Muth All Class in G2 San Vicente 

January 7, 2024

Baffert Runs 1-2 And Gets Record 13th Win In Derby Prep

Muth bests stablemate Pilot Commander. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Baffert Runs 1-2 And Gets Record 13th Win In Derby Prep

Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.—Cutting back in distance following a pair of Grade I stakes at a mile and one sixteenth, Bob Baffert’s Muth settled nicely in the early going and displayed his ample class through the lane as he outran talented stablemate Pilot Commander by 2 ¾ lengths to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

Owned by Zedan Racing Stables, Inc. and ridden by Juan Hernandez, Muth got seven furlongs in 1:23.01 and with Baffert running one-two, provided the white-haired wonder with his record 13th win in the San Vicente, an important steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

Breaking sharply from post position three in a field of six, Muth settled into a comfortable trip down the backside, cruising in third, about a length and a half off pacesetter Slider and a half-length off Pilot Commander heading to the three furlong marker.

Three-deep and on terms with Pilot Commander as Slider began to drop back a bit at the rail turning for home, Muth lengthened his considerable stride and with just a couple of reminders from Hernandez, waltzed to his second graded stakes victory while providing Hernandez with this third San Vicente win in-a-row.

Most recently second to presumptive 2-year-old champion Fierceness in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile here on Nov. 3, Muth was off at 2-5 and paid $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10.

By Good Magic out of the Uncle Mo mare Hoppa, Muth sold for $2 million at the Ocala Breeders March 2-year-old in training sale and with today’s winner’s share of $$120,000, increased his earnings to $$716,600.  A winner of the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes two starts back on Oct. 7, Muth is now 5-3-2-0 overall.

A first-out maiden winner sprinting six furlongs on Nov. 11 at Del Mar, Pilot Commander, ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, kept to his task late to deny a game Slider second money by a head.  Off as the second choice at 5-2, Pilot Commander paid $2.80 and $2.10.

Slider, pressed the entire trip by Pilot Commander to his immediate outside, showed a lot of heart in battling back late under Joel Rosario.  Off at 8-1, he paid $2.40 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.88, 45.27 and 1:09.76.

Racing resumes on Sunday with first post time for a nine-race card at 12 noon, admission gates open at 10 a.m.

Grade, II $200,000 San Vicente Stakes Quotes

Jockey Quotes

Muth with Juan Hernandez up after their assertive victory. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Muth with Juan Hernandez up after their assertive victory. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Juan Hernandez, Muth, Winner: “This horse has a lot of class. He’s learning a lot, I think he finally learned to run by himself because he broke really quick, and he saw the other two horses in front of me and he just relaxed really well behind him. I was really comfortable the whole race, outside in the clear, that’s where I wanted to be. I was just waiting for the quarter pole to make him run. When we came to the quarter pole, I swung out and asked him to pick it up, he switched leads and we got to the wire first.

“He galloped out pretty good. I didn’t pull him right away because he was trying to keep going, so I just let him gallop out a little bit. Jogging back, he was in great form. He’s a nice horse and hopefully we can keep winning big races like today.”   

Trainer Quotes

Bob Baffert, Muth, Winner: “I was happy with their performance. I thought Muth was going to be up there early like he was at Del Mar, but the other horse (Pilot Commander) was quicker away from there. I thought he would be stalking but Juan, he just took back and rode Muth with a lot of confidence. He knows his horse really well. I’m just glad it worked out. Pilot Commander he’s only had one race and he still ran a bang-up race and I think he is going to get better as he goes along. I’m proud of both of them. Zedan Racing, he gives us all this ammo to work with, so it makes it a lot easier on me. He is an incredible guy, and he loves the sport, he has a passion for it and that’s the number one thing. He handles the wins and the losses the same way and he let me name this horse after my good friend Aaron Muth, so it is fun for him.” 

Most recently second to presumptive 2-year-old champion Fierceness in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile here on Nov. 3, Muth was off at 2-5 and paid $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10.

By Good Magic out of the Uncle Mo mare Hoppa, Muth sold for $2 million at the Ocala Breeders March 2-year-old in training sale and with today’s winner’s share of $120,000, increased his earnings to $716,600. A winner of the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes two starts back on Oct. 7, Muth is now 5-3-2-0 overall.

A first-out maiden winner sprinting six furlongs on Nov. 11 at Del Mar, Pilot Commander, ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, kept to his task late to deny a game Slider second money by a head. Off as the second choice at 5-2, Pilot Commander paid $2.80 and $2.10.

Slider, pressed the entire trip by Pilot Commander to his immediate outside, showed a lot of heart in battling back late under Joel Rosario. Off at 8-1, he paid $2.40 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.88, 45.27 and 1:09.76.

__GRADE, II $200,000 SAN VICENTE STAKES QUOTES __

JOCKEY QUOTES

JUAN HERNANDEZ, MUTH, WINNER: “This horse has a lot of class. He’s learning a lot, I think he finally learned to run by himself because he broke really quick, and he saw the other two horses in front of me and he just relaxed really well behind him. I was really comfortable the whole race, outside in the clear, that’s where I wanted to be. I was just waiting for the quarter pole to make him run. When we came to the quarter pole, I swung out and asked him to pick it up, he switched leads and we got to the wire first.

“He galloped out pretty good. I didn’t pull him right away because he was trying to keep going, so I just let him gallop out a little bit. Jogging back, he was in great form. He’s a nice horse and hopefully we can keep winning big races like today.”

TRAINER QUOTES

BOB BAFFERT, MUTH, WINNER : “I was happy with their performance. I thought Muth was going to be up there early like he was at Del Mar, but the other horse (Pilot Commander) was quicker away from there. I thought he would be stalking but Juan, he just took back and rode Muth with a lot of confidence. He knows his horse really well. I’m just glad it worked out. Pilot Commander he’s only had one race and he still ran a bang up race and I think he is going to get better as he goes along. I’m proud of both of them. Zedan Racing, he gives us all this ammo to work with, so it makes it a lot easier on me. He is an incredible guy and he loves the sport, he has a passion for it and that’s the number one thing. He handles the wins and the losses the same way and he let me name this horse after my good friend Aaron Muth, so it is fun for him.”

NOTES: The winning owner is Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.

Santa Anita Press Release

Photo: Muth wins San Vincente, Ernie Belmonte, Past the Wire

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