Authentic top favorite in Preakness

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    KENTUCKY Derby winner Authentic drew the ninth post on Monday for Saturday’s 11-horse Preakness Stakes in Baltimore where a Triple Crown campaign unlike any other due to the COVID-19 outbreak comes to a close.

    The Bob Baffert-trained colt was set as a 9-5 morning-line favorite for the 1 3/16-mile race, which is traditionally held in May as the second jewel of US thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown but postponed this year due to the virus.

    “I’d rather be nine than one or 11,” said Baffert. “It really doesn’t matter as long as he breaks OK.”

    Baffert, who counts seven Preakness Stakes wins among his record 16 victories in Triple Crown races, will also send out Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Thousand Words, who will break from the fifth post.

    Authentic, ridden by John Velazquez, led all the way at the Kentucky Derby and held off a late challenge from favorite Tiz the Law down the stretch in the annual Run for the Roses.