Tag: Hot Rod Charlie

Bob Baffert said Medina Spirit was his most improbable Kentucky Derby winner. The Hall of Fame trainer said Medina Spirit came out of the Derby well and is likely for the Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Medina Spirit Comes Out of Derby Well, Likely for Preakness

Less than a day after Medina Spirit’s remarkable Kentucky Derby victory, trainer Bob Baffert said he’s on track for the May 15 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Tentatively. “He came out of it well. It takes about a week to determine, so I’m going to come back next weekend and see,” […]

Medina Spirit and John Velazquez illustrate their tenacity in deep stretch, holding off Mandaloun to capture the 147th Kentucky Derby. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

The 2021 Derby: 12/1 Medina Spirit wins Baffert His Record Seventh

The primary lesson coming out of the 2021 Kentucky Derby is as simple as it is frustrating for everyone not named Bob Baffert. Even when Baffert brings his third-string horse to Churchill Downs, he wins Derbies. That would be Medina Spirit, who gave Baffert his seventh Derby victory Saturday, passing […]

The Kentucky Derby is only Rock Your World's second start on dirt. He is the fastest horse in the field based on speed figures. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Almost Back to Normalcy: Breaking Down the 2021 Kentucky Derby

Welcome to the 2021 Kentucky Derby. And welcome back to what a normal Kentucky Derby looks like. Almost. The crowds? Well, they’re back – about 40,000. That’s a quarter of what normally turns Churchill Downs into a sporting bacchanalia. But there’s people in the stands. We’ll take it. The horses? […]

Hot Rod Charlie owns the second-fastest Beyer Speed Figure of anyone in the Kentucky Derby field. His trainer, Doug O'Neill, owns two Kentucky Derby victories in the last nine years. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Hot Rod Charlie Roars to Life for Kentucky Derby Vet O’Neill

Doug O’Neill already has two of these Kentucky Derbies on the mantle, both with colts he planned on taking to Churchill Downs —  I’ll Have Another and Nyquist. But when Hot Rod Charlie came to his Santa Anita Park barn as a $110,000 yearling purchase, the trainer looked at his […]

Tuesday morning's draw for the 2021 Kentucky Derby from post 20 Bourbonic to post 1 Known Agenda. Those are two of trainer Todd Pletcher's four entries in Saturday's Run for the Roses. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Essential Quality Opens as 2/1 Favorite for 147th Kentucky Derby

As expected, Essential Quality checked in as the 2/1 morning-line favorite for the 147th Kentucky Derby. And Tuesday’s post-position Derby draw sends the undefeated colt and his favorite status into post 14 for Saturday’s 2021 Triple Crown opener. As he watched the posts fill up on Tuesday morning, this put […]

Super Stock reeled in a Kentucky Derby spot by reeling in Caddo River (2) and heavy favorite Concert Tour in the Arkansas Derby. (Image: Coady Photography)

Kentucky Derby Points Show the 20 Survivors of the Derby Trail

The Kentucky Derby Trail ended Saturday, which means it’s time to parse the Derby qualifying points ladder and see who’s in, who’s on the bubble, and who won’t be discussed as a Kentucky Derby starter. It took 40 points to make the top 20, the usual target number connections shoot […]

Hot Rod Charlie pulled away from Midnight Bourbon and the rest of the Louisiana Derby field for a two-length victory that clinched him a spot in the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Jamie Newell/Twin Spires)

How Hot Rod Charlie Brought One Small Syndicate to the Derby

In October 2019, Greg Helm took a call that changed his horse racing ownership life forever. On the other end was bloodstock agent Dennis O’Neill, brother to trainer Doug O’Neill, with a proposition for Helm and the rest of his small Roadrunner Racing syndicate. “He asked me if I wanted […]

Proxy finished second in both Fair Grounds Derby preps: the Lecomte and the Risen Star. Can the 7/2 third-favorite break through in the Louisiana Derby? (Image: Hodges Photography)

Louisiana Derby Offers Big, Familiar Names in the Big Easy

Yes, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby has a familiar look to it that goes beyond bringing us familiar names like Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, Proxy – and yes, California import Hot Rod Charlie. It’s those first three that give the first of the 170-point Kentucky Derby preps that déjà vu look. […]

Candy Man Rocket parlayed his Sam F. Davis Stakes victory into a spot on Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager's Pool 3. (Image: SV Photography)

New Entries, Same Favorites in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3

Nine new offerings entered the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 picture, but two familiar names continue holding court as the KDFW favorites. Essential Quality and Life Is Good opened as individual 8/1 morning-line favorites in the third of five KDFW pools. As expected, however, the overall favorite is “All […]

Hot Rod Charlie is one of two Doug O'Neill horses in the Saturday's Robert B. Lewis field. He's seeking a repeat of his out-of-nowhere second as a 94/1 longshot in the Breeders' Cup Classic. (Image: Horsephotos)

Lewis Stakes Recount Historic Horses, Revive Current Rivalries

In 2012, little-known 43/1 long shot I’ll Have Another won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. This feat drew mild murmurs and a few curious looks throughout the horseracing world. After all, the Doug O’Neill-trained colt came into the Lewis off a horrible sixth in the Hopeful […]

Santa Anita canceled Friday's racing card due to expected showers. The Southern California track will make up the races next week. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Scratches Friday’s Card Due to Expected Downpour

Citing a major winter storm expected this weekend, Santa Anita Park canceled its Friday racing card. The Southern California track announced the move Tuesday morning. Track officials announced that two turf stakes, the Grade 2 San Marcos on Saturday and Sunday’s Black-Type $75,000 Baffle, will move to next week. The […]

Maximum Security emerged victorious from this stretch drive in the 2020 Saudi Cup. More than 100 horses from nine countries were nominated to the second edition of the $20 million race. (Image: Reuters)

Charlatan, Knicks Go, and Swiss Skydiver Headline Saudi Cup Nominees

Swiss Skydiver, Charlatan and Knicks Go are three names you’d expect to find in the world’s richest race – the $20 million Saudi Cup. And those three American stars headline a lengthy nominee list for the Feb. 20 Saudi Cup. The 1 1/8-mile Saudi Cup drew 109 nominees from nine […]

Jockey Luis Saez and Essential Quality were exactly that at last week's Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Essential Quality is the prohibitive 10/1 favorite on William Hill's Kentucky Derby Futures Board. (Image: Michael Conroy/AP)

Essential Quality Surges to Top of William Hill Derby Futures Board

The fluidity of William Hill’s Kentucky Derby future odds six months from the 2021 Derby clearly illustrated itself before last Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Note, the key word here: “before.” Because, before undefeated 4/5 Juvenile favorite Jackie’s Warrior entered the Keeneland starting gate, he was no longer the darling of […]