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BC-AP Sports Digest

May 1, 2019

The supervisor is Rebecca Miller, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Dennis Waszak Jr. at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org . For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.

Beginning May 13, AP Sports will be changing its daily digest to better conform to how we now inform customers about available content each day for planning purposes. The digest will become a sort of “front page” of our report, where we highlight eight to 12 of our best planned stories.

An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan . You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom homepage, http://newsroom.ap.org . Please direct digest questions to Barry Bedlan at bbedlan@ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who parlayed a win by Justify in last year’s Kentucky Derby into his second Triple Crown win, sees a wide open Derby this time around. He tells PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg that anything can happen in a crowded field. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast



GENEVA _ Olympic champion Caster Semenya loses her appeal against rules governing unusually high testosterone in female runners, meaning she and other women like her will have to take medication to suppress their levels of the male sex hormone if they want to compete. In a landmark 2-1 ruling, the highest court in world sports said the proposed rules are discriminatory, but such discrimination is necessary to preserve the integrity of female athletics. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


_ ATH--SEMENYA CASE EXPLAINER. By Graham Dunbar. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 6 p.m.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ The pain of seeing Cavonnier get beat by a nose in his first Kentucky Derby nearly kept trainer Bob Baffert from returning to Churchill Downs. He figured he would never again have a horse good enough to win on the first Saturday in May. Since the mid-1990s, Baffert has won five Kentucky Derbies and two Triple Crowns while becoming the face of horse racing. He goes for his sixth Derby win this weekend. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. SENT: 650 words, photos.


_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-OLDEST JOCKEY _ Jon Court, 58, would set Derby record as oldest jockey. SENT: 480 words, photos.


BARCELONA, Spain _ Barcelona hosts Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals. Barcelona is seeking its first title since 2015, while Liverpool is coming of a runner-up finish last season. By Joseph Wilson. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game started at 3 p.m.


NEW YORK _ Home runs and strikeouts are on pace to set records while batters are getting hit by pitches at the highest rate since 1900. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.



Horse racing is considering adding fixed-odds wagering and other changes to offset the impact of legalized sports gambling in the United States, which threatens the industry’s very existence. Horse racing is “funded by gambling” but is losing its longstanding betting monopoly. Some officials believe making odds available that most sports fans are familiar with could help draw them into betting on horse racing, too. But there’s reluctance within the industry to stray from traditional wagering. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.


_ RAC--HORSE RACING-BETTING FOR DUMMIES. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 750 words, photos.



LAS VEGAS _ The moment with Canelo Alvarez won’t be too big for Danny Jacobs, of that he’s certain. Not after going toe-to-toe with the fearsome Gennady Golovkin before dropping a narrow decision. Not after beating cancer that doctors were sure would end his career, if not his life. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 750 words by 6 p.m.


Everyone is supposed to be doing their best to rid sports of doping. Yet, in a baffling decision Wednesday, South African star Caster Semenya was ordered to take drugs if she wants to keep running for championships. Talk about sending the wrong message. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 7 p.m.



Caster Semenya was only a teenager in 2009 when she caused such a stir with her performances on the track that world championship organizers decided to perform sex verification tests on her. The South African runner has since then been fighting authorities for the right to run in what she describes as her natural form. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 700 words, photos.



DENVER _ Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets seek to seize control of their second-round series against Portland when they host the Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers for Game 2 at the Pepsi Center, where they’re an NBA-best 38-8, including the playoffs. By Arnie Stapleton. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 9 p.m.


PHILADELPHIA _ The Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors head back to the U.S. tied 1-1 in their Eastern Conference playoff series. Game 3 is Thursday night. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.


_ BKN--ROCKETS-HARDEN’S EYES _ James Harden played with blurred vision and stinging eyes. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 425 words, photos.



RALEIGH, N.C. _ The short-handed but surging Carolina Hurricanes look to take a 3-0 series lead over the New York Islanders when the division rivals meet in Game 3 of their second-round series. With starter Petr Mrazek injured, the Hurricanes are likely to give 35-year-old journeyman goalie Curtis McElhinney his first career playoff start. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.


_ HKN--ISLANDERS-LEHNER’S JOURNEY _ Islanders’ Robin Lehner thrives after confronting mental health issues. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.


DALLAS _ The St. Louis Blues, 4-0 on the road this postseason, look to build a 3-1 series lead over the Stars in Game 4 at Dallas. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 9:30 p.m.


The Columbus Blue Jackets are continuing their trek deeper into uncharted territory with each victory. They’ve grabbed a 2-1 series lead over Boston and will try to build on that Thursday night on home ice. Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks will try to extend their 2-1 lead on Colorado. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 690 words, photos.



CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Rory McIlroy starts his last tournament in his 20s at Quail Hollow, where he has won twice, with as much enthusiasm about his next decade in golf as the first 10 years. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Will Grier is kicking off his NFL career with the swagger of a starting quarterback. The adulation surrounding the third-pick draft pick has created a buzz about the Panthers’ QB situation with Cam Newton coming off shoulder surgery. It’s been a whirlwind week for Grier, who grew up in the Charlotte area and plays Wednesday in the Pro Am at the Wells Fargo Championship. By Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 9 p.m.



SEATTLE _ Marco Gonzales looks to become the first six-game winner in baseball as the Seattle Mariners face the surging Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have won 10 of 13. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 6:40 p.m.


SAN FRANCISCO _ Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants wrap up a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who play without center fielder A.J. Pollock. The former All-Star and Gold Glove winner might need surgery because of an infection in his surgically repaired right elbow. By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 9:45 p.m.



Unai Emery is relying on an old friend to salvage something from his first year at Arsenal. The English team was faced with two possible paths to qualifying for the Champions League: via a top-four finish in the Premier League or through winning the Europa League. Was it ever really in doubt which route best suited Emery, a three-time winner of the Europa League? By Steve Douglas. SENT: 740 words, photos.


_ SOC--CASILLAS-HEART ATTACK _ Goalkeeper Iker Casillas has heart attack, but Porto says he is out of danger. SENT: 180 words, photos.



BOSTON _ The growing number of defendants cooperating with prosecutors in the college admissions bribery case could cause problems for parents and coaches still fighting the charges. Since authorities arrested dozens of parents and coaches in March, former coaches at the universities of Texas at Austin and Southern California have signed cooperation agreements. By Alanna Durkin Richer. SENT: 700 words, photos.


_ BKC--COLLEGE CORRUPTION _ Defendant in NCAA corruption case denies bribing hoops coach. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 6 p.m.

_ FBC--EX-TEXAS A&M PLAYER-SLAYING _ Ex-Texas A&M football player gets life in prison for murder. SENT: 130 words.

_ PATRIOTS OWNER-PROSTITION CHARGE _ Officer describes ‘happy-go-lucky’ stop in Robert Kraft case. SENT: 400 words, photos.



LOS ANGELES _ After myriad programming and executive upheaval since its launch in 2013, Fox Sports 1 has started to show signs of stability for the past year. Skip Bayless remains the network’s most divisive personality, but there is other programming that has shown signs of growth and variety. Most of the credit goes to an executive team that followed the tumultuous tenure of Jamie Horowitz that is showing patience. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 860 words, photos.


ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” will go with a two-person booth for the upcoming season, with Booger McFarland joining Joe Tessitore. McFarland was a field-level analyst for most of last season before moving upstairs for the final two games. Lisa Salters will return for an eighth season as the sideline reporter after signing a multiyear extension. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 470 words, photos.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Dale Earnhardt Jr. will work his first Kentucky Derby on Saturday as part of his expanding role with NBC Sports. The retired NASCAR superstar is also slated to cover his first Indianapolis 500 later this month. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 430 words, photos.



NEW YORK _ Joe Healey, the owner of the saloon Runyon’s that became the heart of New York sports in the 1970s and 1980s, died Tuesday at age 77. By Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 500 words by 6 p.m.


_ BOX--JOSHUA-RUIZ JR _ Andy Ruiz Jr. replaces Jarrell Miller as opponent for Anthony Joshua. SENT: 340 words, photos.





Wednesday Time Schedule (EDT)

NBA Playoffs

Portland at Denver, 9 p.m.

NHL Playoffs

N.Y. Islanders at Carolina, 7 p.m.

St. Louis at Dallas, 9:30 p.m.


Tampa Bay at Kansas City, 1st game, 1:15 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Kansas City, 2nd game, 45 minutes after 1st game

Oakland at Boston, 1:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Texas, 2:05 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees at Arizona, 3:40 p.m.

Baltimore at Chicago White Sox, 4:10 p.m., 1st game

Baltimore at Chicago White Sox, 2nd game, 30 minutes after 1st game

Chicago Cubs at Seattle, 6:40 p.m.

Detroit at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.

St. Louis at Washington, 7:05 p.m.

Cincinnati at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

San Diego at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.

Colorado at Milwaukee, 7:40 p.m.

Houston at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers at San Francisco, 9:45 p.m.

Toronto at L.A. Angels, 10:07 p.m.


Cincinnati at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.