Saturday’s Awesome Again Stakes is another ‘Win and You’re In’ Breeders’ Cup contest, so the hero will get a free pass to Keeneland in November. We’ve eight horses entered that are headed by the Bob Baffert-trained Country Grammer.
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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 Can Give Baffert An Eighth Awesome Again Stakes
Trainer Bob Baffert has 50% of the 8 runners in this Saturday’s Awesome Again Stakes, but this season’s Dubai World Cup winner COUNTRY GRAMMER, looks to be his leading fancy for the Grade 1 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 horse out of the top drawer that is also the clear favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (@ 1/2 with Bovada) – therefore, as weird as it sounds, it probably wasn’t a disgrace to even be beaten 19 lengths there!
Oh, and Country Grammer wasn’t the only one being put in his place that day by Flightline with other Awesome Again Stakes runners Royal Ship (3rd) and Express Train (4th) toiling in-behind too.
With no Flightline in attendance, we can expect that trio to have a good tussle, but with Country Grammer managing to pull 7 lengths clear of Royal Ship (3rd), then the Baffert runner has the recent form in the book to make him the one to beat.
WATCH: Country Grammer Finishing Second In The 2022 Pacific Classic
Awesome Again Stakes Winner Also Gets A Fees-Paid Slot At The Breeders’ Cup
The added bonus 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.
Before 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
The record in the Awesome Again Stakes of the Bob Baffert is record-breaking too – no trainer has won this race more times!
Over the years, Baffert has landed an incredible seven successes in this Grade 1 event – with the first coming way back in 1998 with the classy Silver Charm.
Victories in 2010 (Richard’s Kid), 2011 & 2012 (Game On Dude), 2017 (Mubtaahij), 2020 (Improbable) and 12 months ago with Medina Spirit (watch below).
Baffert will be eyeing up win number eight this year and clearly means business with half of the field – Country Grammer, High Connection, Azul Coast and Defunded are his Awesome Again Stakes runners.
2022 Awesome Again Stakes Runners
A field of 8 runners will head to post for Saturday’s 2022 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita.
- 1. AZUL COAST @ 20-1 with BetOnline: First on the team sheet for the Bob Baffert barn. A winner of 4 of his 11 starts, including the Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar on Nov 20 last year. Not been out since running down the field in 5th in the San Antonio Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita back on Boxing Day 21. Therefore, is back from a hefty lay-off and so it would be one hell of a training performance against some top-class race fit horses. Likely To Need The Run
- 2. ROYAL SHIP @ 3-1 with BetOnline: 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
- 3. HIGH CONNECTION @ 12-1 with BetOnline: The second (of 4) runners for the Bob Baffert stable and not without a chance. Has only raced 5 times, but has won two of those and is yet to finish out of the first two. Won the Los Alamitos Derby (Listed) two runs back and wasn’t disgraced when runner-up in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar on Sept 3. Improver
- 4. COUNTRY GRAMMER @ 8-5 with BetOnline: From the Bob Baffert barn that have won this race seven times and looks their main chance. 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
- 5. TRIPOLI @ 8-1 with BetOnline: 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
- 6. DEFUNDED @ 6-1 with BetOnline: Another from the powerful Bob Baffert yard – this fourth in the race. 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
- 7. EXPRESS TRAIN @ 7-2 with BetOnline: 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
- 8. SLOW DOWN ANDY @ 12-1 with BetOnline: 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.
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|
|SLOW DOWN ANDY||12/1||7.7%|
All odds correct as of on Fri Sept 30 and subject to change
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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