(Authentic / Coady Photography)
From the Breeders’ Cup Media Team:
Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse.com, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing’s Authentic ($10.40) went to the front out of the gate and never trailed as he held off his Bob Baffert-trained stablemate Improbable by 2 1/4 lengths to win the 37th running of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland to cap off the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Authentic was clocked in 1:59.19 for the 1 ¼ miles, breaking the track record of 2:00.07 established by American Pharoah in his Classic victory.
For trainer Bob Baffert, it is his fourth Classic victory with all those wins coming with 3-year-olds: Bayern (2014), American Pharoah (2015) and Arrogate (2016). For jockey John Velazquez, it is his 18th Breeders’ Cup victory and first in the Classic.
Just as he did in his Kentucky Derby victory two months ago, Authentic and Velazquez shot to the front and led the field of 10 unopposed on the front end. On the far turn, Global Campaign made the first run at Authentic with Improbable looping up three wide.
In the stretch, Authentic expanded his lead and was well clear at the eighth pole and not threatened by Improbable who overtook Global Campaign by a length for second.
Global Campaign held third by 2 lengths over Tacitus, who was followed in order by Maximum Security, Tiz the Law, Title Ready, By My Standards, Tom’s d’Etat and Higher Power.
Now a three-time Grade 1 winner, Authentic is a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief out of the Mr. Greeley mare Flawless. The victory was worth $3,300,000 and boosted Authentic’s earnings to $6,371,200 with a record of 8-6-2-0.
First-, second- and fifth-place trainer Bob Baffert (Authentic, Improbable and Maximum Security) – “You know what, they were all training so well and he was training well. I think Johnny (Velazquez) got to know him a lot better and he’s just a quirky guy. But when I saw him out there, he’s catching up with these older horses. That’s what they do at this time of year, what a horse. He’s the real deal.
“I’m just happy for Wayne Hughes and everybody. That was awesome. I tell you what, I needed that, didn’t I?”
Winning jockey John Velazquez (Authentic) – “It’s incredible. Thanks God and the whole team. The older I get the more emotional I get. It worked out perfect. Bob said to take him to the lead so he doesn’t wander so much and keep his mind on running. It worked out. He did everything I wanted him to do.”
Second-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Improbable) – “I had a good trip, a perfect trip. I had him in the clear. He just got beat. It was a great race.”
Second-place co-owner Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm – “He just kind of let the other horse get away and nobody went with him. I don’t know what the pace was because they messed up the fractions. But they kind of walked the dog out there. But he ran his race. He was wide both turns but he was second best.”
Third-place trainer Stanley Hough (Global Campaign) – “This horse has been through a lot in his career. We got his foot problems behind him and today was the first time he was really able to show his potential. We are so proud of him and he ran a great race.”
Third-place jockey Javier Castellano (Global Campaign) – “I had a beautiful trip, that’s what I was looking for today. I knew there was a lot of speed in the race, but I had to play a little bit to get him to move forward. With this horse I didn’t want to be too far back. I thought he ran a good race and I’m satisfied with how he did today. I was happy where I was positioned because they were going pretty quick. Maximum Security is the kind of horse that wants to set the pace. Our horse is a pace-maker too, but the other horses had more speed than my horse. We had a good early position and I’m very satisfied with how he did.”
Fourth-place trainer Bill Mott (Tacitus) – “He ran well. The trip was good. He saved ground around both turns and look like he needed a little room in the stretch. He ran a big race.”
Fourth-place jockey Jose Ortiz (Tacitus) – “He ran well. He sat back today. Relaxed well. I was hoping for a hot pace. I didn’t see the fractions, but it didn’t feel like it was very hot. So it took the chances away from me. I was expecting a hot pace and to pick up the pieces and close and have a shot to win the race. I was expecting a fast fight. It didn’t happen that way but he ran really, really good. He improved a lot from the last two.”
Fifth-place jockey Luis Saez (Maximum Security) – “It was a good trip. He was right there. We came to the stretch and the winner was rolling. It was very impressive. But, he tried. He ran a good race.”
Sixth-place trainer Barclay Tagg (Tiz the Law) – “I was happy with the way he came into the race. I thought he would run his race but (jockey Manny Franco) said he was just too keen and didn’t run.”
Sixth-place jockey Manny Franco (Tiz the Law) – “I had an OK trip. I was down inside. My horse never settled for me. He was pulling me the whole way hard. When I sent to looking for him he was done.
(Were you trapped inside?): “I was inside looking for a way to get out to a clear run. I had wait longer than I wanted to. It is what it is.”
Eighth-place trainer Bret Calhoun (By My Standards) – “I thought Gabe (Saez) had him in a great spot early on. Broke sharp, got in a good spot. I thought everything looked pretty good and like Gabe wanted to start picking them up and from the outside they started moving and kind of held him down there. He wasn’t able to continue his move picking up horses and kind of had to wait a little longer until they cleared him. I think once he tried to go again, they just smoothed out and out-stepped him there. That next move, they just outstepped him. I don’t know if he got a little discouraged having to wait or he lost a little momentum. He got outkicked from there, it looked like.”
“The track (playing to speed), and I didn’t want to do anything different and change anything up. We’re not that fast to change things up. You can’t run with those horses early. It shows what good a race Whitmore ran (in closing to win the Sprint).”
Eighth-place jockey Gabe Saez (By My Standards) – “What can I say? The horses didn’t come back. Speed-biased all day long. I got him into a great spot right from the beginning. I was in a great position tracking off the pace. Running around the three-eighths pole, and they weren’t stopping. He ran every step of the way. I got a little bounced around the five-sixteenths pole. Franco’s horse (Manny Franco, Tiz the Law) kind of came out a little bit, but I was not going to get there today. They were running.”
Authentic Through the Eyes & Lens of the great team at Coady Photography: