earned her second graded stakes win, rolling to a
comfortable one-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 84 Lumber
Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga Race
Ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez – who is closing in on
Jerry Bailey’s record as the
all-time leading rider at Saratoga – the 6-year-old mare took advantage
of her outside post and settled in just off Sea Island as that one led
through pokey fractions of 25.46 seconds
for a quarter mile, 50.80 for a half and 1:15.03 for three-quarters.
Ranging up on the turn, Authenticity swung into the stretch with a
half-length advantage and had plenty left to turn back a late challenge
from Flashy American.
Her winning time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:52.33.
“I knew it was going to
be a slow pace, but I didn’t want to be on the lead, either,” said
Velazquez, who with the victory moved three behind Bailey’s total 693
wins. “I kind of eased off from the other horse
and got her to relax. By the three-eighths pole she got into that nice
rhythm, and she did it pretty easy.”
Owned by Zayat Stables,
Authenticity is 4-3-1 from nine career starts, including her first
graded stakes win in the Grade 2 La Troienne in May at Churchill Downs.
“I think it was a good
effort from her,” said winning trainer Todd Pletcher, who indicated
Authenticity’s next start would be the Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign
Invitational on August 25. “She’s a total professional.
She’s very easy to train, easy to ride … You can put her on the lead,
you can let her stalk, take her back if you wanted to. The main thing is
we wanted her to be in a nice, comfortable rhythm.”
$3 for a $2 win bet, and with the winner’s purse of $120,000 has now
amassed $513,362, most of which has been earned since joining Pletcher’s
stable this year.
Runner-up Flashy American was 2 ¼ lengths in front of
Island, who in turn had 2 ½ lengths on Moon
Philly. Royal Lahaina was fifth, with Eblouissante, the younger
half-sister of champion Zenyatta who was making her stakes debut,
checking in sixth after acting up in the gate.