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Authenticity in Comfort Zone at Santa Anita

Todd Pletcher's second Breeders' Cup Distaff hope has trained locally for past month.

While most of the New York-based horses for the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) are traveling to California Oct. 28, Authenticity has had plenty of time to acclimate to Santa Anita Park. After she ran second to Beholder in the Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 28, trainer Todd Pletcher left her at Santa Anita in the capable hands of assistant Michael McCarthy.

With standout 3-year-old Princess of Sylmar also headed to the Distaff from the Pletcher barn, Authenticity has been flying under the radar. McCarthy said that the Zenyatta gave them an opportunity to bring Authenticity out early while at the same time avoiding Princess of Sylmar.

"She's been exemplary since she's gotten here," said McCarthy. "She's settled in and been great. I think any time you get a race over the track, it's to your advantage. It seemed like she handled it well enough on race day, and she certainly seems to have an affinity for it in the morning."

At Santa Anita, McCarthy has been overseeing Authenticity, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) contender Bashart, and We Miss Artie , who has been cross-entered in the Juvenile (gr. I) and Juvenile Turf. When Pletcher comes out Oct. 28, McCarthy will head back to New York to handle that division for the boss during the rest of Breeders' Cup week.

A 6-year-old daughter of Quiet AmericanCourt of Appeal, by Deputy Minister, Authenticity is owned by Satish Sanan's Padua Stables. She began the year in allowance/optional claiming company at Gulfstream Park. But she quickly graduated to graded stakes winner in the La Troienne (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day.

In three starts in New York after that, Authenticity finished second in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I), won the Shuvee Handicap (gr. III), and ran second to Distaff contender Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I).

"On her day, she's liable to go heads up with anybody," said McCarthy. "I think the Distaff is the most competitive race of the two days. You've got Royal Delta, who's shown she likes this surface as well."

Authenticity's stablemate, Princess of Sylmar, defeated Royal Delta in the Sept. 28 Beldame Invitational (gr. I).

"Princess of Sylmar is great," said McCarthy. "She's not real big, but she's certainly well-balanced, has a great disposition, has an affinity for training, and obviously has an affinity for winning."

Authenticity will gallop up to the Distaff. She turned in her final work Oct. 26, when she sped a half-mile in :46 1/5, best of 60 works at the distance.