Derby Hopeful Charlatan on Doping Allegations

Bob Baffert's smashing winner of the first division of Cthr Arkansas Derby Charlatan, had an initial test sample come back positive for an undisclosed medication, multiple sources told Daily Racing Form. If confirmed by a second test, it could result in his disqualification.

Charlatan was a front-running winner of the Arkansas Derby, his third win in three starts. The Arkansas Derby was run on Oaklawn Park’s closing day after being postponed from its original date of April 11.

A potential disqualification of Charlatan could impact his eligibility for both the Kentucky Derby, on Sept. 5, and the June 20 Belmont Stakes, a race currently under consideration for his next start.

Byron Freeland, the longtime attorney for the Arkansas Racing Commission, on Tuesday said he “couldn’t comment at all” about Charlatan or any other potential positive test at Oaklawn.

“Anything that’s going on before a ruling is confidential,” Freeland said.

For a horse to have a positive called against him, a second test must confirm the original test’s results. Only then is a ruling issued. If the second test comes back negative, the horse is considered to have tested negative. Samples are flagged for illegal medications, or overages of legal medications.

Nikki Langston of the Arkansas Racing Commission on Tuesday said there “haven’t been any rulings” from the final day of the Oaklawn meeting. The commission was open for business Tuesday after being off the previous three days for the holiday weekend.

If Charlatan is disqualified, the race’s runner-up, Basin, would be promoted to first.

Image Oaklawn/Coady

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