Walden: 'If I Thought Bob Was Doing Anything Wrong, I Would Not Have Sent Country Grammer Back To California' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Walden: ‘If I Thought Bob Was Doing Anything Wrong, I Would Not Have Sent Country Grammer Back To California’

WinStar Farm president Elliott Walden told the Daily Racing Form on Monday that Grade 1 winner Country Grammer will be returning to the barn of embattled trainer Bob Baffert in Southern California. The 4-year-old son of Tonalist has not raced since capturing the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup at the end of May.

In the aftermath of the Baffert-trained Medina Spirit failing a drug test following his first-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, including Churchill Downs' and the New York Racing Association's bans of Baffert from their premises, WinStar shipped Coutnry Grammer East to the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher in mid-June.

“With the ban on Bob in Kentucky and New York right now, our opportunities are limited to the Pacific Classic in late August,” Walden wrote in a text to DRF at that time. “We are continuing to evaluate the situation with Bob and will adjust as we need to.”

An ankle injury prevented Country Grammer from making a start in Pletcher's care, but he has since recovered and is now back in Southern California, recording a four-furlong breeze in :50.40 at Santa Anita on Dec. 11.

“I sent Country Grammer and Life Is Good [former Baffert trainee who won the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile for Pletcher] back East because of the legal issues Bob was having at that time,” Walden told DRF this week. “We didn't know where they would be able to run. If I thought Bob was doing anything wrong, I would not have sent Country Grammer back to California.”

Read more at the Daily Racing Form.

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