Morning After the Kentucky Derby

Horse Racing Radar
Valerie Mellema
Valerie Mellema is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Sunday, September 6, 2020

Bob Baffert showed off his winner this morning for the press and owners on the Churchill backside. AUTHENTIC came out of the race well despite a lot of excitement in the Winner's Circle and a bit of horse drama in the paddock with THOUSAND WORDS

THOUSAND WORDS was getting girthed up when he reared and fell backwards breaking Baffert's assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes' arm. Barnes was taken to the hospital via ambulance while receiving the play by play of the Derby by his wife. The arm does require surgery. The horse was vet checked, scratched from the race but had no injuries.

Meanwhile, AUTHENTIC went on to run the perfect race, shooting to the front of the pack to take the lead and set a blistering quarter-mile of 22.4. Baffert says that the speed had him worried, but jockey Johnny Velazquez kept him under control and in the lead. As they came down the stretch, it was a dual between the favorite TIZ THE LAW and AUTHENTIC with AUTHENTIC prevailing by a length. couldn't have called it any better in their wagering guide, stating "Authentic has nearly the perfect setup, outside post and likely to be on the lead in what could be a moderate pace for the KD. If he can run the first half-mile in 47 seconds or more, the others might not catch him. His training sessions have been swift, Bob Baffert has him ready."

Well, he did just that with a half-mile of 46.4. TIZ THE LAW couldn't catch him.

Many had downplayed the colt after barely pulling off the Haskell win. In an interview by with Bob Baffert prior to the race, Baffert stated that he told jockey Mike Smith that you have to keep encouraging him. Mike let up too soon in the Haskell thinking he had the win and later told Bob that he was still smooching at him. The problem, Baffert siad, is that the colt was wearing ear plugs. He couldn't hear him.

The Winner's Circle was full with members of the group, Spendthrift Farm, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables. They laid the blanket of roses on the colt and he instantly became worried, spinning around and causing the crowd to disperse. The reason? The ribbon on the blanket was tickling his legs. While Baffert and a few others took a spill, the connections were thrilled with their horse, particularly the 4500 owners who bought a share of AUTHENTIC through 

The plan now is that both horses will stay at Churchill. Baffert plans on being in Kentucky for the next couple of weeks for sales and both horses will be stabled with D. Wayne Lukas. If both horses are working well, they will be heading to the Preakness.

This Kentucky Derby is a pretty special one for Spendthrift Farm as well. The farm already has stallion rights in the partnership and the colt is by their champion sire INTO MISCHIEF. INTO MISCHIEF, considered a super sire by many, now has his first Kentucky Derby winner.