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Sports sidesteps superstorm Sandy

Monday - 10/29/2012, 6:50pm  ET

A huge wave crashes on the beach as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Ocean City, Md. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Associated Press

The fury of Hurricane Sandy barely laid a glove on sports around the country.

While the superstorm flooded shore towns in the Northeast, washed away a section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk and shut down transit and school systems, sports emerged practically untouched on a quiet Monday.

Perhaps the biggest dislocation came in the NFL. The league moved its trade deadline back two days to Thursday because of potential complications from the storm.

All 32 teams were notified that the league's offices would be closed through Tuesday. The deadline now is 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, when waivers for vested veterans also begin.

Just as a combination of meteorological forces made for a particularly harsh storm, sports was spared Monday by a confluence of elements.

The World Series ended a day earlier. The Monday night football game is in Arizona. Hockey is shut down by labor problems. The NBA does not begin until Tuesday night. College basketball has not yet begun.

So the disruptions were minuscule: The Philadelphia Eagles closed their complex, and the New York Knicks canceled practice. The Washington Wizards adjusted travel plans, taking a 7 a.m. flight to Cleveland for Tuesday night's opener against the Cavaliers.

Some Major League Baseball staff left the World Series in Detroit on Sunday to get back to New York before the storm shuttered transportation.

Trotting at Yonkers Raceway in New York and thoroughbred racing at Suffolk Downs in Boston already had been called off.

New York City Marathon organizers said they expect Sandy to have little effect on Sunday's race.

"We're extraordinarily lucky the marathon is not today," New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said during a conference call as wind and rain started to batter the city.

Instead, she said, "we have time on our side" -- enough to prepare the course and for runners to travel to the city after the storm passes through.

The NCAA offered its support, saying it is working with schools in the hurricane's path.

"During natural disasters, the NCAA routinely gives flexibility to institutions and conferences to help them quickly provide necessary assistance and resources that may include meals or other benefits, relocating teams and rescheduling games," the governing body said in a statement. "We stand ready to do so today and as the storm continues ashore."

At the Breeders' Cup in California, 17 horses arrived Monday morning following a flight that left Newburgh, N.Y., at 1 a.m., eight hours earlier than initially scheduled. The airport also was a change, replacing Islip on Long Island that was more directly in the path of the storm.

The contingent included the powerful quartet of Flat Out, Ron the Greek, To Honor and Serve and Royal Delta for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Royal Delta is the defending champion in the Ladies' Classic, while the other three are entered in the $5 million Classic.

The flight included horses for Chad Brown, Shug McGaughey, Mike Hushion, Michael Trombetta and Diane Alvarado. They were the lucky ones. Todd Pletcher's New York-based horses, including the unbeaten Shanghai Bobby in the Juvenile, were on a flight scheduled for Tuesday morning. It now appears Wednesday will be their earliest departure.

___

AP Sports Writers Rachel Cohen in New York and Beth Harris in Arcadia, Calif., contributed to this report.


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