Baffert’s Muth Settles Nicely & Takes Grade I, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes
BAFFERT’S MUTH SETTLES NICELY & TAKES GRADE I, $300,000 AMERICAN PHAROAH STAKES BY 3 ¾ LENGTHS
RACE IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACE QUALIFIER
ARCADIA, CA (Oct. 7, 2023)—A disappointing second in his most recent stakes engagement, Bob Baffert’s heavily favored Muth regrouped and demolished seven rivals in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita. Owned by Zedan Racing Stables, Inc. and a $2 million purchase at a 2-year-old in training sale in March, Muth got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:42.45 under Juan Hernandez.
A Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race Qualifier, the American Pharoah thus provides Muth with a fees-paid berth into the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.
With stablemate Wine Me Up sent hard for the lead, Muth, in his first start around two turns, settled nicely at the rail while a close fourth, about two lengths off the lead as the field headed up the backstretch.
With Wine Me Up showing the way around the far turn, Muth angled into the two-path turning for home and powered his way home, finding his best stride inside the sixteenth pole while galloping out far in front.
Although a well beaten second by stablemate Prince of Monaco at 1-2 going six furlongs in the Grade III Best Pal Stakes Aug. 13 at Del Mar, Muth was nonetheless off at 2-5 today and paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.
Named for Baffert’s 2015 Triple Crown winner, the American Pharoah has now gone to Baffert a record 12 times, including five out of the past six runnings.
By Good Magic out of the Uncle Mo mare Hoppa, Muth, a runaway first-out maiden winner here on June 18, now has two wins from three starts and with the winner’s cut of $180,000, he has earnings of $256,600.
Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, Wine Me Up was second best, finishing 5 ¼ lengths in front of Todd Pletcher’s Be You. Off at 9-1, Wine Me Up paid $5.20 and $3.20.
Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, New York-based Be You was the second choice at 5-1 and paid $2.80 while finishing 3 ¼ lengths better than Raging Torrent.
Fractions on the race were 23.30, 46.49, 1:10.22 and 1:35.87.
Racing resumes on Sunday with first post time for a 10-race card at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.