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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.

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.

Proposals sought to redevelop parts of Belmont Park

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NEW YORK — New York state is looking for proposals on redeveloping parts of Belmont Park, the Long Island track that is home to one leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

Empire State Development said Monday the goal is to “strengthen Belmont as a premier destination for entertainment, sports, recreation, retail and hospitality.” One possibility is a new home for the New York Islanders. The NHL team has spent most of its existence on Long Island but now plays in Brooklyn at Barclays Center.

The team has not commented, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in April the Islanders would be participating in the process.

The area to be redeveloped is about 36 acres, made up of underused parking lots. Belmont opened in 1905 and was redeveloped in the mid-1960s. Proposals are due at the end of September.