'Top' of the Market: $2-Million OBS March Graduate Muth Headlines Saturday's American Pharoah

Muth tops the 2023 OBS March Sale | Photos by Z


When the GI American Pharoah S. even-money morning-line favorite and 'TDN Rising Star' Muth (Good Magic) brought a sale-topping $2 million at OBS March earlier this year, it wasn't exactly a surprise to see Saudi businessman Amr Zedan and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert heading back to the Top Line Sales consignment for more.

Fellow Top Line graduate and Zedan Racing Stables Inc. colorbearer 'TDN Rising Star' Arabian Knight (Uncle Mo) will line up next as one of the favorites in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic after posting a game wire-to-wire success over his elders in this summer's GI FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic S. at Del Mar. Arabian Knight topped last spring's OBS April sale (:9 4/5) at $2.3 million.

'TDN Rising Star' Princess Noor (Not This Time), heroine of the 2020 GI Del Mar Debutante S. while carrying Zedan's sky blue, red and white silks, commanded a sale-best $1.35-million pricetag at the COVID-19 postponed OBS April sale in 2020 after breezing a quarter for Jimbo and Torie Gladwell's operation in :20 1/5. She subsequently realized $2.9 million from Katsumi Yoshida while in foal to Into Mischief at the following year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed sale.

“They're such a powerhouse team,” Torie Gladwell said. “It's like the dream team when you see them walking around. I have to give a lot of credit to (bloodstock agents) Donato Lanni and Gary Young. You just pray that they land on one of your horses. They know what they're doing, that's for sure. Princess Noor and Arabian Knight and now this one. Hopefully, he's as good as those other two and he gets a Grade I.”

Torie & Jimbo Gladwell | Photos By Z

Muth hails from the second crop of Hill 'n' Dale's promising young sire Good Magic, who, of course, is also responsible for this year's GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage. The first foal out of the winning Don Alberto homebred Hoppa (Uncle Mo), Muth brought $190,000 from the Gladwell family's pinhooking partnership out of the Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consignment on day seven of last year's Keeneland September sale. Don Alberto purchased Handoverthecat (Tale of the Cat), with Hoppa in utero, for $170,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale. Hoppa's yearling filly by Violence was purchased by Rigney Racing for $385,000 at Keeneland September.

“When we bought him (as a yearling), he was pretty light on the page, but just a standout physical,” Gladwell said. “We gave quite a bit of money for him because at the time Good Magic was kind of on the bubble. We just liked the horse that much.”

Muth was the talking horse on the grounds at OBS March after delivering a :9 3/5 bullet breeze and a much-discussed monster gallop out during the under-tack show.

“We were behind on him going into the sale,” Gladwell said. “He had a little setback, so we actually had to stop on him. His prep at the sale was his first breeze back after coming off a little layoff and it was pretty spectacular. When he prepped we were like, 'ooh this is gonna be fun.'”

She continued, “When he breezed we weren't ever thinking :9 3/5–that was a surprise–but we knew he was extremely fast because he was as fast on the farm all winter. And then his gallop out. He didn't just go the first eighth really fast, he went the whole three-eighths extremely fast.”

Muth has also been extremely fast on the racetrack. A no-brainer 'Rising Star' following a spectacular 8 3/4-length debut score at Santa Anita June 18, Muth was second-best with a 93 Beyer Speed Figure behind his unbeaten stablemate and fellow 'TDN Rising Star' Prince of Monaco (Speightstown) in the six-furlong GIII Best Pal S. at Del Mar Aug. 13.

A late scratch out of Saratoga's GI Hopeful S. on Labor Day, Muth makes his two-turn debut Saturday while facing seven rivals in the 1 1/16-mile American Pharoah, a 'Win and You're In' for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He has breezed four times since returning to the Golden State from upstate New York, including a sharp five-furlong drill in :59 1/5 (2/87) in Arcadia Oct. 2. Baffert has won the American Pharoah a record 11 times.

How will Muth handled the added distance?

“That's always a question,” Gladwell said. “When we're getting these horses ready for the 2-year-old sales, we don't really let them do too much on the farm because they're still so young. His three-eighths to half-mile gallop out at the sale was the most we ever really let these horses do before they move on to their trainer.”

She concluded, “I think he's extremely talented. I'm hoping he can do it. We'll find out this weekend.”

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