News and STORIES

Authentic Preps for Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Wednesday August 26, 2020
One of the top runners set for the Kentucky Derby is Authentic, who completed his penultimate workout toward the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs. The workout took place at Del Mar, where he breezed a mile in 1:38 3/5 Aug. 25.

It came just a day after his workout was abandoned on Aug. 24.

Authentic, who won the Haskell Stakes (G1), started his workout on the backstretch. He moved nicely for the first three-quarters of a mile, and he picked up the pace near the customary finish line, where most horses conclude their workouts.

He completed another final quarter-mile around the clubhouse turn, making it a full circuit around the track.

Authentic is trained by five-time Derby winner and Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.

"I wanted to get a nice strong work in him. He did it the right way, within himself," he said. 

Abandoned Workout

The day before the workout, Baffert was present trackside when the track warning siren went off. It was just a furlong into the colt's workout when another horse was either injured or loose, which meant Authentic was pulled by Baffert.

"He went like a quarter of a mile by the time he pulled up. It was no big deal," Baffert said. "We brought him home and just started all over."

There was, in fact, an injury suffered at Del Mar by Irreproachable. Trained by Phil D'Amato, the 4-year-old gelding had two starts, with the most recent being a runner-up effort in a local maiden claiming race for $50,000 Jul. 24.

Irreproachable suffered a fatal injury, making him the second racehorse fatality of the summer at Del Mar, as reported by the California Horse Racing Board. 

Authentic's workout was delayed 24 hours, but it ended up giving him a tight five-day window to his final pre-Derby workout on Aug. 30. According to Baffert, he doesn't believe it will have any effect on the colt's preparation for the event. 

Leaving for Kentucky

Authentic and stablemate Thousand Words will leave for Kentucky on Aug. 31 to get ready for the Derby.

According to Baffert, Gamine will also go to Louisville. Gamine is the expected favorite for the Sept. 4 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).

The multimillionaire McKinzie will also be heading there. He will run in the $400,000 Alysheba Stakes (G2) on the Oaks undercard. McKinzie won the 2019 edition of the race.

While he doesn't have the same level of confidence as he did with American Pharoah and Justify, Baffert still holds his 3-year-olds high up on the Derby list. 

"I really like Authentic and I think (Thousand Words) can get the mile and a quarter," he said. "I've learned so much about him. With no fans, I think that will help him because he's a little bit of a head case."

Authentic and Thousand Words are both three-time stakes winners. 

Authentic, a son of Into Mischief owned by Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing, scored the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and Sham Stakes (G3) earlier in the year. Those performances were just months before the Jul. 18 Haskell.

Thousand Words won the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) and the Shared Belief Stakes. He is owned by Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm.

Authentic will be joined by jockey John Velazquez and Thousand Words by Florent Geroux. 

The Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs was delayed to Sept. 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule changes make it an unprecedented year for the Triple Crown races.