Authentic’s gallant victory in the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs marked the 102nd time in history that a Kentucky-bred horse has won the nation’s most prestigious race.
Authentic had a formidable task after drawing the outside post in the field of 18 3-year-olds. After three scratches, he moved in somewhat, but had to work to secure the lead going into the first turn. He covered the first six furlongs in 1:10.23, with Ny Traffic a length behind.
Going into the final turn, favorite Tiz the Law took up the chase and the duo was side-by-side until the final furlong, when Authentic began to pull away, winning by 1 1/4-lengths in 2:00.61, the seventh-fastest Derby in history.
“It’s always a concern that you let the horse do too much early in the race,” said winning rider John Velazquez. “You like to save ground and save some horse for the end. (Trainer) Bob (Baffert) was pretty certain the horse was ready today. I let him get loose and get comfortable. I waited until the horses got to him to get after him and he responded right away. Bob kept telling me to make sure I saved that last eighth of a mile. I want that eighth of a mile. He said I want you to hit left-handed and he responded. It worked out the way we had planned it. Very proud of the horse.”
Baffert’s win was his sixth Derby, tying him for the most with Ben Jones of Calumet Farm.
Authentic, a son of leading sire Into Mischief, was bred by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds and is owned by Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing. Winner of the Haskell Inv. (G1) in July, Authentic has now earned $2,871,200.
Earlier on the Churchill card, Bell’s the One got her first Grade 1 victory in the Derby City Distaff S. The Kentucky-bred 4-year-old won the Winning Colors S. (G3) in May at Churchill, and has now banked $790,040 for owner Bob Lothenbach. The bay daughter of Majesticperfection was bred by Bret Jones and sold to her owner for $155,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Summer Yearlings sale.