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National

  • Football: NFL players' helmets rated low

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 40 percent of NFL players last season wore a helmet model that got the second-lowest rating for reducing the risk of concussions in a study by Virginia Tech researchers.
    Riddell’s VSR-4 helmet received just one star in a study of football helmets led by Virginia Tech professor of biomedical engineering Stefan Duma and released Tuesday.
    Another Riddell model — the Revolution Speed — was the only helmet that earned five stars, the top rating.
    Five models — two made by Riddell, two by Schutt and one by Xenith — received four stars.

  • Animal Kingdom wins Kentucky Derby!

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — John Velazquez won the Kentucky Derby by a broken nose.

    An injury to Animal Kingdom's regular rider, Robby Albarado, cleared the way for Velazquez to pick up the mount and once he took the reins on Saturday, he rode his good luck all the way to the winner's circle.

    Animal Kingdom, who'd never raced on dirt before, reacted to his new rider the way a champion should, charging down the middle of the stretch to win by 2¾ lengths.

    Nehro was second and Mucho Macho Man was another neck back in third.

    Dialed In went off as the 5-1 favorite, but finished eighth.

  • Basketball: Source says Rose wins MVP

    CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is the NBA's MVP, becoming the youngest player in league history to win the award, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

    The person spoke Monday night on the condition of anonymity because a formal announcement has not been made. That could come Tuesday, with a formal presentation before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    The news is hardly a surprise.

  • Rain, rain go away at Churchill Downs

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The weather forecast wouldn't change, no matter how long Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sat in front of the television.

    "The only time I got away from the Weather Channel was when Obama came on last night," Baffert said, referring to President Barack Obama's announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan.

    Slop and all, Baffert had no choice but to sent out Midnight Interlude on Monday for the final workout before Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

  • Football: Lockout ends NFL’s wild week

    NEW YORK (AP) — From lockout to injunction to limbo and back to lockout — with a draft thrown in. Not even Super Bowl week gets that wild.
    Backed by an appeals court ruling, owners shut their doors once more, with players across the league trying to figure out where they stand — again.
    That includes veterans with contracts and free agents. It includes rookies drafted in the first round who took advantage of a small window Friday to meet with coaching staffs and get playbooks.
    And it includes players being drafted Saturday in the fourth through seventh rounds, plus any collegians not selected at all. They can have no such communication with their teams.

  • Basketball: James, Miami will battle Boston

    MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James planned to spend a large part of Saturday studying film, looking for any edge that the Miami Heat may use against the Boston Celtics.
    Film from this season, that is.
    No need to watch the Celtics inflicting past playoff wounds on him. Those remain fresh — and time has not yet healed them.
    The inability to beat Boston is one of the biggest reasons why James is now wearing a Miami Heat uniform. He’ll get a third attempt to top the Celtics in a postseason series starting Sunday when the teams collide in Game 1 of what may easily become an epic Eastern Conference semifinal.

  • Football: NFL gives its OK for players to go to work

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — On one of the busiest days of the year for the NFL, teams were plotting not only how to land the best draft picks but just how to let their most-prized employees return to work.
    Welcome back, players. For now, at least.
    The NFL cleared the way for some of its basic football operations to begin Friday, five days after a federal judge declared the lockout illegal and nearly seven weeks after it began.
    Players can talk with coaches, work out at team headquarters and look at their playbooks.
    “Everybody’s tired of sitting around, laying around,” Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays said. “We’ve had enough of that. Now, we’re trying to get back to business.”

  • Football: Newton goes 1st in less-than-festive NFL draft

    NEW YORK (AP) — This draft was no party.

    Between the boos raining down on Commissioner Roger Goodell and the uncertainty created by a bitter labor battle, the NFL draft opened Thursday night lacking much of its usually festive atmosphere.

    What it wasn't missing was intrigue and surprises — at least after the Carolina Panthers made Cam Newton the first pick.

    The Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner as expected went to the worst team in the league — and vowed to fix that immediately. Newton led Auburn to an undefeated season and its first national championship since 1957.

  • Football: Lockout adds more drama to NFL draft

    NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL draft always is a guessing game. Never has it been accompanied by so much uncertainty.
    Not just who will go first overall — the betting favorite is Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton — but who goes where and when beyond that. Will the Patriots trade down again and again, as they always seem to do? Or will the Jets trade up, as they normally do?
    This year, the selection process has the added element of players being locked out by owners, and a judge temporarily blocking the lockout earlier this week. Should the league be forced to reopen for business before or during the draft, the result could be even more chaos.

  • Football: Lockout adds more drama to NFL draft

    NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL draft always is a guessing game. Never has it been accompanied by so much uncertainty.
    Not just who will go first overall — the betting favorite is Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton — but who goes where and when beyond that. Will the Patriots trade down again and again, as they always seem to do? Or will the Jets trade up, as they normally do?
    This year, the selection process has the added element of players being locked out by owners, and a judge temporarily blocking the lockout earlier this week. Should the league be forced to reopen for business before or during the draft, the result could be even more chaos.