Two days before his expected coronation as Horse of the Year, Authentic took home the No. 2 spot in the 2020 Longines World Racing Awards. This translates to the Into Mischief colt being named the second-ranked horse in the world.

Authentic-BC Longines
Authentic’s dynamic victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic made him the second-ranked horse in the world, according to the Longines 2020 World Racing Awards. (Image: Breeders’ Cup)

It also translates into Authentic earning top honors as the No. 1 dirt horse in the world, and the top-rated 3-year-old. His 126 rating from the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) came from his career-capping Breeders’ Cup Classic victory. There, he beat the likes of Tiz the Law, Improbable, Tom’s d’Etat, and Maximum Security in one of the deepest racing fields of the year.

Authentic set the track record with his 1:59.6 clocking for the 1-¼-mile Classic. He became the first horse since American Pharoah in 2015 to win the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the same year. He went 5-for-7 with three Grade 1 wins, including the Kentucky Derby. He finished second in his other two races.

Irish turf maestro Ghaiyyath earned the top spot. Retired after his 5-year-old campaign, Ghaiyyath checked in with a rating of 130. That rating came from winning the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes over a field including standout mare Magical, Royal Ascot Prince of Wales winner Lord North, and 2,000 Guineas winner Kameko.

Ghaiyyath, Authentic Tied With Three Grade/Group 1s

Ghaiyyath went 4-for-5 in 2020, with three of his wins coming in Group 1s. His only winner’s circle miss came in his final race when he finished second to Magical in the Irish Champions Stakes.

The rankings come from racing officials and handicappers from five continents. Raters base their rankings on performances from singular, high-profile races.

The Juddmonte International, held at York Racecourse in England last August, was named the World’s Best Horse Race of 2020. That marked the first time an English race earned the top spot. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe earned that title in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita captured the title that year.

World Racing Awards Based on Strength of Fields

That ranking came from the top four finishers in the race, including Ghaiyyath, Magical, Lord North, and Kameko. The top four finishers in the Breeders’ Cup Classic were Authentic, Improbable, Global Crossing, and Tacitus.

Along with that, Frankie Dettori took home the World’s Best Jockey title for the third consecutive time and the fourth time overall. That award comes from performances in the 100 highest-rated Group 1 and Grade 1 races.

Last year’s winners were two British horses, Crystal Ocean and Enable, and the French horse Waldgeist. All three shared the 2019 title as World’s Best Racehorse.

2020 marked the first time the awards ceremony went virtual. This year’s awards were announced from the National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket, England.