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McCraken is 7-5 early favorite for Blue Grass Stakes

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — McCraken is the 7-5 morning line favorite for the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland that awards 170 points toward the Kentucky Derby.

The unbeaten Kentucky-bred colt trained by Ian Wilkes drew the No. 2 post position on Tuesday for Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Grade 2 race featuring seven 3-year-olds. McCraken is 4-0 and won the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 11.

Tapwrit is the 5-2 second choice and drew the No. 4 position. The Todd Pletcher-trained horse is sixth with 54 Derby points and was second to McCraken in the Davis.

Practical Joke is the 7-2 third choice and starts from the No. 7 position. Trained by Chad Brown, he has three wins with a third in last fall’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Long shot Puig finishes second in Del Mar debut

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Long shot Puig finished second in his career debut at Del Mar, with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig supporting the horse on Twitter.

Puig lost by 3 1/4 lengths in the $60,000 fifth race on Sunday at the seaside track north of San Diego. He paid $17.80 and $9.60 at 32-1 odds under jockey Santiago Gonzalez.

The Kentucky-bred colt earned $12,000 in the 6 1/2-furlong race. He is trained by Scott Hansen and owned by Gary Broad.

Puig of the Dodgers re-tweeted a photo of the horse leaving the paddock before the race.

Songbird to run at Saratoga, won’t face males at Del Mar

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Songbird will return to Saratoga to run in the $700,000 Personal Ensign on Aug. 26 rather than taking on male horses in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar a week earlier.

Owner Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farm said Sunday that Saratoga is his favorite track and the Personal Ensign is the right race for the 4-year-old filly.

Songbird is 13-1 in her career and has earnings of over $4.5 million. Her only loss came by a nose to Beholder in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Songbird put in a five-furlong workout at Del Mar on Sunday, completing the distance in 1:01 in her home state of California.

Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Songbird earned back-to-back Grade 1 victories at Saratoga last year in the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Alabama.