Congaree

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Congaree To Skip Belmont

Stonerside Stable's Wood Memorial (gr. II) winner Congaree will not run in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), according to a Sports Ticker report. Trainer Bob Baffert will instead give the colt some time off and might run the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) third-place finisher on turf when he returns to the races.

Haskin's Updated Preakness Analysis

Don't let anyone fool you. The 126th Preakness Stakes is so riddled with questions, it's all but impossible to truly feel strongly about one horse. You can guess or deduce or surmise or assume, but there is no way you state with any authority you know what's going to happen. We have a different scenario from the Derby, and it's anyone's guess if we'll have a fast or slow pace; if Monarchos can come back in two weeks after becoming only the second horse besides Secretariat to break 2:00 in the Derby; if the lightly raced Congaree is going to "bounce" after turning in a sensational effort in the Derby; if Point Given's Derby was a fluke; or if A P Valentine and Dollar Bill can rebound after encountering nightmare trips in the Derby.

Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: Baffert, Zito Hit the Work Tab

Enjoy today's action while you can. There won't be much more happening from a training standpoint from now on, as trainers will spend the remainder of the week using words like "maintain" and "preparation." With Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos sticking to a galloping program, today's works by Point Given and Congaree at Churchill Downs and A P Valentine at Pimlico were to be very revealing, as an indicator how these horses bounced out of the Derby.

Preakness Hopefuls On Track at Pimlico, Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos galloped at Pimlico Racecourse Monday morning as he continues preparations for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown. Also at Pimlico Monday, A P Valentine worked five furlongs. At Churchill Downs, trainer Bob Baffert worked his two Preakness candidates, Point Given and Congaree, and Dallas Stewart reported Dollar Bill is on track after his workout.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Bob's Big Boys Burn Up Churchill Strip

The setting was the same as past years: Bob Baffert standing in the Churchill Downs grandstand, his white hair glistening in the morning sun like a fresh mound of snow. A two-way radio is held close to his mouth, as he surveys the post-renovation break scene and offers his first set of instructions to exercise rider Dana Barnes. Several minutes later, after watching his two Derby horses work, Baffert takes a deep, relaxing breath and breaks out into a smile and selection of one-liners. His horses once again have left a long line of smoldering hoof prints in the Churchill Downs surface.

Point Given, Congaree 'Awesome'; Maiden Drops Out

Kentucky Derby favorite Point Given and stablemate Congaree had their last workouts before Saturday's race, each posting fast times for their five furlong efforts. Point Given was timed in :58.50 seconds, as clocked by trainer Bob Baffert, who caught Congaree in :58.75 for five furlongs. Also Monday, Churchill officials announced that Tincin, winless in seven starts, was no longer being considered for the Derby after developing a cough.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Monarchos Takes the Spotlight

Sorry, but we've got yet another terrific work to confuse you with. But even with all the top works we've seen this week, we'd have to give this morning's drill by Monarchos the highest marks. There was a great deal of confusion as to what time he actually worked, as the clockers somehow only caught the final three-eighths of his five-furlong work.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Point Given, Congaree Pass First Test

If opposing trainers were looking for any holes in the Baffert Brigade, they sure didn't find them this morning, as Point Given and Congaree both turned in brilliant works over a deep track that trainer Bob Baffert described as demanding. Baffert, always nervous before big works, was looking forward to getting these out of the way. Heavy rains at around 8 p.m. the night before didn't help soothe his nerves any, but morning brought bright blue skies and a drop in the temperature from the previous day.

Family Matters: Congaree's Pedigree Profile

When Arazi came to the 1992 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it was his first appearance at Churchill Downs since winning the previous year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at the Louisville track. He was the 4-5 favorite and was expected to play an important role in the first Saturday in May. He finished eighth that day, while Lil E. Tee earned the rose blanket.

Haskin's Report: Balto Star Will Get the Derby Distance

There has been a lot of talk about Balto Star recently. His last two races – actually, last three -- have been so mind-boggling, especially his Thoro-Graph numbers, people simply don't know what to make of him. Balto Star is the horse Bob Baffert is afraid of, despite being a gelding, a son of sprinter Glitterman, and a confirmed front-runner. If you go by logic, all three of those factors should add up to Balto Star having too much going against him. Then again, maybe they shouldn't.

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen; Point Given Still on Top

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Congaree Continues to Fight, From Birth to the Wood

Go ahead, tell Congaree he doesn't have the experience or seasoning to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He'll laugh in your face, just as he did to those who questioned his ability to defeat the mighty Monarchos in the April 17 Wood Memorial (gr. II) off only three career starts. We're talking about a colt who literally was born a fighter, and who has been defying the odds ever since. When you have to fight to get born, there isn't a challenge life has to offer that you back away from. To Congaree, the $750,000 Wood was just another race at just another track against just another horse. And the result was just another of his resounding victories.

Monarchos Wood Favorite

John C. Oxley's Monarchos will break from post two as the 4-5 favorite for the Wood Memorial (gr. II), to be contested April 14 over 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct.

Monarchos Tops Field of Six in Wood Memorial

A field of six was entered for Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial, with the 4-5 morning line favorite Monarchos drawing post 2. California invader Congaree, listed at 8-5, will break from post 5. Richly Blended, wire-to-wire winner of the Gotham Stakes, drew post 6, and is expected once again to set the pace under jockey Rick Wilson. The remainder of the field is made up of It's So Simple, from the Nick Zito stable; Voodoo, third in the Gotham; and Paging, third in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Injury KO's Ommadon from Wood Memorial; Congaree Sharp in Work

Ommadon, winner of his only start this year, will not run in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial after suffering a bruised foot last Monday. The son of Grindstone, winner of last fall's Nashua Stakes, will now be pointed for the $200,000 Federico Tesio Stakes on Apr. 21, which could be used as a prep for the Preakness Stakes.

Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20: Point Given Moves to Head of the Class

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Derby Contenders Work

Several three-year-olds pointing toward upcoming Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep races stretched their legs Tuesday, with the sharpest move being put in by the Bob Baffert-trained Congaree, who got six furlongs in 1:11 3/5 handily at Santa Anita.

Haskin's Derby Top 20 (April 2): A P Valentine Still on Top

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Steve Haskin's Kentucky Derby Top 20: March 26 Update

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20 -- March 19

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press'"Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Haskin's March 19 Derby Report: Stars Shine as Clouds Lift

Just over a week ago, the clouds over the Derby trail were so thick, everyone was fumbling along in the dark, trying to get even the slightest glimpse of the Twin Spires. Now, all of the sudden, the clouds have lifted and the stars are shining brightly. First Monarchos lit up the sky in the Florida Derby. And at Santa Anita this past Saturday, two more stars emerged, as visible against the night sky as the top of Bob Baffert's head.

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