Muth Heads Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes
MUTH HEADS SATURDAY’S GRADE I, $300,000 AMERICAN PHAROAH STAKES AS JUVENILES GO A MILE AND ONE SIXTEENTH
*RACE IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACE QUALIFIER *
ARCADIA, CA (Oct. 4, 2023)—Freshened since beaten in his second start, Zedan Racing’s Muth is the horse to beat as he stretches out to a mile and one sixteenth in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita. Named for the 2015 Triple Crown winner, the American Pharaoh has attracted a field of eight juveniles.
A Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race Qualifier, the American Pharoah winner will earn a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Muth, a $2 million 2-year-old in training sale purchase this past March, was a runaway 8 ¼ length winner of his five furlong maiden debut here on June 18. Subsequently second to his eventual Grade I stakes-winning stablemate Prince of Monaco going six furlongs in the Grade III Best Pal Stakes Aug. 13, Muth sat out the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 10 and should be extremely tough with leading man Juan Hernandez back aboard on Saturday.
Odds-on in both of his races to date, Muth is out of the Uncle Mo mare Hoppa.
Todd Pletcher will be represented in the American Pharoah by Repole Stable’s Be You, a colt by Curlin who ships in from Saratoga Springs. Second, beaten a nose as the 3-2 favorite in his six furlong debut Aug. 5 at Saratoga, Be You checked in fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths in the Grade I, seven furlong Hopeful at 5-2 on Sept. 4 and will also be two-turning for the first time.
A $320,000 Keeneland September Yearling, Be You is out of the Congrats mare Jacaranda and will be ridden for the first time by Umberto Rispoli.
A first-out maiden winner going six furlongs on Sept. 2 at Del Mar, Wine Me Up will assume the role of the “other Baffert” for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. A $300,000 March 2-year-old in training purchase, he’s one of several that figure to ensure a fast pace on Saturday.
By Vino Rosso out of the Kitten’s Joy mare Deanaallen’skitten, Wine Me Up will be ridden for the first time by Ramon Vazquez.
THE GRADE I AMERICAN PHAROAH WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 9 of 10 Approximate post time 5 p.m. PT
- Rothschild – Mike Smith – 122
- Muth – Juan Hernandez – 122
- Next Level – Kent Desormeaux – 122
- Wine Me Up – Ramon Vazquez – 122
- Raging Torrent – Antonio Fresu – 122
- Be You – Umberto Rispoli – 122
- Indispensable – Geovanni Franco – 122
- El Magnifico – Hector Berrios - 122
First post time for a 10-race card that will include three other stakes on Saturday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.
The American Pharoah Stakes will be part of the first-ever Breeders’ Cup Challenge Pick Six, which will combine three races from Keeneland and three from Santa Anita. The wager has a $1 minimum and a player-friendly 15 percent takeout.