The Bloodhorse, considered the bible of horse racing, reports that Presque Isle Downs tentatively plans to open its 2020 meet on June 8.

The magazine quotes Todd Mostoller, executive director of the Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, as saying the Erie racetrack wants to open its backstretch on May 15. Horse owners are cautioned to monitor for updates in case of further delays related to COVID-19. Other meet details, including a daily purse structure, race dates and updated stakes calendar, will be announced at a later date.

Presque Isle Downs & Casino has been closed because of COVID-19 since March 16. I miss horse racing, and it felt strange when this year’s Kentucky Derby did not occur on the first Saturday in May – it’s been rescheduled for September. But I wouldn’t be in a hurry to stand in a betting line any time soon.

People who have been wondering what happened to the People’s Boat on Erie’s bayfront learned from a WJET-TV report on April 23 that the boat is sitting on a trailer in the Liberty Park boat storage lot. High water pulled the boat away from its land-based anchor along the Bayfront Parkway. The boat was damaged when the water sent it crashing into a nearby light pole. No estimates of damage yet, but I hope the boat can be repaired. It sat on the west bayfront for years, delighting many people with its painted scenes of Erie. It wouldn’t be surprising if some people considered the boat an eyesore, but they would be mistaken. Hopefully, it won’t disappear the way that intricate old fountain that once graced Perry Square did.

Bids for the demotion of Roosevelt School are being accepted, which leaves me with mixed feelings. While the old school has stood vacant for years and was even damaged by fire, it wasn’t so long ago that a nationally respected group of preservationists toured the building and pronounced it “a gem.” Unfortunately, it would have cost a fortune to renovate the school.

Former Erieite Charles Pittman joined his old Penn State football teammates Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell at a celebration at the University of Virginia for the late coach George Welsh. Pittman, Harris and Mitchell played for Welsh when he coached on Joe Paterno’s staff. Welsh died a year ago at 85.

Erie County Judge Dan Brabender’s arm is in a sling following recent rotator cuff surgery. It means he won’t be able to pitch in the opener unless it’s delayed until fall.

Tom Ridge apparently has a lot he wants to get off his chest. Following a recent article he wrote for The Atlantic, bashing Republicans for turning their backs on the environment, he also penned an op-ed piece for USA Today last week, ripping “selfish protests against stay-at-home orders.” Ridge wrote: “These protesters with their weapons and false bravado think they’re smarter than medical experts.” He said they dishonor America’s veterans.

Manny Ramirez, who starred with the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, turns 48 later this month, but he still plans to try to resume his baseball career in Taiwan. It reminds me of the famous line once attributed to Ty Cobb when asked how he thought he might fare against modern pitchers. “Oh, I’d probably hit .300,” Cobb said. “Only .300?” the surprised sportswriter said. “Give me a break,” Cobb replied. “I’m 73 years old, you know.”

Speaking of the Indians, Sports Time Ohio will begin re-running games from the team’s 22-game winning streak today at 7 p.m. The broadcasts will continue through May 25.

I enjoyed the interview with Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Hamilton, on a recent CBS Sunday Morning show. Andrews, 84, started a new podcast called “Julie’s Library.” When the mother and daughter appeared at Chautauqua Institution a few years back, Julie charmed everyone. The phone interview I had with Andrews was a delight.

I was sorry to read of the death of JoAnn Streeter, widow of the late Jim Streeter. She passed away at 82 in Medina, Ohio. Jim and JoAnn were great supporters of local golf and the Greater Erie Charity Golf Classic. They were also skilled players and nice people. Jim Streeter died in 2014.

Filmmaker Ken Burns harshly criticized the ESPN series, “The Last Dance,” which focuses on Michael Jordan and his time with the Chicago Bulls. Burns told The Wall Street Journal that he had no interest in the 10-part series and frowns upon Jordan’s production company, Jump 23, being involved in the project. “That’s not the way you do good journalism, … and it’s certainly not the way you do good history, (which is) my business,” Burns told the Journal.

Construction is scheduled to begin again this week on the $20 million renovations at UPMC Park. No word yet if there will be a season for the Erie SeaWolves, or if the club will have a future in the Eastern League.


Original Source Credited To: GoErie

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