Congaree, to stud at Adena Springs in Kentucky.

Congaree, to stud at Adena Springs in Kentucky.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Congaree to Stud at Adena Springs Kentucky

Janice and Robert McNair of Stonerside Stable will stand their multiple grade I winner Congaree in 2005 at Frank Stronach's Adena Springs near Midway, Ky. The son of international champion Arazi will stand as the property of Stonerside Stable for a fee of $15,000 live foal, payable Oct. 1.

Congaree retired to stud with 12 wins from 25 starts, five grade I victories, and earnings of $3,267,490. A 2003 Eclipse Award runner-up for Horse of the Year and top older male and a finalist for best sprinter, Congaree is among a select few to have won grade I races at seven furlongs, one mile, 1 1/8 miles, and 1 1/4 miles. Conditioned by Bob Baffert, Congaree made 22 consecutive starts in graded races, posting 10 graded wins.

"Adena Springs and Stonerside have already had a stellar and successful relationship," said Bob McNair. "We have similar programs with the mutual goal of breeding and racing grade I winners. Congaree represents the ideal horse for both of our programs in that he possesses speed, durability, stamina, and versatility.

"His victories in the Carter (gr. I) and the Cigar Mile were a testament to his exceptional speed. The fact he raced at two, three, four, five, and six confirms his durability. His win at the American classic distance of one mile and a quarter in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) proved his stamina and his grade I wins at seven, eight, nine, and 10 furlongs on both coasts put him in the versatility category of a Dr. Fager."

An exceptional miler, Congaree is the only horse in history to win the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) twice. His time of 1:33.11 in the 2002 running was the fastest mile on dirt of the year.

A commanding chestnut who stands 16.3 hands, Congaree displayed a presence that led Baffert to comment, "He was always a man amongst boys, a big, powerful horse. He probably has the most efficient stride that I've ever seen on a horse. He's got the speed and fluid stride it takes to make a sire."

A grandson of Blushing Groom, Congaree is from the Elmendorf family of English Oaks winner Long Look and U.S. champion Sensational. His dam, grade I-placed Mari's Sheba, is by Mari's Book, who is also the broodmare sire of grade I winners Ashado and Behrens.

"Both Stonerside and Adena Springs love Congaree's prospects as a racehorse sire, and we are both making long-term commitments to support him," McNair said. "Adena will be breeding 20 of their top mares each year, as will Stonerside, and the resultant foals will be afforded every opportunity to develop to the best of their abilities in our respective racing programs."

Stronach added, "What we like in a horse, really love in a horse, is a fast, tough competitor, a horse who goes out time and again against the best his generation has to offer, and gives his all. That horse is Congaree. To win grade Is at three, four, and five is evidence of his brilliance and durability. We are very pleased to welcome him to Adena Springs."