LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) California Chrome has the Kentucky Derby post that trainer Art Sherman wanted and a sparkling resume that has made him the horse to beat in the 140th edition at Churchill Downs.
By maximizing that position to get ahead of a speedy 19-horse field, he could earn a garland of red roses Saturday and take an important first step toward ending a 36-year Triple Crown champion drought. Both are huge challenges, but the chestnut colt seems capable of getting a leg up in the sport’s marquee race. California Chrome is unbeaten as a 3-year-old and has six wins and a second in 10 starts.
Starting from the fifth position as a 5-2 morning-line favorite, he aims to become the first California-bred Derby winner in 52 years and make Sherman, 77, the oldest winning trainer.
V. Stiviano said Donald Sterling’s racist comments on an audio recording leaked to the public were not the first by the Los Angeles Clippers owner in conversations with her.
”There’s been a number of occasions where Mr. Sterling and I had conversations just like this one. This was one of very many,” Stiviano told Barbara Walters on ABC’s ”20/20” in an interview that aired Friday night.
Sterling told Stiviano in the recording that she should not post online photos of herself with black people, including basketball great Magic Johnson, or bring black people to Clippers’ games. The recording, which an attorney for Stiviano said was leaked by a third party, led to public outcry across the country and the NBA. Some sponsors dropped the Clippers and others re-evaluated their relationship with the NBA.
On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million and urged league owners to force him to sell the team. A three-quarters vote by the NBA owners is required to force him to sell.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Clippers coach Doc Rivers said employees on the team’s business side considered not working for the franchise after owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments were exposed a week ago.
Rivers met with team employees who were still upset and angry several days after Sterling was banned for life from the NBA. Rivers made the trip downtown at the request of other top executives with the Clippers, who will play the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Saturday night.
NEW YORK (AP) – Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd was fined $25,000 by the NBA for public criticism of the referees.
The penalty, announced hours before the Nets beat Toronto in Game 6 of their first-round series, came for comments made during a conference call with reporters a day earlier. Kidd questioned why Joe Johnson shot only one free throw in the Nets’ 115-113 loss in Game 5. He felt Shaun Livingston was fouled on a rebound in the final seconds, but referee Tom Washington didn’t call it, and said perhaps the Nets even needed to flop more.
NEW YORK (AP) – Memphis forward Zach Randolph was suspended for Game 7 of the Grizzlies’ playoff series against Oklahoma City for punching Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw.
The ruling by the NBA leaves the Grizzlies without their leading scorer for the deciding game in Oklahoma City on Saturday night. The play came with 6:42 left in the Thunder’s 104-84 victory Thursday night. Randolph first elbowed Adams in the midsection with his left elbow, then struck Adams with his right hand.
TRACK AND FIELD
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Sprinter Tyson Gay accepted a one-year suspension after testing positive for a banned substance nearly a year ago and returned the silver medal he won in the men’s 400-meter relay at the 2012 London Olympics.
The US Anti-Doping Agency announced that Gay’s one-year ban began June 23, the day his sample was collected at the U.S. championships. His sanction is subject to appeal by International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and by the World Anti-Doping Agency. As part of the penalty, Gay, the American record-holder in the 100, also accepted loss of results dating to July 15, 2012, the date of when he first used a product that contained a banned substance.
BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Bruins and Mayor Marty Walsh condemned racist slurs about P.K. Subban that hit social media after the Montreal defenseman scored in the second overtime of their playoff game Thursday night.
Bruins President Cam Neely issued a statement calling the tweets ”racist” and ”classless.” He said they came from an ”ignorant group of individuals” who do not reflect the organization.
Walsh said in a statement that the tweets were ”a disgrace. These racist comments are not reflective of Boston, and are not reflective of Bruins fans. I’ve said before that the best hockey in the world happens when the Bruins and Canadiens play each other, and there is no room for this kind of ignorance here.”
Subban, who is black, scored twice and the Canadiens won 4-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The San Francisco 49ers exercised their 2015 contract option for linebacker Aldon Smith, making the decision despite the star defender’s legal trouble that included an arrest at Los Angeles International Airport just more than two weeks ago.
The team faced a Saturday deadline to decide on Smith’s immediate future, and general manager Trent Baalke suggested last week the team would keep the fearsome pass-rusher around. The 49ers will provide Smith with the support he needs to deal with his rash of off-the-field issues.
San Francisco realizes Smith still could face a suspension from the NFL for his DUI last September. He had 8 1/2 sacks and 34 tackles in 11 games last season, making eight starts.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) – Linebacker O’Brien Schofield and cornerback A.J. Jefferson both agreed to terms to join the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
Schofield announced on his Twitter page that he was re-signing with the Seahawks. Jefferson’s agent also tweeted about the cornerback joining the Seahawks after he was released last November by Minnesota following an arrest. The Seahawks confirmed later Friday that both players had agreed to terms with the team.
Seattle also announced it would not pick up the fifth-year contract option on former first-round pick James Carpenter, making him eligible to be a free agent after the 2014 season.
NEW YORK (AP) – Michael Vick is the new No. 1 for the New York Jets.
The veteran quarterback initially chose earlier this week to wear No. 8 with his new team, but announced on Twitter that he was going with jersey No. 1. Vick had worn the No. 7 through high school, college at Virginia Tech and throughout his NFL career with Atlanta and Philadelphia, but that jersey number belongs to current Jets quarterback Geno Smith. After signing with New York in March, Vick said he had no intentions of asking Smith for the number.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Prosecutors won’t file criminal charges against ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson for a scuffle that scratched his ex-girlfriend’s finger.
Los Angeles County prosecutors announced that there isn’t enough evidence to charge the former NFL wide receiver with domestic violence. Authorities say the victim was uncooperative and the injury appeared to be minor and accidental. In a statement, Johnson denied committing a crime and says he’s pleased the matter has been resolved. Johnson was arrested last month after an argument with Jennifer Conrad at a home in Calabasas.
DETROIT (AP) – Joel Hanrahan is still working back from elbow surgery for a team eagerly awaiting his return.
The former All-Star agreed to a $1 million, one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, who are hopeful the right-hander can bolster a shaky bullpen when he’s ready to pitch again in the majors. Hanrahan had Tommy John surgery last May after nine appearances for the Boston Red Sox in 2013. He saved 76 games over the previous two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Braves agreed to a three-year contract extension with third baseman Chris Johnson.
The deal runs through the 2017 season and includes an option for 2018. Financial terms haven’t been released, but the extension takes Johnson at least through the first year of possible free agency. He is making $4.75 million this season, his first being eligible for arbitration.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Lance Armstrong asked the Texas Supreme Court to stop a Dallas company from trying to force him to pay back about $12 million in bonuses it paid him for winning the Tour De France.
SCA Promotions sued Armstrong last year after he admitted using performance enhancing drugs during his career. The dispute dates to 2005 when SCA investigated allegations of drug use and Armstrong gave sworn testimony denying doping. The company arbitration eventually settled in arbitration and agreed to pay him. The original arbitration panel has agreed to reopen the case. Armstrong’s attorneys say Texas law won’t allow parties to revisit voluntary settlements. Lower courts have refused to stop the case.