Stonerside Stables' millionaire Congaree, an Eclipse Award finalist for 2003‚s older male, will most likely make his 6-year-old debut in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 7 at Gulfstream Park, trainer Bob Baffert said.
The chestnut son of Arazi--Mari's Sheba, by Mari's Book, who hasn't raced since winning the Nov. 29 Cigar Mile (gr. I), worked a half-mile in an easy :50 1/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Monday.
"I'll probably have to take him out of town because of the weights," Baffert said. "They assigned him 125 here (for last weekend's San Pasqual Handicap) and that's too much this early. The weight assignments he'd get here preclude me from running him here."
Kentucky-bred Congaree has earned $3,241,400 with a record of 23-12-2-4, including five grade 1 victories and five other graded stakes over four seasons. He is expected to use the Donn as a springboard to the $6 million Dubai World Cup (gr. I) at Nad Al Sheba on Mar. 27.
Baffert also said that The Thoroughbred Corp.'s multiple grade III winner Atlantic Ocean, 10th and last after a troubled trip in the Dec. 27 La Brea Stakes (gr. I), is on course for a start in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf, a nine-furlong grass event for distaffers, at Santa Anita on Jan 24.
The 4-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Stormy Atlantic--Super Chef, by Seattle Slew worked a half-mile in :48 2/5 over the Arcadia oval's fast main track on Tuesday.
"We‚re going to hit the Sunshine Millions big-time," Baffert said. "We're focusing on the 'Big Three' this year--the Sunshine Millions, Dubai World Cup and Breeders‚ Cup."
Atlantic Ocean is set to be sold as part of her The Thoroughbred Corp.'s complete dispersal at Barretts on March 2.