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    This was supposed to be the year thoroughbred horse racing celebrated the 50th anniversary of Secretariat's magnificent Triple Crown triumph. It would come as the current crop of 3-year-olds finished their act on center stage. Heading into the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, the racing has become almost an afterthought. The public is focused on a recent spike in deaths of horses at racetracks and air quality problems that have surfaced in the northeast because of wildfires in Canada. Forte, a 2-year-old champion, is the favorite in the highly-competitive Belmont. The good news is the bad air has blown out to sea.

      Novak Djokovic has defeated a cramping Carlos Alcaraz 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in the French Open semifinals to move one win away from a record 23rd Grand Slam title. The No. 1-ranked Alcaraz produced one particularly brilliant shot on Friday en route to claiming the second set of what, at the time, was a closely contested and thrilling showdown. But in the end, this highly anticipated matchup was as anti-climatic as can be. That's because early in the third set, after nearly 2 1/2 hours of exertion and tension in 85-degree heat at Court Philippe Chatrier, Alcaraz's body began to lock up.

        Imagine being proclaimed the next big thing by a franchise only to be demoted after two seasons. That’s precisely what Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is going through this season with the arrival of Aaron Rodgers. “Of course, I would like to be the guy,” Wilson said on Friday. “You’re not always happy about that. But I’m extremely psyched that out of any quarterback we could have brought in, it ...

          Soccer's international governing body says more than 1 million tickets have been sold for the Women's World Cup kicking off in Australia and New Zealand next month, putting the tournament on track to be the most attended standalone women's sporting event in history. FIFA President Gianni Infantino says pre-tournament ticket sales for the July 20-August 20 event have already surpassed the numbers achieved before the previous Women's World Cup in France in 2019. Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the 2023 tournament features an expanded field of 32 teams, up from 24.

            Satou and Nyara Sabally were never competitive with each other growing up in Germany. Their mom made sure of that. The sisters, two years apart in age, will play against each other for the first time when Dallas visits New York on Sunday in a nationally televised game. This isn't the first time sisters have squared off in the WNBA.

              Tom Brady may be really done playing football now, but his discipline and drive endure. The seven-time Super Bowl champion is enjoying retirement while staying busy. He's preparing for his new 2024 broadcasting gig at Fox Sports, is set to become a minority owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, and is focusing on his apparel and wellness brands. Brady recently spoke to The Associated Press about his new projects, whether he still sticks to his strict healthy lifestyle, and if that drive extends to his parenting.

                LIV Golf Commissioner Greg Norman suggested two months ago the Saudi-backed would consider adding a women's tour. The PGA Tour partnership with Saudi Arabia's enormous wealth fund instead essentially left out the LPGA in the foreseeable future of any chance of at least considering the idea to defect and join a rival league that paid signing bonuses of $100 million or more to lure players away from the PGA Tour. There was never any firm plan of a women's version of LIV on the table. History showed the Saudi money surely would have been considerably more massive than any payout offered by the LPGA Tour.

                Ford has planned a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its iconic Mustang muscle car next year under a massive rebranding of Ford Performance that is aimed at bringing the automotive manufacturer "into the racing business." The new Mustang Dark Horse-based race car was unveiled at Le Mans. Mustang will enter the GT3 category next year with at least two cars in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship. The project is part of an overall rebranding of Ford Performance that was done by renowned motorsports designer Troy Lee and is aimed at making Ford a lifestyle brand with a sporting mindset.

                Erling Haaland says he is feeling the weight of expectations ahead of the Champions League final. But Lautaro Martinez is aiming to complete a spectacular double six months after winning the World Cup with Argentina. They are the players who could make the difference for their respective teams when Manchester City faces Inter Milan at Istanbul's Ataturk Olimpiyat Stadium.

                 Iga Swiatek will face Karolina Muchova in the French Open women's final on Saturday in Paris. Swiatek is ranked No. 1 and is trying to win her third championship in four years at Roland Garros. It also would be her fourth Grand Slam trophy overall. She is a 22-year-old from Poland. Muchova is ranked 43rd and will be appearing in her first major final after eliminating No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals. Muchova is a 26-year-old from the Czech Republic. She and Swiatek have only played each other once before and it came back in April 2019 in Prague. Muchova won that one.

                Carter Verhaeghe scored 4:27 into overtime and the Florida Panthers pulled off some more postseason dramatics to beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night. Matthew Tkachuk tied it with 2:13 left in the third period for the Panthers, who got the franchise's first title-series game win in seven tries. 

                Corey Conners shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to share the first-round lead at the RBC Canadian Open, the first PGA Tour event since its announcement of a merger with Saudi-funded rival LIV Golf. Conners is seeking to become the tournament's first Canadian winner in 69 years. Also at 67 were Aaron Rai, Justin Lower and Chesson Hadley. Two-time defending champion Rory McIlroy opened with a 71. Matt Fitzpatrick, who will seek to defend his U.S. Open title next week at Los Angeles Country Club, was one of nine players at 68.

                An offseason of sweeping change continued this week as the Vikings moved to cut ties with running back Dalvin Cook, who is expected to be gone before next week. And The Purple might not be done making moves — including a potential deal that would officially make their offseason rebuild a complete teardown to the studs. Danielle Hunter, who had 10.5 sacks last season and has 71 since being ...

                NASCAR is at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France this weekend. The American stock car series is celebrating its new car in its 75th season during the 100th running of the most prestigious endurance race in the world. The Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Hendrick Motorsports has been a popular attraction this week heading into Saturday's twice-around-the-clock race. Its trio of drivers is determined to finish the race. NASCAR's presence at Le Mans marks the first time since 1976 it has challenged the top talent in Europe.


                After two decades competing against Real Madrid, Manchester United and Brazil, Lionel Messi will be going against the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA. Major League Soccer is hoping for a breakout boost to its television audience and market share after Messi joins Inter Miami next month. Following Pelé's signing with the New York Cosmos in 1975 and David Beckham joining the LA Galaxy in 2007, Messi is expected to become the third supreme soccer evangelist in a nation where the sport has been playing catch-up for more than a century.

                Jena Antonucci has been around horses most of her life and worked more than her share of jobs. The 47-year-old rode show horses and later trained them for almost two decades. She switched to thoroughbreds and learned under Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The journey continued with 4 1/2 years as an equine veterinary assistant. Antonucci became a thoroughbred trainer 13 year ago and her path will take its biggest step on Saturday. If Arcangelo races in the Belmont Stakes, she will become the 11th female to train a horse in the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

                The first big surprise in golf's new world? Seeing PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and Saudi wealth fund leader Yasir Al-Rumayyan smiling together. Behind the scenes were a pair of PGA board members. One of them was Jimmy Dunne, a power broker in golf and on Wall Street. That he was involved in setting the first meeting between Monahan and the Saudis is telling. Dunne co-founded an investment banking firm that had offices in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. He lost 66 colleagues that day. Dunne is all about looking for solutions. The tour needed answers.

                Rick Hendrick fully supports Chase Elliott as he returns from a one-race suspension for deliberately wrecking Denny Hamlin, but the team owner believes on-track aggression has gotten out of control this season and NASCAR sent a message by parking the superstar. Elliott missed last week's race outside St. Louis as the five-time fan-voted most popular driver served a one-race suspension for retaliating against Hamlin in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

                No. 1 Iga Swiatek has moved closer to a second consecutive French Open championship by defeating Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 7-6 (7) in the semifinals. The victory Thursday also assured Swiatek of keeping the No. 1 ranking after the tournament. The 22-year-old from Poland is trying to win her third title at Roland Garros and fourth major trophy overall. On Saturday, Swiatek will face unseeded Karolina Muchova, a 26-year-old from the Czech Republic, who advanced to her first Slam final with a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5 victory over No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion.

                MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings are parting ways with star running back Dalvin Cook for salary cap savings after his fourth consecutive season surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark.