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Authentic gives Baffert historic sixth Kentucky Derby (G1)
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Authentic wins the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) - Coady photo
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In an extremely game effort, Authentic held off Tiz the Law by 1 1/4-lengths to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) Saturday at Churchill Downs and secure Bob Baffert's place in the long history of the Run for the Roses.

Now with six Derby winners, Baffert is tied with Ben Jones for the most Derby wins by a trainer.

After Authentic drew the outside post in the field of 18, Baffert was concerned that the speedy son of Into Mischief would need some luck to get to the lead, but worked on a plan with jockey John Velazquez.

“I told (Johnny) what I thought. He told me what he thought. And I said, I like your plan. It's a great plan. Just get away from them. Because we were worried about being on the outside, because he breaks out and all that. I told him, we talked about the horse. I told him what he doesn't like and what you can do and what he likes.”

Authentic didn't get the lead immediately, but was on top going into the first turn. Ny Traffic was his closest pursuer through the first six furlongs, then Tiz the Law took up the chase. The duo was side-by-side until a furlong to run, when Authentic began to pull away. He finished up the 1 1/4-miles in 2:00.61, the seventh-fastest Derby in history.

Authentic runs for the partnership of Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stable, and Starlight Racing. 

After the win, Baffert reflected on what unfolded in the paddock, when his other entry, Thousand Words, had to be scratched after he reared up and fell, breaking assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes' arm in the process.

“Well, I mean, I had so many emotions running through my mind, with Jimmy not being able to get the saddle on (Thousand Words). The horse got angry. We knew he could be a problem. We were trying to saddle him on the walk.
“And then when he -- he got mad, he went up, and Jimmy lost and landed on his arm and he had a broken arm. Had to scratch the horse because he fell on his side. The horse is okay. Didn't have any scratches. Once they do that, it's an automatic scratch. And it's very unfortunate for the poor owners that were so excited. The Albaugh family.”

Thousand Words is owned by the Albaughs in partnership with Spendthrift Farm.

Ironically, Baffert was knocked to the ground by Authentic in the winner's circle.

“What happened is -- this horse is very skittish. He's a quirky horse, that's why he runs with ear plugs. The garland of roses, for some reason, they had a long red ribbon at the end of them. And it was hitting his hind leg and it was spooking him.
“Every time he would feel it, he spun around. He was like a bowling ball. He just bowled us all down. He got me. Actually, I was lucky I was -- the turf course is pretty soft here, so it wasn't too bad. I was probably more embarrassed than anything when I hit the ground.”

After all the dramatics, Authentic has taken his place along side Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem, American Pharoah and Justify as Derby winners.

Though Authentic is Baffert's first Derby winner not to have a chance at a Triple Crown (Tiz the Law won the Belmont S. and Authentic didn't run in the race), the two Classic winners could face each other in the Oct. 3 Preakness S. (G1) and possibly the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) in November. 

Baffert 2013