Baffert’s Derby Win an Authentic Milestone

Photo courtesy Coglianese Photos / Adam Coglianese
Trainer Bob Baffert (right), shown exulting after a victory by Justify in a 2018 Triple Crown race, recorded his sixth Kentucky Derby win on Saturday, courtesy of Authentic.

Authentic grabbed the lead shortly after the start and held off a stretch bid from odds-on favorite Tiz the Law by 1¼ lengths to win the 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby in Louisville on Saturday — a feat with special meaning in La Cañada Flintridge.
Trained by LCF resident Bob Baffert and ridden by John Velazquez, Authentic covered a mile and quarter in 2:00.61 over a fast track.
“I’ve been fortunate to have these great jockeys win these races,” Baffert said. “But that was won by Johnny. John, that race will go down as one of the top — just the way he handled a horse like [Authentic]. … But it’s one of those things where it never gets old. [I’m] just very fortunate and blessed to be in this position.”
Authentic’s victory gave Baffert and Velazquez milestone achievements.
It was Baffert’s sixth Kentucky Derby victory, a total that ties him with Ben Jones for the most of all time. Baffert’s other victories came in 1997 with Silver Charm, 1998 with Real Quiet, 2002 with War Emblem, 2015 with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and 2018 with Triple Crown winner Justify.
“Like I said, it’s a great accomplishment,” Baffert said. “But, you know, I’m here because of the clientele, the hard work that’s put in, people around me. I surround myself with really great people. And it’s fun.
“This one, they’re more enjoyable when you think going in, ‘I don’t know if I can win this or not’ because I really thought Tiz the Law was unbeatable.”
For Velazquez, it was his 200th Grade I victory and third Kentucky Derby triumph. His previous victories came with Always Dreaming in 2017 and Animal Kingdom in 2011.
Authentic outsprinted Storm the Court and Ny Trafiic for the lead and first quarter-mile in :22.92 as Tiz the Law settled into fourth and in the clear. Authentic continued unopposed on the front end through fractions of :46.41 and 1:10.23 but by the time he completed the mile in 1:35.02, Tiz the Law had pulled alongside and the two hit the top of the stretch together.
Tiz the Law, with Manny Franco aboard, briefly struck his head in front only to have Authentic fight right back and spurt clear again to a daylight advantage he held to the wire. It was another two lengths back to Mr. Big News in third with second choice Honor A. P. finishing another 1¾ lengths back in fourth.
The victory was worth $1,860,000 and increased Authentic’s earnings to $2,871,200 with a record of 6-5-1-0.
Authentic is a Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief out of the Mr. Greeley mare Flawless.
Authentic returned $18.80, $6 and $5. Tiz the Law returned $3.40 and $3.20 with Mr. Big News paying $16.80 to show under Gabriel Saez.

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