Authentic won the Kentucky Derby. Photo by Coady Photography.

Authentic (9-5 morning line) enters the Preakness with a glittering resume, capped off by his impressive win the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby September 5.

The Bob Baffert trainee has won five of six career starts while generally keeping top-level company.

Why He Could Win

The Kentucky Derby winner is the 9-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Preakness Stakes — and deservedly so. Among other factors: top rival Tiz the Law is passing on the trip to Baltimore, eliminating the horse who would certainly have been his top rival in here.

Authentic hasn’t done much wrong in his brief career. A $350,000 auction purchase as a yearling, the son of top sire Into Mischief has won five of six career starts with just a single second-place finish — to Honor A. P. in the Santa Anita Derby — blemishing his otherwise spotless ledger. While he looked to be life-and-death to hang on in the nine-furlong Haskell, he had no problem kicking away in the lane in the 10-furlong Derby. His two Grade 1 victories are one more than the rest of the field has – combined…

A runner with plenty of early foot, Authentic is in the nine-hole, outside the other speed horses, which should give Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez the ability to pick his spot depending on the break…

Trainer Baffert is 5-for-5 bringing Derby winners to Baltimore, and while this is a different kind of year — with a longer break between the Derby and Preakness — you don’t want to ignore a trainer who’s won seven of the last 16 Triple Crown contests…

Derby winners have won 11 of the last 24 Preaknesses…

Why He Could Lose

Though there are four weeks between the Derby and Saturday’s Preakness, that will still constitute the shortest turnaround time of Authentic’s career. in which he’s generally done his best work with about six weeks between races…

Horses like Art Collector and Swiss Skydiver both have shown early foot in their prior starts, and neither was in the Derby. Either or both could force Authentic to go faster than he wants, or even grab the early advantage, which may compromise a runner whose last four victories have come when he led at every call…

What They’re Saying About Him

“He was in hand the whole way,” trainer Baffert said following Authentic’s September 28 work at Churchill Downs. “So we’re happy with him. He looks healthy. He looks great. He’s put some weight on. He’s shiny.”

His four-furlong move that day went in 47 3/5 seconds, fastest of 37 at the distance. He’s had two works since the Derby, both bullets.

“This horse, he gets over any track,” Baffert said following Authentic’s five-furlong move September 19. “He couldn’t have looked better, coming off a race like that. Everything is all systems go for the Preakness. Got a nice work out of him. I’ll come back, give him an easier work next week and he should be ready to go.”

Video Past Performances

Authentic (9-5) – Owners Spendthrift Farm LLC et. al./trainer Bob Baffert/jockey John Velazquez

Race Record: 6: 5-1-0, $2,871,200 in earnings

Authentic09-05-20Kentucky DerbyCD1
7/18/2020Haskell StakesMTH1
6/6/2020Santa Anita DerbySA2
3/7/2020San Felipe S.SA1
1/4/2020Sham S.SA1