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2023 Best Pal Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Muth Heavy Favorite In Del Mar Futurity Prep
Muth (Benoit Photo)

2023 Best Pal Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Muth Heavy Favorite In Del Mar Futurity Prep

Mike previews the 2023 Best Pal Stakes (G3) from Del Mar, then gives his top picks & long shots. Impressive debut winner Muth is the heavy 3/5 morning line favorite in the local prep for the Del Mar Futurity (G1).

Can the Bob Baffert trainee repeat that same effort against other winners, including stablemate Prince of Monaco? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

When you put up $2-million to buy a 2-year-old in training, you’re obviously taking a big swing. But then Amr F. Zedan, the 48-year-old billionaire, Saudi Arabian businessman and serial venture capital investor has been to the plate for big swings before.

The young horse we’re focusing on here is the 2-year-old colt named Muth, a bay son of Good Magic out of the Uncle Mo mare Hoppa. The $2-million price was reached at the March Ocala Breeders’ Sale in Florida and the colt – properly owned by Zedan Racing Stables – found a home in Southern California with trainer Bob Baffert.

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The conditioner, who has worked his exceptional horse training skills with many a young runner, got Muth to the races for the first time on June 18 at Santa Anita and the result was what you’d expect for a 3-10 first-time starter: an eight and a half-length victory over straight maidens going five furlongs in a rapid :57.20 for the distance. He was handled by top rider Juan Hernandez and won “geared down” according to the chart.

Now comes swing No. 2 for the youngster as he steps into graded stakes company for the first time Sunday in Del Mar’s 53rd edition of the $200,000, Grade III Best Pal Stakes for juveniles taking on four rivals going six furlongs. He’ll partner once again with Hernandez and Baffert has put a series of solid recent works into his charge in anticipation of this move up.

Del Mar’s morning line maker Jon White has no doubts about Muth:  He’ll be 3-5 and beat him if you can on the program Sunday.

The chief treat to the top one also is trained by Baffert in Prince of Monaco. He, too, was a galloping winner in his debut, scoring by eight at Los Alamitos on July 9. He gets the saddle services of Flavien Prat, a seven-time leading rider at Del Mar who has come in from his regular gig at Saratoga for the program and has been named on six different horses over the course of the afternoon.

Here’s the from-the-rail-out lineup – with riders and morning line odds — for the dash, which will go as Race 4 on the 10-race card:

  1. Great Friends Stables or Davis’ Raging Torrent (Antonio Fresu, 15-1)
  2. William Peeples’ Tranche (Edwin Maldonado, 4-1)
  3. Reddam Racing’s Who Is Pavel (Mario Gutierrez, 30-1)
  4. Muth
  5. SF Racing, Starlight Racing and Madaket Racing’s Prince of Monaco (Prat, 9/5)

First post for Sunday’s card is at 2 p.m.