2001 Wood Memorial Stakes - Monarchos -vs- Congaree

The phone call Bob McNair received after Congaree muscled his way to victory in the Wood Memorial yesterday said it all: it was from Dom Capers, who will coach McNair's Houston Texans when the expansion franchise makes its National Football League debut in 2002. ''This is Coach Capers,'' McNair said as he covered the cell phone. ''He wants us to draft a running back as big and fast as Congaree.'' Congaree, a son of Arazi, looked like a punishing runner in dashing off with a two-and-three-quarter-length victory over Monarchos, the colt supposed to be the best in the East. Congaree is also sending Bob Baffert to the Kentucky Derby as the trainer most likely to succeed. With Millennium Wind upsetting a very tough field in the Blue Grass Stakes yesterday and with the favored Balto Star splashing in gate-to-wire fashion in the mud in the Arkansas Derby, Baffert, who owns two previous Derby victories, may be holding the surest hand May 5 at Churchill Downs. He already has the pre-Derby favorite in his barn in Point Given, a nearly six-length winner in the Santa Anita Derby last week. Now Baffert has a colt that made vanquishing stakes company in his first try and only fourth lifetime race look easy. ''He has as much talent as Point Given,'' Baffert said. ''Now it's a matter of who wants it more.'' As soon as the strapping chestnut burst from the gate at Aqueduct in the mile and one-eighth race, it was clear that Monarchos, the Florida Derby winner, was in for a test. Congaree's ...

 

Tags: aqueduct, horse, racing, congaree, monarchos, tom, durkin, jorge, chavez, bob, baffert, stonerside, stable, marias, mon, arazi, victor, espinoza

 



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