Authentic Turns Back Tiz the Law in Kentucky Derby 2020 – RECAP! – Super Screener
Super Screener

Authentic Turns Back Tiz the Law in Kentucky Derby 2020 – RECAP!

Photo By: Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire

Authentic was just that…authentic! With the scratch of his stablemate, Thousand Words, who flipped in the paddock (but showed not even a scratch upon examination), Authentic moved up to be our 4th ranked horse. Many questioned his ability to get the distance but in our recap post for the Haskell Stakes in July, here’s what we concluded on that front:

Questions continue to arise as to Authentic’s ability to get the 1 ¼ distance. However, the Super Screener is less concerned about stamina and more dismayed with the colt’s lack of focus. He gets too distracted too easily and what is going to happen when you go from no one in the stands to a noisy and distraction-filled Kentucky Derby scene?  That’s the far bigger concern as the running line from the Haskell highlighted in green indicates he can get more ground.

Do note that had Mike Smith not wrapped up on this colt with a furlong to go, that Late Pace figure could have easily been 100 which means he would have submitted triple digit figures from mid-pace to finish… that is definitely Kentucky Derby material so don’t be too quick to dismiss this colt.” 

As we prepared the Super Screener book, I shared the observation that the better question on Authentic wasn’t “can he get the distance?” but, does he need the lone lead to win and will the fact that he can get distracted (especially when not on the lone lead) hurt him. 

The better question is can he effectively compete if he does not secure the lone lead?  Was Honor A.P. the better horse in the G1 Santa Anita Derby (I believe so) or was Authentic’s 2nd place finish due to the fact that he could not secure the lone lead? My conclusion is that Honor A.P. was simply the better horse that day and Authentic was still rounding into form in just his second race since early January. That was confirmed as Authentic moved forward next out in the G1 Haskell. And, in that race, he was simply the fastest horse in the short field and Mike Smith took advantage of that fact by getting him out front. Let’s also not forget that in his debut, Authentic pressed the pace and then proceeded to draw clear for the win. This is a live contender and, for a Baffert horse, we will get some value as all wagering attention will be focused on Tiz the Law and Honor A.P.

We stated that if a horse was going to beat Tiz the Law it would be one of the California horses. So with the scratch of Thousand Words, that left just Authentic and Honor A. P…

I even set up the primary “Tiz the Law does not win” wager as just that… a $20 Exacta with CA horses over Tiz the Law.  I followed that one up with a Pace/Pressers Exacta over Tiz the Law which, of course, included Authentic. Those suggested wagers combined to yield over $600.  

When the half mile and the 6 furlong times were posted as sub :47 and sub 1:11, respectively, in any other Kentucky Derby that has typically meant forwardly placed types would be in trouble down the stretch. However, despite those swift fractions, Authentic and Tiz the Law ran the races of their lives and they were simply far and above the best two horses in the field. 

I have to admit that when I saw the light blue saddle cloth with the number 9 on it making progress coming out of the turn, I had a few choice words as Mr. Big News was not on our tickets and no one’s “screener”, for that matter.  With the following BRIS Late Pace and Final Speed Rating figures. he was never going to be on our tickets.  But, we even cited that he could be used in 4th in a pace collapse situation especially on a sloppy track.

Earlier in the race, when Ny Traffic took a right turn out of the gate, sawing off Honor A.P. and then seeing him, as a presser, end up in the back of the field, I thought right away we won’t see him on the board… and that was a shame as he was a key horse for us. As Mr. Big News was barreling down the stretch, out of the corner of my eye (and monitor) I saw Honor A.P. making that very wide move and gaining with every stride — but he came up just over a length short and finished a game 4th all things considered.  Quite the different outcome if he finishes third.

Max Player finished 5th and was full of run at the end once he broke into the clear with no kick back in his face, which is something he disdains. In the end, our Super Seven was reduced to the Super Six with the scratch of Thousand Words and 4 of those horses took up all but one of the top five finishing slots.

It will be interesting to see what Thousand Words will do in the Preakness and how Honor A.P. will perform with a cleaner trip. One thing is clear, it is the CA horses and Tiz the Law that are the best of this crop right now. 

It is now onto the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown which in this pandemic year is now the final race in the Triple Crown. It is already setting up to be a rematch between Authentic and Tiz the Law as the connections of the latter colt are ready to head to Baltimore. It will be interesting to see who shows up to take on that regal pair, as I am sure some of the connections would like a redo.

The Super Screener highlights on the Derby undercard included the following:

American Turf —  Caught a $340 Trifecta pay out when our Top Long Shot pick Taishan finished 2nd

Pat Day Mile – The Super Screener Top Win pick, Rushie (post the scratch of Cezzane), crushed this field at odds of 3-1.

Distaff Turf Mile – Cashed on the Exacta when Beau Recall upset Newspaperofrecord for the win at 8-1.
Turf Classic – Hit the Trifecta which paid $130 for a $.50 ticket.

We can’t thank you enough for your continued support of our Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown, Breeders’ Cup and weekly Super Screener products.  It is our absolute pleasure to serve you with this form of deep and thoughtful analysis while educating along the way.  We wouldn’t be here without you so a big THANK YOU from your Super Screener team.

Looking forward to the Preakness and then five short weeks later, the Breeders’ Cup — with plenty of prep racing stakes action to cover week to week over these next few months. 

Until next time…Go Fast and Win!

With deep gratitude,

Mike Shutty

Super Screener Creator