ARCADIA, Calif. (March 5, 2017)–With a carryover from Saturday of $335,216 serving as a pari-mutuel catalyst, more than $2.5 million in “new money” poured into Sunday’s 50 cent Pick 5 pool at Santa Anita, creating a massive total pool of $2,881,240.The popular wager, which features a low 14 percent takeout, paid $11,880.30, as there were 213 winning tickets.Win mutuels on the first five Santa Anita races were $5.60 (Royal F J), $11.40 (Champagne Charley), $11.80 (Pretty N Cool), $15.40 (Broke Away Grey) and $10.60 (Rainbow Squall).Racing will resume at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.
It was another final, another epic display yet another agonising loss!PV Sindhu contested her third major final in the last two years on Sunday and went within touching distance once more before falling painfully short again.It was an hour and 34-minute-long battle against Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the BWF World Super Series Finals Sunday night just as Sindhu and Nozomi Okuhara of Japan had fought for an hour and 50 minutes in the World Championships final in August. A year before that Sindhu went down to Spain’s Carolina Marin in the Rio Olympics final in one hour and 23 minutes. All the matches saw a similar result — Sindhu having to settle for silver.Visibly, Sindhu never gave up, she never does. It never looked like she has developed a mental blockade when it came to finals, what is it then that is stopping Sindhu from touching greatness?While the Rio Olympics final was Sindhu’s first big match where the entire country had her eyes on her, by the time the World Championships and Super Series Finals came, she was used to the expectations. In the 2016 Olympics, Sindhu had run out of ideas by the end of the match and Marin was finding angles that were tough for Sindhu to pick. Marin is one of the few left handers on the international circuit and that automatically gives her an upper hand in terms of finding angles but at that point of time, Sindhu was yet to mature.However, both the finals at Super Series Finals and the World Championships had a similar pattern to them – the fact that both those opponents were Japanese cannot be missed.advertisementHowever, what was most obvious to naked eye was how physically drained Sindhu got halfway through both those games.One can always argue that her opponents had got tired as well but clearly not as quick and as much as the Indian. And no, that doesn’t amount to Sindhu being an unaccomplished player but rather to her style of play.AGGRESSIVE GAME PLAYSindhu is a very tall athlete and that inherently enables her to cover the court incredibly well and makes her shots from the back court very powerful. And that is exactly why she is feared on the circuit.However, her opponents have got wind of that — they engage her in longer rallies, find acute angles and force her to play lunged forehand net shot, which is definitely not her strength.After Rio Olympics, Sindhu worked a lot on her endurance knowing that she was not the most skillful player but a lot of work still needs to be done.Since Sindhu is tall, bending back and forth takes up a lot of her energy and though, she has worked immensely and has improved that bit of her game, she needs far more endurance to eke out crucial points.Also, Sindhu is a very attacking player, which means she thrives on her smashes which again requires a lot of energy.The tall Hyderabadi is a very committed player and she commits herself to every point from the very beginning of the game and that is exactly what tires her halfway through the match.In Sunday’s match against Yamaguchi and even against Okuhara in August, Pullela Gopichand was seen screaming instructions at Sindhu to preserve her energy and go for decisive shots only when they are at her tips. However, Sindhu had lost a lot of her energy by then and she was hoping for Yamaguchi to make errors. But that did not happen.Yamaguchi is technically very strong and along with her fitness, that is unique to the Japanese, her ability to create shots under pressure makes her an immense threat.Both those matches, Sindhu lost through unforced errors and that only highlighted her fatigue.ROAD AHEADSindhu is already working on getting some deceptive shots up her sleeve. She already has all kinds of smashes at the tip of her frame.Despite being a very good athlete, there one aspect that is needed to make her complete — fitness.Sindhu’s fitness still needs to improve by leaps and bounds. Her opponents are constantly targetting that. Engaging her in longer rallies and draining out all her energy has become the biggest weapon to defeat her.Now, she will have to work to counter that.There are lots of skillful players on the circuit but none as powerful as Sindhu and she needs to make that her strength.