Authentic was an Eclipse Horse of the Year, a Kentucky Derby winner, a Breeders’ Cup Classic champion, and never worse than 2nd in his career. He also won his only juvenile start going just 5-1/2 furlongs at Del Mar, and was good-looking enough to make $350,000 as a Keeneland September yearling from the “Avengers” group and trainer Bob Baffert. As a son of the four-time leading sire Into Mischief (also a five-time leading juvenile sire), whose early sons at stud have already had plenty of success, Authentic appeared to have everything going for him as a stallion prospect when he retired to Spendthrift Farm for an initial fee of $75,000.
Of course, the proof will be in the pudding, as they say, and these Authentic foals still have to go out and prove themselves on the racetrack next year. But in an industry a breeder has to try to guess at what the market is going to want about two years before bringing a horse to a sale, Authentic continues to look like the closest to a “sure thing” that one can find in an unproven stallion. As such, we think that he offers value heading into the 2024 breeding season, and we have recommended that the exciting young Gun Runner mare Gun Slingin be bred to him next year.
In addition to Authentic’s own credentials, he fits Gun Slingin specifically for several reasons:
First, in addition to being a full-sister to the 2023 G3 winner Disarm, she is a half-sister to the Venezuelan champion Tap Daddy, who was a stakes winner and G3-placed in the USA prior to his export, and Tap Daddy is a son of the Storm Cat-line stallion Scat Daddy. Authentic, of course, is also a from the Storm Cat sire-line and both Scat Daddy and Into Mischief — though they represent different branches of Storm Cat — are reminiscent of that Overbrook stalwart in terms of their precocious influences and the versatility that they impart. Additionally, the talented G1PW Soup and Sandwich (by Into Mischief) appears under Gun Slingin’s 3rd dam, White Jasmine.
Second, Into Mischief and his sons have done well with Candy Ride-line mares like Gun Slingin (“A+” rating on TrueNicks with 5 stakes winners from 40 runners, including G1W Chocolate Gelato) as well as with Tapit-line mares like Gun Slingin’s own dam Easy Tap (“A” rating on TrueNicks, including 2023 G1W Pretty Mischievous, G2W Hoosier Philly, and G3W Rocket Can, and the aforementioned G1PW Soup and Sandwich, who is also from Gun Slingin’s female family).
Third, Authentic and Gun Slingin should be a very nice like-to-like pairing on physicals and proclivities. As mentioned earlier, Authentic is a strapping, leggy, well-balanced horse and Gun Slingin also has plenty of leg and length to her, as you’d expect for a daughter of Gun Runner. And with Authentic having come out early at 2 before maturing into a classic winner and champion at 3YO, that tracks well with the abilities shown by Disarm and Tap Daddy, who both improved with age and classic distances.
So this is a mating that we think has a lot of reasons to recommend it, and we have every expectation that it will produce a commercial success story in the coming years!