Baffert duo sweeps Arkansas Derby

Charlatan, Nadal each remain undefeated by winning separate divisions of Grade I race
Trainer Bob Baffert
Trainer Bob Baffert

Categories: Sports

Nadal won his doubles match with partner Charlatan on Saturday.

The Bob Baffert-trained stablemates swept separate divisions of the Grade I Arkansas Derby to reinforce their standing as top contenders for the rescheduled Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby.

Both are undefeated and earned 100 qualifying points toward the Run for the Roses.

Charlatan went first, winning the first division as the 11th race on the card by six lengths over Basin, the 2019 Hopeful winner at Saratoga Race Course.

Nadal had a little bit tougher time of it against what was considered a more difficult field, but  he shook off Louisiana Derby winner Wells Bayou and rolled away from the field to win the second division in the 13th race on the card.

Tampa Bay Derby winner King Guillermo, owned by five-time MLB all-star Victor Martinez was second.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Nadal ran his record to 4-for-4, all in 2020, including the Grade II San Vicente and the Grade II Rebel.

Charlatan, who also did not race as a 2-year-old, has won his three 2020 starts by a combined 22 lengths. On Saturday, he got out of the gate quickly under Martin Garcia from the No. 1 post and never looked back.

The two Baffert horses ran nearly identical times for a mile and an eighth, Charlatan in 1:48.49 and Nadal in 1:48.34.

The two divisions of the Arkansas Derby bookended the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap, and By My Standards outfinished Warrior’s Charge to win over a deep field and run his record to 3-for-3 on the season.

By My Standards was 12th in the Kentucky Derby last year, then did not race again until an allowance win by six lengths at Fair Grounds in February. He followed that up with  a three-length victory in the Grade II New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds.

The 4-year-old’s finishing time was better than both of the Arkansas Derby winners, in 1:47.80.

On Friday, 16-1 Swiss Skydiver outdueled 4-5 betting favorite Venetian Harbor to win the Fantasy and earn 100 qualifying points toward the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

Reach Mike MacAdam at [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @Mike_MacAdam.

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