Baffert Skipping Big 'Cap with Sarava

Grade I winner Sarava will not be in the gate for Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) because of his weight assignment, trainer Bob Baffert said.

The 5-year-old son of Wild Again has only raced twice since winning the 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), including a fifth-place finish in an allowance race on Feb. 14. Despite that, he received a 114-pound impost for the 'Big Cap compared to highweight Pleasantly Perfect's 123.

"They gave the Breeders' Cup winner 123 and Sarava 114 and he hasn't won in two years," Baffert said. "The grade ones should all be weight-for-age anyway. If racing secretaries were handicappers, they'd be out there gambling."

On Sunday morning, Sarava worked five furlongs in 1:13 under jockey Javier Castellano in company with stablemate During, who earned the bullet for the distance with a time of 1:12 under exercise rider Dana Barnes.

Sarava will probably go in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/4 mile on April 3.

During is still on schedule for a start in the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) on the Dubai World Cup program March 27.

"He'll be tough in there," Baffert said.

On Saturday, grade I winner Congaree had his first work since a fourth-place finish in the Jan. 31 San Antonio Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II). Baffert said the 6-year-old son of Arazi remains on course for his next start in the seven-furlong, $350,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct on April 10 Baffert said.

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