Charlatan descends from the strongest of the surviving old American families that cannot be traced back with certainty to one of the Bruce Lowe taproot mares. This is American Family 4, whose known descendants all trace back to Fanny Maria, a mare foaled close to 1815. Sired by Andrew Jackson's stallion Pacolet, Fanny Maria's distaff lineage ends in a question mark after one comes to her granddam, an unnamed daughter of Medley, but there is no questioning the quality of what the old mare sent forward. Among other notables, the A4 family includes five Kentucky Derby winners, the most recent of which is 2014 hero California Chrome.
Charlatan's link to California Chrome is rather distant, as their shared ancestress, the Beau Pere mare Judy-Rae, is seven generations back both their distaff lines. While Chrome descends from the Princequillo mare Princess Matoaka, Charlatan traces back to Princess Matoaka's half sister Judy Rullah (by Nasrullah), whose last foal was a 1970 Raise a Native filly named Juke Joint.
Second in the Sorority Stakes at 2 and the winner of Churchill Downs' Regret Stakes at 3, Juke Joint produced one stakes winner in Dancing School (by Dance Spell), but her overall broodmare record can be judged by the fact that she changed hands for only US$4,000 at the 1989 Keeneland November mixed sale---this when covered by Lord At War---and for just US$5,000 at the same sale a year later, this when believed in foal to Rich Cream. Those prices were justified by the results, as she slipped her Lord At War foal and the Rich Cream foal (named Whistle Stop Cafe) proved virtually worthless. In between Dancing School and Whistle Stop Cafe, however, Juke Joint had secured her lineage by producing the Quack filly Out of Joint.
Out of Joint failed to win in eight tries, but her mating to 1979 Prix Quincey (FR-G3) Lypheor in 1986 produced a much better runner. This was Appealing Missy, who was a listed stakes winner in France and won the 1991 California Jockey Club Handicap (USA-G3) and 1992 Buena Vista Handicap (USA-G3) in the United States. Appealing Missy, in turn, produced Grade 2-placed listed stakes winner Statement (by Seattle Slew) and stakes-placed Appealing Kris (by Kris S.), dam of 2006 Top Flight Handicap (USA-G2) winner Rahys' Appeal (by Rahy).
Court of Appeal, Appealing Missy's 2003 filly by Deputy Minister, never raced but also managed to come up with a good runner. This was Authenticity (by Quiet American), a late bloomer who won the 2013 La Troienne Stakes (USA-G2) and Shuvee Handicap (USA-G3) as a 6-year-old and placed in four Grade 1 races that year. Charlatan is the second foal of Authenticity, whose first foal is the minor stakes winner Hanalei Moon (by Malibu Moon).
Juke Joint's family has never been prolific in turning out really good horses, but it has never gone fallow long enough to let its good genes die out; Charlatan is ample testimony to that. The question now is whether the son of American champion sprinter Speightstown is simply a brilliant miler who has been able to take advantage of circumstances and the fact that he has had things his own way thus far or if he, like another lightly raced Bob Baffert trainee named Justify, carries within him the potential to be even more. Regardless, with both sire and dam taking time to reach their best form, he is likely to improve so long as he can avoid injury, and that is a prospect to have his connections jumping for joy.