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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will try to add another notch in his title belt on Saturday when the heavily-hyped Charlatan breaks from the rail in the 1st division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
Charlatan has been nothing but scintillating in his two career starts. Unveiled with a 6-furlong romp by 5 3/4 lengths at Santa Anita Park on February 16, he returned a month later and cleared the field by 10 1/4 lengths while acing his two-turn debut. Even more impressively, the son of Speightstown improved upon his maiden-breaking Beyer speed figure (105) by earning a 106 in his second appearance.
Along with making his first start against stakes foes, Charlatan will also be tasked with breaking from the rail after drawing outside posts in his two prior races. Baffert has won the Arkansas Derby twice before (with Bodemeister in 2012 and American Pharoah in 2015) and will attempt to double that number when he saddles Charlatan in the 1st division and his stablemate Nadal in the 2nd.
The Arkansas Derby is a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race awarding a total of 170 points to the top four finishers. The winner will receive 100 points, with 40 going to second, 20 to third, and 10 to fourth.
Here is the full field for the 1st division of the Arkansas Derby (click on each horse’s name to read an exclusive preview):
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