ARCADIA, CA – Just minutes after stablemate Nadal romped in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, the Bob Baffert-trained Charlatan ran what amounted to a paid workout, dominating an allowance/optional claiming event for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park.
Sent from the far outside post 6 under Drayden Van Dyke as the 1/5 favorite, Charlatan outlegged the rail-breaking Rushie to take sole command heading into the far turn. Left to run uncontested, Charlatan posted opening fractions of :23.14, :46.86, and 1:11.04.
Beginning to widen his already-lengthy lead as he rounded the far turn, Charlatan galloped home without nary a challenger within range, crossing 10 1/4 lengths much the best in a final time of 1:36.24 for the mile-long event over the fast main track.
“Drayden was joking after,” Baffert said. “He said he was just trying to not fall off.”
Rushie stayed on for second over Great Power, a much-heralded juvenile who won his debut at Del Mar last September but was unseen until today. Princeofnorth and an eased Silent Fury completed the order of finish. Czechmight, reportedly too scared of Charlatan, was scratched.
Charlatan’s win was his second in as many career starts, having earned a 102 Beyer speed figure in a local 6-furlong maiden special weight on February 16. The 3-year-old son of Speightstown, purchased for $700,000 as a yearling, has now earned $67,200 for co-owners SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Stonestreet Stables, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding, and Golconda Stables.
Baffert is planning to send Charlatan out of town for a major Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race for his next start; he just isn’t sure where yet.
“He was going pretty good,” Baffert said. “He got a lot ot of that. He’s a big, strong horse. You know the talent is there. That was like a Bodemeister move. Right now, I’m just hoping that the racing continues and they don’t move the Kentucky Derby.”
Baffert added, “We don’t know if we’ll run here in the Santa Anita Derby (April 4), because nobody’s really sure when anything is going to happen. Churchill (Downs) is saying they’re not going to run the Derby without the people there, so I’m hearing maybe June or in September…Whenever they cancel the Masters (in April at Augusta National), that’s like the Derby…I’ve never seen anything like this, it’s kinda scary. Hopefully they can get everything under control.”
Charlatan returned $2.60 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. Rushie brought back $4.20 to place and $2.20 to show, while Great Power paid $2.10 to show.