Congaree Returns to Track; Baffert Says Colt is Day to Day

Congaree went to the track Wednesday morning for some light exercise, equipped with a temporary patch for his quarter crack. Trainer Bob Baffert said tomorrow will be a key day in determining the colt's chances of making the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I).

"It's still day to day," Baffert said. "We put a temporary patch on him, then took it off when he got back to the barn. The foot isn't sensitive or sore. (Quarter crack specialist) Wes Champagne has been working on it and he said he thinks it looks good, so we'll just have to see how it is tomorrow. I can't afford to lose another day with him."

As a precuation, Baffert cross-entered Congaree in both the Classic and Sprint (gr. I), but said everything is up in the air until he sees how the foot progresses. "We're hopeful he can make the Classic, but if we have to miss the Breeders' Cup, there's nothing we can do about it," he said. "It isn't a bad quarter crack, and it's not in a bad location, but there are no good quarter cracks."

If Congaree is forced to miss the Classic, it would change the complexion of the race dramatically, eliminating a major pace presence who could have dictated the running of the race, not to mention being one of the favorites. The race has already lost major stars Mineshaft, Candy Ride, and Empire Maker.

Baffert also said that Bob and Beverly Lewis' dual grade III winner Senor Swinger was not pre-entered in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), mostly because he's expecting a big year from the gray son of El Prado in 2004.

"It's going to be a very tough race and he still has a lot of growing up to do," Baffert said.