Overnight rains in greater Baltimore resulted in a muddy main track at Pimlico Race Course, but that did not stop GI Kentucky Derby hero Authentic (Into Mischief) from getting his first feel for the track Wednesday morning as he prepares for Saturday’s GI Preakness S.
Under the watchful eye of seven-time Preakness-winning trainer Bob Baffert, Authentic jogged the wrong way on the outside rail one day after arriving from Churchill Downs.
“He just went out there for a little jog. He looked good,” Baffert said. “Coming off that plane yesterday, he was like a keg of dynamite. He has so much energy, that horse. He’s just so full of himself.”
Baffert finds himself wishing that the Preakness were to be contested two weeks after the Derby, given how well Authentic has taken the race.
WATCH: Authentic gets a feel for Pimlico Wednesday morning
“I would have loved to run two weeks later because he was just full of himself two weeks afterward. It’s just giving horses time to freshen up,” said the Hall of Famer. “You have new shooters now. It’s so turned around now. I feel real good about it. I think he’s going to run his race. He hasn’t regressed. He looks great.”
Baffert admits that the coronavirus pandemic has cast something over a pall over the Classics, but he’s just happy they’ve taken place at all.
“It would have been horrible if we didn’t have the Derby, the Preakness,” he said. “The Belmont was sort of different, more like the Dwyer. The Derby and the Preakness, at least we got to run them. And we have beautiful weather.
“It doesn’t feel like Preakness, but it will the day of. It’s like the Kentucky Derby,” he continued. “It didn’t feel like Derby that day, but when that gate came open it felt like Derby. That’s the way it is. When that gate comes open it’s going to feel like Preakness. That’s what it’s all about. All you are hoping for is that your horses show up and when they turn for home you’re hoping you have something to root for. That’s it. That’s all you can ask for.” (Click here for an interview with Bob Baffert)