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Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Charlatan
Charlatan after his allowance win (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Charlatan

With the Kentucky Derby (G1) still several weeks away, we are going to spend the time analyzing the pedigree for some of the top contenders.

This week’s subject: Charlatan.

While he has passed the eye test, many have questioned whether or not his pedigree is suitable for the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles. So, let us take a closer look at Charlatan’s pedigree to see if he should be taken as a Kentucky Derby contender or pretender.

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Kentucky Derby Ranking

With 100 points earned by way of winning one of the two Arkansas Derby (G1) runnings, he is currently fourth in the Kentucky Derby standings and is one of three Bob Baffert trainees sitting in the top eight. He is a perfect 3-for-3 lifetime and is either on or near the top of most experts’ Kentucky Derby rankings.

Sire Profile


Major career wins: 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1); 2004 Vanderbilt Handicap (G2); 2004 True North Handicap (G2); 2004 Churchill Downs Stakes (G2)

While failing in his only start beyond 7 furlongs (2001’s mile-long Gotham Stakes [G3]), the 2004 Eclipse Award Champion Sprinter’s back pedigree deserves respect in both short and route races. His sire, Gone West, won 1987’s Dwyer Stakes, Gotham Stakes, and Withers Stakes before fathering such stars as two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner Da Hoss, 2003’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) victor Johar, and the 2000 Belmont Stakes (G1) champion Commendable. Furthermore, his grandsire, Mr. Prospector, hails from one of North American racing’s most influential bloodlines.

Most of Speightstown’s success as a sire has been with one-turn runners, but he has previously sired two G1 winners at the classic 1 1/4-mile distance (Haynesfield and Golden Ticket). That often goes overlooked. Keep in mind that Charlatan proved himself at 1 1/8 miles in the Arkansas Derby.  

Dam Profile


Major career wins: 2013 La Troienne Stakes (G2); 2013 Shuvee Handicap (G3)

Authenticity finished in the top 3 in 11 of her 12 career starts, including running second to 2019 Hall of Fame inductee Royal Delta and 11-time Grade 1-winner Beholder. Authenticity also finished a perfect 7-for-7 in the money against graded stakes rivals, and her two career graded stakes victories came while going two turns (1 1/16 miles and 1 1/8 miles).

Authenticity’s sire, Quiet American, also runs though the aforementioned Mr. Prospector bloodline, and her damsire, Deputy Minister, has stars like Awesome Again, Ghostzapper, and Curlin in his bloodline. Authenticity has foaled one prior runner, Hanalei Moon, who currently has a career record of 15-4-2-1 with $295,090 earned and won the 1 mile and 70-yard One Dreamer Stakes over the Kentucky Downs turf in 2019.

Charlatan winning the Arkansas Derby (Credit: Coady Photography)

Charlatan’s pedigree – a great combination of speed, distance, and class – backs up my belief that he is a major Kentucky Derby contender. Do you agree? Or he is a pretender?

Let me know what you think!

Vinny Blond is a New York-based handicapper who is one half of Real Dynasty Picks. Follow him on Twitter @PicksByDynasty.

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