With Saturday’s three Kentucky Derby preps now behind us, it appears Tiz the Law now has a competitor to be the favorite when the horses gather in Louisville on May 2.
And his name is Authentic.
The Bob Baffert-trained colt cruised to victory Saturday in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. After a slight bobble out of the gate, Drayden Van Dyke steadied the 3-year-old and he quickly ran to the lead. In going the mile-and-a-sixteenth, Authentic had plenty of power, as he pulled away down the stretch to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths over Honor A. P.
When I saw the fractions, 22 and change, it was fast, but he was doing it so easy,” Baffert said. “The really good ones do that, and I just love the way he looked down the backside… He’s a special horse and this was probably one of the toughest prep races that we’ve seen so far. Those were really good horses in there.”
Jockey Drayden Van Dyke said Authentic was just on “cruise control” through the race.
While winning 50 points toward the Kentucky Derby will likely be enough for Authentic to qualify for the first leg of the Triple Crown, Baffert said he’s preparing his colt for next month’s Santa Anita Derby.
Authentic Closes as Betting Favorite
When Churchill Downs opened the latest round of pari-mutuel futures betting on Friday, Tiz the Law started as the morning-line favorite among listed horses at 8-1. The Barclay Tagg-trained colt was bet down to 6-1 on Sunday afternoon before bumping up to 7-1 before the window closed on betting Sunday evening.
Authentic started the session with 12-1 morning-line odds. But after his dominating performance Saturday, he ended the session as the favorite at 6-1.
Futures betting on the Derby at Churchill Downs offers bettors a chance to wager on 23 selections plus a field selection of all remaining 3-year-olds. The field entry is the overall favorite at 4-1.
Bettors wagered more than $41,000 on the field. Authentic received $29,000 in bets, about $3,000 more than Tiz the Law.
Ete Indien Performance Boosts Tiz the Law
Tiz the Law last raced on Feb. 1 in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. But his status as a top Derby contender gained some traction last weekend without him even setting a hoof on a track.
Last Saturday (Feb. 29), Ete Indien blew out the field in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. In going wire-to-wire, the Patrick Biancone-trained colt blitzed the field in the Kentucky Derby prep. He led by 4-1/2 lengths at the top of the stretch and added four more to his advantage by the time he crossed the finish line.
As outstanding as Ete Indien ran, it brought to mind Tiz the Law’s run in the Holy Bull. Ete Indien led that race through the first three-quarters of a mile, but Tiz the Law caught and then surpassed him to win by three lengths.
Those two horses may meet up one more time before the Kentucky Derby, as their handlers are pointing them toward the March 28 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
Futures bettors didn’t bite on Ete Indien. His odds started at 10-1 but drifted to 16-1 by the end of the betting window.
Churchill Downs next Derby futures session will take place starting April 3.