Heading into the Kentucky Derby, Authentic and Art Collector were seen as the two biggest challengers to Tiz the Law, but they never got to go head-to-head after Art Collector was forced to withdraw with a foot injury.
One month later, and with Tiz the Law out of the picture, we'll finally get to see how Authentic and Art Collector look squared off against one another at the 2020 Preakness Stakes.
Authentic will go off as a 9-5 favorite from the No. 9 post in the final Triple Crown leg, while Art Collector has the second-best odds at 5-2.
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)
Odds courtesy of Preakness.com.
Authentic, trained by the legendary Bob Baffert, stayed in Kentucky between the Derby and Preakness. With Baffert heading back to his native California for the monthlong break, he tabbed the equally legendary D. Wayne Lukas to take care of his prized colt while he was out of town.
There may be no better-trained horse in the history of the sport.
"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 is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Thomas Drury, Art Collector's trainer, will be taking his first horse to a Triple Crown race.
While he'll be at a severe experience disadvantage, Drury is taking a horse ready for the spotlight. Art Collector has won his last five races, including triumphs at the Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby.
Drury says the horse has looked strong in limited work so far at Pimlico.
"My assistant said everything went perfectly. Art Collector is a free-moving type, and he's always been the type that takes his racetrack with him," Drury said, per Bob Ehalt of BloodHorse. "It was a long day of traveling yesterday, and they sent me some video of him today and I saw his ears were pricked and he had a nice bounce coming after he trained, which I was glad to see. That's what you're looking for with a horse like this."
Whlie there are a few other potential spoilers—Swiss Skydiver and Thousand Words are both solid choices in an 11-horse field—this seems like it'll be a one-on-one race to the finish.