Authentic’s Classic blitz another boost for Spendthrift

November 9, 2020

Authentic’s Classic blitz another boost for Spendthrift

Authentic, with John Velazquez up, wins the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, KY, USA. Nov 7, 2020. Photography by Jamie Newell /

Star colt Authentic (USA) (Into Mischief {USA}) in the orange and purple silks of B. Wayne Hughes, delivered a huge boost to the global Spendthrift operation, when dominating the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.

For the second time in a couple of months, Spendthrift had an unforgettable weekend as Authentic delivered an authoritative 2.25 length victory in track record time.

This follows on from Authentic becoming the first Kentucky Derby winner for both Spendthrift’s owner B. Wayne Hughes and the Champion stallion it stands, Into Mischief, a significant milestone for the entire operation.

The final time of 1:59.19 established a new Keeneland track record for 2000m, besting American Pharoah’s final clocking of 2:00.07 in his Classic victory five years earlier.

He also set a hot pace in the Kentucky Derby, clocking the quickest time for the race in 19 years. He stopped the clock at 2:00.61, several seconds faster than American Pharoah’s 2:03.02 in 2015 and Justify’s 2:04.20 in 2018.

Authentic joins fellow Kentucky Derby winners Ferdinand, Alysheba, Sunday Silence, Unbridled, and the Baffert-trained American Pharoah to defeat their elders in the Classic.

“You know what, they were all training so well and he was training well,” Baffert said. “That’s what they do at this time of year, what a horse. He’s the real deal.”

A debut winner sprinting at Del Mar two days shy of a year ago, Authentic aired by 7.75l in Santa Anita’s G3 Sham S. in early January. He was a powerful winner in the G2 San Felipe S. March 7, then suffered his first career defeat, finishing second to Honor A.P. in the G1 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby.

Authentic showed no signs of slowing down, turning back Belmont winner Tiz the Law in the postponed Derby. He lost little in defeat coming up a neck short of the brilliant filly Swiss Skydiver in the G1 Preakness S. last time on October 3, before the sensational Breeders’ Cup victory.

“Oh, man, it’s such an unbelievably surreal year,” Spendthrift’s Eric Gustavson said.

“To say that the horse has brought us a lot of light and excitement and distraction is an understatement. To have the off date Kentucky Derby and then the back to normal Breeders’ Cup and to be able to win those both in one year and with a 3-year-old, it’s too much.”

The colt’s number of owners grew exponentially when the Spendthrift-backed micro-share syndicate MyRacehorse bought in shortly after Authentic’s run in the Santa Anita Derby.

“Yeah, well, I mean, this has been quite the ride,” MyRacehorse’s Michael Behrens said. “It’s an amazing ride. I could never have imagined that it would end like this. I mean, this is the pinnacle of racing.”

“Wayne (Hughes) has given so much to the game over the years. He’s been in racing for 50 years and he bought Spendthrift in 2004 and made it into a business… for Wayne, it’s everything, for us, for the team at Spendthrift, that’s the best part, that Wayne has reached the top of the mountain here and we get to celebrate with him.”

It was another big day for Spendthrift America’s marquee stallion Into Mischief, with star filly Gamine breaking a track record in winning the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint by 6.25 lengths, also for Baffert and Velazquez.

“His stock are so fast,” Cuddy said.

“Gamine has broken the track record with her victory today and Authentic has gone and run the third fastest Classic in history. They’re such tough horses and once they go, they just keep on going, they don’t stop.”

Authentic has been retired to Spendthrift ahead of the North American breeding season, at a fee of US$75,000.