Play It Forward: July 1-7 — Wimbledon winds down, Game On Dude has another Hollywood Park spotlight

It’s on the schedule for this coming week:

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

Novak Djokovic changes his shirt during a break in his men's second round singles match against American Bobby Reynolds at Wimbledon on Thursday  (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Novak Djokovic changes his shirt during a break in his men’s second round singles match against American Bobby Reynolds at Wimbledon on Thursday (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

TENNIS: WIMBLEDON in London, England
Women’s final: 6 a.m., Saturday, ESPN
Men’s final: 6 a.m., Sunday, ESPN:
How much did nagging injuries, or pure exhaustion, account for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer making early exists at Wimbledon last week? Forced to endure grueling five-set matches, tournament after tournament, could finally be taking their toll, says Martina Navratilova. “It’s really becoming so taxing that I believe one day we will have two out of three sets in the Grand Slams, otherwise they’re going to be taking people out on stretchers, Navratilova, the 18-time Grand Slam singles champ, with half of them coming at Wimbledon, recently told Laureus.com. England’s top men’s performer, Andy Murray, missed the French Open with a bad back recently but has plowed through the competition in the first week and, with a No. 2 seed, is aligned to meet up in the men’s final against top-seed Novak Djokovic, who has had ankle issues himself. On the women’s side, Serena Williams continues to make quick work of her opponents. Keep an eye on the only other American left in the men’s or women’s field – Sloane Stephens, who has to face 19-year-old Puerto Rican Monica Puig in the fourth round next.  And the Bryan Brothers of Camarillo remain alive and well in their quest to reach the men’s doubles final on Saturday (with the semifinals on Thursday).
Women’s semifinals are Thursday (5 a.m., ESPN); men’s semifinals are Friday (5 a.m., ESPN). Channel 7 repeats the women’s and men’s final Saturday and Sunday at noon.

BEST OF THE REST:

TUESDAY

MLB: DODGERS at COLORADO, 5:40 p.m., Channel 9:
The opener to a nine-game road trip means another chance to make up some ground in the NL West. The Rockies have struggled since the injury to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and new acquisition Roy Oswalt (0-2, 7.36 ERA) has given up nine runs in 11 innings in his latest comeback attempt. His turn comes up again for the opener against Clayton Kershaw.
The series continues:
Wednesday at 5:10 p.m., Channel 9
Thursday at 5:10 p.m., Prime

MLB: ANGELS vs. ST. LOUIS, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:
Unfortunately, Joe Blanton’s turn come up on the Fourth of July. Bombs away.
The series continues:
Wednesday, 7:05 p.m., FSW
Thursday, 6:05 p.m., FSW

WNBA: SPARKS vs. MINNESOTA, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m, TWC SportsNet:
Their first meeting: Sparks win by 28 at home. Their most recent meeting: Sparks lose by 24 in Minneapolis. So unpredictable, these women.
The rest of the week:
Sparks vs. New York, Staples Center, 12:30 p.m. Thursday, TWC SportsNet
Sparks vs. San Antonio, Staples Center, 2 p.m. Saturday, TWC SportsNet

THURSDAY

sonya-thomas-hot-dogs-2012-gi2013 HOT DOG EATING CONTEST at Coney Island, N.Y., 9 a.m., ESPN:
Joey Chestnut won his sixth in a row last Fourth of July, tying his own record by inhaling 68 dogs and buns in the 10-minute allotment. He’s supposed to be back to go for No. 7. But lately, we’ve been more intrigued watching the 98-pound Korean-born Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas continue to top her women’s wienie record, going from 37 in 2005, to 41 in 2009, to 45 last year when she was officially recognized as the female champion. Her regime, according to her Wikipedia entry: Eat one meal a day (green vegetables and fresh fruit) avoid junk food, walk the incline treadmill two hours a day – and practice by visiting the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants.

MLS: GALAXY vs. COLUMBUS, StubHub Center, Carson, 7:30 p.m.  TWC SportsNet:
The annual Fourth of July fireworks show shouldn’t get in the way of a pitch to watch a soccer game that’s included in the price of admission.
Also: Galaxy vs. FC Dallas, StubHub Center, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, TWC SportsNet (with an Omar Gonzalez bobble head giveaway).

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE:
Winnipeg at Montreal, 5 p.m., ESPN2:
What else seems more indulgently American on Independence Day than Canadian football?

FRIDAY

MLB: DODGERS at SAN FRANCISCO, 7:15 p.m. Prime:
The Yasiel Puig NL All-Star debate will go all the way to San Francisco this week, for one last chance to play before San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy before he gets the last say (sort of) in who gets on the NL roster. Puig went 6-for-12 against the Giants during the Dodgers’ sweep last week at Dodger Stadium.
The series continues:
Saturday at 4:15 p.m., Channel 11
Sunday at at 1 p.m., Prime

MLB: ANGELS vs. BOSTON, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:
Eight times this season, the Red Sox have scored five runs or more in one of the first three innings. It means you should be arriving at the park early or things may already be over by the time you show up fashionably late to see the team that somehow has maintained the best record in the AL during the first half of the season.
The series continues:
Saturday, 7:05 p.m., FSW
Sunday, 5:05 p.m. , ESPN

SATURDAY

HORSE RACING: Hollywood Gold Cup, Hollywood Park, 4 p.m.:

Defending champion Game On Dude, with Joe Torre as a co-owner and Bob Baffert as the trainer, will likely be the favorite again in the 74th, and probable last, running of this race at the Inglewood track.

SUNDAY

SOCCER:
CONCACAF GOLD CUP: First round, Group A:  Rose Bowl: Canada vs. Martinique, 2:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel; Mexico vs. Panama, 5 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel:
The 12-team event launches here with the reigning champion Mexico, who two years ago knocked out the Americans in the final at the Rose Bowl before 93,000 — the largest U.S. soccer crowd in 17 years. It all ends this year on July 28 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

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