Flashy Authentic (Into Mischief) emerged from Saturday's GII San Felipe S. as the still-unbeaten Bob Baffert trainee with a stylish performance as part of another big day for his superstar sire. Well-regarded Honor A. P. (Honor Code) and champion 2-year-old Storm the Court (Court Vision) were second and third, respectively, while Authentic's stablemate Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile) came under a ride early and checked in fourth. Into Mischief was also responsible for Saturday's
GIII Gotham S. winner Mischievious Alex at Aqueduct, and an exciting 'TDN Rising Star' in the form of $1.8-million Fasig-Tipton Midlantic topper Gamine, who was sent out by the Baffert barn earlier on the Santa Anita card.
A 1 1/2-length debut winner in fast time sprinting at Del Mar Nov. 9, Authentic ran away with the GIII Sham S. going a flat mile here Jan. 4, and was subsequently flattered when the runner-up Azul Coast (Super Saver)–yet another member of the super-deep Baffert barn–returned to annex the El Camino Real Derby. Authentic showed a flashy-looking worktab in the interim, having most recently breezed a bullet six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 Mar. 2 (XBTV Video), and was backed as the 6-5 choice to the already more accomplished Thousand Words's 5-2 odds.
Authentic seized the lead into the first turn as Storm the Court pressed him from the two path and Thousand Words drafted just in behind. He posted solid splits of :22.84 and :46.71, and had put away his two pursuers entering the home turn. Honor A. P. emerged as the main danger, and at the top of the lane looked like he might get the job done, but Authentic still had plenty left to give and held sway late by 2 1/4 lengths.
Saturday, Santa Anita Park
SAN FELIPE S.-GII, $401,000, Santa Anita, 3-7, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:43.56, ft.
1–AUTHENTIC, 122, c, 3, by Into Mischief
1st Dam: Flawless, by Mr. Greeley
2nd Dam: Oyster Baby, by Wild Again
3rd Dam: Really Fancy, by In Reality
($350,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP). O-SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing,
Madaket Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding &
Golconda Stables; B-Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY);
T-Bob Baffert; J-Drayden Van Dyke. $240,000. Lifetime Record:
3-3-0-0, $331,200. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*.
Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Honor A. P., 120, r, 3, Honor Code–Hollywood Story, by Wild
Rush. ($850,000 Ylg '18 FTSAUG). O-C R K Stable LLC; B-George
Krikorian (KY); T-John A. Shirreffs. $80,000.
3–Storm the Court, 124, c, 3, Court Vision–My Tejana Storm, by
Tejano Run. ($5,000 Ylg '18 FTKFEB; $60,000 2yo '19 OBSAPR).
O-David A Bernsen LLC, Exline-Border Racing LLC, Dan Hudock
& Susanna Wilson; B-Stepping Stone Farm (KY); T-Peter
Margins: 2 1/4, 3HF, 5HF. Odds: 1.20, 3.20, 4.10.
Also Ran: Thousand Words, Wrecking Crew, Fort McHenry, Swagsational. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
“Beautiful trip,” winning rider Drayden Van Dyke said.
“He took a little tiny stumble out of the gate, but it wasn't enough to cost us. I was just in cruise control. I was seeing if anybody was going to test me to make me pick it up… I kept him going a few times, just to keep him focused, but he got off amazing and it seems like there's more in the tank.
This was a record seventh San Felipe win for Baffert, who also trains the likes of last year's GI American Pharoah S. winner Eight Rings (Empire Maker) and brilliant fellow 'TDN Rising Star' Charlatan (Speightstown) for this same powerful ownership group.
“He stumbled a little bit leaving there, and I anticipated that, but he's so quick on his feet,” Baffert said. “Once he got him around the turn–I know they were going quick and I knew Thousand Words was closer, and I probably learned a lot from him; he doesn't want to be that close. He sort of flattened out at the end. I was disappointed with him.
“But when I saw the fractions, :22 and change, it was fast, but he [Authentic] doing it so easy. The really good ones do that and I just love the way he looked down the backside. Turning for home I saw Mike Smith coming with that good horse [Honor A.P.] and I said, 'We'll see what he's made of' and I was hoping he wouldn't do his shenanigans [of ducking in like he did in the Sham].
“But he handled it well and he wasn't tired. He's a special horse and this was probably one of the toughest prep races that we've seen so far. Those were really good horses in there. We hope to stay healthy and run in the [Apr. 4 GI] Santa Anita Derby. He'll stay here and run in that and I'll figure something out with Thousand Words.”
Like 2015 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), Authentic wore earplugs Saturday.
“I don't want to give my secret away,” Baffert said. “That's what calmed American Pharoah down. He was the same way–some horses are just really delicate to sound, so we put 'em in and it seemed like it worked. I don't like to compare my horses; one race at a time. We still have a long way to go, but what I saw today, you want to see him doing it as easy as he did. He looked like he was enjoying himself out there. I have to just keep him at this level until the first Saturday in May.”
There's never a more exciting time in a sire's career than when he has prominent runners on the Derby trail and Into Mischief had two on Saturday: Mischevious Alex in the GIII Gotham S. and Authentic in the San Felipe. Both were winning their second graded event of 2020 and are among 68 black-type winners, 26 of which are graded, for their sire. The two are also both out of mares by Gone West-line broodmare sires, with Mischevious Alex out of a Speightstown mare and Authentic out of a Mr. Greeley mare. Mr. Greeley's daughters have produced 75 stakes winners to date, including champion Ria Antonia (Rockport Harbor) and 2005 GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Closing Argument (Successful Appeal). Authentic's most recent half-siblings are a pair of colts by Bodemeister, a 2-year-old named Mint and a yearling named Push Button.