LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Prior to his wire-to-wire victory in September’s Kentucky Derby, many fans and experts alike didn’t believe that Authentic could win at the classic distances. But at the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland, the Bob Baffert-trained colt left no doubt that he is the real deal. Authentic used the same stradegy that helped him capture the Derby roses as he zoomed to the lead in the Breeders' Cup Classic, was never headed, and produced a wire-to-wire triumph in what was the race of the year.
He’s the best horse in America,” Baffert said at a post-race news conference.
The Hall of Fame trainer had just grabbed a record fourth Breeders' Cup Classic. His other outstanding horse, Improbable finished second , 2 1/4 lengths in back of Authentic. who became only the fourth runner to win both the Derby and Classic in the same year. The previous horses to pull off the feat were Sunday Silence, Unbridled and Baffert’s Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah.
While the trainer celebrated his fourth Classic, Saturday’s race marked the first win in the mile and a quarter event for winning jockey, John Velazquez, who was able to hustle Authentic to lead out of the starting gate. The three-old-colt would not be denied as he finished the race in a blazing 1:59.19. Longshot Global Campaign ran third, while race favorite, Tiz the Law did not hit the board and faded to sixth.
This gutsy Classic victory adds to what was already a sparkling 2020 resume for Authentic, who besides the Derby also took the Haskell Stakes and he also delivered a courageous second place effort to Swiss Skydiver in the Preakness Stakes. These accomplishments cemented the colt’s case as 3-year-old and horse of the year.