LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland begins its 15-day spring meet Friday.
The $150,000 Grade 3 Transylvania will lead off a month featuring 16 stakes races worth more than $4.3 million and qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks highlighting 15 graded events.
The marquee events on Saturday’s 11-race card with five stakes are the $1 million Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes and $500,000 Grade 1 Ashland, both of which award 170 points for the top four finishers toward the Derby on May 6 and Oaks for fillies on May 5.
Unbeaten McCraken is the 7-5 morning line favorite in a seven-horse field for the Blue Grass; Daddy’s Little Darling will lead the Ashland’s eight-horse field as the 5-2 choice.
Keeneland will race Wednesdays through Sundays during April with no racing on Easter Sunday, April 16.
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.
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.