Laffit Pincay Jr. broke a bone in his neck when he was thrown from his horse during a race and the injury could end the career of thoroughbred racing's winningest jockey.

Pincay was hurt last weekend at Santa Anita and will spend the next eight weeks in a cast, his son said yesterday.

"We expect a full recovery, and a decision on his career will be made at a future date," Laffit Pincay III said.

Pincay, 56, was initially thought to have had muscle contusions to the back of his neck. He was expected to return to riding today and was booked on six mounts.

However, the injury is far more serious. Pincay III said his father will be fitted with a halo cast and leave a Los Angeles hospital in a day or so.

Pincay, who has more victories than any other jockey with 9,531, was thrown to the grass when his mount, Trampus Too, fell on the turn for home in the fifth race.

Cycling

A French Connection?

The Tour de France could start in New York City under a plan proposed by the Outdoor Life Network, which telecasts the event.

"The earliest it could happen would be 2008," said Peter Englehart, senior vice president for programming at the cable network. "They're pretty committed for the next several years."

Under the plan, the cycling race would start in New York and continue to Philadelphia and Washington, before going to France. Englehart said Tour officials have expressed interest in the idea.

Colleges

BCS Committee

The Bowl Championship Series formed a committee of school presidents to help determine the future of the postseason in college football's top division, which might include a playoff for the national title. One president from each of the six conferences comprising the BCS will meet to discuss changes to the current Division I-A bowl system.

The current BCS agreement with the bowls and ABC Sports concludes with the playing of the 2005-06 bowl games. ABC has a seven-year, $525 million contract to televise the BCS games. . . .

Maryland is close to hiring Tim Banks, an assistant football coach at Memphis for the past two seasons, to be its inside linebackers coach.

Golf

Burk Seeks Permission

The lead critic of Augusta National Golf Club's all-male membership asked permission for more than 200 people to stage a one-day protest during the Masters, with a small number posted at the gate to Magnolia Lane.

Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, wants a permit for 24 protesters to stand at either side of the club's main gate, where a public sidewalk runs along Washington Road.

Burk is also seeking permission for an additional 200 people to demonstrate on Washington Road across the street from the club. The protest would take place during the third round of the tournament, on April 12.

Winter Sports

Night Moves

Anja Paerson earned her first World Cup victory in her home country, edging two Italians on the circuit's only lighted giant slalom course, in Are, Sweden.

Croatia's Janica Kostelic was sixth, enough to clinch the World Cup overall title with five races left.

Paerson, second in this event in 2001 and 2002, was timed in 2 minutes 29.88 seconds on the Gastrappet course. . . .

Cross-country skiing great Thomas Alsgaard will retire after the season, ending a career in which he won a total of 10 Olympic and world championship titles.

Soccer

Tournament Postponed

The FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates was postponed because of the threat of war in Iraq. The three-week soccer tournament, for players under 20 years old, had been scheduled for March 25-April 16. No makeup date was announced.

Sweden's Anja Paerson finds the gateway to success, earning her first World Cup victory in her home country.