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BALTIMORE -- Congaree, who finished third in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, will sit out the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Trainer Bob Baffert has decided against entering Congaree in the Belmont Stakes on June 9. The horse instead will return to Churchill Downs and await word on his future.

"He ran his heart out again," Baffert said. "I'll freshen him up now, give him some time off. When I bring him back, maybe we'll try him on grass. I think a mile and an eighth will suit him."

The 1 1/2-mile Belmont is considered the most grueling of the Triple Crown races, and Congaree is a horse who has undergone bone-chip surgery. The son of Arazi defeated Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos at the Wood Memorial in early April.

Congaree stumbled briefly out of the gate in Saturday's Preakness but recovered in time to be in the money for the second straight race. A P Valentine edged Conagree by a neck for second.

Preakness winner Point Given, another Baffert-trained horse, also left Pimlico on Sunday morning for Churchill Downs.