Santa Anita: Muth Heavily Favored in San Vicente; Odds, Picks

The 49th edition of the $200,000 San Vicente (G2) may have a short field of six 3-year-olds, but it’s quite an expensive group.

Muth, the 4-5 favorite for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, tops the field at $2 million, purchased by Zedan Racing Stables at the Ocala Breeders 2-year-olds in training sale.

The five others in the 7-furlong San Vicente sold for a total of $1,630,000, bringing the six-horse total to $3,630,000. Baffert has the 5-2 second choice in Pilot Commander ($700,000) as the trainer looks for his 13th win in the race.

The High-Stakes Choice: Why the Most Expensive Horse Reigns

The rest of the field: 6-1 Moonlit Sonata ($75,000); 4-1 Slider ($240,000); 20-1 Formidable Man ($375,000); and 12-1 Boltage ($240,000).

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.

Zedan Racing’s Muth and jockey Juan Hernandez

If the most expensive horse in the field is part of your handicapping, picking the winner is a no-brainer.

Muth, a son of Good Magic-Hoppa, by Uncle Mo, cuts back in distance after winning the American Pharoah (G1) and running a distant second to Fierceness in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), both a 1 1/16 miles.

He won in his debut and was second in the Best Pal (G3) at 6 furlongs in his second start. He’s 4-2-2-0 with $596,600 in earnings.

Juan Hernandez has the call from post 3.  Pilot Commander, a son of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify, won in his debut at Del Mar on Nov. 11, going gate-to-wire at 6 furlongs. Flavien Prat will be aboard.

Moonlit Sonata is the bargain purchase in the group. Trained by Tim Yakteen, the son of Malibu Moon won in his debut, starting slowly and finishing strong at 6 ½ furlongs at Del Mar on Nov. 25. Geovanni Franco has the call again.

The San Vicente is not among the Kentucky Derby (G1) preps that award qualifying points.

Post time is 6:30 p.m. ET.

The picks: 1 Muth 2 Moonlit Sonata 3 Slider

 The field for the $200,000 San Vicente (G2), from the rail out, with jockey, trainer, odds:

1 Moonlit Sonata (Geovanni Franco, Tim Yakteen), 6-1
2 Slider (Joel Rosario, John Sadler), 4-1
3 Muth (Juan Hernandez, Bob Baffert), 4-5
4 Pilot Commander (Flavien Prat, Bob Baffert), 5-2
5 Formidable Man (Kazushi Kimura, Michael McCarthy), 20-1
6 Boltage (Mike Smith, Richard Mandella), 12-1



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