After bringing $110,000 from WinStar Farm at the Keeneland January dispersal of the late Paul Pompa, Jr., Country Grammer (Tonalist) makes his first start for Bob Baffert in Saturday's GII Californian S. at Santa Anita.
Previously trained by Chad Brown, Country Grammer narrowly captured last summer's GIII Peter Pan S. at Saratoga with subsequent G1 Dubai World Cup winner and 'TDN Rising Star' Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) back in third. The $450,000 OBS April 2-year-old, last seen finishing a well-beaten fifth in the GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 8, worked five furlongs in :59 1/5 (3/64) for this at Santa Anita Apr. 11.
Baffert will also saddle the lightly raced Magic On Tap (Tapit), a smart optional claiming winner off a lengthy layoff in his 5-year-old debut Mar. 28.
The field of five also features 8-5 morning-line favorite Independence Hall (Constitution), who has held his own versus much tougher in his last two. He outran 27-1 odds to finish a good third in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. at Gulfstream Jan. 23, then was a close fourth in the GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 6.