Bene­v­ides out in Ed­mon­ton

Clubs wres­tle with op­er­a­tions cap

Journal Pioneer - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS OAKES

Win­ter Blast has proven to be an iron-tough ad­ver­sary and will be look­ing to chan­nel that tal­ent to the win­ner’s cir­cle in this af­ter­noon’s top class at Red Shores at the Char­lot­te­town Driv­ing Park.

The 15-dash pro­gram kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with the pre­ferred pace hit­ting the track in Race 14 for a $2,500 purse. Win­ter Blast has been in ev­ery tri­ac­tor ticket for six starts but has not seen the win­ner’s cir­cle since Oct. 27.

Most of his more rugged com­pany is ab­sent this week as he is in­stalled as the 5-2 morn­ing-line favourite from Post 6 for driver Ja­son Hughes, con­di­tioner Jen­nifer Doyle and owner Danny Birt of Ver­non Bridge. Rockin Indy has set­tled in nicely to East Coast com­pe­ti­tion and will leave from Post 7 as the se­cond choice on the morn­ing line for driver Corey MacPher­son. Rail con­trol be­longs to Ea­gle Jolt (Marc Camp­bell) as the vet­eran pacer will look to re­bound off of last week’s sixth-place fin­ish af­ter win­ning con­vinc­ingly the week be­fore in 1:58.2.

Race an­a­lyst Les MacIsaac sides with Win­ter Blast to over­come Post 6.

“The six-hole might curb your en­thu­si­asm, but Win­ter Blast is not fac­ing any of those that have beaten him in re­cent starts and that’s got to count for some­thing,” MacIsaac said.

“He looks like the one to knock off.”

Also in the field are: Sal­monier Storm (Am­byr Camp­bell), Pic­to­nian Storm (Austin Sor­rie), Dig­gin In (Adam Merner), I C True Grit (Mike McGuigan), Mr Ir­re­sistible (Kyle Gil­lis) and The Big Bite (Kenny Arse­nault). Kil­lean Fi­nale will put her mod­est streak to the test in the Race 9 fil­lies and mares open for a $2,350 purse. Ken Mur­phy will drive the Clif­ford Mur­phy­trainee from Post 7 while rid­ing two straight wins at this level for own­ers Dr. Mary McNiven and Pace­maker Sta­ble of Nine Mile Creek.

Col­lec­tive Wis­dom has not been out of the tri­ac­tor ticker in her last six starts, all in this class, and will again have Drew Neill at the lines from Post 6. Pret­tyn­dan­ger­ous has posed a risk in this class all sea­son and is sit­ting on two straight sec­ond­place fin­ishes with Post 5 to work from this week with David Dowl­ing at the con­trols.

Red Shores will have a memo­rial horse­shoe af­ter Race 6 in mem­ory of the late Brian An­drew, who died on Wed­nes­day.

En­tries, A15. Mike Bene­v­ides is the lat­est ca­su­alty of the new CFL non­player op­er­a­tions cap.

The Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos an­nounced Fri­day that Bene­v­ides will not be re­turn­ing to Ja­son Maas’s coach­ing staff for the 2019 sea­son. Bene­v­ides had been the team’s as­sis­tant head coach and de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor since Maas took over as Eski­mos head coach in 2016.

Prior to join­ing the Eski­mos, Bene­v­ides spent three sea­sons as head coach of the B.C. Lions (2012-14).

“I will truly miss the amaz­ing fan base and peo­ple of Ed­mon­ton, the re­la­tion­ships I’ve built with the play­ers and all those in the Ed­mon­ton Eskimo or­ga­ni­za­tion, as well as work­ing for Ja­son,” the Toronto na­tive said in a state­ment. Eski­mos gen­eral man­ager Brock Sun­der­land said in a state­ment that the team couldn’t come to terms with Bene­v­ides on a salary that would fit un­der the non-player foot­ball op­er­a­tions salary cap an­nounced by the league on Thurs­day.

The cap, set at just un­der $2.59 mil­lion for the next two sea­sons, has al­ready had a marked ef­fect on the league.

The Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers an­nounced Wed­nes­day that the team and as­sis­tant vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball op­er­a­tions and player per­son­nel John Mur­phy were part­ing ways. On Thurs­day, the Mon­treal Alou­ettes an­nounced they were not re­new­ing the con­tracts of de­fen­sive back coach Billy Parker, re­ceivers coach Ja­son Tucker, as­sis­tant of­fen­sive line coach Chris Mosley and de­fen­sive as­sis­tant coach Cris Dish­man. Scouts Eric Des­lau­ri­ers and Russ Lande were also not re­tained.

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