05/05/2004 11:00PM

Congaree retired at 6; stud plans undecided


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Stonerside Stable's homebred Grade 1 winner Congaree has retired from racing and will enter stud in 2005, Stonerside announced Thursday. A 6-year-old Arazi horse, Congaree will ship to Stonerside in Paris, Ky., but owners Robert and Janice McNair have not yet decided where to stand him.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Congaree has won 12 of 25 lifetime starts, five of those in Grade 1 races. The Grade 1 victories were in the 2001 Swaps, 2002 and 2003 Cigar Mile, and the 2003 Hollywood Gold Cup and Carter Handicap. He retires with a lifetime record of 25-12-2-4 and $3,267,490 in earnings. Congaree last ran on Derby Day, May 1, at Churchill Downs, where he finished fourth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap.

"Congaree has provided all of us with great moments in racing," Robert McNair said in a statement. "Janice and I will miss seeing that fluid speed of his that was so overpowering. After 25 starts, including 22 consecutive graded stakes races, he is still sound and a beautiful physical specimen, but he has informed us that he is ready to go to stud, and we believe the decision should be and is his."

Congaree is the best runner sired so far by Arazi, who now stands in Switzerland. Congaree also is the first Grade 1 winner bred by Stonerside and the first winner for his dam, the Mari's Book mare Mari's Sheba. Mari's Sheba, whom Stonerside acquired in 1997 when it bought the former Elmendorf mare band, has juvenile Thunder Gulch filly in training. Barren this year, she currently is in foal to Awesome Again.

Broad Brush sidelined by lameness

Broad Brush, who had surgery in September to fuse his left fore fetlock joint, is off the Gainesway Farm stud roster for at least four weeks because of lameness in that leg, the Lexington farm confirmed Thursday. The popular sire, who was advertised this year with a $100,000 fee, will be evaluated again in late May or early June.

"He's favoring that ankle, so we're giving him a little rest, and we'll see how he responds," said Gainesway's director of sales, Michael Hernon.

A 21-year-old Ack Ack stallion, Broad Brush is the sire of such standouts as champion Farda Amiga and Grade 1 winners Concern, Include, Pompeii, Mongoose, and Schossberg. He has lifetime progeny earnings of more than $57 million.

Broad Brush is out of the stakes-winning Hoist the Flag mare Hay Patcher, making him a half-brother to stakes winners Hay Halo and Riff. A multiple Grade 1 winner, Broad Brush earned more than $2.6 million in three seasons at the racetrack.

* Calumet Farm, now overseen by trustees for the estate of late owner Henryk de Kwiatkowski, has announced plans to hire a permanent farm manager in the near future. The famous Lexington nursery has been under the management of California-based bloodstock agency Narvick International since last fall, when the trustees fired longtime manager Tony Cissell and farm trainer Joe Schlich.

* Kentucky horsemen have joined forces to form the Kentucky Equine Education Alliance, an organization designed to promote awareness of the equine industry's economic impact on the state. Brereton C. Jones, a Thoroughbred breeder and former governor of Kentucky, chairs the organization, and John Gaines, founder of the Breeder's Cup and former owner of Gainesway Farm is honorary chair. The group will include representatives from all Kentucky horse breeds and will seek to inform legislators and the public about "the benefits of Kentucky's $4 billion horse economy and the potential to increase its more than 50,000 jobs."

* Julie Offutt Cauthen, previously an analyst for Equix Biomechanics, has joined Reynolds Bell Thoroughbred Services and will head up that agency's newly opened 2-year-old sales program.