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Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners

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The Awesome Again Stakes 2022 is the big feature at Santa Anita this Saturday as a small but select field, that includes Country Grammer, do battle for the $300,000 Grade One prize. It’s also another ‘Win and You’re In’ Breeders’ Cup contest, so the hero will get a free pass to Keeneland in November.

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Awesome Again Stakes 2022: When Is The Race?

Run over 1m 1f, this Grade One race is staged at Santa Anita racecourse in California. First run in 1982, the race was originally called the Goodwood Handicap, but renamed in 2012 in honour of 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner – Awesome Again.

📅Date: Saturday October 1, 2022
🏇Racetrack: Santa Anita (3:59pm)
💰 Purse: $300,000

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Country Grammer Likely To Be Popular In Awesome Again Stakes Betting

This season’s Dubai World Cup winner Country Grammer, who is trained by Bob Baffert, will be a leading fancy for Saturday’s Santa Anita race despite getting thrashed by Flightline when last seen in the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar on Sept 4 (watch again below).

Beaten just over 19 lengths that day, but as we all know the winner (Flightline) looks and exceptional horse that is the clear favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (@ 1/2 with Bovada) so as odd as it sounds, it probably wasn’t a disgrace to even be beaten 19 lengths there!

Plus, Country Grammer wasn’t the only one being put in his place that day with other Awesome Again Stakes possible runners Royal Ship (3rd) and Express Train (4th) toiling in-behind too.

With no Flightline this time, we can expect that trio to have a decent battle, but with Country Grammer managing to pull 7 lengths clear of Royal Ship (3rd), then the Baffert runner looks to hold the aces.

Watch Country Grammer Finishing Second In The 2022 Pacific Classic

Awesome Again Stakes Winner Gets A Fees-Paid Berth At The Breeders’ Cup

The added carrot for connections ahead of Saturday’s Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes is the winner will get a free pass to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Nov 5.

12 months ago, the Awesome Again Stakes winner Medina Spirit took full advantage of this extra bonus when running second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic 2022.

Prior to this Saturday’s race Country Grammer is 18/1 with Bovada for the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November.

Trainer Bob Baffert Has Won The Awesome Again Stakes 7 Times

bob baffert
Bob Baffert

The record of the Bob Baffert barn in the Awesome Again Stakes is not to be sniffed at. Over the years, Baffert has amassed an incredible seven successes in this Grade 1 contest – with the first coming back in 1998 with the classy Silver Charm.

Wins in 2010 (Richard’s Kid), 2011 & 2012 (Game On Dude), 2017 (Mubtaahij), 2020 (Improbable) and 12 months ago with the already-mentioned Medina Spirit.

Baffert will be hoping for win number eight this year with Country Grammer and Defunded his likely runners.


RELATED: Woodward Stakes 2022 Runners | Life Is Good To Be Too Good


2022 Awesome Again Stakes Probable Runners

COUNTRY GRAMMER: From the Bob Baffert barn that have won this race seven times. Winner of the Dubai World Cup in Meydan this season (March) and despite being beaten a staggering 19 1/4 lengths by the classy Flightline last time out still managed to pull 7 lengths clear of Royal Ship and Express Train, who he could take on again here. Leading Player

DEFUNDED: Another from the powerful Bob Baffert yard. A winner of three of his 11 starts, this 4 year-old was last seen running down the field in the Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar on Aug 27. Earlier in the season he ran a fair second in the Hollywood Gold Cup here at Santa Anita, so maybe a return to the California venue will help. Needs To Improve

EXPRESS TRAIN: Trained by John Shirreffs, who won this race in 2007 with Tiago and in 1994 with Bertrando. Was last in action in the Pacific Classic (watch above) when fourth behind Flightline and Country Grammer. Therefore, needs to find a bit with Country Grammer based on that last run (7 1/2 lengths), but was also third in this race 12 months ago and does seem to like the Santa Anita track, with 4 of his 7 career wins coming at the California course. Chance

ROYAL SHIP: Beat Country Grammer in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar at the end of July, but was 7 length behind that same horse last time (3rd) in the Pacific Classic (watch above). Trained by Richard E. Mandella, who has won this race three times (2002, 2003 & 2005) and is another that has winning form at Santa Anita. Closing linked with Express Train. Chance

SLOW DOWN ANDY: Trained by Doug O’Neill, who won this prize in 2006 with Lava Man. A winner of 50% of his 8 starts, including the Del Mar Derby last time out Sept 3. Was also only 10 lengths behind Epicenter earlier this season at Fair Grounds and has clearly progressed well since then. Has also only run once at Santa Anita, but that was a winning run on debut back in 2021 when taking a Maiden Special Weight. Improver – Chance.

TRIPOLI: Another from a yard that have won this race in the past – John W. Sadler took this in 2018 with Accelerate. Does have a bit of ground to make up with Royal Ship and Country Grammer though after running 6th to that pair in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 31. Connections have freshened him up since and he was also fourth in this contest 12 months ago – beaten just over 8 lengths. Only Grade 1 win came in the 2021 Pacific Classic, but hasn’t won a race since (4 runs), so hasn’t quite progressed as many had hoped. Needs To Bounce Back

Awesome Again Stakes 2022 Betting

Latest betting ahead of the 2022 Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday Oct 1

Awesome Again Stakes Horse Latest Odds Win Probability Bookmaker
COUNTRY GRAMMER 8/5 38.5% Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners
ROYAL SHIP 3/1 25% Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners
EXPRESS TRAIN 7/2 22.2% Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners
DEFUNDED 6/1 14.3% Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners
TRIPOLI 8/1 11.1% Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners
SLOW DOWN ANDY 12/1 7.7% Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners
HIGH CONNECTION 12/1 7.7% Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners
AZUL COAST 20/1 4.8% Awesome Again Stakes 2022: Country Grammer Among Runners

All odds correct as of on Fri Sept 30 and subject to change


RELATED: Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint 2022 | Highfield Princess Heads Betting


Recent Awesome Again Stakes Winners

  • 2021 – MEDINA SPIRIT
  • 2020 – IMPROBABLE
  • 2019 – MONGOLIAN GROOM
  • 2018 – ACCELERATE
  • 2017 – MUBTAAHIJ
  • 2016 – CALIFORNIA CHROME
  • 2015 – SMOOTH ROLLER

Watch Medina Spirit Winning The 2021 Awesome Again Stakes

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