Triple Crown contender

Big Brown

has a slight crack on his left front hoof, but trainer

Rick Dutrow Jr.

expressed confidence yesterday that the injury would not keep his colt from running in the Belmont Stakes in less than two weeks.

However, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has missed two days of training at Belmont Park and will miss at least several more while being treated by hoof specialist

Ian McKinlay

. The colt suffered a quarter crack on the inside of his left heel that is five-eighths of an inch long.

"We're all concerned because there's a big race coming up," Dutrow said outside his barn. "But Ian has us pretty well relaxed. He's telling me it's nothing, and he'll be fine in a few days."

Unlike the two-week turnaround between the Derby and the Preakness, there is a three-week break before the Belmont on June 7.

Big Brown will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since

Affirmed

in 1978.

Auto Racing

Kasey Kahne

capitalized on yet another heartbreaking

Tony Stewart

defeat, grabbing the lead from the two-time champion last night when Stewart's tire went flat with three laps to go in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

Stewart was cruising toward his first win in NASCAR's longest race of the year when he smacked the wall, causing his tire to go flat and forcing him to head to the pits. Kahne zipped by for the win.

Lewis Hamilton

overcame an early accident and wet conditions to win the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo three seconds ahead of BMW Sauber's

Robert Kubica

as the McLaren driver took the lead in the Formula One standings.

Colleges

Stephon Morris,

a 5-foot-9, 175-pound cornerback from Greenbelt, Md., became the ninth high school senior-to-be to commit to Penn State.

Morris committed to the Nittany Lions on Saturday, according to Fightonstate.com. He joins Eleanor Roosevelt High teammate

Derrick Thomas,

who gave Penn State his pledge earlier this month, and two other recruits from Maryland. Lions assistant

Larry Johnson

recruited all four players.

Rightfielder

Stewart Ijames

broke a tie with a two-run single in the top of the eighth inning, helping Louisville (41-19) win the Big East Conference baseball championship Saturday with a 6-3 win over Cincinnati (39-20) at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

Cycling

Former Tour de France champion

Jan Ullrich

will face questions in Dusseldorf, Germany, about doping allegations during a court case in which he is seeking unpaid wages.

Ullrich, the 1997 Tour winner, wants $760,000 from the Coast team, which has refused payment because it assumes he was doping while he rode for the squad in 2003.

Soccer

Chad Barrett

scored twice and

Cuauhtemoc Blanco

added a goal and three assists to lead the Chicago Fire to a 5-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in an MLS game in East Rutherford, N.J.