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The talent level of Authenticity is as simple as her name. It’s authentic, simple as that.

Being able to show it is another story.

Physical issues derailed the 6-year-old Quiet American mare on more than one occasion, none bigger than a condylar fracture suffered in 2011 that sent her to the sidelines from late July 2011 until earlier this year. Managed correctly and with the physical issues cleared up, Authenticity is back to doing what she does best.

She did that Saturday at Saratoga, winning the Shuvee Handicap by a length from Flashy American for a second graded stakes win in her last three starts. John Velazquez, off to a good start early in the meet, was aboard.

Authenticity’s even running in the Shuvee wasn’t decided until Thursday. Saturday’s Grade 1 Delaware Handicap for $750,000 was also under consideration, but again it was thinking about the mare’s overall physical well-being that made the choice an easy one.

“It was good to not ship to Delaware and take it a little easy after two previous hard races,” said Sasha Sanan, Padua Stable’s general manager and son of its founder Satish Sanan. “We want to have a really nice horse for the fall. We thought hard about running in the Delaware Handicap, we really did.

“Todd [Pletcher] eventually made the call that this is better for our long-term plan for the year, as opposed to having a really hard race, shipping with it being as hot as it was yesterday and it still being really hot in Delaware. You could run out of horse before the end of the year.”

The Padua team didn’t want to do that. They’ve been through it already with the one-time $250,000 yearling purchase at the 2008 Keeneland September sale. She suffered the injury that sent her to the bench for nearly 17 months not long after finishing second in a two-turn allowance early in the 2011 Saratoga meet. The injury required surgery, done by Dr. Bob Hunt at Hagyard Equine in Lexington.

Authenticity convalesced briefly at LaCroix Equine, a layup and rehab facility in LaGrange, Ky., before completing her recovery and eventual re-entry into training at April and Jeanne Mayberry’s Mayberry Training Center in Ocala, Fla. Under the watchful eyes and the skillful care of the Mayberrys, Authenticity started the process of coming back. With Pletcher she’s come all the way back, with three wins in six starts this year, two graded wins and a Grade 1 try on the horizon.

“She could have come back last year, but we didn’t want to come in hard at the end of last year and not be at her peak,” Sasha Sanan said. “We wanted to have her ready for a 2013 campaign.”

The Personal Ensign later in the meeting is the next logical spot, where she’ll try again to secure a Grade 1 victory. She was second, beaten just a half-length by Tiz Miz Sue, in the Ogden Phipps in late May at Belmont Park. Authenticity was second in her first graded stakes attempt earlier this year in Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Rampart, then secured a graded win in the La Troienne on the Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill Downs.  

She’ll face better in the Personal Ensign-the Shuvee field did not include another graded stakes winner-but a wager against Authenticity could be at the bettor’s peril considering her versatility, fitness and again, her talent.

“She’s a total professional. Easy to train, easy to ride,” said Pletcher after his second of three Saratoga stakes wins Saturday. “You can put her on the lead, you can let her stalk, you can take her back if you want to. The main thing [in the Shuvee] is we just wanted to be in a nice comfortable rhythm. From an outside post we weren’t going to send her foolishly. I just left it in Johnny’s hands.”

Rosie Napravnik thought she might have a serious threat to the 1-2 favorite in her hands. Eblouissante, the much-heralded half-sister to Horse of the Year Zenyatta making her comeback and stakes debut, looked the part in the paddock. John Shirreffs stuffed the 4-year-old Bernardini filly’s ears with cotton-just like he did with Zenyatta during her multiple championship-winning career-but she was bright and alert before, during and after her trainer put the tack on.

All that was right in the preliminaries went terribly wrong in the starting gate. Eblouissante, unbeaten in her first two starts in Southern California last November and in mid-January, stood calmly at first, then threw a fit, reared up, nearly went to the ground in a tangle before being backed out. She was cleared to run but the lumps in the throats of her connections were large and her race was over.

Eblouissante trailed the winner home by 30 ¼ lengths.

Flashy American ran a strong race to be second, rating kindly under Joel Rosario behind a super-soft pace set by Sea Island. The runner-up effort was the 4-year-old Flashy Bull filly’s first defeat going two turns on dirt in six starts, dating back to a win for maiden $25,000 at last summer’s Saratoga meet.

“She’s class and she’s getting better with age,” trainer Ken McPeek said. “That was a good race out of her. Solid. The last five times I’ve run her on the dirt going two turns [or] long, she won. The only times she didn’t win is because I either ran her too short or I ran her on the wrong surface. That was it. It wasn’t her fault, it was mine.”