Already the most successful trainer in the history of the race, California-based speed king Bob Baffert looked to boast string claims of extending his lead over the competition, with three of the 10-runner field hailing from his yard. Improbable was the shortest priced of his trio in the market, following Grade 1 triumphs in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Whitney Stakes and Awesome Again Stakes. Bbut Haskell Stakes and Kentucky Derby champ, Authentic wasn’t too far behind him, whilst Maximum Security had impressed many with his easy success in the Pacific Classic.
However, it was Barclay Tagg who was responsible for the market leader, in the shape of Tiz The Law, who arrived seeking a Grade 1 four-timer, having led the field home in the Florida Derby, Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes. Also coming in for support on the day was Tom’s D’Etat, who didn’t quite boast the form of the other leading contenders but had looked an unlucky loser behind Improbable in the Whitney Stakes.
- 1st – Authentic 9/2, Jockey: John Velazquez, Trainer: Bob Baffert
- 2nd – Improbable 3/1, Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr., Trainer: Bob Baffert
- 3rd – Global Campaign 33/1, Jockey: Javier Castellano, Trainer: Stanley Hough
Prize Money Breakdown
- 1st – £2,345,864.66
- 2nd – £766,917.29
- 3rd – £406,015.04
- 4th – £225,563.91
- 5th – £135,338.35
- 6th – £90,225.56
- 7th – £45,112.78
- 8th – £45,112.78
- 9th – £45,112.78
- 10th – £45,112.78
Tote and Forecast Payouts
- Tote Win – $10.40
- Tote Places – 1st – $4.20, 2nd – $3.20, 3rd – $8.80
- Exacta – $22.70
- Trifecta – $335.90
Authentic’s draw out in stall 9 had looked a potential problem for the confirmed frontrunner, but with none of his rivals keen to make the running, John Velazquez was able to steer his mount to the head of affairs and grab the inside rail. Stablemate Maximum Security and the outsider Global Campaign tracked the pace, whilst favourite Tiz The Law broke well, but was restrained to take up a position around three lengths off the leader. Improbable, meanwhile, was attempting to make ground, but was stuck four wide for the bulk of his journey.
Allowed to bowl along in front, Authentic was already setting a strong pace and had much of the field in trouble when kicking around the turn for home. Into the straight, Improbable looked the biggest danger on the outside, with Tiz The Law coming under a drive, but unable to make ground on the leader. Authentic was then simply too strong close home, maintaining his relentless gallop to the line to come home 2¼l clear of Improbable, who did well to finish as close as he did, given his wide passage.
It was truly a stellar display from Authentic, who smashed the Keeneland course record with this success. It was also a fine 1-2 for Classic specialist Bob Baffert, who landed his fourth win in the event, and a first success in the great race for 48-year-old John Velazquez.
- 1. Tacitus – SP: 25/1, Trainer: William Mott, Jockey: Jose Ortiz
- 2. Tiz The Law – SP: 11/4F, Trainer: Barclay Tagg, Jockey: Manuel Franco
- 3. By My Standards – SP: 28/1, Trainer: W Bret Calhoun, Jockey: Gabriel Saez
- 4. Tom’s D’Etat – SP: 7/2, Trainer: Albert Stall Jr., Jockey: Joel Rosario
- 5. Title Ready – SP: 100/1, Trainer: Dallas Stewart, Jockey: Corey Lanerie
- 6. Higher Power – SP: 66/1, Trainer: John Sadler, Jockey: Flavien Prat
- 7. Global Campaign – SP: 33/1, Trainer: Stanley Hough, Jockey: Javier Castellano
- 8. Improbable – SP: 3/1, Trainer: Bob Baffert, Jockey: Irad Ortix Jr.
- 9. Authentic – SP: 9/2, Trainer: Bob Baffert, Jockey: John Velazquez
- 10. Maximum Security – SP: 13/2, Trainer: Bob Baffert, Jockey: Luis Saez