Muth Beats Baffert Stablemate Wine Me Up In American Pharoah - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Muth Beats Baffert Stablemate Wine Me Up In American Pharoah

Muth, under Juan Hernandez, wins the American Pharoah (G1)

A disappointing second in his most recent stakes engagement, Bob Baffert's heavily favored Muth regrouped and demolished seven rivals in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita.  Owned by Zedan Racing Stables, Inc. and a $2 million purchase at the OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training, Muth got 1 1/16 miles on a fast track 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 1, $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

With Baffert 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 odds going six furlongs in the G3 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.

In addition to being a Breeders' Cup Challenge Series race, the American Pharoah is an official points race on the road to the Kentucky Derby. Although 10-5-3-2-1 points were to be awarded to the top five finishers, neither of the two Baffert runners are eligible to receive points because of the trainer's ongoing ban by Churchill Downs Inc. officials.

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.

JUAN HERNANDEZ, MUTH, WINNER: “He surprised me the way he relaxed today because he is normally a really aggressive horse. Out of the gate he's fast. Bob and his team have been working with him trying to get him to relax. I saw him during morning workouts, and they put him behind a horse and he relaxed really well, down the stretch he would come and catch the other horses. Today I think it paid off because he relaxed really well and was travelling really well. Around the turn I swung out to get him in the clear and as soon as I did that, he passed his company in the stretch like in the morning.

“I think this is the best horse I've ever ridden so far, I mean Cave Rock was one of the best but this one is pretty close, hopefully we can stay healthy and we can get him in the Breeders' Cup.

BOB BAFFERT, MUTH, WINNER: “Wine Me Up looked like he was really worked up behind the gate, he was a handful. He broke like a shot so (Ramon Vazquez) let him go, he did the right thing, he didn't take anything away from him. I love the way Muth settled, when I saw that I thought well we'll see how good he is and I think Juan just helped him a lot today. It is nice when you have two nice colts. (Wine Me Up) definitely earned his way into the Breeders' Cup. We still have Prince of Monaco too. We just have to keep them healthy.”


Paulick Report Icon

Receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts, promotions, and much more!

Become An Insider

Support our journalism and access bonus content on our Patreon stream

Learn More