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The 150th Kentucky Derby produced one of the most dramatic finishes in its storied history — three noses at the wire.

Mystik Dan desperately fought to hang on with two challengers coming to him in the closing strides. He did, too, after a delay of several minutes while the closest three-horse photo finish since 1947 was sorted out.

That year, Jet Pilot won by a head over Phalanx and a length ahead of Faultless.

This one was much tighter.

Mystik Dan, an 18-1 shot, edged Sierra Leone by a nose, with Forever Young another nose back in third on Saturday. Sierra Leone was the most expensive horse in the race at $2.3 million.

Long shots Track Phantom and Just Steel led the field through the early going, with 3-1 favorite Fierceness racing three-wide just off the leaders.

At the top of the stretch, everything changed.

Track Phantom drifted off the rail, opening a hole that Hernandez squeezed Mystik Dan through, and the bay colt suddenly found another gear. He quickly opened up a daylight advantage on the field.

“When he shot through that spot, he was able to cut the corner and I asked him to go for it,” Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said. “He shot off and I’m like, ‘Oh man, I’ve got a big chance to win the Kentucky Derby.'”

To Mystik Dan’s outside, Sierra Leone and Forever Young took up the chase in the middle of the track.

As Mystik Dan sped along the rail, Sierra Leone lugged in and bumped Forever Young three times in the stretch, but jockey Ryusei Sakai didn’t claim foul.

Mystik Dan got so close to the rail that Hernandez’s boot struck it.

“But I think we can buy another pair of boots,” he said.

The winner’s share of the record $5 million purse was $3.1 million, with the jockey and trainer typically earning 10% each.

“Just a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant jockey and ride,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “Brian is one of the most underrated jockeys, but not anymore, right?”

Sierra Leone, the second choice at 9-2 odds, and Forever Young from Japan came up just short at the wire in front of 156,710 at Churchill Downs, the largest crowd since 2018.

It was just the 10th Kentucky Derby decided by a nose — the closest margin in horse racing — and the first since Grindstone edged Cavonnier to wear the garland of red roses in 1996.

The crowd waited several minutes in the heat and humidity as the result was reviewed by the stewards and declared official.

“The longest few minutes of my life,” Hernandez said, after he and Mystik Dan walked in circles while the stunning result was settled. “To see your number flash up to win the Derby, I don’t think it will sink in for a while.”

Fierceness finished 15th in the field of 20 3-year-olds. Owner Mike Repole is 0 for 8 in the derby. He had the favorite in 2011 with Uncle Mo, who was scratched the day before the race with an illness. Last year, Forte was scratched the morning of the race as the favorite with a bruised foot.

Mystik Dan ran 1¼ miles over a fast track in 2:03.34 and paid $39.22, $16.32 and $10.

Hernandez and McPeek had teamed for a wire-to-wire win in the Kentucky Oaks for fillies on Friday with Thorpedo Anna. McPeek is the first trainer to sweep both races since Ben Jones in 1952.

The winning owners are cousins Lance and Brent Gasaway and Daniel Hamby III, all from Arkansas. They bred Mystik Dan.

“We’ve done it with what I call a working-class horse,” McPeek said. “His mother is a filly who raced hard, but wasn’t well known. His father wasn’t a big name, either.”

Sharilyn Gasaway, Brent’s wife, said, “It is surreal for sure. We feel like we’re just ordinary people and we’ve got an amazing horse.”

Sierra Leone returned $6.54 and $4.64. Forever Young was another nose back in third and paid $5.58 to show.

Catching Freedom was fourth, followed by T O Password of Japan, Resilience, Stronghold, Honor Marie and Endlessly. Dornoch was 10th and then came Track Phantom, West Saratoga, Domestic Product, Epic Ride, Fierceness, Society Man, Just Steel, Grand Mo the First, Catalytic and Just a Touch.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Projecting the X factors, tactics and key matchups that will swing Rangers-Panthers

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Projecting the X factors, tactics and key matchups that will swing Rangers-Panthers

The NHL’s conference finals have arrived, and if you asked around in September, the four teams remaining were some of the most likely answers to the question, “Who will win the Stanley Cup?”

We didn’t get here the way many would have imagined, though. In the East, there can be no debate that the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers are the best teams, and were the best teams over the course of the season.

The West, however, was a little more surprising. The Dallas Stars battled the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets all season for the No. 1 spot in the West, with all three teams having spells at the top. The Edmonton Oilers had times during the season when they were wholly unconvincing as playoff threats, including a dismal start that saw them nine points out of a playoff spot in November, leading to the dismissal of coach Jay Woodcroft.

In our series previews, we look at specific areas: key points of difference in the series, the X factor, which team my model favors and the reasons why, along with a projection on the series result.

The model is a neural network that accounts for player strength, offensive, defensive and special teams performance, goaltending, matchup ratings and rest. As the model ingests data, it improves, with the heaviest weights on recent play. The model allows for players to be added and removed, with their impact on the game results measured.

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M’s Rojas: Yankees’ Schmidt ‘was clearly tipping’

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M's Rojas: Yankees' Schmidt 'was clearly tipping'

NEW YORK — With a little nod of his neck as he took his lead off second base, Josh Rojas seemed to signal Mariners teammate Dylan Moore that a cutter was coming from Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt.

Moore drove the 93.1 mph pitch 386 feet into the left-field seats for a 2-0 lead, helping Seattle to a 6-3 win over New York on Tuesday night.

“Everybody’s always trying to look for something,” Rojas said Wednesday. “We’re out there trying to find anything we can to gain an advantage.”

MLB Network showed a frame-by-frame comparison of Schmidt in the set position with Moore at the plate in the third inning. Rojas could see none of the ball before a sinker, a little of the ball ahead of a sweeper and a significant portion before a cutter.

Moore had fouled off Schmidt’s first full-count pitch, a sweeper, before the right-hander came back with a cutter.

“You can see in the video he was clearly tipping,” Rojas said.

Schmidt, 28, said after the game the Yankees were aware of the tipping and quickly worked to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.

“Obviously tipping is a part of this game and it’s a factor and it’s always in the back of our heads and something that we’re well aware of,” Schmidt said. “They got two runs on it. But I was able to make adjustments after we saw the video and just part of the game. Another factor in it.”

Schmidt said tipping had been an issue with him in the past.

“It’s just something that we’re constantly with all our guys paying attention to and working on,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Mariners manager Scott Servais, a big league catcher from 1991 to 2001, said technology has forced teams to become more alert to tipping.

“You didn’t have all the cameras and all the people working in front offices. It was actually a learned skill,” Servais said. “The days that you weren’t playing, you’re just locked in on that pitcher. Where does he comes set? When does his hand go into his glove? Where’s his eyes? Does he bite his lip when he throws his slider? There’s all kinds of stuff that happens, and in our day, you would just sit and stare at the guy until you try to figure it out for yourself.”

Asked who was the best at picking up tips, Servais brought up his own experience.

“Veteran players that didn’t play much — like myself — knew what to look for,” he said. “I always thought catchers had a good sense for it because they all knew that pitchers all did something a little bit different.”

Rojas said figuring out pitch tips “is a pretty common thing.”

“Even if you have something, it’s still pretty hard to get a hit,” he said.

Major League Baseball’s approval in 2022 of the PitchCom device for communication between pitchers and catchers has largely eliminated catchers signaling pitchers — and the ability of runners at second to pick up those signs. That causes runners to focus on the pitchers.

“Now it’s strictly a game of trying to find little things like that that will give you a tell,” Rojas said.

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Padres’ Bogaerts broke shoulder diving for ball

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Padres' Bogaerts broke shoulder diving for ball

CINCINNATI — San Diego Padres All-Star second baseman Xander Bogaerts broke his left shoulder attempting a diving pickup and was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday.

“I’m not a big timetable guy,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “Obviously he’ll be on the sidelines for a period of time. It’s really impossible to say how long. We’re still gathering information.”

Bogaerts injured his shoulder while diving for a ground ball in the first game of a doubleheader Monday against the Atlanta Braves. Bogaerts was escorted off the field after being evaluated by training staff.

Initial imaging of Bogaerts’ shoulder came back negative, but the fracture was revealed when further tests were done on Wednesday.

“Not as good (of news) as we clearly would have hoped, especially after the initial imaging,” Shildt said.

The Padres said Bogaerts, 31, did not suffer a labrum tear and does not require surgery at this time. The bone needs time to heal, but Bogaerts said he hopes to return to the lineup by late summer.(

Bogaerts, who was placed on the IL retroactive to May 21, is hitting .219 with four homers and 14 RBIs.

In related roster moves, the Padres selected the contract of outfielder David Peralta and transferred right-handed pitcher Luis Patiño to the 60-day IL.

Luis Arraez started at second base for the second straight game on Wednesday. Shildt said he will get creative in terms of replacing Bogaerts moving forward.

“The good news is, we have options between three or four different guys,” Shildt said. “We’re still in the process of figuring things out.”

The Associated Press and Field Level Media contributed to this report.

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