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Spendthrift Farm celebrates first Derby win since 1970's

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Posted at 9:38 PM, Sep 06, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A September Derby Day, nearly empty stands at Churchill Downs, and a contender scratched on race day are all reasons why Kentucky Derby 146 will be remembered in history.

Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes, 87, will remember it as his first Derby win.

“He’s had that as a dream in this business,” said Hughes’ son-in-law and Spendthrift Farm President Eric Gustavson. “Now that dream came true.”

Authentic took the lead on Saturday and scored an upset win against heavy favorite Tiz the Law.

“The hairs on my arms just stood up thinking about that moment when we realized he wasn’t going to get caught. It’s unbelievable,” Gustavson said.

Spendthrift Farm is the majority-owner of Authentic. Kentucky Derby 146 is the farm’s first Derby win since the 1970's.

“It’s a dream, literally. It’s so cliche but it’s only cliche because it’s true,” said Gustavson.

Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey said he and his staff have been on cloud nine since Saturday.

“I think I’m still in a state of shock,” said Toffey.

Toffey partially attributes the high spirits on the farm to the knowledge that Hughes was able to see a Derby victory for one of his horses after dedicating much of his life to the industry.

“I don’t know if there’s ever been a more deserving Derby winner than Mr. Hughes,” Toffey said. “They really deserve this. Mr. Hughes has put so much into our sport.”

Authentic’s win of the Run of the Roses is also significant for Spendthrift Farm’s legacy.

At the end of his racing career, Authentic will reunite with his sire Into Mischief at Spendthrift Farm. He’ll be the tenth Derby winner to stand stud at Spendthrift Farm when he retires.