Authentic wins $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic

Published November 8, 2020, 10:36 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

Authentic with John Velazquez aboard runs to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic during 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland on November 07, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by John Velazquez, won the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky.

Baffert notched his 17th Breeders’ Cup victory and his fourth in the Classic while Velazquez claimed his 18th Breeders’ Cup victory but his first in the Classic.

The duo had teamed earlier in the day for a victory in the Filly & Mare Sprint with Gamine.

Tiz the Law, winner of the Belmont Stakes in June and runner-up to Authentic in the Kentucky Derby in a year that saw the Triple Crown year reshuffled amid the coronavirus pandemic, broke smartly, but he couldn’t get the jump on Authentic, who went straight to a lead he never relinquished.

On the far turn, 25-1 shot Global Campaign made the first run at Authentic with Baffert’s Improbable looping up three wide.   

In the stretch, Authentic expanded his lead and was well clear at the eighth pole and not threatened by Improbable who overtook Global Campaign by a length for second.   

Global Campaign was third by two lengths over Tacitus.

“It’s incredible,” said Velazquez, whose first Classic win came on his 20th try. “Thanks God and the whole team. The older I get the more emotional I get.

“It worked out perfect. Bob said to take him to the lead so he doesn’t wander so much and keep his mind on running. It worked out. He did everything I wanted him to do.”

Baffert said Authentic, at the end of his three-year-old campaign, was “catching up with” his older competition.

“That’s what they do at this time of year,” Baffert said. “What a horse. He’s the real deal.

“I tell you what, I needed that, didn’t I?” added Baffert, who has been under scrutiny in 2020 after four of his horses ran afoul of anti-doping regulations in incidents that have prompted the superstar trainer to vow this week to run “a tighter ship.”