TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Hot Rod Charlie

3) HOT ROD CHARLIE (c, Oxbow–Indian Miss, by Indian Charlie)
O-Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing LLC & William Strauss; B-Edward A Cox (KY); T-Doug O'Neill. Sales history: $17,000 Ylg '19 FTKFEB; $110,000 Ylg '19 FTKOCT.
Lifetime Record: 7-2-1-2, $1,005,700.
Last Start: 1st GII Louisiana Derby, FG, Mar. 20
Accomplishments: 2nd GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6; 3rd GIII Robert B. Lewis S., SA, Jan. 30
Next Start: GI Kentucky Derby, CD, May 1
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 110.

Flavien Prat will ride Hot Rod Charlie in the Derby, and the standings-topping Santa Anita rider is picking up a live, versatile mount who has impressed with steady advancement ever since he ran a close second at 94-1 odds behind Essential Quality in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Even though this two-time Fasig-Tipton sales grad ($17,000 FTKFEB; $110,000 FTKOCT) is a half-brother to 2019 sprint champ Mitole, trainer Doug O'Neill was on record as far back as last autumn saying Hot Rod Charlie has the makings of a two-turn horse. This Oxbow colt most recently scored on the front end in the GII Louisiana Derby, but he's a fairly relaxed goer who doesn't appear to be a need-the-lead type of speedster. Hot Rod Charlie also got a good deal of schooling out of his Jan. 30 GIII Robert B. Lewis S. third, in which he was beaten a neck in a three-way photo after stumbling at the break and bumping in deep stretch, and he is beginning to resonate as a seasoned competitor who can handle varying levels of pace pressure and in-race chaos.