Bailey to Replace Espinoza on Congaree in Preakness

Bob Baffert confirmed on Tuesday that Jerry Bailey will replace Victor Espinoza aboard Stonerside Stable's Congaree, the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), when the Arazi colt runs next in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on May 19.

"I'm going to keep this horse on the East Coast, and Jerry will ride him," Baffert said. "We could have gotten Jerry on him before, but I didn't have the heart to take Victor off after he'd won with him in the Wood Memorial (gr. II)." Espinoza has ridden Congaree in all four of his 2001 starts, including three consecutive victories in a maiden, allowance, and the Wood.

Bailey rode Talk Is Money in the Derby, but the 47-1 longshot was eased.

"We've been having trouble getting Congaree to rate," Baffert said. "Victor did all he could in the Derby. Experience is helping the horse relax more in his races."

Baffert said he plans to work Congaree and Point Given, the Derby favorite who wound up fifth, either next Monday or Tuesday at Churchill Downs. The two will ship to Pimlico the following day.

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