Shamela Hanley / Eclipse Sportswire
Trainer Bob Baffert is expected to run three horses in top stakes races at Meydan on March 25, including Country Grammer, who is expected to defend his title in the Group 1, $12 million Dubai World Cup.
Baffert’s other two runners include Worcester and Hopkins according to Steve Andersen of Daily Racing Form. Worcester is targeting the UAE Derby (G2), while Hopkins is aimed at the Golden Shaheen (G1).
Country Grammer won the Dubai World Cup in 2022. If he wins, he will become the second horse after Thunder Snow to win the race twice. He comes into Meydan’s flagship race off of a second-place finish behind Panthalassa in the Saudi Cup (G1) on Feb. 25. Country Grammer also finished second in the Saudi Cup in 2022.
Worcester remains a maiden after three starts, but has some stakes experience already. The colt by Empire Maker most recently finished third in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) on Feb. 4, two lengths behind winner Newgate. All four entrants in the Lewis were trained by Baffert.
Hopkins is a lightly-raced 5-year-old, with only seven starts underneath him. In his most recent start the intact son of Quality Road won the Palos Verdes (G3) in stalk-and-pounce fashion as the slight second favorite.