With his win today in the Kentucky Derby, Authentic made the second big race of the meet another upset, following in the shoes of Shedaresthedevil’s win in the Oaks. Authentic won Derby in style today, holding off Tiz the Law at the end. Of course, he was one of the horses that I hadn’t previewed yesterday, as most handicappers thought he didn’t have the staying power, after struggling to win the Haskell at 1 1/8 mile. Boy, did he prove them wrong. He broke from the outside position and moved right to the front. Jockey Johnny Velazquez gave him a breather around the half mile mark and when Tiz the Law made his move, showed himself to have the endurance to hold off the favorites. The other big surprise in the race was the longshot (46-1) Mr. Big News, who made a big move from the back of the pack to finish third. Honor AP, who was bumped at the start, finished fourth. Jockey Mike Smith said the colt had trouble with the track surface but tried his best. He sat in the back of the field but made a big move coming around the final turn.
The circumstances of the Derby were more than peculiar. The stands were empty, protesters marched outside the gates, and helicopters flew overhead. Despite the relatively low key environment, one of the Derby favorites, Thousand Words, reared up and flipped over while being saddled, breaking the arm of Bob Baffert’s assistant, John Barnes, in the process. Although the colt appears to be okay, he was a last minute scratch.
Authentic is the first Kentucky Derby winner for co-owner B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm. Authentic is also owned by Starlight Racing, Madaket Stable, and the group MyRacehorse, which invited fans to purchase a micro-share of the colt prior to the Derby. According to MyRacehorse social media accounts, 4,500 people got to experience the feeling of owning the winner of the Kentucky Derby. That’s kind of a cool idea. Checking their website today, they have one horse featured — NY Exacta. You can buy a share (0.5%) for $228.
What did you think of the big race? Holding it after the Belmont still feels strange to me, but I enjoyed the race nonetheless.