2022 Awesome Again Stakes Exotics Plays

September 30th, 2022

A very good field of eight will go postward in the $300,000 Awesome Again S. (G1) at Santa Anita on Saturday. The winner of the tilt will receive an automatic entry into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland on November 5. And I expect the trio of morning-line choices to settle the race inside the final furlong.

#2 Royal Ship (3-1) has not been the most consistent horse in training since arriving in the U. S., but the Brazilian import has been in very good form this campaign and seems poised for a top showing on Saturday. Trained by Richard Mandella, the gelded son of Midshipman has compiled a smart 4-2-1-1 local line and has done his best work at similar distances, as well.

The bay six-year-old owns a versatile running style in a field with plenty of pace signed on, and I expect him to receive a good trip throughout while tucked in behind contested early splits. He fired a bullet five-eighths on the surface in advance of this tilt, and he will have regular pilot Mike Smith in the controls.

Reigning Dubai World Cup (G1) victor #4 Country Grammer (8-5) is the one to beat for conditioner Bob Baffert. By Tonalist, the five-year-old is a Grade 1 hero on the oval, and the Kentucky-bred also brings good form to the field with runner-up finishes in his last pair, led by a clear second in the recent Pacific Classic S. (G1) at Del Mar. Juan Hernandez picks up the mount atop the accomplished bay.

#7 Express Train (7-2) has really come to hand for conditioner John Shirreffs and rates an obvious chance with his top effort. The five-year-old son of Union Rags captured the Santa Anita H. (G1) on the surface in March, and his 11-4-4-2 mark at Santa Anita hints that he will perform well once again at The Great Race Place on Saturday.

The bay has never missed the board from five attempts at the distance and is training well for the endeavor, too. Victor Espinoza will guide the win threat and have him stalking the pace while in striking range throughout.

Awesome Again Exotics

  • $12 exacta 2 with 4,7 ($24)
  • $10 trifecta key 2 with 4,7 ($20)
  • $.50-cent superfecta 2,4,7 with 2,4,7 with 2,4,7 with all ($15)