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Sparks Sign Ashley Walker

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The Los Angeles Sparks signed forward Ashley Walker last week, bringing the veteran forward back to the WNBA.

Walker, the 12th overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm, is currently playing in the Turkish League for Mersin where she is
averaging 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.4 assists while shooting 58% from the field.

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Horse Racing

Sir Winston Takes Belmont Stakes

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Sir Winston

Although no Triple Crown title was on the line, Sir Winston made things exciting at the Belmont Stakes with his victory on Saturday.

The field headed to the post for this Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in the Triple Crown, and while no horse was looking to etch their name in the history books, Sir Winston grabbed headlines around the world for his 10-1 upset.

The win gave Mark Casse a second American Classic victory just three weeks after War of Will landed the Canadian Hall of Fame trainer his first.

Sir Winston, rode by jockey Joel Rosario, defeated 9-5 favorite Tacitus by a length at the wire, completing 1 1/2 miles over Big Sandy’s fast main track in 2:28.30, and marking the 2nd win for Rosario at the Belmont Stakes.

Rosario won back in 2014 with Tonalist, when they halted California Chrome’s bid for the Triple Crown.

“He’s an amazing little horse. If at this time last year, if you had asked me to rate our top-20 2-year-olds, he would have been about 16th or 17th. But I’m very proud of him because he’s kind of what our operation represents, and that is I feel like we develop horses,” Casse said, according to Paulick Report.

“I have this philosophy. I start every horse out thinking that they are going to win the Kentucky Derby, or the Oaks. That’s what I do. And I will try different surfaces; I will try different methods. With a horse like Sir Winston, you know, it paid off there.”

“He’s a very nice horse and you have to let him do this thing. I’m really happy,” Rosario said.

“It seemed like he didn’t mind [being] inside. I just took my time with him. For the distance, he broke very good. Today, he was a little closer, so I let him be where he was comfortable.”

Now, the horse will likely set his sights on the Saratogay Travers that takes place in Saratoga, New York on August 24th, at the Saratoga Race Course, follow these racing tips from consistently profitable horse racing tipsters at OLBG.com.

“I tell you what, they all better watch out going to a mile-and-a-quarter because Sir Winston will come running, too. Sir Winston is a pretty serious horse, so don’t count him out,” Casse said.

“You didn’t see the real War of Will today. I know that,” Casse said. “So, we’ve got to get back and figure out what’s up and why he didn’t run better.

“As far as War of Will, first we’ll have a couple days and make sure how he is. [We’ll] probably send him back to Kentucky [and] give him a little break. The plan would be, and I would have to discuss it with Gary Barber, but we’re going to aim him for the Travers.

“Again I’ll talk to Mr. Farmer but I don’t think there’s much out there he would enjoy more than winning the Travers, so I’m sure he’ll be all for that.”

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Aces Talking Trade for Liz Cambage

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The Las Vegas Aces are working on the final details of a trade with the Dallas Wings that would bring All-Star center Liz Cambage to Las Vegas, according to SB Nation’s Bradley Klopfer.

The 6-foot-8 Cambage finished second in the WNBA MVP voting in 2018 behind the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart following an impressive season in which she averaged 23 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while also earning her second All-Star appearance in three seasons.

2018 was a special year for Cambage as she led the WNBA in player efficiency rating with 30.7, and also set a single-game record by scoring an impressive 53 points.

Las Vegas had yet another disappointing season, posting a 14-20 record and finishing 9th.

As part of the trade, the Wings will receive Aces guard Moriah Jefferson, forward Isabelle Harrison and a future WNBA draft pick.

The Los Angeles Sparks had reportedly been discussing a trade for Cambage with Las Vegas and supposedly had offered a package including Kalani Brown, Maria Vadeeva, and a draft pick.

Those talks gained a lot of traction as Cambage stated that she only wanted to play in Los Angeles, making a trade with the Sparks the most likely outcome.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cambage requested a trade in January and cited the Los Angeles Sparks as a preferred destination, but reportedly would play in Las Vegas.

Talks between the Aces and Wings were ongoing since the trade request but went dormant of late before picking back up over the past 2 weeks and picking up major steam by Sunday.

While Cambage has not commented on a potential move to Las Vegas, or publicly changed her stance on playing in Los Angeles, she could have changed her mind during these trade talks.

Jefferson, 25, was the 2nd overall pick of the San Antonio Stars in 2016 and averaged 13.9 points and 4.2 points as a rookie.

While she has been a very productive and consistent player throughout her WNBA career, she was limited last season due to injury, averaging 5.4 points and 2.1 assists.

When healthy, she provides solid, consistent production.

Harrison, 25, was the 12th overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft, but missed her rookie season due to a knee injury. She sat out the 2018 WNBA season with an auto-immune issue.

Harrison had a solid 2017 season with the Stars, averaging 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

While a deal is not done yet, the two sides are “finalizing” a deal, per the SB Nation report. However, the Las Vegas Review Journal states that
no deal is imminent and characterized the likelihood of one as “50-50”, meaning the betting odds are literally a toss up at this time, depending on which report you choose to believe.

Regardless, this story is developing and one thing is seemingly for certain; Cambage is on her way out of town, one way or the other.

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Sparks Land Chiney Ogwumike in Trade with Sun

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The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired All-Star Chiney Ogwumike from the Connecticut Sun in exchange for a 2020 first round draft pick, the teams announced on Saturday.

The trade will reunite Oqwumike with her sister, Nneka, the 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player, to form a fierce tandem for the Sparks moving forward.

The sisters were teammates when they played for Stanford.

“Chiney Ogwumike is one of the most athletic, versatile and efficient frontcourt players in the WNBA,” Sparks general manager Penny Toler said. “Chiney provides us additional inside scoring, rebounding and rim protection. She will be a great addition to our roster.”

“We would like to thank Chiney Ogwumike for her contributions to our organization since 2014,” Sun coach and general manager Curt Miller said in a statement. “We wish her well with her career and expanding her off court interests.”

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