Derby Remix: Country Grammer throws down

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Nicolle Neulist

July 23rd, 2020

"It's a small town throwdown

It's time to tallboy up, let them tailgates down

And man, it's on tonight, riding until the morning light

Crank that country up loud, it's a small town throwdown"

"Small Town Throwdown" by Brantley Gilbert (featuring Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore) screams young, brash, and ready to fight.

The Chad Brown-trained Country Grammer is certainly young. The Peter Pan (G3) was Country Grammer's fifth start, and his only previous graded stakes try resulted in a fifth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb. 29. It was respectable, but nothing to mark him as a serious Kentucky Derby (G1) contender

In the Peter Pan, Country Grammer showed he was brash and ready to fight, too.

He tucked in midfield early, content to let Mo Hawk and Celtic Striker go, just as the narrator in "Small Town Throwdown" knows when it is time to work and when it's time to make trouble.

Past the 2 1/2-furlong mark, as a hole opened along the rail, jockey Irad Ortiz told Country Grammer it was time for a ruckus.

By the time the field hit the quarter pole, there Country Grammer was, up the inside and ready to tussle. He had to deal with Celtic Striker, who was still trying after the early duel, and Caracaro, who made his move around the outside.

At the three-sixteenths pole, it was down to Country Grammar inside, Caracaro outside. Their jockeys both asked for all they had. They vied, they bumped, they kept going.

Country Grammar found a little more and crossed the wire a hard-earned neck in front.

"Somebody said them city boys

Riding around looking for some trouble

If they bring it across that county line

You know there's gonna be a rumble"

Will that fighting spirit take Country Grammar all the way to the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5? He's certain to meet a few more of those tough city boys before then, perhaps Aug. 8 in the Travers. But, if he fights as hard as he did in the Peter Pan, it'll be a rumble indeed.