LEXINGTON, Ky. — He’s not yet run for the roses, but the retirement plans for a top Kentucky Derby contender are already taking shape.
On Wednesday, Lexington’s Hill ’N’ Dale Farm announced it had bought the breeding rights of undefeated Grade 1 champion Charlatan. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Trained by five-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, Charlatan has easily won all three of his career starts. Last Saturday as the 2-5 favorite, he rolled to a 6-length victory in his division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, earning 100 points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Derby and jumping up to fourth on the Road to the Derby leaderboard.
Charlatan has drawn comparisons to Justify, Baffert’s 2018 Triple Crown winner. Like Justify, Charlatan did not race as a 2-year-old before taking the industry by storm early in his 3-year-old campaign. Charlatan’s three wins have come by a combined 22 lengths.
“This horse is effortless and gets over the ground so easily. He is just exceptionally fast and does it without asking,” Baffert said. “That’s what the great ones do. To ship him to win a Grade 1 in his third start shows you what I think of him. When you see him in person you say, ‘wow.’ ”
Bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Charlatan was sold at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $700,000 to a partnership that includes SF Racing, Madaket Stables, Fred Hertrich, John Fielding and Golconda Stables.
“Physically, he’s one of the best physical horses we’ve ever bred,” Stonestreet Farm bloodstock adviser John Moynihan said. “What sets him apart is the way he moves. He moves like a great horse. He is just a real athlete. He is the epitome of what we’ve tried to breed up to this point. Charlatan is a perfect combination of the genes meeting the physical. He is an absolute standout.”
Hill ’N’ Dale President John G. Sikura said he looks forward to “watching Charlatan build upon his impressive resume” until his retirement.
“Horses with Charlatan’s immense ability combined with superior pedigree, conformation, depth of female family and star-quality appeal are a very rare commodity,” Sikura said.
Hill ’N’ Dale’s breeding stable includes two-time Eclipse Award winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Curlin.
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