In Brief

HORSE RACING

Belmont hopes to attract
Animal Kingdom, Shackleford

Preakness winner Shackleford and Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom could meet again in next month’s Belmont Stakes, resuming a newfound rivalry among a group of 3-year-old colts that haven’t gotten much respect this year.

Shackleford returned to Kentucky on Sunday after bouncing back from a fourth-place finish in the Derby to outlast Animal Kingdom by a half-length in the Preakness a day earlier.

Dale Romans said he wants to watch Shackleford train for a couple of days before making a decision on whether to run in the grueling 1½-mile Belmont in New York on June 11.

“If he trains like he did going into the Derby, I don’t know why we would pass,” he said. “I think it’s better than 50-50.”

Graham Motion plans to give Animal Kingdom a week at his stable in the Maryland countryside to see how he comes out of his latest race. Asked about the possibility of running in the Belmont, the trainer said, “We would love to do it.”

Having the winners of the first two legs of the Triple Crown face off again in the Belmont would be a good thing for racing, Motion said.

It would mark the 20th time the Derby and Preakness winners chased each other in the Triple Crown finale. Previously, the Derby winner has won four times, most recently Swale in 1984, while the Preakness winner has emerged victorious nine times, with Afleet Alex winning in 2005.

COLLEGES

St. John’s forward Polee II
to transfer closer to home

St. John’s forward Dwayne Polee II said he plans to leave the basketball team and transfer so he can help his family “get through a health issue.”

Polee’s departure means the Red Storm will have only one returning scholarship letter-winner next season in junior Malik Stith. Polee played in all 33 games as a freshman, starting 27 and averaging 4.4 points.

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin called Polee “an outstanding individual with a bright future” in a release put out by the school. Polee, who is from Los Angeles, said he needs to be close to his family.

Also: Unseeded Maryland beat top-seeded Syracuse 6-5 in Foxborough, Mass., to advance to the NCAA lacrosse tournament semifinals, winning when Grant Catalino took a pass from Ryan Young behind the net and beat Orange goalie John Galloway with 32 seconds left in overtime.

The Terrapins will play Duke in a semifinal at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Saturday. Duke topped Notre Dame 7-5, also in Foxborough.

Virginia and Denver, who both won Saturday, will play in the other semifinal.

MISCELLANEOUS

Relegation, Chelsea manager’s
firing cap Premier League play

Blackpool and Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League, each missing a chance to remain in English soccer’s top tier, and Wigan scored late to avoid the same fate on the season’s final day.

Then, two hours after the season ended, Carlo Ancelotti was fired as Chelsea manager’s following a trophyless season, after he led the club to the Premier League and FA Cup titles in 2010. Ancelotti’s replacement will be the seventh Chelsea manager since Roman Abramovich bought the club eight years ago

Chelsea (21-9-8) finished second, nine points behind Manchester United (23-4-11).

Both Blackpool and Birmingham were on course to stay up, with lowly Blackpool seemingly on the verge of a remarkable escape when it led 2-1 at Manchester United early in the second half.

But the champions scored three times in 20 minutes to end Blackpool’s single-season visit to the top division, while Birmingham conceded a last-minute goal at Tottenham in a 2-1 loss.

Wolverhampton survived by a single point after losing 3-2 to Blackburn. Wigan climbed three places and finished three points clear of danger after Hugo Rodallega’s 78th-minute goal secured a 1-0 win at Stoke.

Also: The world gymnastics championships will be in Tokyo as originally planned, from Oct. 7 to 16.

The International Gymnastics Federation decided there was no reason to move worlds, the main qualifier for the 2012 Olympics in London, despite earlier concerns about high radiation levels following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

FIG president Bruno Grandi said the federation made the decision after consulting with experts who said it would be safe to go ahead with worlds at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Chris Horner won the Tour of California with a solid performance in the final stage, holding off RadioShack teammate Levi Leipheimer by 38 seconds in the overall standings. Matthew Goss won the 80.2-mile final stage from Santa Clarita to Thousand Oaks.

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