Churchill Downs is the star this year during a 100th-anniversary salute to the gracious twin spires that adorn the grandstand and are Louisville landmarks. The derby itself will be the 121st.
America's Cup (sailing)
After four months of trials off San Diego to determine a defender and challenger, two boats will duel for the world's most prized yachting trophy. The challenger is New Zealand's Black Magic 1; the defending skipper -- for the fifth time -- is Dennis Conner aboard Stars & Stripes. The traditional best-of-seven series has been expanded into a best-of-nine format, which means at least two weekends of TV coverage.
Basketball Hall of Fame Hoop Summit
This new event helps to jazz up annual enshrinement-related activities at the Springfield, Mass., hall. In a first, a team of high school All-Americans will meet a junior men's team composed of players from five continents. CBS will televise the game live. On May 15, seven new electees will be inducted into the hall, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Cheryl Miller.
Senior Sports Classic V
The ''Senior Olympics'' have become almost as big as the Olympics. Nearly 8,000 athletes, aged 55 and older, have qualified to participate in San Antonio, Texas, via competitions held around the United States. Eighteen sports are on the program.
National mountain biking series
Spokane, Wash., the opening site of a seven-race US series, is as close as mountain biking comes to high-rise American landscapes. Other stops: Vail, Colo.; Mt. Snow, Vt.; Mammoth Lakes and Snow Summit, Calif.; Helen, Ga.; and Traverse City, Mich.
'The Challenge' (men's tennis)
Four top players from the sport's boom years converge on Pebble Beach, Calif., for a $325,000 showdown. Jimmy Connors and Guillermo Vilas play Friday in a rematch of their 1977 US Open final; John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, opponents in an epic 1980 Wimbledon final, follow on Saturday, with the winners exchanging shots in Sunday's championship match.
Examiner Bay to Breakers
This San Francisco running event has been called a ''calorie-burning Mardi Gras.'' More than 80,000 costumed and noncostumed runners of all skill levels, some in the ''centipede'' team division, are expected for the 84th edition, which starts its 7.5-mile (12-kilometer) journey in the financial district, passes the Victorian ''painted ladies'' on Hayes Hill, and ends at the Pacific.
May 27 and 29
Looking for a men's team sport where an Ivy League college can still be a major power? Princeton University has won the title two of the last three years. The finals will be played at the University of Maryland in College Park. for the third straight year.
Indy, of course. But the 500 shares the automotive spotlight: A 40-car field takes the green flag in the longest stock-car race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C., and Formula One drivers snake through the streets of Monte Carlo in the Monaco Grand Prix.