War Emblem walked his Churchill Downs shedrow Tuesday morning, three days after his triumph over Magic Weisner in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Trainer Bob Baffert said the Our Emblem colt probably will resume serious training for his Triple Crown bid on Thursday. Current plans are for The Thoroughbred Corp. star to train up to the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at Churchill Downs and ship to New York on the Wednesday before the race.
"He looks really, really good," Baffert said Tuesday morning. "He came out of the Preakness great and will probably go back to the track on Thursday." Baffert was heading to his Southern California base Tuesday, with plans of returning to Kentucky on Friday.
Meanwhile, Baffert confirmed that last year's Wood Memorial (gr. II) and Swaps Stakes (gr. I) winner, Stonerside Stable's Congaree, will contest Monday's Lone Star Handicap, a grade III event over 1 1/16 miles at Lone Star Park in Texas that carries a $300,000 purse. Congaree, who has not been out since finishing third to Scorpion in the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. I) last August, had been under consideration for Belmont's Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at one mile on Monday.
The 4-year-old son of Arazi worked seven furlongs at Churchill on Tuesday morning. Baffert clocked him in 1:26 1/5 on a fast track. "He was just cruising around there," Baffert said. "He's ready to roll." Pat Day will ride Congaree for the first time in the Lone Star race. "I'll try to break my maiden with Pat," Baffert said. The two have teamed up just six times, and they are still looking for their first win together.