Jim Barnes 

The big attraction this season in the CFL is Johnny Manziel's decision to play north of the border instead of the NFL.  He will probably start the season on the Tiger-Cats bench, but playing time is around the corner.  The CFL begins its season tonight with Edmonton at Winnipeg. The next change is ESPN's decision to telecast the Canadian League, creating a giant boost in interest.  BC's Wally Buono will coach British Columbia for the last time before retiring and expects to leave with a bang as the franchise added 18 new faces.  League officials expect 2018 to be their best offering yet.

jimbarnes.com & jimbarnesjournal.com

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There will not be any lasting interest in thoroughbred horse racing until November when the Breeder's Cup series runs for a couple of days.


This series brings together most of the top rated active horses in the world, and Justify may or may not be in the cluster.  The foremost race is the Classic and, naturally, that is where the "best of the best will thrown down a hoof or two."


I tested out a fresh approach this past weekend at a Indian casino that is allowed to accept horse racing wagers.


Since it was a trial, I decided to place a miserly $2 to win of each of the 22 entries that qualified as a play on Sunday.

Actually, 21 ran as there was a late scratch and  a total of $42 dollars was bet, $2 on each selection to WIN, and win only.


After the last race finished at Santa Anita all 21 tickets were taken to the Cashier window as there was no way I could sit through that many races even though all the races with my choices were being televised.


I had only four winners, four seconds (two of which were photo-finish losses) and a trio of shows.


Winning 19% is nothing to boast about, except when the winners return $10.40, $13.20, $20.60 and $48.60 for a total of almost $93.


One photo-finish loser was 21-1, the other 5-2.

The Canadian Football League (CFL) is ready to start the 2018 June-November season with an exciting new face and the most television exposure in history.


Here are the starting Offense and Defense indexes for those who like to obtain final scores and start at the same point that I do.


Team                       Road               Home

Ratings                  OFF-DEF        OFF-DEF​ 

British Columbia       23   +5            35   +3

Calgary                     26   -3             28   -5

Edmonton                 25   +2            27   +0

Hamilton                   26   +2            28   +0

Montreal                   19   +5            21   +0

Ottawa                      27   +0            29   -2

Saskatchewan          27   -1             29   -3

​Toronto                     26   +0            28    -2

Winnipeg                  26   +0            28    -2