LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – These are very strange times for Los Angeles Lakers fans, with many of them holding surprisingly low expectations for this season after becoming accustomed to their team repeatedly reaching the NBA Finals.
Sixteen NBA championship banners hang proudly from the rafters at the Lakers’ Staples Center home, proof positive of the glittering success achieved by the franchise, but the chance of a 17th being added any time soon seems remote.
ARCADIA, California (Reuters) – Mucho Macho Man, a 4-1 shot, stole the limelight from favourite Game on Dude with a storming finish to win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.
Veteran Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens piloted the five-year-old horse past the celebrated field down the home straight before holding off a late surge by Will Take Charge to win America’s richest horse race by a nose.
ARCADIA, California (Reuters) – Irish raider Magician stole the limelight from the heavily fancied The Fugue with a storming late run from the outside to win the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.
Expertly ridden by Ryan Moore in glorious afternoon sunshine, Magician powered to the finish line to triumph by half a length and earn celebrated Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien his first Breeders’ Cup win this year.
ARCADIA, California (Reuters) – Top jockey John Velazquez had emergency surgery on Saturday to remove his spleen after he suffered internal bleeding following an accident during a race at the Breeders’ Cup.
Velazquez was riding Secret Compass in the first event of the afternoon at Santa Anita Park, the $2 million Juvenile Fillies, when he and his horse fell as they approached the final turn.
ARCADIA, California (Reuters) – Favorite Royal Delta ran out of steam to be thwarted in her bid to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff for a third consecutive time as Beholder stormed to a commanding victory at Santa Anita Park on Friday.
With veteran Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens on board, Beholder took control of the day’s feature race by the final turn before charging down the home straight to triumph by four and one-quarter lengths.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Widely viewed as the best team in the West, the Los Angeles Clippers harbor realistic hopes of winning their first NBA title this season with the championship pedigree of coach Doc Rivers now at the helm.
Acquired from the Boston Celtics in June in exchange for a future draft pick, Rivers has already made a big impression on the Clippers players since his arrival in Los Angeles, urging his new team to play with both freedom and responsibility.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Game On Dude has a chance to atone for last year’s disappointment after being installed as favourite to win Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, the feature event in the two-day racing carnival at iconic Santa Anita Park.
Twelve months ago, Game On Dude ended up a disheartening seventh out of 12 after a sluggish start out of the gate, having gone into North America’s richest horse race as a 6-5 favourite.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Game On Dude has been installed as the early 8-5 favourite and will break from the ninth post for the $5 million (3 million pounds) Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.
The Bob Baffert-trained gelding came desperately close to winning the race in 2011 before being run down by Drosselmeyer in the shadows of the post at Churchill Downs and had to settle for second place.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – It was a case of so near and yet so far for the Los Angeles Dodgers after they fell just one step shy of the World Series this season, though they will certainly approach their 2014 campaign brimful of confidence.
Most of their big names will be back, and Dodgers fans can only hope that injuries will not be such a limiting factor next year when their team aims to win a first National League (NL) pennant and World Series crown since 1988.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Mickey Mouse played a cameo role in the National League Championship Series on Wednesday when Adrian Gonzalez blasted two home runs to help the Los Angeles Dodgers stave off playoff elimination.
The big-hitting left-hander cupped his hands to his ears, mimicking the famous cartoon rodent, as he made his way to the dugout after his first homer had soared over right field in the bottom of the third inning to put the Dodgers ahead for good.