June 8, 2013 |
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens really thought this was going to be the year. "The way Orb won the Kentucky Derby, I thought we'd have another Triple Crown winner," he told me in a lengthy interview for a story that ran in Saturday's L.A. Times . Of course, it didn't happen. Stevens wrecked Orb's dreams when he rode Oxbow to a win in last month's Preakness. And Saturday, Stevens' best friend, Mike Smith, denied Oxbow the third leg when he rode Palace Malice to a win in Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
May 25, 2013 |
Cain Velasquez is going to give this idea of successfully defending a title another crack. In December, he regained his throne as Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion. On Saturday night, Velasquez (11-1) will enter the UFC octagon at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to defend his title against Brazilian Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (18-4). The champion is striving to hold the belt longer than he did last time. Velasquez, first won the heavyweight title by stopping Brock Lesnar in 2010.
May 23, 2013 |
Santa Anita came away the big winner Thursday when the California Horse Racing Board tentatively approved racing dates for 2014 and 2015 in response to the pending closure of Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 22. Santa Anita will expand its usual fall meeting by more than two months, starting Dec. 26 and lasting through July 6, 2014. The Arcadia track will be in session for all three of the lucrative Triple Crown races. Santa Anita also gets the days for a possible 2014 Breeders' Cup during an autumn meeting that will run from Sept.
May 18, 2013 |
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who at age 50 came out of retirement earlier this year, led Oxbow to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:57.54 and a big upset of Kentucky Derby winner Orb today in the 138th Preakness at Pimlico Race Course. Stevens is the oldest jockey to win the Preakness, his third in the second leg of the Triple Crown. He's won nine Triple Crown races, three in each leg. “It's so special,” Stevens said. “Wayne, he supported me. Put me on my first Triple Crown winner.
May 18, 2013 |
BALTIMORE - Horse racing's Preakness is a place of history and a bubble of hope. If you come here with a Kentucky Derby victory under your belt, as trainer Shug McGaughey and Orb have, you have little time to appreciate that history. You are lost in the Triple Crown bubble. Every question goes in the same direction: Can you win? How will you (a) feel, (b) react, (c) enjoy? Orb's morning-line odds are even money. If you want to make money on him Saturday, you'll need to bet lots of it. This year, only Orb can hope for immortality.
May 16, 2013 |
For those following “American Idol,” most of the focus has shifted toward incendiary headlines on sagging ratings, bitter rivalries and the likely mass exodus of the judges panel. It's a shame, really, considering the aging competition has delivered one of its best seasons - as far as talent is concerned. Thursday's finale is the sort of face-off “Idol” has only seen one other time in its more than 10-year run: a diva vs. diva showdown. Season 12 will either go to Kree Harrison, the country songbird, or Candice Glover, the R&B-soul diva with the voice.
May 16, 2013 |
The roughly 4-inch Lego likeness of Queen Elizabeth II will wear a silver-and-diamond crown less than an inch big to mark the 60th anniversary of the British monarch's coronation. The Queen of Miniland, as she's called, will show off the crown with 48 cut diamonds that was created by jewelry designer Dinny Hall. The Lego queen first displayed the crown during last year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The real Queen Elizabeth, by the way, was crowned with the almost 5-pound St. Edward's Crown six decades ago at Westminster Abbey in London.
May 15, 2013 |
BALTIMORE - Wednesday morning at Pimlico race track was similar to most mornings for Claude McGaughey III. Except there were lots of reporters around, which made it different. McGaughey is a thoroughbred horse trainer, currently the one in the catbird's seat in his sport. His long-striding Orb won the Kentucky Derby, making him racing's next Great Brown Hope. It also makes McGaughey the present voice of the sport's future. He has little choice. Horses, except for Mr. Ed, are lousy quotes.
April 29, 2013 |
A man takes charge in the House of Orange-Nassau Tuesday, April 30 - - Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands becomes king, the first male head of state in 123 years. The 46-year-old heir to the throne will inherit the crown, scepter and royal apple in a secular ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam in which Queen Beatrix will sign a deed of abdication ending her 33-year reign. The new king will be formally invested at Nieuwe Kerk, then will attend a joint session of the Dutch legislature, where lawmakers will pledge their allegiance to the new reign.
April 27, 2013 |
AMSTERDAM - Even by the unconventional standards of the Dutch, their new king is going to be a bit of a novelty. He has a license to fly commercial airliners. He's married to a South American, a lively Argentine who's more popular than he is. He says he won't mind it if people fail to address him as "Your Majesty" because he's no "protocol fetishist" - an amusing description here in a city that caters to nearly every fetish imaginable. But his biggest break with Dutch history of the last 120 years is the simple fact that he's a he. Queens have reigned over the Netherlands since 1890, a matriarchy that will come to an end Tuesday when Crown Prince Willem-Alexander is sworn in as monarch.