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Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Authentic
Authentic winning the San Felipe (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Authentic

With the Kentucky Derby (G1)  being run on the first Saturday of September, we are going to spend the time analyzing the pedigree for some of the top contenders.

This week’s subject: Authentic.

While he is undefeated (3-3-0-0 record), his pedigree for the classic 1 1/4-mile distance has been a question mark since he burst onto the scene last November. Let’s examine Authentic’s pedigree to see if he should be considered a Kentucky Derby contender or pretender.

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Kentucky Derby Ranking

With 60 points earned by way of winning both the Sham Stakes (G3) and the San Felipe Stakes (G2), he currently sits 10th in the Kentucky Derby standings and is one of three Bob Baffert trainees in the top ten (along with  Charlatan and the recently-retired Nadal). While he garners due respect, he finds himself in the middle of most Kentucky Derby contender rankings.

Sire Profile

Into Mischief

Major career wins: 2007 CashCall Futurity Stakes (G1)

From his very first crop as a sire, Into Mischief has been a star. From only 21 runners in his first crop, two (Goldencents and Vyjack) were Kentucky Derby starters. Into Mischief has sired a total of five Kentucky Derby starters, including Audible, who finished third behind the 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify.

While Into Mischief’s success as a sire has flourished, he has also developed a reputation for not being able to father classic distance horses; his offspring’s average distance raced and won are both sub-7 furlongs, and even his best runners seemed to max out at 1 1/8 miles: Audible won the 2018 Florida Derby (G1) and Goldencents won the 2013 Santa Anita Derby (G1), though he was better known for twice winning the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

Into Mischief’s sire, Harlan’s Holiday, was himself a successful racehorse (22-9-6-1 record with over $3.6 million earned) who won 5 graded stakes between 2001-2003, including 4 at the 1 1/8-mile distance. During his time as a stallion, Harlan’s Holiday sired four Kentucky Derby starters, including Denis of Cork, who finished third in 2008.

Dam Profile


Major career wins: None

The lightly-raced Flawless only had a record of 2-1-1-0, with her lone win coming over 7 furlongs at Belmont Park. Her sire, Mr. Greeley, hails from the legendary Mr. Prospector bloodline, which has helped Flawless become a productive broodmare: all three of her foals to race have found the winner’s circle

Authentic is the only graded stakes winner, and none of the three have won farther than 1 1/16 miles. Authentic could change that by winning the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby (G1) on June 6.

Authentic after winning the San Felipe (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Authentic’s pedigree includes both a sire and a dam with no offspring who have won at the classic distance of 1 1/4 miles, though with so much success at the 1 1/8-mile distance in his bloodline, Authentic winning the Kentucky Derby might not be that far-fetched, but I believe that added distance will ultimately be Authentic’s downfall. Do you agree? Or he is a serious contender? 

Let me know what you think!

Vinny Blond is a New York-based handicapper who is one half of Real Dynasty Picks. Follow him on Twitter @PicksByDynasty.

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