There was an Authentic surprise at the 146th Kentucky Derby.
Bob Baffert earned his sixth Kentucky Derby victory on Saturday, as jockey John Velazquez led Authentic to a wire-to-wire win over heavy favorite Tiz the Law – the winner of June 20’s Belmont Stakes in the first leg of the Triple Crown races.
Saturday’s race was not without drama, however, as Authentic and Tiz the Law battled it out on the home stretch.
The Derby is a 1 1/4-mile course, and Authentic’s time of 2:00.61 represented the seventh-fastest time in the event’s history.
He has now won five of his six career races.
Baffert has trained two Triple Crown winners in his Hall of Fame career – American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018 – but he won’t get a shot at the prestigious honor this year.
However, after the race, the legendary horse trainer shared his emotions on winning his sixth Kentucky Derby to go along with seven Preakness Stakes wins and three Belmont Stakes victories.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t get to run my other horse, but Johnny V. gave [Authentic] the most incredible ride.”
Prior to the race, there was an interesting and unfortunate turn of events for Baffert, after his other horse, Thousand Words, reared back in the paddock area and flipped over, causing him to miss the race.
During the incident, Baffert’s assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes broke his arm, and after the race, Baffert said that he was thinking of Barnes throughout the entire race.
“We were yelling ‘Do it for Jimmy’ the whole way. Just unbelievable.”
Then, in the winner’s circle, Authentic seemed to get a little too excited and put Baffert on the ground.
Quite the day in Kentucky.
The third leg of the Triple Crown – the Preakness Stakes – will take place on Oct. 3.
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