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Check out our predictions and odds for the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita!
J J Hernandez
J K Desormeaux
WINE ME UP
J K Desormeaux
Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
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Odds on in both his career starts, Muth looks to live up to the hype when he tops a field of eight juvenile males in the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.
A $2 million 2-year-old in training sale purchase in March, he romped home an 8 1/4-length winner of a five-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita in his debut in June.
Trained by Bob Baffert, he then finished second to the division leader, and stablemate, Prince of Monaco, while going six furlongs at Del Mar in the Grade 3 Best Pal Stakes eight weeks ago.
Chief among his rivals in the 8 1/2-furlong American Pharoah will be another promising colt from the Baffert barn.
Wine Me Up was a stylish debut winner going six furlongs last month at Del Mar. A $300,000 2-year-old in training purchase, the son of Vino Rosso is bred to like the added distance.
Another colt to watch in the final local prep for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is the Todd Pletcher-trained Be You.
Although he has yet to find the winner’s circle, the son of Curlin ran two solid races at Saratoga. Second by just a nose in a fast maiden race, he came back to be a competitive fourth last out in the Grade 1 Hopeful.
This son of Good Magic was promising enough to be sold for a cool $2 million early this year. A June debut at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert backed up that hefty price tag as he blitzed his competition while going five furlongs.
The bubble burst just a bit last time, however, when he faced some early pressure and then was no match down the stretch for his stablemate Prince of Monaco in the Grade 3 Best Pal at Del Mar.
The buzz colt is certainly eligible to bounce back here, but the pace could once again be taxing while he stretches out in distance. As the clear favorite, I will take a shot to beat him on Saturday.
The second from the powerful Baffert barn, this one is bred to run a distance. By Vino Rosso, out of a Kitten’s Joy mare, he should only get better as the distances increase.
Having said that, it was a very good sign to see him involved throughout before pulling away down the stretch in his six-furlong debut last month at Del Mar.
I expect him to lay off the pace a bit in this one and wait for the speed to tire. He looks like a very talented colt, who could be ready for big things. I like his chances to upset his favored stablemate. He is the top pick.
One of several maidens in the field, this one will likely get the most respect in the betting. The son of Curlin has been well-liked in each of his first two starts, and although he didn’t win either, both were good efforts.
The near miss in the maiden race was fast and the third-place finisher came out of it to romp next out. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he tried the Grade 1 Hopeful in his next start and had some traffic troubles when fourth.
Now he ships across the country and stretches out in distance for his third career start. He looks like a serious threat to the two Baffert runners.
This son of Maximus Mischief should be part of a strong early pace on Saturday. Adding blinkers for this one, he has shown good early speed in each of his three career starts.
After breaking his maiden nicely in his career debut for trainer Doug O’Neill, he has gone right to graded stakes racing where he finished third and fourth to Prince of Monaco in the Best Pal and Del Mar Futurity.
The blinkers could have him show even more early speed, but with other fast horses in the race, I’m not sure that will help as he stretches out to two turns for the first time.
The first of two from Keith Desormeaux, he will be ridden by the trainer’s brother Kent. A son of Vino Rosso, he is still a maiden in three career starts.
Two of them came in stakes races, however, and after running second in his only try against maidens, he ran on pretty well to finish third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity last time.
If he can move forward with the added distance of the American Pharoah, he becomes a legitimate threat, especially if the early pace is hot.
Like Wine Me Up, this son of Constitution has made only one career start. An expensive yearling purchase last fall, he finished third behind Rothschild and El Magnifico six weeks ago at Del Mar.
Things didn't go well for him from the start that afternoon, so getting up for third was actually a decent performance. Still, he never threatened the winner.
He will need to move way forward to contend here, but the John Sadler-trained runner has shown some talent in workouts. He is a longshot to consider.
Trained by Tim Yakteen, this son of Uncle Mo chased the fast pace of the Del Mar Futurity and backed out down the lane. I’m not sure things will get any easier this time around.
He was a nice maiden winner at Del Mar in his second career start but has yet to prove he can handle strong competition.
In a race with plenty of interesting and talented options, I am liking others better in this Grade 1 affair.
This son of Street Sense has finished second in both starts. He was well back from the winners in both, which were Muth and Rothschild respectively.
The good news is that both came while sprinting, and the Keith Desormeaux-trained runner should really appreciate the added distance he will see in the American Pharoah.
I hesitate to believe that he is ready to beat all the talent in this race yet, but I do think he is one to watch for down the road.
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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