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PRESS BOX: Injury sidelines Derby contender

The SportsXchange

One of the top 3-year-old contenders for the Kentucky Derby will miss the May 3 race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Constitution, the winner of the $1 million Florida Derby on March 29, will not be in the field after developing a slight hairline fracture in his front right cannon bone that was detected on Monday, the horse's co-owners, WinStar Farm, announced Wednesday. The horse, trained by Todd Pletcher, had run a half-mile in 50 3/5 seconds on Sunday at Palm Meadows training track in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Undefeated Constitution, winner of all three of his starts, will recover at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky. There is a possibility that the horse could race again this year but will not return in time for any of the Triple Crown races.


Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice agreed to a four-year contract extension on Wednesday.

Maurice, who coached Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the KHL last season, coached the Jets for the final 35 games in 2013-14. He was 18-12 with five overtime losses. He previously coached the Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes.

---The Chicago Blackhawks recalled goaltender Mac Carruth from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League before the start of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

The 22-year-old Carruth spent the season playing for the IceHogs and the ECHL's Toledo Walleye and Florida Everblades. In seven games with Rockford, he was 2-2-1 with a 3.36 goals-against average and a .880 save percentage.


Quarterback Jameis Winston received preferential treatment and local police "did little to determine what happened" when he was accused of sexual assualt by a female student, according to a New York Times report.

One month passed before police identified Winston, the Heisman Trophy winner. The case was closed after 66 days by lead investigator Scott Angulo, who did not interview witnesses -- one of whom recorded the sexual act -- obtain DNA or phone records. Winston was not interviewed for more than two weeks and police did not take a DNA sample, the report said, quoting state prosecutor William Meggs as saying "They just missed all the basic fundamental stuff that you are supposed to do."

Angulo reportedly told the accuser's attorney, Patricia Carroll, that her client would be "raked over the coals" if she pursued a criminal case in a big "football town" like Tallahassee. While Winston was not immediately identified by his accuser, she eventually informed investigators that she knew it was Winston. Carroll pleaded with officers to obtain Winston's DNA, but Angulo "decided against it," the Times reports. Around the same time, the investigation was suspended.

---Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel, who was competing to replace Johnny Manziel as the starter for the Aggies, announced Wednesday that he will transfer from the program.

Joeckel will take advantage of an NCAA transfer rule to pursue his final year of athletic eligibility at another institution. Joeckel earned his undergraduate degree from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M in December.

The Arlington, Texas, native and former three-star recruit played in four games last season, connecting on 22 of 37 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns. The competition at quarterback now falls to Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen.


Concerned about the spread of a flu-type illness sweeping through the team, the Baltimore Orioles disinfected their entire clubhouse on Wednesday, mindful to clean things as small as the ping-pong paddles in the activity area of the room.

The team is trying to get a handle on the illness before it can spread beyond those infected this week. The flu-like symptoms became a distraction in recent days. Pitcher Evan Meek and center fielder Adam Jones are the two latest to be hit with it, after hitting coach Jim Presley and relief pitcher Brian Matusz were affected a few days ago.

---Outfielder George Springer, the Houston Astros' most anticipated prospects in years, was called up to the majors from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

The Astros are hoping their prized prospect will be able to infuse life into an offense that has struggled through the first two weeks of the season. Springer, 24, was hitting .353 with four doubles, one triple, three home runs, nine RBIs and four stolen bases in 13 games at Oklahoma City this season. He was picked 11th overall by the Astros in the 2011 amateur draft.

Tthe Astros optioned outfielder Robbie Grossman to Oklahoma City and designated right-handed pitcher Lucas Harrell for assignment.


Major League Soccer is coming to Atlanta in 2017. The league and franchise owner Arthur Blank made the official announcement on Wednesday afternoon at a news conference in Atlanta attended by excited fans and several members of the NFL's Falcons.

The expansion team will begin play during the 2017 season in a new downtown stadium being built for the Falcons and the soccer club. The retractable-roof facility will be configured to hold 29,000 fans for soccer by closing off the upper deck and approximately 71,000 for football.

Atlanta, which is currently the largest market in the United States without an MLS franchise, will become the 22nd team in MLS, which was founded in the mid-1990s. The team's name, logo and coaching and administrative staffs will be announced later.
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