Background: I'll be starting a 1.5 - 2 year master's program in mathematics this coming Fall in the US. Because of my non-degree graduate courses relevant to the program and my research interest, I can easily fulfill the requirements of this program within a year. However, my main goal is to gain and tangible research experience in preparation for a Ph.D program so I plan to remain in this program for 2 years.
Question: Will my application to Ph.D programs and fellowships be diluted if admissions folks see that my second year in this Master's program consisted mostly of research with at most one class per semester?
I want to reduce the course load as much as possible in order to give me time and flexibility to do research with the benefit of less tuition fees (if any). However, this all would be moot if such decision would raise red flags among admission committees.
Besides focusing more on research than classes, any other things I should look into while in this program?