Authentic Looks to Keep Streak Alive in Santa Anita Derby
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The most prestigious event for three-year-olds in California is the $400,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1), which has produced Kentucky Derby winners Justify, California Chrome, and I’ll Have Another in the last decade. Typically held the first weekend in April and for $1 million, the Santa Anita fixture has had to adapt to a June 6 date with a smaller purse thanks to the global pandemic.
The 1 1/8-mile will go as the eighth on an 11-race program at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. Seven runners were entered, with unbeaten Authentic installed as the 4-5 morning line favorite. Watch and wager on Santa Anita live with TVG.
Authentic had something to prove going into the San Felipe (G2) on March 7. He had previously won the Sham Stakes (G3) in January by zigzagging down the stretch, acting green despite a strong maiden win at Del Mar in November. He ended up running straight and true, winning the San Felipe by 2 ¼ lengths for trainer Bob Baffert. The $350,000 son of Into Mischief is a leading contender for the 2020 Kentucky Derby.
Second behind Authentic that day was the flashy, popular Honor A. P. The $850,000 son of Honor Code broke his maiden in stellar fashion when he won October 13 by more than five lengths. Nagging ailments kept him off the track until the San Felipe, where he ran second despite the layoff and outran Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Storm the Court in third. Trainer John Shirreffs has given Honor A. P. a bullet workout on May 22 with five furlongs going in :59.1. Mike Smith will again have the mount.
Baffert’s second runner is El Camino Real Derby hero Azul Coast. Second behind Authentic in the Sham, Azul Coast ran the full 1 1/8-mile distance in winning Golden Gate Field’s banner race on Fberuary 15. He has been idle since, not shipping to Oaklawn Park with several of his stablemates such as Nadal and Charlatan. Azul Coast is the only runner in the field with a win over the distance, but the son of Super Saver would still have to improve to score here.
Second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) by a head was Anneau d’Or, who went on to run second by a neck in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2). He has been disappointing this year, finishing ninth in the Risen Star (G2) at the Fair Grounds and fifth in the Arkansas Derby (G1), but trainer Blaine Wright returns the son of Medaglia d’Oro to the track where he nearly stole the Two Year Old Championship.
Shooters Shoot, Rushie, and Friar’s Road round out the field.
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