Best Beyer: Charlatan

• The week’s top Beyer speed figure in North America

Charlatan (Drayden van Dyke), an impressive MSW winner for Bob Baffert. Photo: Benoit

105 Charlatan

Santa Anita (Feb 16): maiden special weight, 6f, dirt, 3yo
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Drayden van Dyke
Owner: SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing etc
Pedigree: 3yo ch c Speightstown – Authenticity (Quiet American)

A startling speed figure topped the Beyer chart last week with Charlatan’s 105 on debut at Santa Anita – the highest figure yet achieved by the Classic generation and beaten only by Pegasus hero Mucho Gusto’s 107 overall so far in 2020.

Perhaps even more significantly, the Speightstown colt’s Beyer was one point higher than that achieved by Justify on his Santa Anita debut two years ago at the start of his undefeated march to the Triple Crown for the same trainer, the legendary Bob Baffert.

While stamina might be an issue for Charlatan with the Kentucky Derby in mind, he could hardly have begun racing life any better. Sent off second favourite in a field of four, he was off a tad slowly before quickly taking control and scoring with any amount in hand of his rivals, though the official margin was 5¾ lengths – and he was geared down by Drayden van Dyke.

Charlatan stopped the clock in 1m08.85s; according to the Daily Racing Form, it is the fastest clocking for 6f on a ‘fast’ surface at Santa Anita for nearly two years. Only Kentucky Derby favourite Tiz The Law had previously recorded a three-digit Beyer since the Classic crop turned three, though Independence Hall recorded 101 as a juvenile last term.

Kentucky Derby: Echoes of Justify as Bob Baffert unveils Charlatan

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