Authentic took command early, holding racing favorite Tiz the Law back on the track to win the 146th Kentucky Derby in a wire-to-wire performance that brought Hall of Fame coach Bob Baffert his sixth win.
Based on the third 8: 1 betting choice from the 18th post, the colt broke outwards and led in the first round. He persisted in pursuit of Ny Traffic and Storm The Court, and Tiz the Law chased in the distance. Tiz the Law got very close to the track before Authentic retired to win the no-spectator race at Churchill Downs.
Photos: Authentic wins Kentucky Derby and beats favorite Tiz the Law
Authentic was ridden by John Velazquez and covered 1¼ mile in 2: 00.61, paying $ 18.80, $ 6 and $ 5.
Tiz the Law returned $ 3.40 and $ 3.20, while Mr. Big News, a 50-1 shot, paid $ 16.80.
This year's Kentucky Derby still had horses – Tiz the Law was the biggest favorite in 31 years – but almost everything else made the 146th edition unique.
At Churchill Downs, where America's longest uninterrupted sporting event took place four months later than usual, there was no cheer – or cursing after losing bets – from 150,000 fans. The route was originally intended to allow 23,000 fans to participate, until rising positivity rates for COVID-19 in Louisville dictated otherwise.
"It doesn't hurt to rest," said Barclay Tagg, 3-5 favorite Tiz the Law coach. "We had rest for almost all of his races this year."
Of course, the silence changed the nature of the derby, which is known for a mix of the rough and the sophisticated, the freakish and the fashionable.
Tiz the Law had already won the Belmont Stakes, the prelude to the Triple Crown, which was held at a shorter distance in June. A win in the derby would have prepared him for a triplet in Preakness on October 3rd.
The field had been reduced to 16 horses, the smallest since 2003 when Funny Cide won. This gelding belonged to Sackatoga Stable, who owns Tiz the Law.
After Tiz the Law, Honor A. P. and Authentic, the other horses were listed with double-digit odds. Churchill Downs used a new starting gate for 20 horses especially for the derby, although several posts remained vacant after the horses were scratched.
The scene in front of the main entrance to the track on Central Avenue was also different.
The death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot dead by police at her home in March, sparked tense demonstrations in the city for 100 consecutive days. The three officers involved in her death were not charged.
The prospect of rioting on derby day didn't let contestants know what to expect.
Other AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports