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Authentic wins Kentucky Derby, favorite Tiz the Law second

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Sept. 5 (UPI) — Authentic held on through deep stretch Saturday to upset heavy favorite Tiz the Law and win the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby, ending a year-long roller coaster ride for his trainer, Bob Baffert.

The outcome also ended hopes that Tiz the Law, winner of the Belmont Stakes and the Travers Stakes in his last two races, could go on to win a Triple Crown.

The events surrounding the race were as strange as the year itself.

Baffert won the Derby for the sixth time, tying the record held by Ben Jones, although it appeared through much of the year he would be doing well just to get a horse into the race.

One by one, his top hopes, including the winners of both divisions of the Arkansas Derby, succumbed to injuries.

With the Derby pushed back four months from its usual first Saturday in May, Tiz the Law was rolling from race to race, dominating all competition, while Baffert was left with Santa Anita Derby runner-up Authentic and Shared Belief Stakes winner Thousand Words.

Then the strangeness continued, nearly up to Saturday’s 7:01 p.m. EDT post time as Thousand Words was startled in the paddock, reared and flipped.

He did not appear to be seriously injured but was scratched on veterinarians’ orders. Baffert said his key assistant, Jimmy Barnes, broke his hand trying to restrain the colt.

In true “all’s well that ends well” fashion, Authentic then made things right on the track.

With John Velazquez riding, he broke a bit awkwardly from the outside gate, starting behind Tiz the Law. But by the time the field passed the finish line for the first time, he was on a lead he would never surrender.

Jockey Manny Franco got Tiz the Law a nice spot behind the leading trio, made a move into the top of the stretch to challenge Authentic, but then could find no more. He settled for second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

Mr. Big News, an extreme long shot, was third with a late run. Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A.P., who finished second to Thousand Words in the Shared Belief at Del Mar, finished fourth after a rough start.

“It was crazy what happened in the last 20 minutes,” Baffert said shortly after the finish. “The emotions that go through your mind. You go from the bottom to the top.”

Then, in the winner’s circle, Authentic acted up and Baffert, shying away from the colt, ended up sprawled on the turf.

“I’m OK,” he said, ending just another strange chapter.

The trainer credited Velazquez’s ride. “He rode the most incredible race. He had it all figured out but he had the horse to do it with,” Baffert said.

Authentic, an Into Mischief colt, won his first three races, all in California, and then finished second behind Honor A.P. in the Santa Anita Derby.

He returned from that to win the Grade I Haskell at Monmouth Park in his last start before the Kentucky Derby but nearly blew a big lead in the stretch run there, raising questions whether he could handle the 1 1/4 miles of the Run for the Roses — questions he answered.

Another unusual note: Authentic is owned in partnership by Spendthrift Farm, owned by B. Wayne Hughes, a decades-long fixture in the sport, and Myracehorse.com, a syndicate with more than 4,000 members, each of who put up a few hundred dollars. Madaket Stables LLC and Starlight racing also have a piece of the colt.

With Tiz the Law winning the Belmont Stakes and Authentic the Kentucky Derby, there will be no Triple Crown winner this year. But those two look to be likely candidates for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic in two months time, down the road at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Thousand Words’ scratch left a field of 15, the smallest since 1998, to load into Churchill Downs’ brand-new, 20-stall starting gate.

The Derby had been delayed four months because of COVID-19 protocols.

After trying for months to work out a plan to allow a limited number of spectators, Churchill Downs officials surrendered to the inevitable just weeks before the race and only essential personnel, owners and a few of their guests were on hand rather than the usual cheering throng of 150,000 or so.

There were crowds of Black Lives Matter demonstrators outside Churchill Downs, but the demonstrations appeared to be orderly. A large law enforcement contingent was present around the track.

Kentucky Derby runs without spectators

Jockey John Velazquez, riding Authentic, leads the field as they round the first turn in the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby on September 5, 2020, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI

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Parkour organizers ask Olympic committee to reject sport for 2024 Summer Games

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Dec. 1 (UPI) — Parkour Earth, a governing body for the sport, on Tuesday asked the International Olympic Committee to reject International Gymnastics Federation proposals to include the discipline in the 2024 Summer Games.

“Unfortunately, [the International Gymnastics Federation’s] encroachment and misappropriation of our sport continues,” Parkour Earth, the international federation for the obstacle-course-style training discipline, said in a letter to the committee.

Parkour is not currently part of the Olympic program for Paris 2024. The International Gymnastics Federation is expected to request Parkour’s inclusion on Monday when the International Olympic Committee’s executive board meets to finalize programs for the 2024 Summer Games.

Parkour was developed in Paris in the 1990s. The sport features a free-running competitor, who climbs, swings, rolls and jumps from one point to another within a complex environment, without the assistance of equipment.

The International Gymnastics Federation in 2018 recognized parkour as gymnastics’ newest discipline. Parkour Earth has often fought with the International Gymnastics Federation for control of the sport.

Sport climbing is one of the new sports included in the 2021 Tokyo program. Break dancing will be an Olympic sport in Paris.



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Fantasy football: Booker, Fitzpatrick among best Week 13 add-drops

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Dec. 1 (UPI) — We’ve finally reached the last week of the fantasy football regular season. That also means it’s the last week to improve your team on the waiver wire and through free agency.

This week’s waiver wire features several players who can help you win your final matchup of the regular season and help put your team in position for a playoff run.

You also could need to fill in empty spots on your roster, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers have Week 13 byes. Even if you don’t have any players on a bye week, you can play defense by adding players that your opponent might need.

It’s also a good idea to add backup running backs to your bench to capitalize on future injuries or illnesses for starters at the position. If a star running back gets hurt or goes on the reserve/COVID-19 list over the next few weeks, you could find yourself with an RB1 or RB2, if you use that strategy.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker and Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are among my favorite waiver wire targets for Week 13.

I have added more of my favorite players to target on this week’s waiver wire and separated them by priority and position. The players I have listed ahead of this week’s waiver period have low ownership percentages in standard size leagues.

Here are my top players to add and top players to drop for Week 13:

ALL-ADD TEAM

QB | Ryan Fitzpatrick; RB | Devontae Booker, Cam Akers; WR | Denzel Mims, Hunter Renfrow, Gabriel Davis; TE | Kyle Rudolph; D/ST | Seahawks; K | Tyler Bass

HONORABLE MENTIONS

QB | Mike Glennon, Jalen Hurts; RB | Frank Gore, Alexander Mattison, D’Onta Foreman; WR | T.Y. Hilton, Michael Gallup; TE | Dalton Schultz; D/ST | Packers

TOP DROPS

QB | Tua Tagovailoa; RB | Phillip Lindsay, Salvon Ahmed; WR | Marquise Brown, John Brown; TE | Jared Cook, Noah Fant

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been forced into action for the Miami Dolphins after rookie Tua Tagovailoa sustained a thumb injury. The veteran quarterback has thrown at least two touchdown passes in five of his seven starts this season and should produce again in Week 13 when the Dolphins host the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fitzpatrick is worth a streaming start on Sunday if your normal starter has a bye week or you are desperate at the position. Make sure to monitor Tagovailoa’s practice activity throughout the week before you put Fitzpatrick in as your starter, as the Dolphins could make a last-minute swap atop their depth chart.

RUNNING BACK

Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker is my top waiver wire addition for Week 13. Raiders starter Josh Jacobs sustained an ankle sprain in Week 12. Booker would be first in line to get carries if Jacobs misses time.

The Raiders face the New York Jets on Sunday, which is a great matchup, Booker will land in RB2/flex territory in my weekly rankings if Jacobs is ruled out.

The Los Angeles Rams finally gave some work to rookie running back Cam Akers on Sunday and he did not disappoint. Akers had 84 yards and a score on nine carries in the Rams’ Week 12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He should continue to receive a healthy workload moving forward.

Akers is a risky weekly start, but could prove to be a great streamer down the stretch, especially if you have a wide-receiver-heavy team and are in a league with at least 14 teams.

WIDE RECEIVER

New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims is another rookie who has gotten more opportunities as of late. Mims has received eight targets in each of his last three games. He also has at least 42 receiving yards in every game he has played in 2020.

I believe Mims’ best games are ahead. He should provide great bench value at wide receiver, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact player availability around the league.

TIGHT END

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph hasn’t been much of a touchdown threat this season, but is on pace to have one of his best seasons in terms of receiving yards. Rudolph had his best game of the season in Week 12, with seven catches for 68 yards in a win over the Carolina Panthers.

I expect Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to spread the ball out a lot down the stretch as he eyes playmakers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson at wide receiver and Rudolph on shorter routes. Rudolph should provide TE1 value in leagues with at least 14 teams that require starting tight ends.

This week in the National Football League

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Monday, where the Seahawks defeated the Eagles 23-17. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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Ravens record no new positives, remove four players from COVID-19 list

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Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Monday, where the Seahawks defeated the Eagles 23-17. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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