Chestnut Big Favorite Against Stonie In Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

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It is less a question of how but how many with Joey (Jaws) Chestnut and the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, which Major League Eating’s top-ranked carnivore has won nine of the last 10 years.

The traditional July 4 contest takes place in Coney Island, New York, on Tuesday, with Chestnut listed at -350 against Matt Stonie (+225) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Stonie is the only person to beat Chestnut over the last 10 years. In an undercard prop, up-and-coming Carmen Cincotti (-200) is favored head-to-head against Geoffrey Esper (+150).

With Chestnut coming up short on price, there might be more value in the various over/under totals. Chestnut owns the record of 73.5 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes (set in a 2016 qualifier.  The over on whether the men’s champion will eat 71.5 is a fairly plump, juicy +225. The most even total is 67.5, with the over at -150 and the under at +110.

At the other end of the totals spectrum, the men’s champion eating fewer than 63.5 hot dogs pays +275. In both 2014 and 2015, the winner was below that benchmark.

Cincotti’s personal best on the Major League Eating circuit is 42 hot dogs. Esper has eaten as many at 30.5 in an MLE competition.

On the women’s side, three-time defending champion Miki Sudo is listed at -400 against +250 underdog Sonya Thomas. Sudo won last year with 38.5 and has set her sights on Thomas’ all-time record of 45, set in 2012.

Reaching that would also put bettors over on the over/under of 39.5 dogs, which hasn’t been surpassed since Thomas’ aforementioned 2012 performance. The under pays -160, with the over at +120. Thomas has told the media that her best days are behind her, so if anyone’s going over it’s likely Sudo.

There are also some fun props, including +750 on an eat-off being required (it’s happened just once since the 10-minute time limit was introduced) and a special on whether a contestant will be interrupted by a protester from PETA. Yes pays +500, to No’s -900.

Former head of USA Triathlon takes helm of Iditarod

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — As the new head of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Rob Urbach will have to overcome dwindling sponsorships, dog deaths, a recent dog-doping scandal and animal rights protests.

With all that drama, it seems fitting Urbach became hooked on the sport thanks to soap opera actress Susan Lucci.

Lucci, who starred on “All My Children,” and Urbach struck up a conversation on a 1999 flight to Anchorage, where she was taking part in the Iditarod’s ceremonial start and he was going skiing.

Urbach acknowledges the challenges for the Iditarod, but he says he’s faced significant tests in his previous roles, including as CEO of USA Triathlon.

He says there’s an opportunity to put out some fires for the Iditarod, while also protecting the race for the next 50 years.

Auburn gymnast walks down wedding aisle after serious injury

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FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) A gymnast who suffered a severe leg injury accomplished her goal of walking down the aisle at her wedding.

The Advocate reports Auburn University graduate Samantha Cerio shared photos on Instagram Monday of the ceremony in Fairhope.

The gymnast dislocated both knees and tore ligaments in both legs during a competition in April. After having surgery, she said she wanted to recover enough in time to walk down the aisle at the ceremony.

Cerio used crutches to cross the stage at her graduation in May. She earned a degree in aerospace engineering.

Cerio walked down the aisle free of crutches to marry fiance Trey Wood.