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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
BASKETBALL—The BOSTON CELTICS won their crucial fourth game from Los Angeles 108-105, moved ahead 3-1 and back to Boston, with Coach Red Auerbach full of confidence. "We've never lost three games in a row," he said. But in the vigorously contested fifth game in their own home town, Tommy Heinsohn was ejected and Bob Cousy fouled out (after he had scored 12 points for a lifetime playoff total of 2,000) and the Celtics failed to stop the 1-2 scoring punch of Elgin Baylor (a series high of 43 points) and Jerry West (32 points). With the Lakers still alive after a 126-119 triumph, the playoffs headed back to Los Angeles.
BOXING—A groggy INGEMAR JOHANSSON had to stagger to his feet to be declared winner on points over former British Heavyweight Champion Brian London. The Briton scored the only knockdown as he belted the former world champion to the canvas with a vicious left hook in the last minute of their 12-round nontitle bout in Stockholm.
GOLF—National Left-handers Champion BOB CHARLES of New Zealand shot a final round 69 for a 12-under-par 268 to win the $50,000 Houston Classic at Memorial Park. Fred Hawkins was second, one stroke back. Amateur Homero Blancas, after firing the best closing round in the tournament—a sizzling 64—ended up third. All three broke the Classic's 72-hole mark of 272 set by John Palmer in 1949. Mighty Jack Nicklaus, who had been second until the end when he bogeyed five holes and finished fourth, tied Mike Souchak's course mark of 273. Two 24-year-old blondes from Florida met in the finals of the North and South Women's Amateur at Pinehurst, N.C., and the victory went to NANCY ROTH, who was playing in the tournament for the first time. Trying hard for a berth on the Curtis Cup team, Nancy downed last year's cup team member, Tish Preuss, 2 and 1, making the win all the nicer.
HARNESS RACING—FIRESTAR ($6.70), an American-bred horse from Italy, took the lead from the start and stayed there to defeat seven foreign rivals and capture the $45,000 Transoceanic Trot at Yonkers. Last year's winner, Ozo of France, was disqualified after finishing fourth, giving that place and the right to enter the U.N. Trot to France's Minarelle H. The two Russian entries, Villa and Zadacha, had their own little race from wire to wire for last place, with Zadacha capturing the dubious honor.
HOCKEY—"If my players don't clinch this thing in the next game, they're a bunch of doughheads," said Toronto's Punch Imlach in Detroit after his MAPLE LEAFS had taken the third game of the finals in one of the least suspenseful Stanley Cup series in years (see page 51). Back in Toronto, the league champion nondoughheads forthwith clinched their second straight cup in a 3-1 victory over the Red Wings, sparked by two goals from star Center Dave Keon.
HORSE RACING—NO ROBBERY ($3.60) indicated in the $90,800 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct (see page 49) that he might be the most misnamed Derby winner since 1931, when Twenty Grand won more than 48 grand by beating Sweep All. Under Jockey John Rotz, Greentree's unbeaten and un-extended favorite stole the show in a two-and-a-half-length triumph over Patrice Jacobs' Bonjour, while George Widener's Top Gallant, finishing third, put his more highly-thought-of stablemate Crewman, who finished ninth, to shame.
Never bend, leading contender with Candy Spots for the Kentucky Derby, took the $10,000 Forerunner Purse at Keeneland by a length over Louis B. Rogers' Blaze Starr. With Manuel Ycaza up, the 3-year-old covered the seven furlongs in 1:22 4/5, then went on out a mile in 1:36.
Another Kentucky Derby candidate, ON MY HONOR ($21), came from 26 lengths back to win the $42,900 California Derby in the slop at Bay Meadows, giving Owners Jack and Mike Stein of Beverly Hills and beauty-parlor-operator-turned-trainer Mike Bao their first stakes winner. Jockey Paul Frey, commenting on the 850-pound bay's mile-and-an-eighth victory in 1:54, said, "He can run all day; the Kentucky mile and a quarter is up his alley." The same did not hold for favorite Beekeeper, who ran poorly for eighth and will not make the trip to Louisville.
With Willie Shoemaker aboard, CICADA ($3.70), the equine world's richest female, redeemed herself from her two defeats this year with a four-length triumph over rival Pocosaba in the $22,350 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct and boosted her total earnings to $720,435.50.