Country Grammer, Life Is Good to WinStar for R&R

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Country Grammer winning last weekend's Dubai World Cup | DRC

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Following their performances in the GI Dubai World Cup, beaten favorite Life Is Good (Into Mischief) and race winner Country Grammer (Tonalist) are on their way to WinStar Farm for a freshening before they return to serious training. WinStar President and CEO Elliott Walden estimated that their stay at the farm will last from 30 to 45 days.

WinStar is the co-owner of both horses.

Colonel Liam (Liam's Map), who finished ninth in the GI Dubai Turf, is also being sent to WinStar.

The heavy favorite in the wagering, Life Is Good, who is also owned by the China Horse Club, suffered just the second defeat in his career. He led for most of the way but weakened in the final sixteenth of a mile, which suggests that the mile-and-a-quarter distance was not to his liking. He finished fourth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.

“I thought he ran well,” Walden said. “We were obviously disappointed that he didn't win, but it's not like he laid down and threw in the towel. He ran hard. I think the track was not quite to his liking. They ran a mile-and-a-quarter in 2:04.97. In the Shaheen sprint they went in 1:11 and change. Those horses should have gone in 1:09. The mile-and-a-quarter on this type of track was a big factor.”

Before the Dubai World Cup, the GI Metropolitan S. had been mentioned as a possible starting spot for Life Is Good, but Walden said it was too early to make any plans so far as his future racing schedule.

Closing relentlessly in the final furlong, Country Grammer, also owned by Zedan Racing, drew clear to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow). He is trained by Bob Baffert, the former trainer of Life Is Good.

“Country Grammer ran super,” Walden said. “We felt like that if Life is Good stubbed his toe he could be a horse that could win and that's what happened.”

Walden said that no races had been picked out as of yet for Country Grammer but listed the GI Pacific Classic as a possibility.

As for Hot Rod Charlie, trainer Doug O'Neill said some time off at a farm is also a possibility for the four-year-old.

“He came back in good shape and I can tell you that we have no idea where we are going with him,” O'Neill said. “He'll come back to my barn and then we will go over him and talk with the owners. He may get a couple weeks at a local farm to graze and get some sun on his back. He's earned it. I was elated with how well he ran. We were so optimistic going into the gate and then mid-race it looked like it wasn't going to be his day. Then turning for him, he came running down the inside and I got to the point where I thought he might win. It was a whirlwind of emotions.”

 

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