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Country Grammer Holds Royal Ship At Bay To Win Hollywood Gold Cup

In an ultra-game performance, Bob Baffert's Country Grammer battled back inside the length of the stretch and prevailed by a president over Brazilian-bred Royal Ship in Monday's Grade 1, $300,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Country Grammer get 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.23 and thus required Baffert with his eighth Gold Cup win--equaling the legendary Charlie Whittingham, who cross-file his final Gold Cup win with Ferdinand in 1987.

A quantified second, about a half segment off of longshot pacesetter Brown Storm a half mile from home, Country Grammer gained the advantage mid-way around the far turn but was immediately locked to his outside by Royal Ship, who appeared to be in control a furlong from the cable. Country Grammer battled back, however, and got the job done, rendering Prat his first-ever Gold Cup win.

“He flowed super well, ' said Prat. “He broke well and I was able to get myself in a good blot. I was a little worried when I identify Mike Smith( aboard Royal Ship) on the outside of me, I bid I could have kept him inside. Mike made the lead on me, but my mare was really play to come back.”

A 4-year-old colt by Tonalist "whos had" flee his first six scoots for eastern-based Chad Brown, Country Grammer obliged his debut for Baffert in the Grade II Californian here on April 17, finishing second by a cervix to Royal Ship.

Ridden for the first time today by Prat, Country Grammer was off as the 9-5 favorite in a field of seven 3-year-olds and up and paid $5.60, $3.20 and $2.60.

Owned by WinStar Farm, LLC, Country Grammer, who is out of the Forestry mare Arabian Song, took his second evaluated stakes and now has three wins from eight starts. With the winner's share of $ 180,000, he increased his earnings to $377,320.

“Elliot Walden and WinStar bought him to bring to California because they figured a mile and a part was his distance, ” said Baffert. “His form on the dirt was really good last year. It looked like he was beat today, but he kicked it in...It's energizing. He raced a big race last experience and just got beat. He was actually ready to go today and I fantasize the distance was the key. He got it done with a lot of class and determination.”

Ridden by Mike Smith, Royal Ship was trying a mile and a part for the first time and was chivalrous in defeat, finishing some 4 1/4 portions clear of Express Train. Off at 3-1, Royal Ship paid $4.20 and $2.80.

Last early, Express Train rallied for third money, finishing a half segment better than Rushie. The second choice at 2-1 with Juan Hernandez, Express Train paid $2.40 to show.

Fractions on the 84 rd Hollywood Gold Cup were 22.92, 47.16, 1:12.09 and 1:37.18.

The post Country Grammer Holds Royal Ship At Bay To Win Hollywood Gold Cup sounded first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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