July 21, 2024

Muth shortens up in San Vicente

Zedan Racing's Muth and jockey Juan Hernandez win the Grade I $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes Saturday, October 7, 2023 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.
Muth winning the American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Last seen finishing a distant second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Muth reverts to seven furlongs in Saturday’s $200,000 San Vicente (G2). The Zedan Racing Stables runner is one of two in the field for Bob Baffert, who bids for a record-extending 13th victory in the Santa Anita feature.

Muth, the $2 million sales topper at OBS March, crushed his five-furlong debut here last June by 8 3/4-lengths. Although fading to second behind stablemate Prince of Monaco in the Best Pal (G3) at Del Mar, Muth rebounded in style when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles back at Santa Anita in the American Pharoah (G1). The Good Magic colt turned in another fine effort in the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, beating all but the impressive Fierceness. Regular pilot Juan Hernandez will guide Muth from post 3 in the San Vicente.

Baffert’s other entrant, Pilot Commander, steps up from a front-running maiden tally in his Nov. 11 premiere at Del Mar. Flavien Prat picks up the mount on the son of Triple Crown champion Justify, who sold for $700,000 at the same OBS March auction.

Also taking the class hike off a first-out maiden score is Moonlit Sonata from the Tim Yakteen barn. Rolling from well off the pace after a slow start Nov. 25 at Del Mar, the Malibu Moon colt would appreciate the likely hot tempo here. Note that Moonlit Sonata was entered in the Dec. 16 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) but scratched.

Their three San Vicente rivals are all going turf-to-dirt. Speedball Slider, winner of the Speakeasy S. two starts back despite blowing the turn, exits a ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1). The John Sadler pupil gets a rider switch to Joel Rosario. The Michael McCarthy-trained Formidable Man and Richard Mandella’s Boltage have not raced since finishing sixth and seventh, respectively, in the Oct. 8 Zuma Beach (G3) over a grassy mile.

The San Vicente is carded as the eighth race with a post time of 6:40 p.m. (ET). Two races earlier, Baffert sends out Newgate for his first start since taking the 2023 Robert B. Lewis (G3). Frankie Dettori reunites with the Into Mischief colt in the 6 1/2-furlong allowance, where he will meet classy Cal-bred Big City Lights and fellow comebacker Ginobili (in for an $80,000 tag).