Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stable and Starlight Racing’s Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Authentic continued his major preparation for the $1 million Preakness Stakes (GI) on Oct. 3 with a swift five-furlong work in :59.20 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.
Other horses of note to record published workouts on Saturday included Qatar Racing, Flurry Racing and Big Aut Farm’s Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner Shedaresthedevil (four furlongs, :49); Bruce Lunsford’s $600,000 Blue Grass Stakes (GII) winner contender Art Collector (five furlongs, :59.40); Albaugh Family Stable and Spendthrift Farm’s multiple graded stakes winner Thousand Words (five furlongs, 1:02.40) and Peter Callahan’s Kentucky Oaks runner-up Swiss Skydiver (four furlongs, :48).
Derby winner Authentic, with jockey Martin Garcia aboard, worked at 9 a.m., about 1 ½ hours after his stablemate Thousand Words breezed. Authentic cruised through splits of :23.80 and :35.40. The speedy Into Mischief colt continued galloping out, in hand, around the far turn with a six-furlong time of 1:12.20 and completed his move with a seven-furlong gallop out in 1:25.20.
Thousand Words, who was forced to scratch in the paddock from the Kentucky Derby, worked an easy five furlongs at 7:30 a.m. with jockey Florent Geroux in the saddle. The Florida-bred colt broke off from the five-furlong pole with an easy opening eighth mile in :13.40 but continued to accelerate through fractions of :25.80, :38 and :50.60. Geroux shook the reins at Thousand Words as he crossed the wire and the duo galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60 and completed seven furlongs in 1:27.80.
“Authentic is a big, strong horse and is handling things very well after the Derby,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “I think both horses worked really well this morning. … They’ll work once more on Saturday before shipping to Pimlico.”
Authentic’s work was the fastest of 38 horses at the distance on Saturday morning. The second fastest move came from likely Preakness second betting choice Art Collector who worked at 7:30 a.m. with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. in the saddle. The duo clipped through opening fractions of :12.20, :24.20 and :36 before they galloped out five furlongs in 1:11.60.
“He’s in a great spot right now with his fitness,” trainer Tommy Drury said. “We wanted a bit more of a serious work today and he went well within himself. He’ll have a maintenance work next weekend before we ship to Baltimore.”
One of the horses on the bubble for running in the Preakness is Swiss Skydiver who worked with jockey Tyler Gaffalione aboard. Trainer Kenny McPeek reported the decision to run in the Preakness will come at a later date.
Kentucky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil is likely to remain in Kentucky rather than join the aforementioned quartet in Baltimore. With exercise rider Edvin Vargas aboard, Shedaresthedevil easily worked through an opening quarter-mile fraction of :25.20 before galloping out five-eighths in 1:02. Trainer Brad Cox worked several of his other stable stars on Saturday including 2018 Champion and Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl who cruised a half-mile in :49.60 outside of stablemate Royal Prince.
“It was a really fun morning,” said Cox, who has been going back and forth all week from Louisville to the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. “A lot of the horses we worked today it was their first work back from Derby week but they’ve all exited their races in good shape and we’re just getting them back going again.”
Shedaresthedevil and Monomoy Girl have both been nominated for Keeneland’s $400,000 Spinster (GI) that will run on Oct. 4. The race will serve as a prep for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.
ACK ACK STAKES PROBABLES – Saturday’s $100,000 Ack Ack (Grade III) field continues to take shape. The race could serve as a prep for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile (GI) on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.
Here are the current probable entries, according to Churchill Downs assistant racing and stakes coordinator Dan Bork: Bourbon Calling (trainer Ian Wilkes); Dinar (Cherie DeVaux); Ebben (Steve Margolis); Mocito Rojo (Shane Wilson); Mr. Money (Bret Calhoun); Proverb (Richard Baltas); Sagaponack (D. Wayne Lukas); Thirstforlife (Wes Hawley); Warrior’s Charge (Brad Cox).
Entries for Saturday’s card will be taken on Wednesday.
TV SCHEDULE – The final seven days of the September Meet will air daily on the Fox Sports family of networks. Here’s the day-by-day schedule:
•Saturday, Sept. 19: FS1 (12:30-4 p.m.), FS2 (4-6 p.m.)
•Sunday, Sept. 20: FS1 (12:30-4 p.m.), FS2 (4-5:30 p.m.)
•Wednesday, Sept. 23: FS2 (12:30-5 p.m.)
•Thursday, Sept. 24: FS2 (12:30-5:30 p.m.)
•Friday, Sept. 25: FS2 (12:30-5:30 p.m.)
•Saturday, Sept. 26: FS1 (12:30-1:30 p.m.), FS2 (1:30-8:30 p.m.)
•Sunday, Sept. 27: FS2 (12:30-6 p.m.), FS1 (6-7 p.m.), FS2 (7-8 p.m.)
MILESTONE WATCH – Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen notched his 9,000th-career win Friday night at Remington Park with claimer Troy Ounce. He trails all-time leader Dale Baird by 445 wins for the all-time leading trainer title. … Trainers Bernie Flint (498 wins) and Tom Amoss (497 wins) were both rapidly approaching 500-career victories at Churchill Downs. Amoss had two horses entered and Flint had one on Saturday.
DOWN THE STRETCH – First post for Saturday’s 10-race program at Churchill Downs was 12:45 p.m. The 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot stood at $6,601 and spanned Races 5-10. There was also an $8,443 carryover in the Race 10 Super Hi Five. … For the latest handicapping information for the September Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com/handicapping.