Excerpt from Paulick Report by Joe Nevillis
The partnership between breeder Stonestreet Farm and consignor Denali Stud has produced a bevy of top-dollar horses at auction, and Charlatan's eye-popping triumph in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby showed just what a high-priced offering from that union can do on the racetrack.
Charlatan was offered by Denali Stud as agent for Stonestreet's “Bred and Raised” program as Hip 669 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he sold to the partnership of SF Bloodstock and Starlight West for $700,000.
Conrad Bandoroff of Denali Stud said he had a good feeling about the Speightstown colt's future from the first time he saw him at Stonestreet in June of his yearling season.
“The minute he walked out of the barn, he caught your eye,” Bandoroff said. “He just had a ton of presence to him. The best way I could describe Charlatan is he's like a panther. He moves like a cat, and that was his greatest attribute at the sale. He was just an ultra-athletic, cat-like specimen.”
Stonestreet Farm spreads the ball around when it comes to selling its yearlings, using several different consignors across the auction season. Bandoroff said Stonestreet decides internally which consignors get which horses, and the consignors are able to offer input on where they think each offering would be best suited in the marketplace.
The partnership has been bountiful for the two entities. Stonestreet-breds accounted for Denali Stud's three most expensive offerings at last year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale: a $2.15-million Medaglia d'Oro colt out of Tara's Tango, a $1.05-million Curlin filly out of Dreaming of Julia, and an $800,000 Curlin colt out of Scarlet Tango. The duo also sold a $1-million Curlin colt out of Yes Liz at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearlings Sale.
“It's an amazing operation,” Bandoroff said. “They've put together one of the best broodmare bands in the country, and their success at breeding high-level horses is a testament to the program they've put together. They come into the sale and look fantastic, and from that sense, it makes our job easier. The ones that they like, there's a high level of expectation because they have confidence in their horses.”
Charlatan was another horse with significant expectations behind him when he entered the care of the Denali Stud team in 2018. Stonestreet spent $1.2 million on his dam, the Grade 2-winning Quiet American mare Authenticity, as a broodmare prospect and Charlatan was the mare's second foal. The first, Hanalei Moon by Malibu Moon, went on to become a stakes winner, but she was still without black type at the time Charlatan was being offered.
Fortunately, between the preparation of the Stonestreet program and his own physical appeal, Charlatan didn't need his sibling's help to turn heads.
“He grew a little bit from mid-summer to autumn, and did really well,” Bandoroff said. “Robert Turner, the yearling manager at Stonestreet – who I would put up there with the best horsemen I've come across – he preps a good horse.
“The horse went over very well, and I can distinctly remember having a conversation between myself, my dad [Craig Bandoroff], and the Stonestreet team – Barbara [Banke], John [Moynihan], and Lesley [Howard] – and we said, 'Look, he's gonna bring as much as a Speightstown can bring.' He brought $700,000 and that wasn't a surprise for us.”
Charlatan was placed in the barn of trainer Bob Baffert, and the partnership between Starlight and SF Racing grew to include Stonestreet coming back in for a share, Sol Kumin's Madaket Stables, Fred Hertrich III, John Fielding, and Golcanda Stables.
The buzz around Chrlatan was hard to contain heading into the May 2 Arkansas Derby, following a pair of convincing wins at Santa Anita Park earlier this year to start his career. After winning the race by a relatively unchallenged six lengths, the colt has entrenched himself as a Kentucky Derby threat to be reckoned with.
Charlatan might be a late-bloomer, like his dam who didn't race until age four, but as fate would have it, the colt was born in the right year to be a late-bloomer. With the Kentucky Derby pushed back from May to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, going into May without any qualifying points wasn't the issue it used to be.
“I think the delay in the Derby and extra time is going to be ideal for a horse like this,” Bandoroff said. “We couldn't be happier for Stonestreet, and couldn't be prouder to be associated with them.”