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Derby champ Authentic wins 2020 Breeders’ Cup Classic

Authentic leads his Bob Baffert stablemate Improbable over the wire at Keeneland to win the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

Bob Baffert’s 2020 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic led stablemate Improbable over the wire in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at a spectatorless Keeneland.

Authentic jumped to the early lead and never looked back, securing jockey John Velazquez his first career Classic win in his 20th try. The colt is owned by Spendthrift Farm, MyRacehorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing.

He paid $10.40 to win, $5.40 to place and $4.20 to show.

Early favorite Improbable, also trained by Baffert, charged down the stretch but settled for second with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard. Global Campaign, trained by Stanley Hough and ridden by Javier Castellano, was third.

Baffert’s third horse, the infamous Maximum Security, finished fifth, one spot in front of 2020 Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law. See the full order of finish below.

Related: Winners, highlights from every 2020 Breeders’ Cup race

Authentic, the son of Into Mischief, was bred by Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC. In June, he was second in the Santa Anita Derby before winning the Pacific Classic in July and the rescheduled September Kentucky Derby. A month later, he lost a fierce stretch battle against filly Swiss Skydiver in the Preakness Stakes.

This was Baffert’s fourth career Classic win, which sets a new record. He previously won with Bayern in 2014, American Pharoah in 2015 and Arrogate in 2016.

Earlier in the day, Baffert’s filly Gamine easily took the Filly and Mare Sprint, setting a track record on the way. Baffert has been under fire after a string of positive drug tests coming out of his barn, including Gamine.

2018 Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Monomoy Girl put up a dazzling win in this year’s $2 million Distaff after a racing layoff that lasted from November 2018 to May 2020. This year’s Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver was lined up to be her biggest competition, but the filly stumbled out of the gate and couldn’t make up the ground.

Tarnawa (IRE) captured the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf for trainer Dermot Weld and substitute jockey Colin Keane. She was one of four females in the race and continues Europe’s dominance in the event.

European great Aidan O’Brien found his very first career win in the Breeders’ Cup Mile as his 73-1 longshot Order of Australia (IRE) orchestrated the upset of the day. And if that wasn’t enough, O’Brien horses picked up second (Circus Maximus) and third (Lope Y Fernandez) as well. To cap things off for the European contingent, Glass Slippers (GB) became the first European runner to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

It took him four tries, but 7-year-old Whitmore finally reached victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He finished third last year and second in the 2018 edition. This was the first Breeders’ Cup win for his trainer, Ron Moquett.

On Friday, horse racing’s rising stars were out in full force. Brad Cox’s Essential Quality picked off heavy favorite Jackie’s Warrior in the $2 million Juvenile, putting him on the map for the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Hot Rod Charlie, a 94-1 longshot, took second.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Breeders’ Cup ran without fans in the stands. Del Mar hosts the event in 2021, and Keeneland will host again in 2022.

Breeders’ Cup Classic order of finish:

  1. Authentic
  2. Improbable
  3. Global Campaign
  4. Tacitus
  5. Maximum Security
  6. Tiz the Law
  7. Title Ready
  8. By My Standards
  9. Tom’s d’Etat
  10. Higher Power