San Antonio H. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 9f ,)

CONGAREE (CH h, 123 lb) $150,000
Arazi —Mari's Sheba , by Mari's Book
B—Stonerside Stable, KY.; O—Stonerside Stable; T—Bob Baffert

Milwaukee Brew (B h, 120 lb) $50,000
Wild Again —Ask Anita , by Wolf Power (SAF)
B—Robert Spiegel, KY.; O—Stronach Stables; T—Robert J. Frankel

Pleasantly Perfect (B h, 117 lb) $30,000
Pleasant Colony —Regal State , by Affirmed
B—Clovelly Farms, KY.; O—Diamond A Racing Corporation; T—Richard E. Mandella

Margins: 2¼, 1, 5. Others: Piensa Sonando (CHI) 117($15,000) , Cottage (ARG) 114($5,000) , Fleetstreet Dancer 112 . Winning Jockey, Jerry D. Bailey.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? And if anyone is up for the job, it’s trainer Bob Baffert, who has taken Congaree from a horse with tons of potential to a horse on top of his game following two consecutive graded stakes wins. His latest win came in the Feb. 2 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita. He began the year with a six-length win in the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II). Baffert also won the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) the previous day with Kafwain.

Congaree covered the 11/8-mile San Antonio distance in 1:47.60. Milwaukee Brew was 21/4 lengths behind in second, with Pleasantly Perfect a length farther back in third.

Next up for Congaree could be a trip to Dubai to compete in the March 22 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Nad al Sheba Race Course. Baffert has won the World Cup twice, in 1998 with Silver Charm and 2000 with Captain Steve.

Congaree races in the green and white silks of Robert and Janice McNair’s Stonerside Stable. Congaree was produced from the grade I stakes-placed Mari’s Book mare Mari’s Sheba, who the McNairs purchased in 1997 along with Sheba Little, the second dam of Congaree, privately from Jack Kent Cooke’s Elmendorf Farm.

Both Mari’s Sheba and Sheba Little are kept at the McNairs’ Stonerside Farm near Paris, Ky. Mari’s Sheba is carrying a Thunder Gulch foal and is booked to Seeking the Gold. She also has a yearling Coronado’s Quest filly. Sheba Little has a 3-year-old Unbridled colt, Unbridled Lad, who is in Aiken, S.C., with Tim Jones. Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott will train Unbridled Lad. The mare also has a 2-year-old Deputy Commander filly also with Jones in Aiken. Sheba Little is barren for 2003 and is booked to Touch Gold.

Arazi is the sire of Congaree and 14 other added-money winners. Arazi stands at Breeders’ Stallion Station on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.—L.D.