IN BRIEF Tiz the Law fa­vored at Bel­mont

Shorter jewel will be 1st Triple Crown race this year

Orlando Sentinel - - Sports Thursday -

It wasn’t quite the post po­si­tion trainer Bar­clay Tagg wanted for Tiz the Law. Still, it wasn’t far off for the colt who on Wed­nes­day was made the early 6-5 fa­vorite for the Bel­mont Stakes.

Tagg was hop­ing the Florida Derby win­ner would land any­where be­tween spots 5 to 7 in the start­ing gate for Satur­day’s be­gin­ning of the re­con­fig­ured Triple Crown se­ries. Tiz the Law drew the No. 8 post in the 10-horse field and will be rid­den by Manny Franco.

“It could have been worse,” Tagg said from be­hind a mask worn to pro­tect against the coro­n­avirus pan­demic that has up­ended the Triple Crown and pretty much ev­ery other sport­ing event this spring and sum­mer. “He likes this track, so I’m glad to be back on it.”

In­stead of con­clud­ing the Triple Crown, the Bel­mont is kick­ing off the se­ries. It will be run at 1 1⁄8 miles — shorter than its usual gru­el­ing 1 1⁄2 miles — with­out spec­ta­tors or own­ers at Bel­mont Park in New York.

“It’s go­ing to be a far dif­fer­ent scene for sure,” trainer Todd Pletcher, who has two en­tries, said this week. “It’s sad in some ways, but we’re grate­ful we’re get­ting an op­por­tu­nity to run.”

Base­ball: Ma­jor lea­guers have com­mit­ted $1 mil­lion to sup­port mi­nor lea­guers whose leagues ap­pear un­likely to start this year be­cause of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic. The Ma­jor League Base­ball Play­ers Trust, a not-for-profit af­fil­i­ate of the Ma­jor League Base­ball Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, made the an­nounce­ment. Mi­nor leagues don’t have large broad­cast con­tracts and have not an­nounced any plans to take the field.

NBA: The pi­lot of the he­li­copter that crashed in thick fog, killing Kobe Bryant and seven other pas­sen­gers, re­ported he was climb­ing when he ac­tu­ally was de­scend­ing, fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors said in doc­u­ments re­leased Wed­nes­day. Ara Zobayan ra­dioed to air traf­fic con­trollers that he was climb­ing to 4,000 feet to get above clouds on Jan. 26 when, in fact, the he­li­copter was plung­ing to­ward a hillside where it crashed north­west of Los An­ge­les. The Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board’s re­port said Zobayan may have “mis­per­ceived” the pitch of the air­craft, which can hap­pen when a pi­lot be­comes dis­ori­ented in low vis­i­bil­ity.

NFL: Charg­ers coach An­thony Lynn said Colin Kaeper­nick is on the team’s work­out list be­cause he is the style of quar­ter­back the team is look­ing for, but the coach hasn’t spo­ken to him yet and right now noth­ing is sched­uled. The Charg­ers could ex­plore bring­ing Kaeper­nick in for a work­out de­pend­ing on what hap­pens dur­ing the pre­sea­son, Lynn said. “It would be some­thing I think any team would have to ex­plore with a tal­ent of that cal­iber that is avail­able un­der these cir­cum­stances,” said Lynn, whose team is mov­ing on at QB af­ter 14 sea­sons with Philip Rivers.

Soc­cer: Manch­ester City de­feated Arse­nal 3-0 in the re­turn of the Premier League in front of just 300 peo­ple who were al­lowed into the Eti­had Sta­dium. The 55,000 seats that would usu­ally be filled were in­stead empty, mostly cov­ered by ban­ners. The only sup­port­ers seen cel­e­brat­ing goals from Ra­heem Ster­ling, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Fo­den dur­ing City’s win were on big screens in the stands, stream­ing live from their homes . ... The Cham­pi­ons League will fin­ish with a 12-day mini­tour­na­ment in Lis­bon, restart­ing in Au­gust af­ter a five-month sus­pen­sion caused by the pan­demic. Eight teams will play from the quar­ter­fi­nals in knock­out games at two venues, the UEFA ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee an­nounced. The fi­nal will be held at the home sta­dium of Por­tuguese club Ben­fica on Sun­day, Aug. 23 — the lat­est date ever . ... Brazil­ian soc­cer will make a par­tial re­turn Thurs­day af­ter a three­month sus­pen­sion caused by the pan­demic. The gov­ern­ing body of soc­cer in Rio de Janeiro an­nounced that Fla­mengo and Bangu will play in an empty Mara­cana Sta­dium in the lo­cal league.

Ten­nis: Ser­ena Wil­liams com­mit­ted to play­ing in the U.S. Open when the main draw be­gins Aug. 31. “Ul­ti­mately, I re­ally can­not wait to re­turn to New York,” Wil­liams said in a video that was shown dur­ing the U.S. Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion pre­sen­ta­tion of plans for its mar­quee event. ... Elec­tronic line-call­ing will be used in­stead of line judges for U.S. Open matches at all courts ex­cept the two largest are­nas and sin­gles qual­i­fy­ing, mixed dou­bles, ju­nior and wheel­chair com­pe­ti­tion are be­ing elim­i­nated en­tirely.

Track and field: Chris­tian Cole­man, an Amer­i­can sprinter who won the 100me­ter ti­tle at last year’s world cham­pi­onships and had been the early fa­vorite for the Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games, was tem­po­rar­ily banned from com­pe­ti­tion by the Ath­let­ics In­tegrity Unit for a string of missed dop­ing tests.

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