former kentucky derby and preakness stakes winner charismatic, whose bid for the triple crown ended with a dramatic leg injury as he neared the finish line in the belmont stakes, has died at a thoroughbred retirement farm in kentucky.

the striking chestnut horse that won the first two legs of the triple crown in 1999 was found dead in his stall sunday at old friends farm near georgetown, ky., the farm said.

"right now, everyone is pretty much inconsolable," old friends president michael blowen said. "he was a really tough horse, and he deserved a much longer retirement. ... everyone at old friends takes solace from the few great months that this great champion gave us."

the stallion ate all his food saturday and looked fine, blowen said monday. the cause of death is unknown, and a full necropsy was being done. the farm said charismatic was 21.

charismatic arrived at old friends last december after a long stud career in japan.

"he connected with people that would come here and tell us stories about what that horse meant to them," blowen said.


birkie adjusting

warm weather is forcing organizers to change the route of saturday's american birkebeiner ski race in northwestern wisconsin.

the race will not finish in downtown hayward this year, because racers can't cross lake hayward to get there. the new route and finish line will be announced tuesday.

the american birkebeiner is north america's largest cross-country ski race.

around the horn

nfl: miami agreed to trade left tackle branden albert and a late-round draft pick in 2018 to jacksonville for tight end julius thomas and a late-round pick in 2017, the orlando sun sentinel reported, citing unidentified sources. the trade can't be made official until march 9.

college wrestling: kevin dresser, who built virginia tech into an acc wrestling power, was hired to coach iowa state, in his home state.

football: alabama hired new england patriots assistant brian daboll as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

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