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    Horse racing has come a long way since it was known as the sport of kings. It no longer captures national attention in the U.S. or worldwide the way it did when horses like Seabiscuit, Man o' War and Secretariat were racing. Fan interest in the 21st century has waned to the point the sport is at the forefront just a handful of times a year or because of scandals. The sport is arguably is as popular it has ever been with annual revenue of over $400 billion.

      Manchester City's run to the Champions League final has hardly come as a surprise. But the same cannot be said for Inter Milan. Inter is one of European soccer's most storied teams but it enters Saturday's game in Istanbul as an outsider after finishing the season as third best team in Italy. Italian soccer has long-since lost its shine after being considered the ultimate destination for the world's best players in the 1990s. Inter finished the season 18 points behind league champion Napoli. Inter coach Simone Inzaghi says City "will be facing an opponent who deserve to be in Istanbul as much as they do."

        One of the top sports car racers in the world will make his NASCAR debut when Kamui Kobayashi drives for Toyota on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in August. Kobayashi will drive for 23XI Racing. The team is owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan. The announcement at the 24 Hours of Le Mans makes Kobayashi only the second Japanese driver to race in NASCAR's top Cup Series and only the fifth to race in the top three national series. 

          Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic will face each other in the French Open semifinals. It is their first head-to-head meeting in more than a year. Alcaraz won their only previous encounter. Alcaraz is a 20-year-old from Spain who is seeded No. 1 and will be appearing in his second Grand Slam semifinal. Djokovic is a 36-year-old from Serbia who is seeded No. 3 and entering the 45th major semifinal of his career. He has 22 Grand Slam titles and can break a tie with rival Rafael Nadal for the most in the history of men's tennis by getting past Alcaraz and then winning Sunday's final.

            Coco Gauff has lost in the French Open quarterfinals to two-time champion Iga Swiatek in a rematch of last year's final at Roland Garros. The No. 1-ranked Swiatek won 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday and has not dropped a set in the tournament. Swiatek will face 14th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia in Thursday's semifinals. Gauff is a 19-year-old American who has lost all seven matches she has played against Swiatek. Haddad Maia is the first Brazilian woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since 1968. She eliminated No. 7 Ons Jabeur in three sets earlier Wednesday.

              Lionel Messi says he is coming to Inter Miami and joining Major League Soccer. After months of speculation, Messi announced his decision Wednesday to join a Miami franchise that has been led by another global soccer icon in David Beckham since its inception but has yet to make any real splashes on the field. That will likely soon change. One of Inter Miami's owners, Jorge Mas, tweeted out a photo of a darkly silhouetted Messi jersey shortly before the Argentinian great revealed his decision in interviews with Spanish news outlets Mundo Deportivo and Sport.

                After upgrading the roster on both sides of the ball, the Chicago Bears hope to be in more close games in 2023, the kind in which a key play here or there on special teams can make the difference. The Bears lost by nine or more points seven times during last year’s 3-14 season. In four of the losses by eight or fewer points, a key special teams breakdown was part of the problem. The Bears had ...

                SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Not satisfied with what the 49ers got from Deebo Samuel last season? You’re not alone. “It was awful,” Samuel said Tuesday. ‘I was awful . . . in every way.” Samuel offered that harsh self-assessment on the first day of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp, which continues Wednesday and ends Thursday with a family gathering and marks the end of the offseason until training camp ...

                PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan spent more than an hour explaining to players Tuesday afternoon why he changed his mind about taking Saudi funds in a surprise collaboration, saying it ultimately was for their benefit. And to think it was nearly a year ago to the day that Saudi-funded LIV Golf teed off in its inaugural event as a rival and a threat, flush with defectors from golf's top circuit.

                Forte is finally getting a crack at running in a Triple Crown race. The colt who was scratched the day of the Kentucky Derby is the early favorite for the Belmont Stakes. Forte was last year's 2-year-old champion. He is the slight 5-2 favorite for the grueling 1 1/2-mile race. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Forte will break from the No. 6 post in the nine-horse field on Saturday at Belmont Park. Pletcher's other horse, Tapit Trice, is the 3-1 second choice and drew the No. 2 post. Preakness winner National Treasure is 5-1.

                Online racist abuse of soccer players is prolific on social media platforms. It's the latest form of racism blighting the world's most popular sport. It's technology-fueled, visual, permanently intrusive, 24/7 and a haunting reminder of the 1980s-style monkey chants and banana throwing. Players and teams targeted by abuse are coming up with ways to raise awareness and reduce their exposure to offensive users. 

                Chicago has had massive roster changes since winning its first championship two years ago. Kahleah Copper is the lone starter remaining from that team as Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot, Azura Stevens and Allie Quigley are all gone. Copper has embraced the challenge of her new leadership role and has gotten off to a strong start this year in helping the Sky win four of their first seven games. She is averaging a career-best 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds.

                Novak Djokovic has come back after dropping a set for the first time in the tournament to beat 11th-seeded Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-4 at the French Open to reach his 45th career Grand Slam semifinal. Roger Federer holds the men's record of 46 appearances in the final four of a major. Tuesday's victory put Djokovic in that round for the 12th time at Roland Garros. Djokovic moves into a much-anticipated semifinal against No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who overwhelmed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday night. Aryna Sabalenka and Karolina Muchova both reached the women's semifinals in Paris for the first time.

                ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis has now officially learned the hard way what every other owner of the franchise has before him. You can build a new stadium. You can sign several top free agents. You can even field one of the best team’s in the sport. For reasons that are forever subjective, the fan base remains the same size, even though we live in an ever-growing series of ...

                Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and started an early blitz that chased the NHL’s hottest postseason goalie, and Adin Hill continued his stellar play as the Vegas Golden Knights seized control of the Stanley Cup Final with a 7-2 victory over the Florida Panthers to take a 2-0 series lead. Hill made 29 saves and Marchessault had an assist to finish with three points.


                The NFL offseason is a lot of things, depending on the team. For the Ravens, it’s been a roller coaster. There were notable departures (left guard Ben Powers, defensive end Calais Campbell), significant additions (wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., offensive coordinator Todd Monken) and, of course, the drama that swirled around Lamar Jackson and the organization before they came to terms on a ...

                WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Kansas City Chiefs are building a dynasty as he welcomed them on Monday to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Joking that it was good First Lady Jill Biden, a die hard Eagles fan, wasn’t there to witness the ceremony, Biden talked about the unity and teamwork the Chiefs showed over the course of the ...

                The original Yankee Stadium would have turned 100 years old this season had it not been replaced in 2009 by the gargantuan, sterile replica that now bears its name. The Chicago White Sox, who arrive in the Bronx on Tuesday for an important three-game series against their longtime rivals, have been part of some memorable moments in both the new and old stadium. Here are a few of the best and ...

                NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul joined Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula in helping break ground on the team's new $1.54 billion stadium scheduled to be built in time for the 2026 season. The ceremony was held on the former parking lot which is being cleared for construction and located across the street from the team's current home. The new facility will carry over the naming rights of Highmark Stadium after the team reached a long-term agreement with the health insurance provider. Among those on hand was Mary Wilson, whose late husband Ralph Wilson founded the franchise in 1960.

                Coco Gauff put aside a skinned knee and a bad stretch in the first set to reach the French Open quarterfinals for the third consecutive year. The 19-year-old American was a 7-5, 6-2 winner over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Monday at Court Philippe Chatrier. Next for Gauff will be a rematch against No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who beat her in last year's final at Roland Garros.

                The United States will be playing for an unprecedented three-peat at the Women's World Cup this summer. It won't be easy for the world's No. 1 team. Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the quadrennial tournament for international soccer's most coveted trophy kicks off on July 20 and features an expanded field of 32 teams, up from 24.

                The vicious, relentless and high-profile racist insults directed at Brazilian soccer player Vinícius Júnior underscore an entrenched and decades-old issue that refuses to go away in the world's most popular sport. It is a deeper societal problem that is manifested in soccer matches predominantly in Europe, but also all around the world, and has been amplified by the reach of social media. Federations have been slow and, in some cases unwilling, to use powers to sanction teams for the racist behavior of their fans. Players past and present worry racism is just an accepted part of soccer. Experts say more education and stronger punishments are required to combat racism.

                Mercedes has come out of Formula One's Spanish Grand Prix with increased confidence after showing significant progress and finishing ahead of Aston Martin and Ferrari. Red Bull's Max Verstappen put on another dominant performance to win Sunday's race from pole position but Mercedes took a big step forward with Lewis Hamilton finishing second and teammate George Russell third to give the team its first double podium finish of the season. Mercedes acknowledges that the gap to Red Bull remains significant but there was optimism after the team's much-anticipated upgrade package showed it has the potential to keep the team ahead of Aston Martin and Ferrari.

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