Authentic won the 2020 Kentucky Derby wire-to-wire as a heavy underdog to Tiz the Law. Now we'll get to see how the horse does as a heavy favorite.
Authentic drew the No. 9 post for Saturday's Preakness Stakes on Monday and comes in at 9-5 odds to take his second Triple Crown race in as many months. Tiz the Law won't be making the trip to Pimlico for the rematch, so Authentic's biggest competition will come in the form of Art Collector (5-2), Swiss Skydiver (6-1) and Thousand Words (6-1).
2020 Preakness Post Draw
1. Excession (30-1)
2. Mr. Big News (12-1)
3. Art Collector (5-2)
4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1)
5. Thousand Words (6-1)
6. Jesus' Team (30-1)
7. NY Traffic (15-1)
8. Max Player (15-1)
9. Authentic (9-5)
10. Pneumatic (20-1)
11. LiveYourBeastLife (30-1)
Like the previous two Triple Crown races, the Preakness will be unlike any of its previous runnings. There will be no fans in the stands, no fanfare, and none of the pageantry that typically plays a significant part in drawing eyeballs—Kentucky Derby ratings took a deep plunge, a 49 percent demo dip and a 43 percent overall viewership drop from last year.
It's understandable, given that much of the appeal of a two-minute horse race is the spectacle around it. Without all of the celebrities and decadence, the race is all that's left—and maybe that's not enough to attract the most casual of viewers.
That said, Authentic has two legends in his corner, which makes him a must-watch horse Saturday. Trained by Bob Baffert, Authentic has spent the last few weeks in the care of D. Wayne Lukas while staying in Kentucky after the Derby. The California-based Baffert called on Lukas to watch over his latest prized horse after assistant Jimmy Barnes suffered a fractured wrist at Churchill Downs.
That means Authentic will have 30 Triple Crown victories in his corner come Saturday.
"His energy level, I was watching him come off the track, and his efficiency of motion," Lukas said of Authentic, per Jennie Rees of Horse Racing Nation. "That horse, you have to sprinkle flour to see if he's touching the ground. I mean, he just gets it over so nice. I think the Preakness is going to be right up his wheelhouse. He ran a heck of a race here. But shortening up and over that particular track, I think he's going to be awful hard to handle. And he's done terrific since the race. I'm not a big gambler, but I wouldn't bet against this horse any time now."
Art Collector enters with five straight victories on his resume but had to pull out of the Kentucky Derby with a foot injury. Expected to be perhaps Tiz the Law's biggest challenge at Churchill Downs, Art Collector has galloped to wins at the Ellis Park Derby and Blue Grass Stakes this year.