Congrats Back in Training With O'Connell
Updated: Saturday, May 13, 2006 2:34 PM
(from Calder track notes)
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2006 6:51 PM
Congrats, recently sold as a stud prospect to John Sykes' Cloverleaf Farm, is instead back in training at the Calder Race Course stable of Kathleen O'Connell.
The 6-year-old son of A.P. Indy
is being aimed for the $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles on May 29, O'Connell said Friday morning.
Congrats had been campaigning in California for trainer Richard Mandella prior to his sale.
"He actually came here first," said O'Connell. "But he was only here for about 10 hours before we sent him up to the farm to get checked out. It was too late to stand him this year. They thought he would fit well here and he's been training awesome. I've been on enough Volkswagons to know this one's a Ferrari."
Congrats was bred and raced by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm and trained first in the east with Shug McGaughey before finding success in California.
He finished seventh last out in the Tokyo City Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita on Apr. 1 in his second start since the Pacific Classic (gr. I) last summer at Del Mar. Although he won only one of seven starts last year, the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita in early January, he earned more than $600,000.
In possibly his best career performance Congrats finished second to stablemate Rock Hard Ten in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) with Borrego third. Congrats has a career record of 24-7-2-5 for earnings of $978,960.
"He's just shy of earning a million, so it would be nice to get that done," O'Connell said. "He ran out there on Apr. 1, so he hasn't lost much (fitness)."
Congrats, out of Praise, by Mr. Prospector, will enter stud in 2007 at Cloverleaf in Reddick, Fla.
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