December 6, 2022

Country Grammer back for San Diego; American Theorem heads 10 in Bing Crosby

Country Grammer beats Hot Rod Charlie (right), Chuwa Wizard (left), and Life Is Good in the Dubai World Cup (Dubai Racing Club)

San Diego H. (G2) – Race 10 (9:30 p.m. ET)

Last seen winning the Dubai World Cup (G1) in late March, Country Grammer will return to face eight rivals in Saturday’s $300,000 San Diego H. (G2) at Del Mar. The five-year-old horse will add the services of John Velazquez in the 1 1/16-mile race.

Country Grammer has been successful while being lightly campaigned over the past two seasons by Bob Baffert. From two starts last year, the bay son of Tonalist recorded a win in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) and a neck second in the Californian (G2). He returned from a layoff earlier this season with a half-length second in the Saudi Cup (G1), and Country Grammer annexed the Dubai World Cup by nearly two lengths.

Baffert will also send out Defunded, who exits a second to There Goes Harvard in the May 30 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. The four-year-old gelding possesses good speed, and Defunded will keep Abel Cedillo in the saddle. There Goes Harvard merits respect for Michael McCarthy following a one-length tally in the Gold Cup. By Will Take Charge, the four-year-old registered his first stakes win last time, and the versatile chestnut owns multiple wins on dirt and turf. Diego Herrera has the call.

Grade 1 winner Mandaloun will try to turn things around while shipping out west for Brad Cox. Winner of the Louisiana (G3) in January, the four-year-old colt was last seen finishing ninth in the Saudi Cup and fourth in the Stephen Foster (G2). Florent Geroux guides the bay son of Into Mischief.

Stilleto Boy, a convincing winner of the Californian two back, will try to rebound from a fourth in the Gold Cup. Grade 2 victor Royal Ship, third as the favorite in the Gold Cup, is also part of the mix. Tripoli owns back class, winning last year’s Pacific Classic (G1), but he will need to turn things around following unplaced efforts in his last three starts.

Recent Santa Anita allowance scorer Parnelli and Senor Buscador, who invades off an allowance win at Lone Star Park, complete the field.

Bing Crosby (G1) – Race 8 (8:30 p.m. ET)

American Theorem appears back on track for George Papaprodromou, rallying to upset the May 29 Triple Bend (G2) at Santa Anita, and the gray five-year-old will seek to carry his momentum forward in the $400,000 Bing Crosby (G1). Ten sprinters are set for the six-furlong test, and American Theorem will retain the services of Joe Bravo.

Shaaz, an impressive allowance winner two back, will cut back in distance following a third as the favorite in his stakes debut, the May 30 Steve Sexton Mile (G3) at Lone Star. Baffert trains the $1.1 million son of Uncle Mo, and Juan Hernandez rides the four-year-old.

Grade 1 winner Drain the Clock will try to rebound after a fourth as the odds-on choice in the July 2 Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream. Drayden Van Dyke takes over on the four-year-old for Saffie Joseph. Bagboss ships in for Brendan Walsh, and makes his initial stakes attempt, following back-to-back allowance wins at Churchill Downs. Umberto Rispoli takes over the reins.

 Other runners include Desmond Doss, Diamond Oops, Get Her Number, and Principe Carlo.