficult to see in many cases. The other two options in Rule 3-4-3e regarding the color of the number remain in effect.


A five-year implementation date was approved to allow schools time to budget for purchasing new uniforms. 


Four other changes were approved in Rule 3 – Players, Substitutes and Equipment. A new rule, 3-5-8, provides recommendations for use of a mouthguard. Though not required, the committee noted that state associations may deem a tooth and mouth protector required equipment.


A note was added to Rule 3-5-5 to permit folding or rolling the shorts at the natural waistband seam. The new language does state that the shorts have to be in compliance with Rule 3-4-5, which restricts uniform pants/skirts to one visible manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference.


Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee, said this addition to Rule 3-5-5 modernizes the rule and allows players to adjust the shorts in a manner that serves no harm to the game or its integrity.


The other equipment changes deal with headbands and hair-control devices in Rule 3-5-4. The maximum width of the headband was expanded from 2 inches to 3 inches to be consistent with the rules for volleyball and accommodate athletes who play both sports. In addition, in 3-5-4d, hair-control devices are not required to meet color restrictions. Wynns noted that a hair-control device goes around the hair only, while a headband goes around the entire head.  


In another change, assistant coaches now will be able to go onto the court with the head coach in an effort to restore order when a fight breaks out among players.


“It can be difficult for officials to separate players involved in a fight on the court,” Wynns said. “This change will allow assistant coaches to enter the court with the head coach to assist officials in regaining control of the situation and restoring player safety.”


The final change approved by the Basketball Rules Committee is a change in the signal when a held ball occurs. Now, when a held ball occurs, the covering official(s) shall stop the clock using Signal #2 (straight arm, open palm extended) while simultaneously sounding the whistle. 


“This change should help to alleviate conflicting calls by officials when a held ball occurs,” Wynns said. “We currently raise one arm to stop the clock for everything except the jump/held ball.”


According to the 2018-19 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, basketball is the third-most popular sport for boys with 551,373 participants in 18,510 schools and the third-most popular sport for girls with 412,407 participants in 18,171 schools.

BIG3 announces select 2019 cities and dates

BIG3 – the professional 3-on-3 basketball league founded by producer, actor and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz – announced select cites and dates on the 2019 schedule ahead of the highly anticipated 3rd season of summer basketball.


The league’s opening weekend includes three games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Sunday, June 23, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Tickets for the games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse go on sale Monday, May 20, at 10:00 a.m. ET. Additional cities and on sale dates will be announced soon.


Former Pacers players Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson, Al Jefferson, C.J. Watson, Brandon Rush and Andre Owens are scheduled to participate in the June 23 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana natives Greg Oden, Bonzi Wells and Robert Vaden are also scheduled to play in Indianapolis. Other notable players expected to participate June 23 include former NBA stars Mike Bibby, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, Jason Richardson, Nate Robinson and Amar’e Stoudemire, among others. 


The season tips off at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Saturday, June 22, live in primetime on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.


During the upcoming 11-week BIG3 season, games will air live on CBS Television Network and CBS Sports Network on both Saturdays and Sundays, with a champion crowned live on CBS on Sunday, September 1. CBS Television Network will broadcast more than 20 hours throughout the season, with CBS Sports Network set to televise more than 25 hours of additional live game coverage.


Tickets can be purchased at BIG3.com/tickets or BankersLifeFieldhouse.com.


June 22 — Detroit (Little Caesars Arena) *Tickets on sale May 17

June 23 — Indianapolis (Bankers Life Fieldhouse), 1:00 p.m. *Tickets on sale May 20 at 10:00 a.m.

June 29 — Charlotte (Spectrum Center) *Tickets on sale May 22

June 30 — Philadelphia (Liacouras Center) *Tickets on sale May 17

July 6 — Birmingham (Legacy Arena at the BJCC) *Tickets on sale May 24

July 7 — Atlanta (State Farm Arena) *Tickets on sale May 17

July 13 — Providence (Dunkin Donuts Center) *Tickets on sale May 31

July 14 — New York (Barclays Center)

July 20 — Kansas City (Sprint Center)

July 21 — Oklahoma City (Chesapeake Energy Arena)

August 3 — Chicago (Allstate Arena)

August 17 — Dallas (American Airlines Center)

August 18 — San Antonio (AT&T Center)

September 1 — Los Angeles (STAPLES Center) *Championship


For the latest league news and updates, visit BIG3.com and follow BIG3 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.