CHARLATAN returned to the track after a nearly 8 month layoff and blew the field away by 4 ½ lengths in the Malibu at Santa Anita. The next stop everyone expected was the Pegasus World Cup on January 23rd at Gulfstream Park. The colt was at the top of the invitees list.
Now Baffert is concerned that the Pegasus would be coming back a little too quick for the colt after the long layoff he's had. Baffert is considering skipping that race altogether and is looking at the Saudi Cup. "I've got another week to make up my mind, but he'd be coming back little quick for the other race off a long layoff, and he ran so hard [in the Malibu], I worry about that."
The recently retired MUCHO GUSTO ran both races in 2020, winning the Pegasus but placing fourth in the Saudi Cup. The Saudi Cup is a longer distance at 1 ? miles. The colt has already proved himself at that distance, winning the Arkansas Derby (G1) May 2nd at Oaklawn Park. Unfortunately, that race isn't on his record as he was disqualified after a medication violation. The distance is exactly what he likes about the Saudi Cup, plus it's $20 million.