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Brazilian-Bred Jolie Olimpica Rallies To Win Grade II, $200, 000 Monrovia Stakes

first_imgBRAZILIAN-BRED JOLIE OLIMPICA RALLIES TO WIN GRADE II, $200,000 MONROVIA STAKES BY A HALF LENGTH AS SMITH & MANDELLA TEAM FOR  5 ½ FURLONG TURF WIN IN 1:01.11ARCADIA, Calif. (May 25, 2020)–Heavily favored Brazilian-bred Jolie Olimpica got back to sprinting and ran to the betting in winning Monday’s Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes at Santa Anita  by a half length.  Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Richard Mandella, the 4-year-old filly by 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer got 5 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:01.11–just 11/100s of a second off of her own course record set this past Jan. 11.Breaking from post position six in a field of seven fillies and mares, Jolie Olimpica settled well early and was a joint third with Into Mystic, about 2 ½ lengths off the lead set by Stealthediamonds three furlongs out.  With Smith sitting still to the furlong pole, “Jolie” gradually wore down Stealthediamonds late and prevailed over a fast finishing Oleksandra on the money.“What a nice filly,” said Mandella, who had saddled her to a disappointing second place finish in her most recent start, the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes, at one mile on turf Feb. 22.  “She basically ran back to her race here two-back (a facile win in the Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs on turf Jan. 11).  She was so relaxed today.  She’s settled nicely into our system and now I think she’ll go longer.  I think Mike could’ve done whatever he wanted (with her) today.”Unbeaten in three starts in Brazil, Jolie Olimpica, who is out of the Trempolino mare Jolie Celina, made her third stateside start today and was off as the 4-5 favorite, returning $3.80, $2.60 and $2.10.Owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, Inc., Jolie Olimpica now has five wins from six overall starts.  She’s also a two-time group or graded stakes winner, as she took a Brazilian Group I at one mile on turf on June 9, 2019, her final start in Brazil.  With the winner’s share of $120,000, she now has earnings of $271,520.“We know she’s very effective going short,” said Smith, who’s been aboard for all of her local starts.  “I do believe she’ll get a mile for sure.  She should be able to do it pretty handily, the way she’s bred, she should get a mile and a half if she wanted to.  It’s funny if you look at her breeding, it makes you wonder where all that speed is coming from, but she’s extremely talented and she’s proven herself going short.”(Smith was also the rider of Drosselmeyer when he won the 2010 Belmont).Last turning for home, Australian-bred Oleksandra flew late to be second by a half length over Stealthediamonds.  Ridden by Joel Rosario, Oleksandra was the second choice at 5-2 and paid $3.20 and $2.40.Breaking from the rail, Stealthediamonds was third in a big effort under Agapito Delgadillo.  Off at 8-1, she paid $3.00 to show.Fractions on the race were 21.40, 43.48 and 55.05.last_img read more

Building a robot is one of many skills these students have mastered

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Michael Davies Sergbeh, left, and Gregline Kumba Natt hold the Liberian flag.  Ghalib Alharthy By Zahra AhmadJul. 20, 2017 , 5:15 PM Building a robot is one of many skills these students have mastered Hamood and Ali Nasser Al-Saadi prepare their robot for competition at the FIRST Global Competition. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The model for this week’s global event is a U.S.-based robotics competition begun a quarter-century ago by serial entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen. “These students are living proof of what can be achieved if you get an idea, a task, and dream, and combine them all together,” Kamen says. “This competition is meant to reach students in areas that need STEM the most, developing countries, those who face adversity every day and [who also] are their countries’ future leaders.”Liberia was one of 60 countries whose teams had no prior experience building robots. The competition was designed to be an opportunity for students like Sergbeh to showcase their abilities.“The selection process varied by country for this inaugural year,” says FIRST Global President Joe Sestak in Manchester, New Hampshire, who is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania. “We had some teams that held a regional type of selection process with robots; others could only afford proctor testing to determine who would represent their country.” Sestak began calling STEM organizations around the world last fall to spread the word about the competition. Those organizations were asked to find mentors who spoke English and had a background in technology and software programming. Mentors then identified students interested in building a basic robot. More than 600 people eventually lent a hand. FIRST Global’s theme was access to clean water, one of the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering identified by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Two three-team alliances worked to see whose robots could clear a hypothetical river of contaminants. The contaminants were represented by blue and orange balls. The robots were expected to sort the balls into the appropriate bins and then hang from a beam before a virtual river flooded and swept them away.Reaching out to AfricaLiberia was one of 40 African countries that fielded teams. And Sestek says the organization deliberately sought students who had traditionally had little exposure to high-quality STEM education. “We didn’t want just the top schools from Africa to participate, we wanted those who needed it most,” Sestak says. “Only four of the schools from Africa were in the top 1% of their socioeconomic class.” The great majority of students were from the lower end of the socioeconomic class, he notes. Another explicit goal of the competition was to provide opportunities for women. “It’s really hard for girls to pursue a career in science in Rwanda, and in Africa in general, because it’s expected of woman to get married and have kids when you graduate high school,” says Ikirezedi Poala, one of seven members—four boys, three girls—from Rwanda.Poala says competitions like this show young girls there are opportunities if they stay focused. “I think people are beginning to become more open minded towards the idea of women pursuing a career before settling down, because they see us succeeding in things like FIRST Global,” she says. The Rwandan team placed 68th. Zahra Ahmad Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Michael Davies Sergbeh has never let obstacles stand in the way of acquiring an education that could serve as his ticket to a world beyond his small village in Liberia. As a child he worked at his stepfather’s garage to afford private school, a necessity because of the sorry state of most public schools in his native country. Earlier this year, when he was chosen to represent Liberia in a robotics competition for high school students from 157 countries, he wasn’t discouraged by his relative inexperience in the field and by his school’s bare-bones science facilities.  “I had never really worked on a computer before, but I learned from my mentor so that I could teach my teammates,” he says, referring to six other students attending nearby schools. At times, the only light in their workroom came from a cellphone. But Team Liberia persisted. This week the students were rewarded with a 12th place finish in the FIRST Global Challenge held in Washington, D.C.“I never thought I would be able to build a robot that can move, pick things up, and lift itself up,” says Sergbeh, the team’s captain, “so ranking this high is amazing. It’s really encouraged us to pursue STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] because it’s very important in furthering Liberia’s future and bettering the world.”  For Hamood and Ali Nasser Al-Saadi, opportunity came in the form of a dedicated mentor who saw they were skilled in mathematics and science. Growing up on a farm in a valley between the mountains in Sharqiyah, in northern Oman, the twin boys have been deaf and mute since birth and didn’t attend school until age 9.“Their father didn’t know about the resources that were available to them,” says their mentor and teacher, Ghalib Alharthy. “When I started teaching a class at the Abdullah bin Zeid for Basic Education for deaf and mute students, they stood out to me because they’re very clever and can stay focused on a topic for hours.” Unlike those on the Liberian team, the Omani twins had considerable previous experience with robotics competitions. They took top honors 3 years running in the FIRST Lego League in Oman, an international competition in which elementary and middle school students build a LEGO Mindstorm robot.Asked what they enjoy most about the competition, in which they finished 39th, the boys turned to each other and smiled before Hamood signed, “Ali is the hands-on guy, and he loves building the robots. I like programming the robot to do whatever we need it to do, and driving it.” And they weren’t fazed by all the hoopla surrounding this week’s event. “I was nervous and excited when I walked into the arena, it was so big and there were so many people,” Ali signed. “But as soon as the competition started, I knew exactly what to do and when our robot hung, I was so happy.” In addition to the obstacles that most of the individual students had to overcome, FIRST Global officials faced the challenge of obtaining visas for each team. Both the Gambian and Afghan teams were initially denied visas—the Afghan team’s plight became a media sensation—but in the end all were able to attend.“It’s been a blessing to receive the amount of support and attention we’ve gotten,” Lida Azizi, a student from Herat, Afghanistan, said through a translator. “We’re hoping it encourages other young girls in Afghanistan to pursue higher education without fear. It feels great to bring a medal back home.” The all-girls Afghan team finished 114th overall, but joined with the Omani twins in receiving the Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli Award for Courageous Achievement.Fresh off their initial success, Kamen and Sestack have already begun planning regional competitions as a prelude to next year’s FIRST Global competition in Mexico City. Many students said they hoped to use the event as a springboard for their STEM advocacy work back home. “In my free time I teach at a community center in Pleebo, [Liberia],” Sergbeh says. “I teach primary education like simple math, science, and English. It’s great practice for me, and it helps the younger kids. I can’t wait to go back and share this experience with them. Hopefully it will show them they can do great things, too.”last_img read more

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