Tag: Hot Rod Charlie

Hot Rod Charlie, seen turning away Midnight Bourbon in September's Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, comes into Sunday's San Antonio Stakes as the 6/5 morning-line favorite. (Image: Equi-Photo)

Hot Rod Charlie Making Final 3-Year-Old Stand at the San Antonio

First, it was blinkers off for Hot Rod Charlie. Then, blinkers on for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Now, the colt will finish his 3-year-old season in Sunday’s Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita without blinkers. This is a case of trainer Doug O’Neill going back to what worked […]

Knicks Go breezed to victory in the 2020 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. He takes 5/2 morning-line favorite status for Saturday's $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic against a wealth of tougher contenders. (Image: Horsephotos)

Breeders’ Cup Classic: An All-Star Field With Numerous Possibilities

The first thing worth understanding about the Breeders’ Cup Classic is that it’s not kind to favorites. Unless you qualify for legend status, like Ferdinand, Alysheba, A.P. Indy, Cigar, Skip Away, Ghostzapper, Zenyatta and American Pharoah do. Last year’s winner, Authentic, was 5/1. Your favorite, meanwhile, was 3.20/1 Tiz the […]

Hot Rod Charlie earned his first Grade 1 win with this solid September score in the Pennsylvania Derby. He is the 4/1 third-favorite to win Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic. (Image: Parx Racing)

Hot Rod Charlie’s Breeders’ Cup Journey: From Footnote to Headliner

The last time Hot Rod Charlie arrived at the Breeders’ Cup, he was a 94/1 afterthought in a Juvenile field that included favored Jackie’s Warrior, eventual winner Essential Quality and the highly regarded Keepmeinmind, among other “name” 2-year-olds. Name? Hot Rod Charlie had only that cool moniker going for him. […]

Knicks Go used this Lukas Classic victory as a tune-up for the Breeders' Cup Classic, where his speed figures top his competitors on two scales. (Image: Coady Photography)

Breeders’ Cup Speed Figures: Classic Questions, Possibilities Abound

Hot Rod Charlie, Art Collector, Medina Spirit and Stilleto Boy all come into the Breeders’ Cup Classic off career-best speed figures on all three barometers. Essential Quality and Max Player enter the fray off career-best marks on two tables. So what to make of this year’s 10-horse field in what […]

Hot Rod Charlie and trainer Doug O'Neill get a prime opportunity to win their first Grade 1 in Saturday's Pennsylvania Derby at Parx. (Image: Sarah Andrew)

Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon Seek Grade 1 Glory in Penn Derby

The Pennsylvania Derby, your traditional last major 3-year-old race of the season, returns after a COVID-related year absence. And the Penn Derby returns, asking the pressing question concerning a couple of decorated sophomore runners: Will either Hot Rod Charlie or Midnight Bourbon finally get that elusive Grade 1 victory? If […]

You saw Medina Spirit and John Velazquez capture August's Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. You won't see the pair in Saturday's Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. Trainer Bob Baffert scratched the Kentucky Derby winner after he drew an outside post. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Citing Post Draw, Baffert Scratches Medina Spirit from Penn Derby

Bob Baffert scratched Medina Spirit from Saturday’s Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Tuesday after the Kentucky Derby winner and 2/1 morning-line favorite drew an outside post that Baffert found troubling. Medina Spirit drew post 9 in the 10-horse Pennsylvania Derby field. That put his two chief competitors, Hot […]

Mandaloun, who finished second to Medina Spirit in the Kentucky Derby, is is unlikely to race the remainder of the year after being diagnosed with a sore hind foot. (Image: Alton Strupp/Courier Journal)

Sore Foot Grounds Stellar Sophomore Mandaloun for Remainder of Year

Asterisk-wearing Kentucky Derby runner-up and Haskell Stakes winner Mandaloun will miss the remainder of the 2021 season, due to a sore hindfoot. The Daily Racing Form first reported the news. It quoted Juddmonte Farms racing manager Garrett O’Rourke, who said Mandaloun’s X-rays came back negative for any major damage. He […]

Hot Rod Charlie (back) finished ahead of Mandaloun by the proverbial nose in Saturday's Haskell Stakes. But the 4/5 favorite was taken down moments later for interfering with Midnight Bourbon. Mandaloun was declared the winner of his first Grade 1 amid questions about New Jersey's no-crop rule. (Image: Bill Denver/EQUI-SPORT)

Controversy, Near-Catastrophe, Marks Haskell Stakes Finish

The inherent danger of riding horses combined with a controversial rule change to create a frightening finish to Saturday’s Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park. Hot Rod Charlie crossed the finish line first, nipping Mandaloun by a nose. That apparently gave him his long-sought first Grade 1 victory. However, the 4/5 […]

Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie hasn't finished worse than third in his last six races. He looks for his first Grade 1 victory as the 6/5 favorite in Saturday's Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park. (Image: Jamie Newell/TwinSpires.com)

A Triple Crown Placers War by the Jersey Shore Headlines Haskell Stakes

The first thought that comes to mind when you see Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon and Hot Rod Charlie lined up as the three headliners for Saturday’s Grade 1 Haskell Stakes is that deja-vu sense of familiarity. You’ve seen these three clash repeatedly, but there’s something else about them that stands out. […]

Essential Quality (left) and Hot Rod Charlie separated themselves from their 3-year-old rivals at Saturday's Belmont Stakes. Both came out of the 1 1/2-mile race set for future summer contests. (Image: Al Bello/Getty)

Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie Ready For More After Belmont Stakes

Even after Hot Rod Charlie reeled off record early fractions, and even after Essential Quality caught and passed him in the stretch, both leading protagonists from Saturday’s Belmont Stakes came out of their 1 ½-mile “Test of the Champion” in fine form. “He looks amazing. It doesn’t look like he […]

Jockey Luis Saez won Saturday's Belmont Stakes for his first Triple Crown victory. He piloted 6/5 favorite Essential Quality to his third stakes win in 2021. (Image: Wendell Cruz/USA Today Sports)

Essential Quality Seizes His Moment, Wins 2021 Belmont Stakes

As the 153rd Belmont Stakes hit its stretch crescendo, Essential Quality would not be denied. At the end of this Triple Crown season, Essential Quality would not be denied his Triple Crown race victory. He would not be denied his place in history and trainer Brad Cox would not be […]

Hot Rod Charlie hit the board in his last five races: two wins, a second and two thirds. Four of those came in graded stakes races, making him a legitimate Belmont Stakes threat. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Back to Being a Real Test: Breaking Down the 2021 Belmont Stakes

The 153rd Belmont Stakes wraps up an unpredictable 2021 Triple Crown season with what should be the best race of the three for horseplayers. If 12/1 Medina Spirit winning the Kentucky Derby was a shock to the handicapper’s system, what was 11/1 Rombauer winning the Preakness Stakes? Two horses considered […]

Essential Quality's Blue Grass Stakes wire victory over Highly Motivated was the Champion 2-Year-Old's fifth consecutive win. After finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby, the colt seeks to rebound as the 2/1 morning-line favorite in the 153rd Belmont Stakes. (Image: Kentuckyderby.com)

Essential Quality Returns to Triple Crown Trail as Belmont Stakes Favorite

Essential Quality duplicated the favorite status he enjoyed for the Kentucky Derby five weeks ago, taking 2/1 morning-line favorite odds into Saturday’s 153rd Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Tuesday morning’s Belmont Stakes draw put the Brad Cox-trained, Tapit progeny in post 2. He’s one of four Grade 1 winners and […]

If Flavien Prat celebrates after the Belmont, he'll do it on a different horse than Preakness winner Rombauer. Prat takes the reins of Hot Charlie for the Belmont Stakes. He rode Hot Rod Charlie in the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Patrick Smith/Getty)

Belmont Musical Jockeys: Prat Trades Rombauer for Hot Rod Charlie

Trainer Doug O’Neill, who proved his nimbleness by quickly securing Flavien Prat’s jockey services for the Kentucky Derby, proved them once again for the Belmont Stakes. He said Prat will ride the Derby’s third-place runner in the June 5 Belmont Stakes. That, of course, means Michael McCarthy needs to find […]

Maryland-bred Jaxon Traveler returns to his home state as the favorite for the Grade 3 Chick Lang Stakes. The one-time 60/1 futures choice to win the Kentucky Derby found a different path to success. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Taking the Shorter Trail, Jaxon Traveler Puts the Odds in His Favor

Last November, Jaxon Traveler occupied the fast lane of Kentucky Derby prospects. At 60/1, he kept double-digit futures odds company with the likes of 45/1 Highly Motivated, 50/1 Hot Rod Charlie, 75/1 Midnight Bourbon, and 75/1 Keepmeinmind. Jaxon Traveler’s odds were lower than Hidden Stash and Super Stock (both 100/1). […]

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,” […]