Taking an uncontested lead soon after the start, odds-on favorite Charlatan turned Saturday’s first division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park into a paid workout.
With Martin Garcia up, Charlatan set fractions of :22.88, :46.08, and 1:09.68. The son of Speightstown opened up through the stretch and won by six lengths, covering 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:48.49.
Charlatan races for the partnership of Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables (in whose colors he sported Saturday), SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Stonestreet Stables, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding, and Golconda Stables. The Bob Baffert trainee returned $2.80 as the 2-5 choice.
“They told me we were smoking. I went in 1:09 and he was just galloping,” Garcia said. “He did in all within himself. I felt someone coming at the three-eighths and I let him go. He just took off. That’s a sign of a really good horse.”
Basin ran second all the way around the track and held the runner-up spot by a neck over Gouverneur Morris, with Winning Impression fourth. The order of finish was rounded out by Anneau d’Or. Crypto Cash, Mo Mosa, Jungle Runner, and My Friends Beer.
This was the third win in as many starts for Charlatan, who earned 100 qualifying points toward the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby (G1) in this stakes debut score. Basin earned 40 points, increasing his total to 50. Gouverneur Morris earned 20, increasing his total to 34, while Winning Impression earned his first 10 points.
Charlatan remains unbeaten in three starts, with dynamite victories in a maiden and an allowance at Santa Anita by a combined margin of 16 lengths preceding this score. His earnings now sit at $367,200.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet and a $700,000 Keeneland September buy, Charlatan is out of Grade 2 heroine Authenticity, a Quiet American mare who’s also reared the multiple stakes-winning Hanalei Moon.