After NASHVILLE'S blazing performance in the Perryville Stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard, all eyes were on him today in the RUNHAPPY Malibu Stakes. But it was CHARLATAN who really stole the show and powered down the stretch to victory. After eight months off due to an ankle injury, he was ready to run today.
NASHVILLE laid down an opening quarter-mile in :21.81 as the pacesetter. Tiring in the final furlong, CHARLATAN moved past NASHVILLE at the quarter pole and pulled away with an easy seven-furlong victory with a final time of 1:21.50. EXPRESS TRAIN finished second while COLLUSION ILLUSION held on for a very respectable third. NASHVILLE faded to fourth.
CHARLATAN'S career has been as much of a rollercoaster as Baffert's year. He was from the same crop of yearlings that AUTHENTIC came from and showed early talent winning his first two starts by a total of 16 lengths. He won a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1) by six lengths only to be disqualified due to a positive drug test. Today's Malibu win was Baffert's 16th grade 1 win.