Although plenty of attention will be focused on Santa Anita's seventh race Saturday, the Grade 1 Beholder Mile, the eyes of the racing world will also be riveted on the race just before it, a $57,000 allowance for 3-year-olds at one mile. Bob Baffert's talented Charlatan, a 5 3/4-length first-out maiden winner on Feb. 16, will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Baffert's 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify as he stretches out and tries to muscle his way onto the Kentucky Derby trail.
The comparisons are unavoidable. Justify, a chestnut colt by Scat Daddy, was foaled in Kentucky on March 28, 2015, sold as a Keeneland September Yearling for $500,000, was unraced at 2 and was a first-out maiden winner with Drayden Van Dyke up on Feb. 18, 2018.
Charlatan, a chestnut colt by Speightstown, was foaled in Kentucky on March 2, 2017, sold as a Keeneland September Yearling for $700,000, was unraced at 2 and broke his maiden two days earlier than Baffert's 2018 superstar with, you guessed it, Drayden Van Dyke up.
From there, Baffert and Van Dyke are hoping history continues to repeat itself, as Charlatan, like Justify two years ago, will be stretching out in a one mile allowance Saturday and will be running over what could be an “off” surface. (Justify was a 9 1/2-length one mile allowance winner over a muddy track, getting the distance in 1:35.73).
At this stage, one discernible difference in comparing the two horses at this moment in time is that Mike Smith replaced Van Dyke for Justify's win, while Van Dyke has retained the mount on Charlatan.
First post time for an eight-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. There will be no public admission, in accordance with recent health dictates issued by the state of California. Assigned post time for race six is at 3:35 p.m. PT.
Wagering on all Santa Anita live racing is available via the track's 1/ST BET and Xpressbet apps. For additional information on racing and wagering at Santa Anita Park, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
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