Bob Baffert’s San Felipe Stakes (G2) contender Authentic caught the attention of horse racing fans with his wild performance in the Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita.
The flashy son of Into Mischief was coming into the Sham Stakes off of an easy two-length victory in his maiden debut at Del Mar. Authentic was, expectedly, the favorite for the Sham Stakes. The colt seemed a little antsy in the gate, but ultimately broke well from post position one with Drayden Van Dyke on board.
Authentic shot up the rail to grab the lead and settled there with a slew of longshots running closely behind him. As the field began to sweep around the far turn, Authentic and Drayden Van Dyke widened their advantage on the other horses. They were well clear by the top of the stretch, getting further and further ahead with each one of the colt’s large strides.
But something interesting happened: Authentic shied away from the rail every so slightly. Drayden tried to correct the green colt, but Authentic shied back towards the rail - this time it was a little bit more dramatic. Still, the colt was well ahead of the rest of the field.
Drayden and Authentic wrestled throughout the entire length of the stretch, Authentic pulling one way and Drayden pulling another. Nevertheless, they bested the field by 7 ¾ lengths. Drayden and Authentic rode down to the winners’ circle to greet owners Starlight Racing, SF Racing, Madaket Stables, Fred Hertrich, John Fielding, and Golconda Stables.
SF Bloodstock and Starlight purchased Authentic at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $350,000. He has since earned them $91,200. Even with the spooking, Authentic’s connections were very happy with his victory. Trainer Bob Baffert was impressed with the colt’s performance. Drayden Van Dyke was already quite high on the colt, telling Baffert that Authentic was his favorite two-year old after he broke his maiden at Del Mar.
"I think the noise from the crowd made him react the way he did there in the stretch," Drayden Van Dyke told BloodHorse. "His ears went toward the crowd, so I think that's what caused it, but then when he got down to the rail, he spooked himself again."
Baffert has outfitted Authentic (Into Mischief - Flawless, Mr. Greeley) with ear plugs to hopefully deter the horse from spooking at the crowd again. The ear plugs will need to work if this colt is to move on to the Kentucky Derby, where the crowd will be huge and loud.
Nevertheless, Authentic clearly has an abundance of talent. With another good trip and no problems in the stretch, this colt certainly has a shot at winning the San Felipe Stakes on Saturday. He will be facing a tough field of horses that are all looking to snag the 50 Kentucky Derby points that will be awarded to the winner. It is shaping up to be a competitive and exciting race! Many good horses have emerged from this race in the past, so keep your eyes peeled for the next big star. Here is the field for the San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park: 1. Fort McHenry 2. Honor A.P.
3. Wrecking Crew 4. Authentic 5. Thousand Words 6. Storm The Court 7. Swagsational Post time is at 6:01 p.m. E.T. Tune into TVG or your favorite streaming service to watch the race!
About: Champions of the Track is dedicated to growing the popularity of horse racing by sharing stories, photos, and videos of the sport. Amassing over 13,000 followers across social media platforms, Champions of the Track aims to provide engaging content to generate new fans whilst maintaining the sport’s loyal supporters.
If you feel connected to our mission and would like to support us, you can make a contribution on Ko-Fi. These contributions help us to improve our equipment (cameras, microphones) and travel for projects that create new fans for horse racing. We send our supporters thank you gifts!
Connect with Champions of the Track:
Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Instagram
Subscribe on YouTube