It's all systems go for Authentic after good exercise gallop


It's all systems go for Authentic after good exercise gallop

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic had his first major training session Saturday morning (September 19) to prepare for the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1), working five-eighths of a mile in 59.20 seconds at Churchill Downs. Jockey Martin Garcia filled in for John Velazquez, who won his third Kentucky Derby while riding Authentic for the first time.

The once-beaten Authentic led all the way September 5 through a swift pace to beat favoured Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tiz the Law by 1 1/4 lengths, with the 2:00.61 clocking the fastest winning time since Monarchos in 2001. The effort also gave Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby.

Owned by Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables, Authentic now will try to make his trainer 6-for-6 in the Preakness Stakes with a Derby winner. Baffert owns a record-tying seven Preaknesses overall, with 2001 beaten Derby favourite Point Given regrouping to win two-thirds of the Triple Crown.

Going to the track at 9:00 am after the second renovation break, Authentic was timed by the Churchill Downs clockers in splits of 23.80 for a quarter-mile and 35.40 for three-eighths, then hitting six furlongs past the wire in 1:12.20 (for what the clockers considered part of the gallop-out) and seven-eighths of a mile in 1:25.20. The official 59.20 time was the fastest of 38 at the distance at Churchill throughout the morning.

“It went very well. Martin has been with me,” trainer Bob Baffert of Garcia, whose victory aboard Lookin At Lucky in the 2010 Preakness is one of Baffert's seven.

“He knows what I expect. I told him we're going to go three-quarters from the five [five-eighths pole], and he just went off, didn't have to move on him. This horse, he gets over any track. He couldn't have looked better, coming off a race like that. Everything is all systems go for the Preakness. Got a nice work out of him. I'll come back, give him an easier work next week and he should be ready to go.”

Authentic's only defeat in six starts was a second to Honor A P in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The son of the Spendthrift Farm stallion Into Mischief won Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational (G1) by a nose in his race before the Derby.

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