Aubameyang and Pepe celebrate.London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsenal ended their worst run without a win in 42 years by coming from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 on Monday thanks to a three-goal blitz in nine minutes after the hour mark.Another miserable night for caretaker Gunners boss Freddie Ljungberg seemed in store when the visitors trailed at half-time to Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected header.However, Arsenal suddenly sparked into life after Gabriel Martinelli scored his first Premier League goal as Nicolas Pepe finally started to deliver on his club record £72 million fee by curling home a brilliant second before crossing for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to secure all three points.A first win in 10 games in all competitions lifts Arsenal up to ninth and cuts the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to seven points in the battle for Champions League qualification next season.Ljungberg reacted to taking just one point from his opening two games in temporary charge against lowly Norwich and Brighton by making five changes from Thursday’s 2-1 home defeat by the Seagulls.Alexandre Lacazette was among those dropped as Pepe made his first Premier League start in six games.The Ivorian’s inability to make an impact has summed up Arsenal’s season as high expectations of a return to the Champions League next season have fallen flat in recent months with a string of poor performances and results that ultimately cost Unai Emery his job.Not much had improved in Ljungberg’s first two games since replacing the Spaniard and it was the same tame and lifeless Arsenal for the first hour against a West Ham side that have won just once in their last 11 games. In a first half of precious little good football it was fitting the opener arrived in scrappy fashion as Ogbonna’s attempted header came off his shoulder and deflected off Martinelli to wrong-foot Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal.Leno then made an important save at the start of the second half from Declan Rice’s well-struck shot to keep Arsenal in the game.Out of nothing Ljungberg’s men levelled when Kolasinac burst down the left and crossed low for Martinelli to slot home his eighth goal of the season after impressing in the League Cup and Europa League.Suddenly the confidence which Emery and Ljungberg bemoaned had drained away from their players in recent times was restored, none more so than in Pepe, who cut inside onto his favoured left foot and curled into the top corner.That was his first Premier League goal from open play, with his only previous strike coming from the penalty spot against Aston Villa in September.Aubameyang has been the one player Arsenal have been able to consistently rely on throughout the course of a disappointing season to date and the newly installed captain put the seal on a first league win in over two months by sliding in to meet Pepe’s cross for his 13th goal of the campaign.Share on: WhatsApp read more
Image Courtesy: Delhi Capitals/USA TodayAdvertisement x8t1NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs7njpWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ep8v2i( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) awlWould you ever consider trying this?😱l6s94dCan your students do this? 🌚92t1Roller skating! Powered by Firework Cricketers around the globe are well known for their love and passion for other sports. Likewise, the Indian cricket team members have a huge following for basketball. Recently, the skipper Virat Kohli revealed that he has been fond of the game from a tender age. The latest input comes from the young superstar Shreyas Iyer, who recently had the time of his life meeting an NBA hall of fame, the one and only Shaquille O’Neal!Advertisement Image Courtesy: Delhi Capitals/USA TodayFollowing a brilliant spell in the T20 and ODI series against New Zealand, Shreyas Iyer was checked off from the upcoming Test matches, and the batsman is having some time off the training ground.The 69th NBA All-Star Game recently took place in Chicago from 14th to 16th February, and Iyer was present in the big event yesterday. Although late to the party, flying all the way to the USA proved worthy for the Mumbaiker, as he went gaga on meeting the iconic Shaquille O’Neal in the event.Advertisement Yesterday on his official Twitter handle, the 25 year old posted a picture with O’Neal, along with an enthusiastic caption: “Big @SHAQ 🤩🤩 Such an honour to meet you LEGEND 🏀🙌🙌 #nbaallstar” Check it out here-At 7 feet 1 inches, O’ Neal is seen towering over Iyer, who is 5 feet an 10 inches. The photo went viral among the fan base, as Iyer’s followers lauded their young icon with praises.Regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Shaquille O’Neal is a four times NBA champion, and won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2000. he is currently working as a sports analyst for NBA on TNT’s Inside the NBA show.Inaugurated in 1951, the All Star game is NBA’s annual exhibiton game, with the squad lineup chosen by a voting system where players, supporters and the media votes for their favourite basketball icons in the teams. Last week, Shreyas expressed his enthusiasm for joining up as a live spectator for the grand basketball event.“I’m thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity to witness the NBA All-Star action live from courtside. It’s a dream to watch basketball greats and living legends like LeBron James and Dwight Howard up close in action, and the fan in me just wants to scream of jubilation as I await being there.” Iyer told reporters.Also read-Read Virat Kohli’s heartwarming birthday wishes to fellow RCB teammate AB De VilliersVirat Kohli reveals the lessons he learned from Kobe Bryant’s death Advertisement read more
Dr. and Mrs. Frederick C. Blades of Fair Haven are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Leslie Souter Blades to Stuart Blakely Eadon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Eadon of Rumson.Leslie is a graduate of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School and Villanova University. She is currently a registered oncology nurse at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital in Manhattan and pursuing her Master’s of Science in Nursing degree at Monmouth University.Stuart is a graduate of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School and George Washington University. He is currently working at J.P. Morgan in Manhattan.A December wedding is planned.
At the senior level, the L.V. Rogers Bombers commence play at the BC High School AAA Girl’s Volleyball Championships beginning today in Kelowna at Okanagan Mission High School.The Bombers are slotted into pool play with Langley Secondary, Duchess Park of Prince George and Timberline of Campbell River.The finals of the 16-team field are set for Saturday.The Bombers finished 16th at the 2015 tournament.Also on the court this weekend are the Mount Sentinel Wildcats.The Cats play in the BC High School A Girl’s Volleyball Championships beginning Thursday in Kelowna. Trafalgar Thunder rolled to the West Kootenay Grade 8 Girl’s Volleyball Title this past weekend as the bump sport season concluded.The Thunder swept past Grand Forks Wolves 2-0 in the best-of-three final by scores of 15-7, 15-5.The other Trafalgar squad also was victorious, outlasting host Mount Sentinel Wildcats 15-9, 15-10. read more
ACCEPTANCE HOPES TO ROAM LIKE CHROMESTEADY AWESOME RETURN IN TURF CLASSICINSIDE TO OUTSIDE BETTER FOR HEAT TRAPO’NEILL ROLLS THE DICE IN CALIFORNIA OAKS‘MARX BROTHERS’ EPISODE IN FIRST CAL CUP SPECHT SEEKS BETTER LUCK FOR MARKS MINEIf stakes races are being run for California-breds at Santa Anita, Steve Specht must be on hand. And so he is for tomorrow’s Sunshine Millions California Cup Day extravaganza at The Great Race Place.Specht sends out the consistent Benchmark mare Marks Mine in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint, a race she was second in by a half-length last year.“She’s doing good, she shipped down (from Golden Gate) good,” Specht said. “The race looks tough. It looks like there’s a lot of gas in there, but she’s pretty quick herself. If she gets a good break from the gate, she’ll be on the lead or right there.“She got beat last year and I think the little jump (she experienced) coming across the dirt might have been the reason she got beat. She went from a half a length in front to a half a length behind in one step, and she lost by a half-length, so that would have done it.”Specht also sends out Swiss swimmer in the $200,000 California Cup Oaks. Both horses are owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams. ACCEPTANCE STARTS 3-YEAR-OLD CAMPAIGN IN CAL DERBY Unbeaten and unchallenged Acceptance guns for his fourth straight victory in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.A son of Vronsky trained by Don Warren, the colt has won his three races by a combined margin of more than 17 lengths, winning by three at a mile last out in the King Glorious for California-breds at Los Alamitos.Owners Bud and Judy Johnston and Robert Riggio are hopeful that’s a good omen. California Chrome won the King Glorious and Cal Cup Derby last year en route to a Horse of the Year campaign that included victories in the San Felipe Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Hollywood Derby.“He’s doing well and he’s worked well,” said former jockey Kenny Black, Warren’s assistant. “He looks like a million dollars right now. He looks to be doing as good as he can be doing, I guess.“We’ve liked this horse from Day One, but we would have never expected him to do what he did in his first couple of outs (winning his debut by 13 ¼ lengths, then taking his next start (a 1 ¼-length triumph in the Golden State Juvenile at seven furlongs in 1:21.60 at Santa Anita on Nov. 1). He followed that with a victory in the King Glorious.“That’s the fastest seven-eighths I’ve ever seen a two-year-old run, on any track,” said Black, who has ridden for Warren in the past and has been associated with him since the early 1980s. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one run faster than he did that day.“I’ve been helping Don in the mornings off and on for 20, 30 years. We had a champion with Acclimation, but this horse, Acceptance, is pretty close. This is a nice horse.”Trainer Steve Miyadi gave no hint Friday morning of any physical problems with Tough Sunday, although HRTV reported there were possible issues with the son of Grazen, making his status for the race tentative at press time.The field for the Derby, race six of 10 with a first post time of 12 noon: Tough Sunday, Tyler Baze, 5-2; Acceptance, Elvis Trujillo, 4-5; Mischief Clem, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Neveradoubt, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Kluszewski, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Chanito, Brandon Boulanger, 50-1; Pulmarack, Drayden Van Dyke, 9-2; and Avanti Bello, Mike Smith, 20-1. Michael Pender1243033%$113,940 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Gary Stevens3374621%$326,080 Martin Garcia4049510%$477,650 Barry Abrams1331023%$105,148 Drayden Van Dyke68761010%$377,516 Peter Eurton2853618%$276,308 A. C. Avila1230125%$70,600 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Peter Miller511111522%$660,016 Joseph Talamo73511117%$488,948 Rafael Bejarano8522171026%$1,013,924 Hector Palma831038%$64,460 Eddie Truman530160%$77,530 Carla Gaines1733118%$198,265 Kent Desormeaux58147724%$704,498 Brandon Boulanger4051313%$100,030 Corey Nakatani4477716%$412,260 Mark Glatt2454421%$187,236 NTRA FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING AT SANTA ANITAJoin NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop and NTRA lobbyist Greg Means of The Alpine Group at Santa Anita Park Saturday morning for a federal legislative briefing.This one-hour event begins at 10:30 a.m. and features updates on federal legislation that will impact horse racing and breeding and an insider’s view of the new Congress. Waldrop and Means also will take questions. The briefing is open to the public.The briefing will be held in the Baldwin Conference Room (third level of Grandstand above Clockers’ Corner). HEAT TRAP HAS BETTER THAN ‘OUTSIDE’ CHANCEHeat Trap moves from inside to outside in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs, and Victor Espinoza likes the change.“The trip is important, especially going down the hill,” Espinoza said. “Last time I rode her (second in the Grade II Monrovia breaking from the No. 3 post position), I was in a little traffic with her.“Everywhere I went, some horse was slowing down in front of me, but she tries. She’s pretty amazing. I like the outside (14) post better than the inside. I think I have a better chance.”The field: More Complexity, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Home Journey, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Velvet Mesquite, Mike Smith, 4-1; Tribal Gal, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Heavens Stairway, Corey Nakatani, 6-1; Go West Marie, Gary Stevens, 12-1; Doinghardtimeagain, Elvis Trujillo, 15-1; Kathleen Rose, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; My Monet, Martin Garcia, 30-1; Marks Mine, Frank Alvarado, 15-1; Magic Spot, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; and Heat Trap, Victor Espinoza, 9-2.Air of Royalty and Shakeitupbetty were scratched. Victor Espinoza591012617%$663,090 Doug O’Neill4956510%$273,820 Bob Baffert3548511%$494,418 Mike Smith4167715%$558,411 Mark Casse2444417%$334,360 (Current Through Monday, Jan. 19) Jerry Hollendorfer51147627%$1,163,404 John Sadler413687%$256,516 AWESOME RETURN EARNS HIS KEEP FOR PUYPEAwesome Return may never win an Eclipse Award, but he’s a horse any trainer would like to have in his barn.That includes Mike Puype, who conditions the 4-year-old son of Decarchy for owner/breeder Richard Kritzki. The bay colt goes for his fifth victory from 11 starts when he runs in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic at 1 1/8 miles.“He has no bad habits,” Puype said. “He’s all race horse. He’s never run a bad turf race; eight starts, four wins, one second, three thirds. He’s earned $354,780, which is not bad. It helps pay the bills.”The Turf Classic field: Tamarando, Corey Nakatani. 10-1; G.G. Ryder, Rafael Bejarano, 12-1; Alert Bay, Tyler Baze, 5-2; Patriots Rule, Fernando Perez, 15-1; Big Bane Theory, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Bench Light, Elvis Trujillo, 8-1; Awesome Return, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Stoney Fleece, Tiago Pereira, 30-1; Boozer, Gary Stevens, 8-1; Super Ability, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Christopher Street, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; and Alpine Luck, Brice Blanc, 50-1. Mike Puype3034410%$136,750 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won O’NEILL MAIDEN TRIES IN RICH CALIFORNIA OAKSSilver Starlight is a maiden going into Saturday’s California Cup Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf, but Doug O’Neill says there’s an upside to the endeavor.“It’s in our own back yard, it’s a nice purse ($200,000), restricted to Cal-breds, she’s doing well, and we’re going to go after it,” the trainer said.A daughter of the Storm Cat sire Mario Marini, the gray filly was fourth in her maiden voyage at Del Mar last November, then ran an encouraging second despite a wide trip late in a one-mile turf race for maiden allowance winners at Santa Anita on Jan. 1.The Oaks field: Patsy G and Me, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Singing Kitty, Aaron Gryder, 5-1; Swiss Skimmer, Frank Alvarado, 15-1; Heat the Rocks, Elvis Trujillo, 2-1; Sheer Pleasure, Kent Desormeaux, 5-2; Light One, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Tribal Express, Alonso Quinonez, 15-1; and Silver Starlight, Flavian Prat, 8-1. FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern is jogging for Bob Baffert but chances of making the San Antonio Stakes on Feb. 7 and a possible meeting with Horse of the Year California Chrome and male 2-year-old champ of 2013 Shared Belief diminish by the day. Baffert does have Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Secret Circle on course for next Saturday’s Palos Verdes Stakes, unbeaten Los Alamitos Futurity winner Dortmund ticketed for the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 7 and Maybelline and impressive maiden winner Fantastic Style set for the Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes next Saturday . . . Zenyatta offspring Cozmic One worked five furlongs for trainer John Shirreffs under Victor Espinoza in company as he prepares for his debut. Cozmic One was timed in 1:03, while Captain Tim went in 1:03.40 under Tyler Baze . . .Sofast, a candidate for the Grade II Arcadia Stakes next Saturday, worked six furlongs under Flavian Prat in 1:13.20 for trainer Gary Mandella . . . Jerry Hollendorfer on Sam’s Sister, who gave him his sixth stakes win of the meet Monday when she won the Grade II Santa Monica: “We’ve always loved this filly. I loved her when I bought her and we loved her when she was being broken at Pegasus Training Center, and we loved her when she came down to us. She had a little problem and had to be turned out to go back to Pegasus for a while. They got her ready and we brought her back. And here she is.” Hollendorfer has horses entered in eight of the 10 races Saturday and a total of nine overall . . . Horse owner and player Bill Strauss, and Glenn Alsdorf, Santa Anita weekday paddock seminar host, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens, Saturday at 10:50 a.m. and Sunday at 11:20 a.m. . . . HRTV will re-broadcast Saturday’s 2014 Eclipse Awards in its entirety tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific, and re-air from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. XPRESSBET SPONSORS CALIFORNIA CUP OAKSLeading online wagering provider Xpressbet is proud to support the Sunshine Millions/California Cup and sponsor the $200,000 Xpressbet California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita on Saturday. The Cal Cup is racing’s premier event for California bred and sired runners, with five races worth a combined $1 million in purses. Last year’s California Cup Derby champion, California Chrome, went on to win four Grade I races and would also be named Horse of the Year.As the official sponsor of the California Cup, Xpressbet will produce a free, exclusive Wager Guide with analysis, selections and wagering strategies for each of the five Sunshine Millions California Cup races. Xpressbet’s popular Wager Guides have become an invaluable handicapping tool for betting Triple Crown races, the Breeders’ Cup and other marquee racing events.Additionally, Xpressbet customers who bet the California Cup card will earn five-times Rewards Points for their Win, Place and Show bets on the card, along with 10-times Rewards Points for all exotic wagers. XB Rewards Points can be redeemed for various items, including wagering vouchers, handicapping products and racetrack experiences.“We’re thrilled to align ourselves with the great racing that the Sunshine Millions California Cup promises,” said Xpressbet Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kerry Carlson. “California bred and sired horses continue to perform incredibly well in stakes races from coast to coast, and their showcase event is always a great day of racing. We hope our Wager Guide helps customers make some winning bets, and the Bonus XB Rewards Points they earn are enough to redeem for something they’ve had their eye on in our Catalog.”According to Doug Burge, President of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, “We are pleased to have Xpressbet as a sponsor for the 25th California Cup Day which is a celebration of the breeding industry in California. Many great Cal-breds have participated in this event including recent classic winner California Chrome.”To sign up for an Xpressbet account and to download Xpressbet’s free Wager Guide, please visit www.xpressbet.com/CalCup. Fernando Perez6076312%$243,404 BIG MACHER PASSES SPRINT FOR PALOS VERDES Disillusioned by drawing the No. One post position, trainer Richard Baltas scratched likely favorite Big Macher from Saturday’s $150,000 California Cup Sprint and will point the California-bred son of Beau Genius to next Saturday’s Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes instead. The field for the Sprint, which goes as race eight, with an adjusted morning line: San Onofre, Mike Smith, 4-5; Rousing Sermon, Elvis Trujillo, 4-1; Frensham, Mario Gutierrez, 10-1; Grazen’s Hope, Tyler Baze. 12-1; Follini, Edwin Maldonado, 10-1; Marino’s Wild Cat, Martin Garcia, 6-1; and Spirit Rules, Ignacio Puglisi, 6-1.In addition to Big Macher, Frumious also was scratched. Tyler Baze951171312%$616,988 Jeff Bonde1330323%$126,960 Richard Baltas2232314%$114,278 SPAWR RECOUNTS ‘MARX BROTHERS’ EPISODE IN CAL CUPWhen My Sonny Boy won the inaugural California Cup Classic in 1990, the storyline was right out of the classic Marx Brothers’ film, “A Day at the Races.” Difference was, Barry Fitzgerald wasn’t the trainer. It was Bill Spawr.Spawr had Patrick Valenzuela booked to ride the 5-year-old son of To-Agori-Mou in the mile-and-an-eighth race, but P. Val pulled a last-minute Houdini, leaving Spawr without a rider.Fourteen horses were entered in the race, so everyone in the jocks’ room was spoken for. There was no rider available.“Patrick didn’t show,” Spawr related at his barn Friday morning on the eve of Sunshine Millions California Cup Day tomorrow. “At the last minute, the jocks’ room calls and says he’s not here. I said, ‘Who’s left?’ Darryl (assistant Darryl Rader) and I walked to the room, and we were told that Jorge Velasquez (Hall of Famer and winner of the 1981 Kentucky Derby with Pleasant Colony) had just left and was heading to his car.’“Darryl took off running and got him to come and ride the horse. Had it been a few minutes later, we would have had to scratch the horse. He won easy.”Velasquez led throughout to score by 2 ½ lengths at odds of nearly 9-1. “It was Charlie (then Clerk of Scales Charlie McCaul) who told Bill no rider was available,” Rader said. “Bill asked who was in the room and Charlie told him nobody. ‘Your only chance is Jorge, and he just left for his car. If you can catch him, maybe he’ll ride the horse. There’s no one left.’“He pointed to the jocks’ parking lot and I just started running my ass off,” Rader said. “Jorge was putting his bag in the trunk and I told him the story, he pulled it out and said, ‘No problem,’ and he jogged back.” Recalled Spawr:”A few years ago I was at Belmont and I ran into Jorge. He’s a jock’s agent now. I went to introduce him to (owner) Roddy Valente, and Velasquez turned around in a New York minute and says, ‘Bill Spawr? My Sonny Boy?’ I said, ‘You remember that?’ He says, ‘How can I forget something like that?’“Good thing Darryl is a fast runner or we’d have had to scratch the horse.” Philip D’Amato2244418%$190,780 Flavien Prat2952517%$196,740 Elvis Trujillo68107615%$616,376 Martin Pedroza60911515%$335,090 Julio Canani930033%$80,490 read more