Authentic was born the day before the 2017 Kentucky Derby, and by Bridie Harrison's recollection, he might have been the last foal born at her Cynthiana, Ky., farm that season. As the Kentucky Derby trail heats up, the Into Mischief colt might give the tired “saving the best for last” cliche another breath of life.
Given the colt's May 5 birthday, quite late in the foaling season, his ducking in during the stretch of the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on Jan. 4 at Santa Anita Park can be forgiven. By the calendar, he wouldn't even be an official 3-year-old by this year's Kentucky Derby on May 2. Fortunately, he was eight lengths ahead of his nearest competition at the time, and he crossed the finish 7 3/4 lengths in front, bringing his record up to a perfect two-for-two.
Authentic was bred by Peter E. Blum, a longtime client of Harrison's. That youth was always on Harrison's mind while she was raising the colt, but she said he was highly coachable.
“He was young and immature but very straightforward,” Harrison said. “He had a good mind.”
Harrison also had the advantage of having Authentic's dam, the winning Mr. Greeley mare Flawless, in her care, as well as his second dam, the Wild Again mare Oyster Bay, giving her plenty of experience with the family and its habits.
In Flawless, Harrison also saw the root of Authentic's raw talent.
“We raced the mother, and she won her first race by 13 1/2 lengths (a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Belmont Park), and they compared her to the next Rachel Alexandra after her first start,” Harrison said. “She went off as the favorite in her second race, but she got an injury. She finished second, but that was her last race.”
Authentic was cataloged as Hip 2616 of the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where Harrison consigned the colt as agent for Blum. Both foals to race out of Flawless were winners when the catalog was printed.
The colt sold late during the eighth session to the partnership of SF Bloodstock and Starlight West for $350,000. Knowing what they did about Into Mischief's commercial popularity and the breakout talent of Flawless, a price in that range was expected by both the breeder and the consignor.
“We sold him out of Book 4, and he was one of the top prices that day,” Harrison said. “It was a good day for us.”
Flawless will go back to Spendthrift Farm's Into Mischief during the 2020 breeding season, while her best son to date will continue down the Kentucky Derby trail. The Bob Baffert trainee earned 10 Derby qualifying points for his Sham win, and he is the first earner of Derby points consigned by Harrison this season.
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