Kentucky Derby winner Authentic draws post 9 in 11-horse Preakness Stakes

Sep 28, 2020 Kellie Reilly/

Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Authentic will break from post 9 in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico, where he’s tabbed as the 9-5 favorite on the morning line. Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez will be back aboard the once-beaten colt.

A record-tying sixth Derby winner for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, Authentic will try to emulate his past five runners who all went on to add the Preakness – Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002), and Triple Crown stars American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).

If Authentic can maintain Baffert’s perfect score with his Derby winners here, he’d give him a record-breaking eighth Preakness victory. Baffert, currently tied with 19th-century horseman Robert Wyndham Walden with seven, has another chance with Thousand Words. Drawn in post 5 with Florent Geroux, Thousand Words will put the blinkers back on as a 6-1 shot.

Art Collector, the 5-2 second choice, figures to show speed himself from post 3. Regular pilot Brian Hernandez has the return call.

Swiss Skydiver aims to become the sixth filly to win the Preakness, and the first since Rachel Alexandra beat the boys in 2009. With Tyler Gaffalione committed on opening weekend at Keeneland, Robby Albarado picks up the mount on the 6-1 chance who’s in post 4.

Kentucky Derby third Mr. Big News is listed at 12-1 on the morning line. Gabriel Saez retains the ride on the deep closer from post 2. The other Derby alumni are pegged at 15-1 – fifth-placer Max Player (post 8 with Paco Lopez) and eighth Ny Traffic (post 7 with Horacio Karamanos).

Max Player is one of three entrants for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who trained Rachel Alexandra as well as 2007 Preakness winner Curlin. Pneumatic (20-1) is drawn toward the outside in post 10 with Joe Bravo, while comebacker Excession (30-1) landed the rail with Sheldon Russell.

Rounding out the cast are two other 30-1 longshots, Jesus’ Team in post 6 with Jevian Toledo and Liveyourbeastlife, parked widest of all in post 11 with Trevor McCarthy.

The final jewel of a pandemic-rescheduled 2020 Triple Crown, the Preakness is also a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland. Since Belmont (G1) romper and Derby runner-up Tiz the Law is freshening up for the Nov. 7 Classic, Max Player is the only horse to compete in all three jewels.

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