Charlatan's superlative six-length victory in Saturday's $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) stamped the undefeated son of Speightstown as a leading contender for this year's Kentucky Derby (G1).
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The chestnut colt, who cost $700,000 as a yearling, is the 18th Grade 1 winner for his sire and second this year, along with Mozu Superflare. Speightstown is the only sire in North America with two Grade 1 winners in 2020.
Charlatan's connections had high expectations following a pair of blowout wins prior to Saturday. He came out of the gate very quickly from his inside post to establish a two length lead in the first quarter mile. Going along easily through a swift six furlongs in 1:09.68, Charlatan began to widen his lead without being asked and drew off to win with complete authority in 1:48.49 for the nine furlongs.
“I can say I am really lucky to ride him,” winning rider Martin Garcia said. “(Bob) Baffert and the owners had a lot of choices. He just took me to the winner's circle. They told me we were smoking. I went in 1:09 and he was just galloping. He did in all within himself. I felt someone coming at the 3/8ths and I let him go. He just took off. That's a sign of a really good horse.”
Charlatan's large ownership group has now seen their star win three races by a combined 22 lengths and earn $367,200. The winner was bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and is out of multiple graded winner Authenticity, whose first foal is stakes winner Hanalei Moon.