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Authentic and Thousand Words a formidable Preakness (G1) duo
Monday, September 28, 2020
Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic and star-crossed stablemate Thousand Words drew posts nine and five, respectively, for Saturday's $1 million Preakness S. (G1) at Pimlico.

In a shuffled racing season, the Preakness is the last leg of the Triple Crown and serves as a “prep” race for the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

Authentic gave Bob Baffert a record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby winner, and a win by either horse Saturday would give the trainer a record eighth Preakness. He is currently tied at seven with R. Wyndham Walden, whose wins came in the late 1800s.

Authentic proved he could go the classic distance in the Derby, beating heavily-favored Tiz the Law, who is skipping the Preakness and training up to the Breeders' Cup. John Velazquez, who rode Authentic in the Derby for the first time, gets the return call in the Preakness and will carry the weight of being the 9-5 favorite.

“He’s pretty quick,” Velazquez said of Authentic after post positions were drawn. “I just have to switch him a little bit. He’ll be on the lead no matter what.” 

Thousand Words, who will be ridden by Florent Geroux, never got his chance to contest the Derby. After falling in the paddock for the Run for the Roses, he was scratched by the track veternarian. 

“The good news is the horse is absolutely fine,” on-call vet Dr. Kathy Anderson said shortly after the incident. “He’s returned to the stable area. Had a thorough examination by Dr. Kevin Dunlavy, his regular practitioner, and has been cleared for service with not a scratch upon him. So we’re very pleased with that outcome.” 

Thousand Words was installed as the 6-1 third choice on the morning line.

Both horses were set to go to Pimlico from Louisville on Tuesday. Post time for Saturday's Preakness is 5:45 p.m. ET.

Baffert 2013