BALTIMORE, Md. – A connection formed with 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify has yielded 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and Preakness (G1) morning-line favorite Authentic.
Starlight Racing bought into partnerships that were racing Justify, Grade 1 winner Audible and this year’s top older horse Improbable before subsequently purchasing yearlings with another partner, SF Bloodstock. During the first year together buying young horses, SF and Starlight picked up Authentic for $350,000 at the Keeneland 2018 September sale.
The patience that was involved with the purchase of Authentic has been rewarded. The colt, now racing for Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Starlight and Madaket Stables, has won five of six starts, earned over $2.8 million and tops the field of 11 entered in the Saturday’s 145th Preakness (G1) at Pimlico Race Course. Authentic and Thousand Words, both trained by Bob Baffert, are part of a group of Preakness runners that shipped from Kentucky to Baltimore late Tuesday afternoon.
Given the name Authentic by his breeder, Peter Blum, the son of top sire Into Mischief, was not viewed as one of the potential stars of the Keeneland sale, which front-loads talent in its massive catalogue. Jack Wolf, who manages Starlight with his wife, Laurie, recalled that the bloodstock advisors during the initial year of the buying partnership spotted Authentic and were willing to wait for him to reach the ring.
“We didn’t buy him until Book 3,” Wolf said. “At the time, the first group of yearlings that we bought we had Donato Lanni, Frankie Brothers, Henry Field doing the short-list work. All three of them liked the horse, especially Frankie and Donato.”
Audible was the last of the 19 colts purchased by SF/Starlight for a total of $9,315,000. Thirteen of the others cost more than Authentic. The partnership purchased its 18th yearling, Ragtime Blues, in the fifth session of the sale and had to wait three days until Authentic, Hip No. 2,616, came to the ring.
“He is typical of the type of horse that those guys look at and buy,” Wolf said. “It’s the conformation, the balance. Secondly, would be the pedigree, although this horse has a wonderful pedigree. They look for athletes. Of course, all the horses go to Bob Baffert and Donato has been working with him for years. I don’t think Bob was around for Book 3, but Donato knows what Bob likes.”
SF and Starlight are listed as the buyers, but Madaket, managed by Sol Kumin; Fred Hertrich; John Fielding and Golconda Stables, were aboard when Authentic broke his maiden in his debut at Del Mar last November. After he rolled to two stakes wins during the winter in California, Spendthrift Farm stepped up to buy a controlling interest in the colt. Madaket and Starlight stayed in as racing partners. Spendthrift, which owns the breeding rights, sold a piece of its stake to Myracehorse.com, the company that markets in micro shares of horses.
Authentic ended up second to Honor A.P. in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his first start for the Spendthrift-led partnership, then won the Haskell (G1) in July and handled Belmont Stakes (G1) winner and heavy favorite Tiz the Law in the Kentucky Derby.
Photo: Authentic wins the Kentucky Derby. Credit: Churchill Downs/Coady