Thousand Words, Authentic a formidable Derby duo

September 1, 2020

Spendthrift Farm and their partners arrive at this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) with two colts who have shown they have what it takes to win Saturday’s Run for the Roses.

At Tuesday’s post position draw, Thousand Words was assigned post 10, while Authentic is on the outside in the field of 18 3-year-olds going the classic 1 ¼-miles.

Thousand Words, owned with Albaugh Family Stables, was a $1 million purchase at auction as a yearling. He began his career in style, winning three straight, including the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) before turning in a pair of sub-par efforts in late spring.

His Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert gave him some time off, and the bay colt has responded very well, with a second to stablemate Uncle Chuck in the July 4 Los Alamitos Derby (G3), then a victory over fellow Derby contender Honor A. P. in the Shared Belief S. on Aug. 1, his most recent start.

Thousand Words’ 104 Beyer Speed Figure in the Shared Belief is the second-highest of any Derby entrant. He’ll be ridden Saturday for the first time by Florent Geroux.

Jason Loutsch, racing manager Albaugh Family Stables, said via text: “Good spot. Lots of bad numbers were left (when our name was called) so I’m very happy.”

Authentic, who is also trained by Baffert, is owned by MyRacehorse Stable, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing, along with Spendthrift. Among the most accomplished horses in the Derby field, Authentic has won the Haskell Inv. (G1), San Felipe S. (G2) and Sham S. (G3) this year.

John Velazquez has the mount for the first time.

“Not ideal for Authentic but I’m OK with it. He’s out of harm’s way,” commented Baffert via text from California.

Both Authentic and Thousand Words arrived in Louisville on Monday and trained for the first time at Churchill on Tuesday morning.

The $3 million Derby is the last of 14 races at Churchill Downs on Saturday and will be televised live on NBC, with a post time of 7:01 ET.