What Would Have Been: Kentucky Derby, wild-card rematches

With the national sports calendar still pretty much on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, following a short reprieve last week thanks to an unusual NFL draft, The Associated Press looks at some of the sporting events that would have taken place the week of April 27 to May 3:

RUN FOR THE ROSES: The first Saturday in May usually marks the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. But the Kentucky Derby won’t be run in May for the first time since 1945, instead pushed back four months to Labor Day weekend. Churchill Downs will conduct a virtual running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday that will feature computer simulations of the sport’s 13 Triple Crown winners.

MLB: A pair of wild rematches. The Washington Nationals started their run to a World Series title last October by rallying with three runs in the eighth inning of a 4-3 win at home in the National League wild-card game against Milwaukee. The Nationals were supposed to play a three-game series in Milwaukee this week.

The two teams that met in the American League wild-card game last season, the Rays and Athletics, were scheduled to play four games in Oakland, where Tampa Bay won 5-1 last October to advance to the AL Division Series against Houston.

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TRIVIA BREAK: The last two Triple Crown-winning horses were Justify in 2018 and American Pharoah in 2015, both trained by Bob Baffert. Only once were there Triple Crown winners in back-to-back years. Name the horses and the years. (Answer at bottom).

BOXING: Six months after moving up to light heavyweight to become a four-weight world champion, Canelo Alvarez was supposed to be back in a ring in Las Vegas. He was going to put his WBA super middleweight title on the line against WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders.

NBA: Some teams could have already been set for the second round of the playoffs, while others might have been trying to wrap up first-round series.

NHL: The Stanley Cup playoffs would be in the conference semifinals, with eight teams still on the ice.

PGA TOUR: Max Homa, who twice before lost his PGA Tour card, would have been defending his only PGA Tour victory. He won by three strokes in last year’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte.

NASCAR: Martin Truex Jr. got his first Cup victory at Dover on a Monday in 2007, and won at the Monster Mile in Delaware during another rain-delayed Monday race last spring,

TRIVIA ANSWER: Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown in 1977, and Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes the following year.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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