With another weekend arrived another new name to follow from the Bob Baffert barn.
Given that Charlatan's a son of Speightstown out of the Quiet American mare Authenticity, he might not relish distances of the Triple Crown series. But in the meantime, though, he had more than enough in reserve to handle Sunday's six-furlong trip in maiden company at Santa Anita Park.
Debuting in Race 4, the bay colt broke on top under Drayden Van Dyke, whizzed through fractions of 21.89 seconds (quarter mile) and 44.72 (half mile) before the rider used one crack of the whip. Continuing to open up on the competition, Charlatan finished in a snappy 1:08.85 that should result in respectable speed figures.
“I gigged him just a little after the break, just to get him into the race,” Van Dyke said. “I really didn’t know that much about him. You could see he had a couple bullet works from the gate and that he’d been training well. He blew by those horses so easy and as you could see. He galloped out big.”
They went to $700,000 at auction for this colt, who was bred by Stonestreet, which is also listed as a co-owner.
With Baffert’s Derby lineup including the likes of recent San Vicente (G2) winner Nadal, stakes winners Thousand Words, Authentic, Eight Rings and Azul Coast, Charlatan could join them on the Derby trail.
“This race gives us great hope,” said Bob Liewald, on behalf of Starlight Racing, which was also a part owner of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify, who coincidentally broke his maiden at first asking on Feb. 18, 2018, with Van Dyke up. “The (final) time on this racetrack, was pretty good. The next race, we’ll have to step up in a bigger field and see what happens.”
Away at 6-5, Charlatan was actually the second choice Sunday in a field of four. Shooters Shoot finished a distant second at 9-1 with favored Lane Way, at 3-5, in third. Capo Mafioso rounded out the running order.
Before seen in the afternoon Sunday, Charlatan worked five furlongs last Tuesday in 1:00.60. His three breezes before that were all bullets, evidence of some obvious talent.