Baffert: Authentic, Thousand Words 'ready to go' for Preakness

Baffert: Authentic, Thousand Words 'ready to go' for Preakness

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday that Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic and Thousand Words are on course for the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1) Saturday, Oct. 3 at Pimlico Race Course.

Authentic became Baffert’s record-tying sixth Derby winner on Sept. 5 with a 1 ¼-length victory over Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tiz the Law, the 7-10 favorite. Thousand Words was scratched from the Derby when he acted up and flipped while being saddled in the paddock. Both colts are at Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ barn at Churchill Downs and are galloping daily. Baffert has not scheduled a date for when the colts will have their next timed works, but said he expected those breezes would happen at the end of this week.

Baffert said that Azul Coast, who earned a berth in the Preakness with a victory in El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 15, is not being considered the race.

Even though he had won four of five career starts, Authentic -- co-owned by Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing -- was the 8-1 third choice in the Derby wagering. He recovered from an awkward start from the outside post of the 15-horse field to make the front after a quarter mile and never gave up the lead. Tiz the Law was within a head of Authentic after a mile, but could not get past the son of Into Mischief. Authentic’s time of 2:00.61 was the seventh-fastest in Derby history.

“He came out very well, very well,” Baffert said from the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, Ky. “He’s ready to go. We would have been ready to go in two weeks.”

For decades the Preakness has been run two weeks after the Derby. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Triple Crown schedule was dramatically changed this year and the Preakness is third stop in the series, a month after the Derby.

Baffert’s longtime assistant Jimmy Barnes was reaching under Thousand Words to tighten the saddle when the Pioneerof the Nile colt co-owned by the Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm reared and fell to the ground.

“Thousand Words, he’s fine,” Baffert said. “When he went up he sort of lost his footing and was on his side. He was OK and was checked out. He’s doing well.”

Barnes was injured in the incident, though, and Baffert said nine screws and a plate were required to repair his damaged right wrist. Following the Derby, Baffert landed on the ground as he moved to avoid Authentic’s reaction to the blanket of roses being placed on his back. Baffert, 67, was not injured.

“The human connections, we were the worst for wear,” Baffert said.

Baffert is the leading trainer in Triple Crown history with 16 victories. He is tied for the most wins in the Preakness, seven, with the 19th century trainer R. Wyndham Walden.

2020 Preakness Stakes (G1)

*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Tiz the Law
B. Tagg
2nd, 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) 
 Art Collector
T. Drury
1st, 2020 Ellis Park Derby (LS) 
Into Mischief
B. Baffert
1st, 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) 
 King Guillermo
Uncle Mo
J. Avila
2nd, 2020 Arkansas Derby (G1) 
 Ny Traffic
Cross Traffic
S. Joseph, Jr.
8th, 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) 
 Dr Post
Quality Road
T. Pletcher
4th, 2020 Jim Dandy (G2) 
 Mr. Big News
Giant's Causeway
W. Calhoun
3rd, 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) 
 Thousand Words
Pioneerof the Nile
B. Baffert
1st, 2020 Shared Belief Stakes (LS) 
 Mystic Guide
M. Stidham
1st, 2020 Jim Dandy (G2) 
Uncle Mo
S. Asmussen
1st, 2020 Pegasus (LS) 
Raison d'Etat
C. Gonzalez
3rd, 2020 Robert Hilton Memorial (LS)
 Shirl's Speight
R. Attfield
1st, 2020 Marine (G3) 
 Mongolian Wind
Mucho Macho Man
W. Eno
1st, 2020 Manitoba Derby (LS)
J. Abreu
2nd, 2020 Jim Dandy (G2) 
 Happy Saver
Super Saver
T. Pletcher
1st, 2020 Federico Tesio (LS)

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