BC-AP Sports Digest
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Bob Baffert parlayed a win by Justify in last year’s Kentucky Derby into his second Triple Crown. The trainer has three horses going in Saturday’s race and discusses a wide open field with co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg on AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Bob Baffert not only has the Kentucky Derby favorite, but two other horses capable of giving him a share of history. Game Winner is the 9-2 favorite for Saturday’s 145th running at Churchill Downs after opening Tuesday as the 5-1 second choice behind Omaha Beach, who was scratched because of a breathing problem. Baffert’s two other pupils, Roadster and Improbable, are 5-1 co-second choices that give the Hall of Fame trainer additional chances to win a sixth Derby and tie Ben Jones’ record. UPCOMING: 140 words by 3 a.m. Post time scheduled for 6:46 p.m. ET.
_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-THE LATEST. Will be updated throughout day.
_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-PREVIEW. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. SENT: 875 words, photos.
PORTLAND, Ore. _ CJ McCollum matched his career playoff high with 41 points, Rodney Hood hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 18.6 seconds left in the NBA postseason record-tying fourth overtime and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 140-137 on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals. It was the second quadruple-overtime playoff game in NBA history, joining a 1953 game between the Boston Celtics and the Syracuse Nationals. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.
DOHA, Qatar _ Caster Semenya has won the last top-level women’s 800 meter race before track and field introduces contentious new testosterone rules that could shape the rest of her career. The Olympic champion won the Doha Diamond League race in 1 minute, 54.98 seconds, a new meet record and her fourth fastest time ever. She then told reporters that she would not take medication and submit to the new testosterone regulations set to come into effect on Wednesday. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 690 words, photos.
_ OLY--BACH-SEMENYA. SENT: 280 words, photos.
RALEIGH, N.C. _ The Carolina Hurricanes were in last place not that long ago. Now they’re in the Eastern Conference final. Along the way, the wild-card Hurricanes won a seven-game series against division champion Washington and swept the second-place New York Islanders. Next up for Carolina is the winner of the Columbus-Boston series. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 590 words, photos by 3 a.m.
_ HKN--ISLANDERS-HURRICANES. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 820 words, photos.
HELENA, Mont. _ Montana has become the first state this year to authorize sports betting. Gov. Steve Bullock signed a bill Friday for the Montana State Lottery to oversee wagering on sports through kiosks and mobile devices. Sports betting is happening in eight other states, six of which authorized it after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it nationwide last year. Montana officials have estimated sports betting will generate $3.7 million for the state during the first year. By Matt Volz. SENT: 640 words, photos.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ The masses crammed into Churchill Downs on Saturday will be fixated on 3-year-old thoroughbreds running in the Kentucky Derby. But in some sections of the historic track, another type of horse race will have politicians vying for attention _ and cash to support their campaigns. By Bruce Schreiner. SENT: 710 words, photos.
RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-THE PICKS
Even after the scratch of Omaha Beach, one thing is altogether clear about this Kentucky Derby. It is a fantastic betting race, led by Bob Baffert’s the trio of colts _ Game Winner, Roadster and Improbable. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 700 words, photos.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Serengeti Empress went wire to wire-to-win the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks by 1 3/4 lengths over Liora at Churchill Downs. The start featured a scary moment when Positive Spirit fell down and threw jockey Manny Franco after clipping another horse as the 14-horse field closed together from the gate. Both were able to get up and walk off the track. Serengeti Empress started from the No. 13 post to lead by the first turn and stay ahead despite Liora’s late attempt to close the gap. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 735 words, photos.
_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-CHANGES. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. SENT: 425 words, photos.
_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-MAXIMUM SECURITY. By Mike Farrell. SENT: 440 words, photos.
RAC--PAUL NEWBERRY-DERBY WORRIES
The famed garland of red roses will be draped over the horse that crosses the line first in the Kentucky Derby. It would be an even bigger triumph if all 19 of these marvelous animals make it under the wire safely. As horse racing prepares for its biggest day, everyone around Churchill Downs is holding their breath just a bit. The one thing the sport can’t afford is another tragedy. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 990 words, photos.
BOSTON _ Giannis Antetokounmpo kept attacking and the Boston Celtics kept fouling. The fouls may have slowed the second half of Game 3, but nothing could stop Antetokounmpo from putting together a signature performance in TD Garden. Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 13 rebounds, George Hill finished with 21 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat Boston 123-116 on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 875 words, photos.
James Harden knows the success or failure of the Houston Rockets falls on him regardless of what the rest of the team does in the Western Conference semifinals against the Golden Warriors. That burden, he says, is one that most people can’t understand but that makes him better, something he’ll need to be if the Rockets hope to avoid falling into a 0-3 hole on Saturday night when they host Game 3. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 1,025 words, photos.
PHOENIX _ The Phoenix Suns are looking for stability after their previous coach lasted just one season. They hope Monty Williams is the man to lead their turnaround. The Suns announced Friday that they had come to terms with Williams, a former head coach and a current assistant in Philadelphia. He will take over as Phoenix’s fifth coach in five seasons when the 76ers’ playoff run ends. They lead Toronto 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. By John Marshall. SENT: 400 words, photos.
_ BKN--BULLS-BOYLEN EXTENSION. SENT: 310 words, photos.
_ BKN--76ERS-SIMMONS FINED. SENT: 75 words, photos.
ST. LOUIS _ Ben Bishop looked the part of a Vezina Trophy finalist, except for one play. Jason Spezza scored and Bishop made 38 saves as the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 Friday night to take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series. Esa Lindell also scored for the Stars, who can advance with a win in Game 6 at home on Sunday. By Joe Harris. SENT: 745 words, photos.
DENVER _ The speed of Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has been on full display in the postseason. It’s full speed ahead for him. That’s something his good friend Sidney Crosby reminded him of before the playoffs started. The advice was sound. MacKinnon has an eight game points streak heading into Game 5 in San Jose with the series tied at 2 games apiece. By Pat Graham. SENT: 840 words, photos.
LAS VEGAS _ Canelo Alvarez owns both big Mexican holiday weekends in Las Vegas, along with a contract that could make him one of the richest athletes in the world. He’ll own everything at 160 pounds, as well, if he can get past Daniel Jacobs in a middleweight title unification fight Saturday night. Alvarez has only been beaten once. He lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. when Alvarez was 23 and clearly wasn’t ready. By Boxing Writer Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 810 words, photos.
A look at what’s happening around the majors Saturday, including: the Yankees’ Miguel Andújar expected to come off the IL, Trevor Cahill’s global feat, and Anthony Rizzo gets rolling. UPCOMING: 300 words, photos.
MIAMI _ Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter says he’s unhappy with the team so far this season, and not just on the field. He confirmed a recent shake-up on the organization’s business side. Jeter recently fired president of business operations Chip Bowers, a former Golden State Warriors marketing officer who was with the Marlins for just 14 months. Jeter says the move had to do with the overall business strategy and accountability. By Steven Wine. SENT: 390 words, photos.
_ BBA--INDIANS-KLUBER. By Tom Withers. SENT: 770 words, photos.
_ BBN--REDS-SENZEL. By Joe Kay. SENT: 550 words, photos.
Tennis is in turmoil as the French Open approaches. As three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka put it: “Politics have overshadowed the action on the courts.” In a letter published Friday in The Times of London, Wawrinka decried his sport’s “worrying decline in moral standards” and outlined several aspects of the ongoing drama enveloping the men’s tour — and causing more of a racket than the rackets themselves. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 640 words, photos.
_ TEN--ITALIAN OPEN SERENA WILLIAMS. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 350 words, photos.
_ TEN--MUNICH OPEN. SENT: 195 words.
_ TEN--PRAGUE OPEN. SENT: 100 words.
DOVER, Del. _ NASCAR is to deliver its first live betting platform to legal sportsbooks. Genius Sports has become the exclusive provider of NASCAR data to licensed sportsbooks. Exclusive access to NASCAR’s official data will allow Genius Sports to help books provide up-to-the-minute odds and a slew of traditional wagers and prop bets. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 750 words, photos.
DOVER, Del. _ Chase Elliott followed his first win of the season with a pole at Dover, topping the speed chart on a blistering day at the track with a record 165.960 mph. Elliott won last week at Talladega and kept the good times rolling Friday when he led a 1-2 start for Hendrick Motorsports. William Byron starts second for Sunday’s Cup race. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 710 words, photos.
_ CAR--NASCAR-TRUCKS. SENT: 240 words, photos.
_ CAR--NASCAR-LARSON’S ROLL. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 330 words, photos.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Jason Dufner chips in for birdie to start his day and holes a 40-foot birdie toward the end for an 8-under 63 and a one-shot lead Friday in the Wells Fargo Championship. It matched his career-low score on the PGA Tour, which he last shot at Oak Hill in 2013 on his way to winning the PGA Championship. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 950 words, photos.
_ GLF--WELLS FARGO-DAHMEN. By Steve Reed. SENT: 710 words, photos.
_ GLF--CHINA OPEN. SENT: 400 words.
_ GLF--LPGA TOUR. SENT: 600 words, photos.
_ GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS. SENT: 120 words.
COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Clemson splits with basketball assistant Steve Smith, whose voice is heard on a federal wiretap at the ongoing trial in New York into college corruption. Coach Brad Brownell says he supports the school’s decision. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 450 words, photos.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ The New York Giants want sixth-round draft pick Corey Ballentine to take as long as he needs to get full closure after the shooting incident that wounded him and killed Washburn University teammate Dwane Simmons last weekend. Speaking Friday after the completion of the first day of a rookie minicamp, Giants coach Pat Shurmur disclosed Friday that Ballentine was shot in the buttocks. He was treated and released from a hospital on Sunday. By Tom Canavan. SENT: 350 words, photos.
_ FBN--VIKINGS-ROOKIES. By Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ FBN--SEAHAWKS-ROOKIE CAMP. By Tim Booth. SENT: 550 words.
_ FBN--BEARS-KICKER. By Gene Chamberlain. SENT: 680 words.
_ FBN--REDSKINS PLAYER-DOMESTIC ASSAULT. SENT: 140 words.
SAN DIEGO _ The fledgling SailGP global league makes its U.S. debut on San Francisco Bay this weekend in fast, foiling catamarans. The Australian team looks to stay atop the leaderboard while the young American team hopes to move up in the standings. The U.S. squad includes aspiring Olympians Riley Gibbs and Hans Henken. By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 790 words, photos.
_ OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING-LAB’S QUIET RETURN. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 870 words, photos.
_ NCAA-SPORTS-WAGERING. SENT: 120 words.
_ DAZN-HOROWITZ. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 290 words.
_ SOC--SPAIN-XAVI RETIRES. SENT: 230 words, photos.
Saturday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
Kentucky Derby, Louisville, Ky., 6:50 p.m.
Golden State at Houston, 8:30 p.m.
Columbus at Boston, 7:15 p.m.
Colorado at San Jose, 10 p.m.
Minnesota at N.Y. Yankees, 1:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs, 4:05 p.m.
Kansas City at Detroit, 4:10 p.m.
Seattle at Cleveland, 4:10 p.m.
Atlanta at Miami, 6:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
Oakland at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
Washington at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.
Houston vs. L.A. Angels at Monterrey, Mexico, 7:05 p.m.
Boston at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
San Francisco at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m.
Toronto at Texas, 8:05 p.m.
Arizona at Colorado, 8:10 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers at San Diego, 8:40 p.m.
LA Galaxy at New York, 2 p.m.
FC Dallas at Houston, 4 p.m.
Toronto FC at Orlando City, 4 p.m.
New York City FC at Montreal, 5 p.m.
New England at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Columbus at D.C. United, 8 p.m.
Seattle at Minnesota United, 8 p.m.
Portland at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m.
Cincinnati at San Jose, 10 p.m.
Chicago at Los Angeles FC, 10:30 p.m.