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Nov 9, 2014

Dodgers go ‘Moneyball’ in bid to end Series drought

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Having once again failed to reach the World Series with the biggest payroll in Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers have gone ‘Moneyball’ with a progressive, high-tech transformation of their front office.

‘The Boys in Blue’ won the most recent of their six MLB championship titles 26 years ago, prompting club president Stan Kasten to make sweeping changes to the team’s baseball operations department.

Nov 3, 2014

Once-proud Lakers fall on lean times with dismal 0-4 start

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “How the mighty have fallen” would be a massive understatement for frustrated Los Angeles Lakers fans after their team’s worst start to a National Basketball Association season in nearly 60 years.

A once-proud franchise which can boast 16 NBA championship banners hanging from the rafters at its home venue in downtown Los Angeles lost their first four games to remain rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Nov 2, 2014

Bayern’s trainer puzzled by animosity over Classic

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A day after Bayern’s controversial win at the Breeders’ Cup Classic where he survived a stewards’ inquiry, the three-year-old’s trainer Bob Baffert said he had never seen “so much animosity” over a horse race.

A 6-1 shot, Bayern was eventually declared the winner of the $5 million showpiece event at Santa Anita Park after stewards had reviewed a messy start to the race where several horses had bumped into each other.

Nov 2, 2014

Bayern in controversial win on day of upsets

ARCADIA California (Reuters) – Upsets were the order of the day at the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday with the favourites denied in all nine races while Bayern commanded the spotlight in controversial style by winning the showpiece $5 million Classic.

Bayern, a 6-1 choice, survived a lengthy stewards’ inquiry before being confirmed as the winner of North America’s richest horse race by a nose after holding off Toast of New York at Santa Anita Park.

Nov 2, 2014

Bayern wins Classic, after inquiry

ARCADIA California (Reuters) – Bayern survived a lengthy stewards’ inquiry before being confirmed as the winner of Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, the three-year-old colt held off Toast of New York to win America’s richest horse race by a nose, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his first victory in the Classic in 13 starts.

Nov 1, 2014

In-form Main Sequence wins Breeders’ Turf

ARCADIA California (Reuters) – Main Sequence upstaged early favorite Flintshire with a storming run from the outside to win the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park on Saturday and maintain his perfect record this year.

Expertly ridden by John Velazquez in bright afternoon sunshine, the five-year-old chestnut gelding powered to the finish line to triumph by half a length over Flintshire, who also made a strong surge after the final turn.

Nov 1, 2014

Breeders’ joy for Untapable, pregnant jockey

ARCADIA California (Reuters) – The 2014 Breeders’ Cup opened its $26 million programme on Friday with a superb win by Untapable, a disappointing run by the well backed Close Hatches and a stunning pregnant pause by jockey Rosie Napravnik.

Favourite Untapable, expertly piloted by Napravnik, took the honours in the feature race, the $2 million Distaff, with a commanding performance down the stretch but Close Hatches, a 3-1 choice, faded badly to finish last in a field of 11.

Nov 1, 2014

Untapable gives mother-to-be a Distaff win

ARCADIA California (Reuters) – Untapable justified her billing as the overwhelming favorite with a superb finish down the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park on Friday.

Expertly ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who said after the race she was pregnant and would be retiring, the three-year-old filly surged past Iotapa from the outside on the final turn to win by one and one-quarter lengths and improve to eight wins in 11 starts.

Oct 31, 2014

Clippers launch new era under Balmer with scrappy win

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – It was not pretty but the Los Angeles Clippers somehow found a way to launch their 2014-15 season under new owner Steve Ballmer with a scrappy 93-90 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

With former owner Donald Sterling a relic of the past after he was banned for life by the NBA over a racism scandal, the Clippers overcame a poor shooting performance with some gritty defense to stave off a late Thunder fightback.

Oct 24, 2014

Clippers eye fresh, winning chapter post-Sterling

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Emotionally battered after a racism scandal that left their previous owner Donald Sterling with a life ban, the Los Angeles Clippers can now script a fresh chapter as they aim to enhance their championship credentials.

With former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer now in charge and shrewd head coach Doc Rivers back at the helm, the franchise will strive to go at least one better after being ousted in the second round of the playoffs last season.