(Authentic headlines field for Saturday’s G1 Santa Anita Derby / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)

From the Santa Anita Media Team:

Unbeaten in three starts and a winner most recently of two graded stakes by a combined 10 lengths, Bob Baffert’s Authentic will renew his rivalry with talented Honor A.P. as they head a field of seven sophomores going a mile and one eighth in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby.

Separated by 2 ¼ lengths in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 7, Authentic has been nothing short of brilliant for Baffert in winning his past two races in gate to wire fashion.

A long striding ridgling by Honor Code, Honor A.P. has trained well for John Shirreffs since the San Felipe and promises to run an improved race on Saturday.

Trainer Michael McCarthy’s Rushie, a first condition allowance winner going a mile and one sixteenth at Oaklawn Park on May 2, appears to be on the improve and will be ridden for the first time by leading man Flavien Prat.

Beyond the purse money, the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby carries added significance, as there are 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points at stake, with the winner to receive 100, second 40, third 20 and the fourth place finisher, 10 points toward a potential start in the Grade I Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5.

AUTHENTIC

Owner:  SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, Frederick Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding & Golconda Stables

Trainer:  Bob Baffert

A first-out maiden winner at odds of 3-5 going 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar on Nov. 9, this colt by Into Mischief aired by 7 ¾ front-running lengths going a flat mile in the Grade III Sham Stakes on Jan. 4, earning 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points while registering a 90 Beyer Speed figure.  A 2 ¼ length winner of the San Felipe, Authentic earned a 98 Beyer, and with a top three finish on Saturday, he would be assured a berth in the Run for the Roses Sept. 5.

HONOR A.P.

Owner:  C R K Stable, LLC

Trainer:  John Shirreffs

Off at 1-2 in his second start on Oct. 13, he led throughout to take a one mile maiden race by     5 ¼ lengths while earning a 91 Beyer.  Purchased for $850,000 as a yearling, Honor A.P. has a magnificent, long stride and has the look of colt who should continue to improve with added distance.  With his second place finish to Authentic in the San Felipe, he collected 20 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, so a first or second place finish on Saturday would assure him a place in the big dance.  He’ll be reunited with Mike Smith on Saturday, who has ridden him in all three of his previous starts.

RUSHIE

Owner:  Jim & Donna Daniell

Trainer:  Michael McCarthy

A grey colt by Liam’s Map, he’ll be making his fifth overall start and his fourth in a row going a route of ground, which has to be considered a plus.  Although beaten 10 ¼ lengths by eventual Arkansas Derby winner Charlatan in a one mile allowance here two starts back on March 14, Rushie was an attentive second early en route to an authoritative 1 1/16 mile allowance score at Oaklawn May.  A modest $70,000 2-year-old in training sale purchase a year ago March, Rushie is colt on the improve who could prove dangerous off of his Arkansas win.

THE GRADE I RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 8 of 11   Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT

  1. Friar’s Road–Geovanni Franco–124
  2. Rushie–Flavien Prat–124
  3. Shooters Shoot–Abel Cedillo–124
  4. Anneau d’Oro–Victor Espinoza–124
  5. Azul Coast–Umberto Rispoli–124
  6. Honor A.P.–Mike Smith–124
  7. Authentic–Drayden Van Dyke–124

First post time for a blockbuster 11-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.