LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For the past several weeks, the colt, Honor A.P. has been considered to be a major threat to capture the Kentucky Derby roses come September fifth. On Saturday , he might have become the early Kentucky Derby favorite after his powerful victory in the Santa Anita Derby.
The mile and an eighth race, which was postponed for two months, came down to a battle between Authentic and Honor A.P.. Coming out of the far turn Honor A.P. made a bold, wide move to motor into the lead in the stretch. He had plenty left to win the race by 2 3/4 lengths over Authentic, who suffered his first loss in four races. With Mike Smith aboard, the winner reached the wire in 1:48.97.
“We were happy with the way Honor A.P. was training for the race", said his trainer, John Shirreffs, "We knew that he has tactical speed and Mike can put him pretty much where he wants. On the backside, we hoped he would get comfortable and to have a nice kick in the end, and it all worked out well.”
Honor A.P. turned the tables on Authentic as the latter defeated the Santa Anita Derby winner in March in the San Felipe Stakes.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Authentic ran a decent second and for now , may be Baffert’s only Kentucky Derby contender. On Saturday, the trainer announced to multiple outlets that his promising colt, Charlatan would miss both the Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby. The trainer says Charlatan needs 45 days off to recover from an ankle injury.
" I just hope Authentic comes out of this race okay. I’m running out of horses," the five-time Kentucky Derby- winning trainer lamented.