Authentic named 2020 Horse of the Year

January 28, 2021

Alex Waldrop presenting the 2020 Horse of the Year trophy to Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes

Authentic earned the Golden Eclipse Award as the 2020 Horse of the Year during Thursday evening’s virtual ceremony hosted by Spendthrift Farm, capping an unforgettable year that also saw the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner earn the Eclipse Award for Champion 3-year-old Male.

Authentic is as son of Spendthrift’s two-time champion sire Into Mischief, and is owned by the Farm in partnership with MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stable and Starlight Racing.

The significance of the honor was not lost on Spendthrift’s owner B. Wayne Hughes, who was presented the award at the farm by NTRA President Alex Waldrop.

“On behalf of everyone at Spendthrift Farm, I want to extend my thanks to the voters at the NTRA, the Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. We are so honored and thankful to win Horse of the Year. This is a major milestone for Spendthrift and for our great partners at MyRacehorse, Madaket, and Starlight Racing,” said Hughes.

Authentic, who was trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, started off the year with a win in the San Felipe S. (G2). After running second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), he bounced back to win the Haskell Inv. (G1) in mid-July. Facing Belmont S. (G1) winner in the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5, he defeated his foe by 1 ¼-lengths in the Run for the Roses. After a narrow loss in the Preakness S. (G1), Authentic turned in arguably his best performance with a record-setting performance in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 111 in what was his career finale.

Authentic was retired to Spendthrift following that race, where he has taken up stud duties alongside his sire.

“This is a big deal for me. I wish all owners could have the same experience and I’m happy to be a part of this,” said Hughes when presented with the award. “I think his [stud] career is going to be great. But who knows, God’s in charge of that.”

Authentic is the third son of Into Mischief to stand at Spendthrift, joining top young sire Goldencents, and Maximus Mischief, whose first foals are arriving this year. Authentic’s fee is $75,000 S&N.