News and STORIES

Authentic Breezes Bullet and Draws Post 9 for Preakness

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Tuesday September 29, 2020
Spendthrift Farm, My RaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing’s Authentic is all set for the final leg of the Triple Crown. The son of Into Mischief was the winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) after breaking from the outside post. 

He drew post 9 for the Oct. 3, $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico during the Sept. 28 draw. 

Despite its move from the spring to the fall, the Preakness is still set to see a large field of impressive three-year-olds, including Authentic, who has won five of six career starts for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

He will be up against ten other rivals at Pimlico Race Course, including names like Grade 1 winner Swiss Skydiver. She has gone up against males before, finishing second to Art Collector in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2). Art Collector will also run in the Preakness.

Bullet Breeze

Authentic finished his final preparation for the race, going a half-mile in :47 3/5 Sept. 28 at Churchill Downs, which was the fastest of 37 at the distance. 

He was joined by jockey Martin Garcia, and they went through splits of :12 1/5, :24, and :36 over the fast track. He then galloped around the turn and registered five furlongs in 1:00. He finished the work with a six-furlong gallop out time of 1:13 2/5. 

"He's such an amazing horse," Garcia said. "He worked awesome. I've worked a lot of nice horses for trainer Bob Baffert in California and this horse is just as special. He's doing amazing for the Preakness."

Baffert was also present in Louisville to witness Authentic’s final move.

"He went well," Baffert said. "He was in hand the whole way, so we're happy with him. He looks healthy. He looks great. He's put some weight on. He's shiny."

"It looked like he went in :50," Mark Toothaker, Spendthrift Farm’s stallion sales manager, said. "He is very smooth."

Authentic will now fly from Louisville to Baltimore to arrive at Pimlico Race Course. 

The Nine Post

Even with his nine-post draw, Authentic was set as a 9-5 morning-line favorite.

“I'd rather be 9 than 1 or 11," Baffert said. "It really doesn't matter as long as he breaks OK. When I drew 1 and 2 with American Pharoah and Dortmund (in the 2015 Preakness), I thought that was the end of the world, but it worked out. And when Authentic drew 18 (before scratches in the Kentucky Derby), I thought I was done, so 9 is fine. It is what it is. He worked fine today (a bullet four furlongs in :47 3/5 at Churchill Downs) and looks fantastic, so we're ready."

With his Kentucky Derby win, Authentic provided Baffert with his sixth Derby victory. The five previous times he won the Derby, Baffert also took the 1 3/16-mile Preakness two weeks after. With the schedule changes of 2020, many will be looking to see if it affects Baffert’s regular routine. 

The length between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness is now four weeks instead of two.

"I don't like giving the competition an extra two weeks to get ready for us," Baffert said.

The Preakness Day lineup is set to feature 12 stakes, including 11 for Thoroughbreds and one for Arabians. The 11 for Thoroughbreds includes six graded. 

The entire field (jockey, trainer) in post position is: Excession (Sheldon Russell, Steve Asmussen), Mr. Big News (Gabriel Saez, W. Bret Calhoun), Art Collector (Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr., Thomas Drury, Jr.), Swiss Skydiver (Robby Albarado, Kenneth G. McPeek), Thousand Words (Florent Geroux, Bob Baffert), Jesus’ Team (Jevian Toledo, Jose Francisco D’Angelo), Ny Traffic (Horacio Karamanos, Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.), Max Player (Paco Lopez, Steve Asmussen), Authentic (John R. Velazquez, Bob Baffert), Pneumatic (Joe Bravo, Steve Asmussen) and Liveyourbestlife (Trevor McCarthy, Jorge Abreu).