SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- It wasnt that Bitumen won Saturdays Grade 3 Sanford Stakes, but more how he won the $150,000 stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga that has his connections excited about the future.After dueling on the lead to win his debut, Bitumen was 6-1/2 lengths off the pace after the opening quarter of the Sanford. But under a busy Javier Castellano, Bitumen made a move into contention around the far turn and then responded when asked to run four-wide in the stretch to rally and win the Sanford by 1-3/4 lengths.Random Walk, part of a three-play speed duel, finished second by three lengths over Zartera. Bronson, who had all kinds of trouble in the race, and Bay Numbers completed the order of finish.The win gave trainer Eddie Kenneally his first graded stakes victory at Saratoga in his 24th attempt.He ran a huge race, got a great education today because he was in behind and took so much dirt, said Kenneally, who trains Bitumen for owner Joseph Sutton.He overcame that and just showed how much class he has; just a really, really nice horse and he galloped out good. I think going forward the distance of these races is going to get longer and I think thats what he s going to be better at.Bitumen had the outside post in the five-horse field. He was bumped after Random Walk broke outward, pushing Bay Numbers into Bronson and Bronson into Bitumen.Zartera, breaking from the rail, spurted out to the lead while Random Walk and Big Numbers chased him. Bitumen was in fourth, 6-1/2 lengths off the pace.We had a little bump, he lost his momentum right there, and I had to go to Plan B because my plan was to put him into the race really close to the pace, said Castellano, who also said Bitumen didnt care for the dirt in his face.Zartera, Random Walk, and Bay Numbers were heads apart through a half-mile in 45.79, with Bitumen in fourth. Castellano was really asking Bitumen around the turn, he spun four to five wide in the stretch, and then set sail after Random Walk, who had put away the other speed.Bitumen caught Random Walk inside the eighth-pole and drew clear late.Bitumen, a son of Mineshaft, covered six furlongs in1 :10.68 and returned $3.90 as the odds-on favorite.He broke okay, got outsprinted, and dirt hit him in the face and he didnt care for that, Kenneally said. Then he found himself way farther back than I ever thought he would be, but thankfully he was able to overcome that. Hes got a lot of class.Kenneally said Bitumen would be pointed to the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 5. Brett Pesce Jersey
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. The Canadian squad, skipped by Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, got on the board first with two in the second end, and followed that with two more apiece in the fourth and sixth ends. ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Calling his surprise promotion bittersweet, new Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn knows he has a tall task ahead of him.Lynn was promoted to offensive coordinator last Friday after the Bills fired Greg Roman following an 0-2 start.Its now Lynns job to pick up the pieces and try to help salvage a Bills season that has already hit a breaking point.Look, man, its a challenge. I accept the challenge, Lynn said. Think Im the right guy for the challenge and Im not going to make any excuses. Its my responsibility to get us going, and well figure it out.Lynn had mixed emotions on Thursday when he spoke to reporters for the first time since receiving the promotion.It was bittersweet, Ill say that, Lynn said. I was surprised and then once you get over the initial shock, youve got a job to do. Helluva challenge.Lynn, 47, played in the league for six seasons (1993, 1995-99) as a backup running back and was a member of John Elways Super-Bowl winning teams.He joined the Broncos coaching staff following his retirement in 2000 as a special teams assistant before coaching running backs for five teams over the next 14 years before his promotion on Friday.Despite his background as a running backs coach -- and coach Rex Ryans reputation for wanting a ground and pound attack -- Lynn doesnt plan on forcing the issue in the running game. He described his offensive philosophy as fluid and flexible depending on what opposing defenses present.No, I dont know ground and pound, Lynn said. To me, if they give you ground and pound, you ground and pound. If they give you pass, you pass. I just want to coach an explosive offense, doing multiple things, balance multiple personnel groupings and just take what they give us.Im a personnel-driven guy. I believe in personnel. Get the ball in the hands of players and let them make the plays because if you do that, theyll make way more plays than well ever design.He faces an uphill battle on short notice. Buffalos offense sputtered in each of its first two games to start the season.In Week 1 against Baltimore, Buffalo had just 160 yards -- its lowest output in a decade and lowest total in a season opener since 1979.Buffaloss offense had some better moments in a 37-31 loss to the New York Jets in Week 2, but struggled once again with consistency and staying on the field.dddddddddddd.Through two games, the Bills ranked 30th in offense and 29th in third-down conversions (6 of 23).I want to play smart, physical football, Lynn said. I want to be explosive down the field. Right now, I just want to stay on the damn field. Were going to play a little bit faster and see if we can put a little pressure on the defense. Just execute.A point of emphasis this week for the Bills has been simplifying the playbook. They have trimmed plays under Lynn and plan on limiting quarterback Tyrod Taylors ability to change plays at the line of scrimmage.We will have it cut down, Ryan said. But theres plenty there, theres plenty of volume. Its just cut down a little.Added Lynn: We didnt just shrink it until we dont have enough bullets. We have plenty of bullets and ammo. We just took a little off the guys plate.Lynn may have a short-handed roster for Sundays game against the Arizona Cardinals (1-1).Top receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) missed practice again on Thursday, and Ryan said there is some heightened concern regarding Watkins availability for Sunday.Fellow wideout Greg Salas left Thursdays practice with a groin injury. Ryan said he doesnt believe the injury is a significant one. Tight end Charles Clay has been limited with a knee injury and Cordy Glenn has yet to return to practice after injuring his ankle in Week 1.Less than ideal, yes -- but Lynn is embracing the opportunity to try and turn things around.Ive been training to do this all my life, Lynn said. I had a couple (opportunities) to do it in different places and it didnt work out. But I never wanted to do it under these circumstances. I like to build my success on top of another mans success, or woman, but unfortunately its the NFL.Didnt work out that way. Now Im in charge and I have to get this offense going in the right direction, and I plan on getting it done.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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