BY JAKE GEIGER
Saturday’s Kentucky Derby was held without any spectators, but it didn’t lack the drama of the derby as Authentic held off heavy favorite Tiz the Law to take home the 146th running at Churchill Downs.
Tiz the Law, who won at the Belmont Stakes and looked like a serious threat for the Triple Crown, came up a length and a quarter short of Authentic, who had 8-1 odds to win. Authentic is trained by Bob Baffert, who has trained two Triple Crown winning horses: American Pharoah and Justify.
Authentic’s win was Baffert’s sixth at the derby, putting him in a tie for the most wins with Ben Jones. If Tiz the Law had emerged victorious, his trainer, 82-year-old Barclay Tagg, would’ve been the oldest trainer in history to win the Kentucky Derby.
Authentic’s jockey, Hall of Famer John Velasquez, picked up his third Kentucky Derby win after previously winning in 2011 with Animal Kingdom and 2017 with Always Dreaming. The win was also his 200th Grade I victory, putting him in elite company as the third rider to ever do so.
At the racecourse, Churchill Downs, there was increased security due to protests in the area about the shooting of Breonna Taylor. A plane flew over the track with a banner that read “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,” and before the race began there were hundreds of people circling the fence outside of the track to protest. It marked the 101st consecutive day of protests in Louisville, which was where Taylor was shot and killed in her home by Louisville police.
While Authentic is not able to win the coveted Triple Crown because Tiz the Law won at Belmont, he will look to follow up his win at Churchill with a win at the Preakness Stakes, which is scheduled for Oct. 3.