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Authentic Holds Off Improbable to Win 2020 Breeders' Cup Classic Race

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIINovember 7, 2020

Kentucky Derby winner Authentic is taken for a workout at the Breeders' Cup World Championship horse races at Keeneland Race Course Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Lexington, Ky. Authentic is scheduled to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic race Saturday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Authentic has won the 2020 Breeders' Cup Classic, surging ahead of a stacked field including Maximum Security, Tiz the Law and Improbable to claim a wire-to-wire victory only two months after winning the Kentucky Derby.

NBC Sports @NBCSports

HE'S AUTHENTIC INDEED! First the @KentuckyDerby, now the @BreedersCup Classic 🏆 Authentic is a true winner! #BC20 | #BreedersCup https://t.co/UvlE34dXlz

The victory gives famed trainer Bob Baffert another major resume boost as Authentic claims the $3.3 million prize.

Baffert, 67, picks up his fourth Breeders' Cup Classic victory after winning three straight from 2014 to 2016.

     

2020 Breeders' Cup Classic Payouts

Win: Authentic: $10.40, $5.40, $4.20 (Prize: $3.3 million)

Place: Improbable: $4.80, $3.20 (Prize: $1.02 million)

Show: Global Campaign: $8.80 (Prize: $540,000)

Breeders' Cup World Championships @BreedersCup

Donna Brothers captures the reaction from John Velazquez after the first Breeders' Cup Classic victory of his career aboard Authentic!! #BreedersCup #MyRacehorse @myracehorse @spendthriftfarm @starlightracing https://t.co/ptaw5vJExM

Authentic got a great start out of the gates and took an immediate lead heading into the first turn. That quickly grew to a lead of two lengths heading into the second turn with jockey John Velazquez finding a comfortable pace.

It also helped that Tiz the Law found himself stuck on the rail, where he's generally struggled this season. By the time the Belmont Stakes winner was able to break free to the outside, he'd used up too much energy to gain ground on Authentic. That made it a virtual two-horse race down the stretch as Authentic held off a late surge from Improbable—another of Baffert's entries Saturday.

"I've been chasing this race for quite a while," Velazquez told NBC on the track as he rode into the winner's circle. "Now to have an opportunity to win it, and for [Authentic] to deliver, for me, it's incredible. What a feeling. I don't know what to say."

Breeders' Cup World Championships @BreedersCup

A huge congratulations to all connected with Authentic, @KentuckyDerby winners and now @LonginesEq #BreedersCup Classic winners! 👏 https://t.co/VaZFZZnmnO

Baffert credited Velazquez with finding Authentic's rhythm late in the season after delivering a disappointing second-place finish at the Preakness Stakes in early October.

By Saturday, that was long forgotten, and the only thing that could have made the day better was Maximum Security pulling off a third-place finish to give Baffert a sweep of the podium.

Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, belonged to the Arizona native again, regardless.

After opening at 6-1 odds, Authentic delivered arguably his biggest win of the season and cemented his place among Baffert's ever-growing list of champion horses.

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