TALENTED SANTA ANITA SIMULCAST TEAM SET FOR AUTUMN MEET OPENER ON FRIDAY, SEPT. 27 YU, LURIE, BALL, CADMAN & SIEGEL BRING WIDE BREADTH OF EQUINE EXPERIENCE TO VIEWERS ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2019)–Santa Anita Park has announced a diverse and talented simulcast team of five, all of whom will be in place for its 23-day Autumn Meet, which opens next Friday, Sept. 27.Long on experience and first-hand knowledge in most all aspects of the Thoroughbred business, hosts Michelle Yu and Peter Lurie, along with analysts Millie Ball, Zoe Cadman and Siegel, comprise a truly unique team that brings players far more than a review of individual past performances and current odds.With Yu and Lurie “quarterbacking” proceedings, Ball, Cadman and Siegel provide workout and race analysis as well as timely interviews.Yu brings enthusiasm, spontaneity and many years of Thoroughbred experience to Santa Anita’s airwaves. Raised in nearby Walnut, CA, she began riding horses at age three and played polo while attending the University of Louisville. Regarded as a great interviewer, Yu’s bubbly, fun-filled demeanor has endeared her to fans and horsemen alike. Her extensive broadcast credits include stints at Fox Sports, HRTV and TVG.Married to trainer Ryan Hansen, she’s an integral part of the stable’s daily operation.An accomplished voice actor prior to his involvement in racetrack television, Lurie was bitten by the racing bug at a young age, as he often accompanied his late father to the races at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar. A longtime partner in Black Diamond Stable, Lurie has also dabbled in breeding and in addition to being an astute handicapper, he also enjoys interviewing jockeys, trainers and others involved in racing.Millie Ball, like Zoe Cadman, was born in England. A longtime exercise rider for the late Charlie Whittingham and Bob Baffert, Ball also doubles as a workout analyst for XBTV and provides fans with keen, in depth analysis that includes “inside the ropes” access that often proves invaluable. Married to trainer Tim Yakteen, she’s in the Santa Anita Stable Area on a daily basis.Cadman, a successful jockey in the Midwest and East, has tremendous connections that are national in scope and which often pay significant dividends at race time. Bubbly, witty and likeable, Cadman, like Ball, doubles as an XBTV analyst and enjoys tremendous access, which coupled with her well-honed handicapping skills, make her daily on-air presentations compelling television.A prominent Southern California public handicapper in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and into the 2000s, Jeff Siegel parlayed his love affair with Thoroughbred racing into a successful partnership with nationally renowned owner/breeder Barry Irwin, as the two of them formed Clover Racing in the 1980s and struck gold in 1989 when their Marshal Law won the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap with Martin Pedroza up at odds of 50-1.A tremendous analyst, Siegel is able to provide viewers with concise commentary while speaking from more than 45 years of professional experience. Like Ball and Cadman, he’s also an integral part of the XBTV team as well.In addition to the “Big Five,” Cuban-born George Ortuzar, whose race by race printed analysis entitled “Santa Anita Hoy,” appears in each day’s racing program, also makes one on-camera appearance per day, providing Spanish speaking fans with an entertaining two minute analysis of the entire racing program.For more information on Santa Anita’s 23-day Autumn Meet, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):Serena Williams has never lost in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Neither has Novak Djokovic.A key difference between the defending champions is that Williams beat the most-experienced and highest-ranked challenger in her half of the draw when she extended her streak to 18 consecutive wins against Maria Sharapova with a 6-4, 6-1 quarter-final victory yesterday.Williams said she wasn’t aware that she had won the Australian Open all six previous times she won her quarter-final match, “but that’s good”.”It’s not a stat that’s set in stone,” Williams said. “I still have to win two matches.”Five-time champion Djokovic, after beating No. 7 Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, still has a daunting semi-final match against Roger Federer, who has won four of his 17 Grand Slam titles in Australia.Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semi-final, and 39th in a Grand Slam event, with a 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 6 Tomas Berdych. He hasn’t gone past the semi-finals at Melbourne Park since winning the title in 2010, but he’s a serious obstacle for Djokovic.They’re 22-all in career head-to-heads, with Djokovic catching up since usurping Federer in the rankings.TRICKY TIEBREAKERThe tiebreaker will be tricky. Djokovic lost only one of his 28 Grand Slam matches in 2015 – to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final – and has won 37 of his last 38 matches at Melbourne Park, a run that includes four titles.He beat Federer in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year, but Federer was back contending for titles.”Any round feels like finals because of the fact that we are, you know, big rivals. We played so many times against each other,” Djokovic said. “There’s a lot of tension. There’s a lot at stake. I’m expecting a great fight in two days.”In the women’s semi-finals, Williams will be facing fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3. Radwanska has won one of her previous four semi-finals at a major, but never won a Grand Slam title.Williams is 8-0 against Radwanska, including their meeting in the 2012 Wimbledon final.Williams said she couldn’t explain her 11-year domination of Sharapova – she has won 19 of their 21 meetings overall – except to say she rises to the big challenges.”When I play her, I know automatically I have to step up my game,” said Williams, a 21-time major winner. “I think that makes me play better.”