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Three horses euthanized in three days at Santa Anita Park

oska25/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- Three horses were euthanized this weekend at Santa Anita Park, the famed Southern California horse racing track that gained notoriety last year for the deaths of dozens of horses.

A 5-year-old gelding named Uncontainable was euthanized after fracturing its front right ankle on Saturday, and a 6-year-old gelding named Harliss was euthanized Friday for the same reason, ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV reported. Tikkun Olam, a 4-year-old gelding, was euthanized for undisclosed reasons after a training accident Sunday.

A fourth horse, a 3-year-old gelding named Truest Reward, died after suffering an injury during training last month.

A spokesman for the racetrack did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

The most recent euthanizations bring the total number of horse deaths at the park to 42 since December 2018.

In a statement prior to Sunday's death, PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said, "Two horses dead in two days means horses are being forced to race when they shouldn't be."

"Uncontainable had two very long periods last year when he wasn't raced, which likely indicates injury and the need for special attention by veterinarians," Guillermo said. "If we at PETA can see that by looking at his racing record, surely the state veterinarians can too. The only acceptable fatality rate is zero, and if racing can't be done without horses dying, it shouldn't be done at all."

Santa Anita Park has been under intense scrutiny since the number of horse deaths began to rise last year.

In June, after the death toll had climbed to 29, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called for the park to be shut down after it did not heed the California Horse Racing Board's recommendation to suspend racing.

Santa Anita decided to continue racing because it believed that the reforms enacted earlier in the year were working, a spokesman for The Stronach Group, a company that owns the park, told ABC News in June.

The park announced a series of changes surrounding horse safety last March, including a "zero-tolerance" policy for the use of almost all medication on racing day. The California Horse Racing Board further voted to limit whips on racing day.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced in April that a task force would investigate whether unlawful conduct or conditions affected the welfare and safety of the horses.

Mike Marten, spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board, said in a statement to ABC News Sunday that the board "is committed to reducing the number of racing and training fatalities."

"We already have introduced many safety measures and still others are going through the regulatory process," Marten said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 1/19/20

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Sunday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
San Antonio 107, Miami 102
Indiana 115, Denver 107

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 4, Boston 3
Carolina 2, NY Islanders 1 -- SO
Chicago 5, Winnipeg 2
Columbus 2, NY Rangers 1

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Kansas City 35, Tennessee 24
San Francisco 37, Green Bay 20

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New Orleans police toss the arrest warrant for Odell Beckham Jr.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) --  A New Orleans security officer who filed a complaint against Cleveland Brown's wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for allegedly slapping him on the buttocks has decided not to pursue the charges.

The officer, who works at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, was seen in a viral video with Beckham, who appears to slap him on his behind in a stadium locker room Monday night.

The officer filed a complaint with the New Orleans Police Department on Thursday and an arrest warrant was obtained for a "simple battery" charge.

At some point, the officer had a change of heart, telling police on Saturday he didn't want to pursue the charges, a law enforcement source confirmed to ABC News. Officials then rescinded the arrest warrant.

"Absent a complaining witness, this is not a case our office intends to pursue," said Ken Daley, a spokesman for Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.

The allegations stemmed from the aftermath of the College Football Playoff National Championship in which Beckham's alma mater, Louisiana State, was celebrating after defeating Clemson 42-25.

Beckham was seen in a video apparently slapping the officer's behind, at which point he turned around and looked at Beckham, who continued joking around with LSU players and officials.

The "simple battery" charge would have been a misdemeanor.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 1/17/20

iStock(NEW YORK) --  Here are the scores from Friday's games:

 

 NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
 Final  Philadelphia  100  Chicago        89
 Final  Indiana       116  Minnesota      114
 Final  Toronto       140  Washington     111
 Final  Memphis       113  Cleveland      109
 Final  Miami         115  Oklahoma City  108
 Final  Atlanta       121  San Antonio    120
 Final  Dallas        120  Portland       112
   ------
  NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
  Final OT  Anaheim      2  Carolina   1
  Final OT  Pittsburgh   2  Detroit    1
  Final  Tampa Bay    7  Winnipeg   1
   ------
  TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
  (13)Dayton        78  Saint Louis   76
  (15)Michigan St.  67  Wisconsin     55
  Iowa              90  (19)Michigan  83

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


San Francisco Giants hire 1st female coach in MLB history

33ft/iStock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The San Francisco Giants announced that Alyssa Nakken will be an assistant on the coaching staff, officially making her the first female coach in Major League Baseball history.

Nakken, a four-time Academic All American softball player for Sacramento State, joined the Giants in 2014 as an intern and worked on a variety of projects, according to a Giants press release.

Last month, she was nominated by her peers and co-awarded the 2019 Sprinkles of Love Award, a Giants honor, for her ethics, professionalism and humanitarianism.

Referring to Nakken and Mark Hallberg, who was also added to the coaching staff as an assistant, Giants manager Gabe Kapler said in a statement, "Alyssa and Mark are highly respected members of the organization and I'm delighted that they will now focus their talents on helping to build a winning culture in the clubhouse."

The team now has a total of 13 coaches.

Before her promotion, Nakken was responsible for leading a number of the team's health and wellness events, including the Giant Race Series. She currently chairs the Giants' first Employee Resource Group, aimed at creating a company culture that encourages diversity and equity.

"In every organization, environment affects performance, and baseball clubhouses are no different. That's why in addition to assisting the rest of the coaching staff on the field, Mark and Alyssa will focus on fostering a clubhouse culture that promotes high performance through, among other attributes, a deep sense of collaboration and team," said Kapler.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


NFL star Von Miller on eye care awareness and his surprise Super Bowl pick

Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller never took his health for granted.

Entering his tenth NFL season, the seven-time All-Pro has missed just one game since the start of the 2015 season. He watched as his 95 consecutive games played streak was snapped this past year, when he missed one due to injury

"If it was a playoff game or something, I could’ve toughened it out," the star linebacker tells ABC News, as he embarks on a new offseason campaign to empower others to pursue quality eye care.

Miller has long discussed publicly how his poor vision growing up affected his confidence in school, but he credits the experience for helping him develop a passion for encouraging others to become aware of issues that can affect vision.

"There are 70 million people around the world that are affected by Glaucoma," he says, discussing his new My Glaucoma campaign. "If I can raise any awareness or any type of knowledge of it [glaucoma] that would be my ultimate goal."

Miller also launched his Von’s Vision Foundation several years earlier.

Miller wears an iconic pair of glasses while playing, and vision has never hindered his play. In fact, little has affected his on-field dominance-Miller is heading to his eighth Pro Bowl, which is played the week before the Super Bowl, and has ranked among the NFL’s leaders in sacks nearly every year he has played professional football.

While excited about his new campaign, Miller says he is disappointed the Broncos are not playing in the postseason. The Broncos have missed the playoffs every year since winning the Super Bowl four years ago.

Miller says he will watch the conference championship games this weekend though, and offered a surprising Super Bowl prediction: the underdog Tennessee Titans.

"I like the Titans," says Miller, predicting they will defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. This, despite believing the 49ers are the best team in the playoffs.

Miller says any team can win though, and concedes his bias does play a role in his prediction:

"I can’t just say the Chiefs!"

The Broncos are divisional rivals with the Kansas City Chiefs, who face Tennessee on Sunday. The 49ers, meanwhile, will host the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

To hear our entire conversation with Miller, which includes more on his campaign, predictions, and his thoughts on issues affecting the NFL, click here.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Final four teams to battle for a spot in Super Bowl LIV

artisteer/iStock(NEW YORK) -- This weekend, the final four NFL teams will battle for their chance at the Super Bowl.

The Tennessee Titans will take on the Kansas City Chiefs to play the winner of the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Francisco 49ers in the league's biggest game.

Watch the full report from ABC's Good Morning America below:

The two remaining teams will face-off for Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Sunday, Feb. 2. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 1/16/20

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Thursday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Phoenix 121, New York 98
Milwaukee 128, Boston 123
New Orleans 138, Utah 132 -- OT
L.A. Clippers 122, Orlando 95
Denver 134, Golden State 131 -- OT

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Boston 4, Pittsburgh 1
Columbus 3, Carolina 2
Florida 4, Los Angeles 3
NY Rangers 3, NY Islanders 2
Montreal 4, Philadelphia 1
Calgary 2, Toronto 1 -- SO
Washington 5, New Jersey 2
Vegas 4, Ottawa 2
Minnesota 3, Tampa Bay 2
Anaheim 4, Nashville 2
Buffalo 4, Dallas 1
Colorado 4, San Jose 0
Vancouver 3, Arizona 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Washington St. 72, Oregon 61
Colorado 68, Arizona St. 61
Gonzaga 104, Santa Clara 54
Memphis 60, Cincinnati 49

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mets manager Carlos Beltran resigns in wake of Astros sign-stealing scandal

33ft/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Mets manager Carlos Beltran resigned on Thursday after being implicated in a sign-stealing scandal that's left three teams without managers just weeks before Spring Training.

The 42-year-old is the latest member of the 2017 Houston Astros to lose his job after Major League Baseball revealed the team's staff used video monitoring to steal signs from the Los Angeles Dodgers during the World series.

In a statement, Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon and Executive Vice President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said they met with Beltran Wednesday night and agreed to "mutually part ways."

"It became clear to all parties that it was not in anyone's best interest for Carlos to move forward as manager," they said.

Beltran, hired by the Mets in November, said in a statement he couldn't let himself be a distraction for the team.

"I'm grateful to them for giving me the opportunity, but we agreed this decision is in the best interest of the team," he said.

Van Wagenen said the Mets are currently looking at both internal and external candidates for the team's next manager. No timetable was given as to when the position should be filled.

MLB revealed on Monday that the Astros used cameras to decode the signals used between pitchers and catchers and used that footage to win the 2017 championship. Astros coaches and players then developed their own system, involving smartwatches and banging on a trash can, to alert batters to upcoming pitches.

Beltran worked with bench coach Alex Cora on ways to improve the sign stealing, according to the report.

A November 2019 article in The Athletic about the Astros' sign-stealing sparked MLB's investigation, which looked at the team's operations between 2016 and this week.

Wilpon and Van Wagenen said they were unaware of the sign-stealing accusations and Beltran's involvement until that article was published, and they deferred to MLB to look into the allegations.

"We wanted to steer clear and wanted the commissioner to do their investigation without any interference with us," Wilpon said in a conference call Thursday.

MLB fined the Astros $5 million, the maximum allowed under current league rules, and forced the team to forfeit first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts. After the report was released, the Astros fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.

The Boston Red Sox fired Cora as their manager on Tuesday. He's been accused of using similar sign-stealing tactics as manager of the Red Sox during the team's 2018 championship run.

MLB implicated no other players from the 2017 Astros team and issued no other punishments in its report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New Orleans police issue warrant for Odell Beckham Jr.

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- The New Orleans Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Odell Beckham Jr. on Thursday, alleging the Cleveland Browns wide receiver committed "a simple battery" at the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Beckham, 27, allegedly slapped a stadium security officer on the buttocks, and the officer filed a complaint, a police spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News.

The allegation is a misdemeanor.

Beckham's alma mater, Louisiana State, beat Clemson 42-25 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Monday night.

Before the alleged inappropriate touching, Beckham was seen celebrating with LSU students in the locker room and allegedly handed out money to the players, which could put some of them in hot water with the NCAA.

The alleged buttocks-slapping incident was recorded by Louisiana State player Adrian Magee.

Police could not confirm whether the video is a part of the investigation, but told ABC News to refer to the viral clip.

The 25-second clip, which was posted on Magee's Instagram stories and republished by Complex Sports on Twitter, shows the officer talking to another player in the locker room as Beckham stands in the background.

Odell really spanked the cop 🤣 pic.twitter.com/KVNijqK3bM

— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) January 15, 2020

As the team celebrates, Beckham appears to slap the male security officer on the backside, causing him to turn around. Beckham seemed to joke with the officer in a playful matter before the footage stopped.

"We are aware of the incident and have been in touch with Odell and his representatives on the matter," the Cleveland Browns said in a statement.

Beckham will have to turn himself in to the police department, and prosecutors will determine what the exact charges will be against him, a spokeswoman said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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