Doug O'Neill

Doug O'Neill Talks 'Questionable' Haskell DQ, Whip Rules On Writers' Room

Trainer Doug O'Neill experienced the agony and ecstasy of racing early Saturday evening at Monmouth Park, all in the span of less than 10 minutes. First, his star 3-year-old Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) won a hard-fought stretch battle in the GI TVG.com Haskell S., which would have been the colt's first Grade I victory after a handful of near-misses. But quickly after the race, in which Hot Rod Charlie came in on Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) and the latter soon stumbled and lost rider Paco Lopez, the red inquiry sign lit...

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Trainer Doug O'Neill Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Trainer Doug O'Neill joins the TDN Writers' Room following the disqualification of his horse, Hot Rod Charlie, in the Haskell Stakes to give his take on both the controversial race and the new whip ban at Monmouth Park.

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Hot Rod Charlie Favored From Gate Four in TVG.com Haskell

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), third in the GI Kentucky Derby and runner-up to Essential Quality (Tapit) when last seen in the GI Belmont S. June 5, was installed the 6-5 morning-line favorite and was assigned gate four in a field of seven sophomores for Saturday's $1-million GI TVG.com Haskell S. at Monmouth Park. Flavien Prat has the call for trainer Doug O'Neill. "I think it sets up perfectly for us," Greg Hahn, whose Roadrunner Racing campaigns Hot Rod Charlier in partnership with Boat Racing LLC, William Strauss and Gainesway Stable,...

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Pacific Classic, Haskell Among Options for Hot Rod Charlie

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), runner-up to favored Essential Quality (Tapit) in last Saturday's GI Belmont S., returned to the track at his Santa Anita base Friday. The colt arrived from the East Coast Wednesday night. "He jogged a mile and a half and looked fantastic," trainer Doug O'Neill said. "He was happy and full of energy." Regarding the GII Louisiana Derby winner's next possible engagement, O'Neill said, "The [GI] Pacific Classic at Del Mar is a possibility [Aug. 21], the [GI] Haskell at Monmouth is possible [July 17] as is...

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Essential Quality 'Looks Amazing' After Belmont; Cox Eyes Travers

Essential Quality (Tapit) got great marks from trainer Brad Cox the morning after the colt triumphed in a strong renewal of the GI Belmont S., and Cox said the Godolphin homebred will be pointed next to the GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 28 at Saratoga. The Belmont victory marked the first Grade I win as a sophomore for last year's champion 2-year-old male and offered a measure of redemption for the gray, who was the beaten favorite when fourth in last month's GI Kentucky Derby, his first career defeat. "He...

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Hot Rod Charlie Prepares for Belmont

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 under Flavien Prat at 7:45 a.m. at Santa Anita Saturday morning in preparation for the June 5 GI Belmont S. The colt worked in tandem with SW Liam's Pride (Liam's Map). "I was very happy with the breeze," said trainer Doug O'Neill. "I got him in 1:01 and out [six furlongs] in 1:13 and change." The winner of the GII Louisiana Derby Mar. 20, the dark bay most recently finished third at 5-1 odds in the May 1 Kentucky Derby. Prat,...

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Medina Spirit Fine After Derby Win

Zedan Racing's Medina Spirit (Protonico) exited his win in Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby in fine shape, according to trainer Bob Baffert, who said he would wait a week before committing the colt to the May 15 GI Preakness S. "He came out of it well," Baffert said Sunday morning. "It takes about a week to determine, so I'm going to come back next weekend and see. But I don't see anything discouraging right now." Baffert continued, "Can he win the Triple Crown? I don't know. But he's the Derby winner,...

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Unbeaten Champion Essential Quality Favored for Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, KY - Unbeaten champion Essential Quality (Tapit) was assigned post 14 in a full field of 20 assembled for Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby at Tuesday's post position draw held at Churchill Downs. The Godolphin homebred and 'TDN Rising Star,' tabbed as the 2-1 favorite on Mike Battaglia's morning line, made it a perfect five-for-five for trainer Brad Cox with a hard-fought, neck decision over Highly Motivated (Into Mischief) in the GII Blue Grass S. at Keeneland Apr. 3. Luis Saez, disqualified from first aboard Maximum Security in 2019, has...

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California Trio Breeze Towards Derby

Three Santa Anita-based sophomores headed to the GI Kentucky Derby tuned up Saturday morning over their home track. Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), who will have his fair share of backers off his front-running victory in the GII Louisiana Derby, went three-quarters of a mile in :1.14.20 for two-time Derby-winning conditioner Doug O'Neill. Flavien Prat, who was tabbed earlier this week for the ride, was aboard. "He looked solid. So far, so good," said O'Neill. Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}), who remained perfect in three starts with his front-running success...

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Hot Rod Charlie Tunes Up at Santa Anita

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), front-running winner of the GII TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby in his most recent trip to the races, prepped for the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong breeze Saturday morning over the Santa Anita main track. The half-brother to champion Mitole (Eskendereya) stopped the clock in 1:01.20 to the satisfaction of trainer Doug O'Neill. "'Charlie' had company with a horse named Hammering Lemon (Square Eddie) [clocked in 1:01.60] who broke off in front of him," the two-time Derby-winning trainer commented. "They both finished up good, but...

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`Chuck' Puts Next Generation on Derby Trail

It's not what you would think. Not the invincible, fist-pumping, chest-bumping days. No, the real bond is forged exactly where the rest of us would least imagine—in the moments of disappointment, moments of doubt. That's where you really learn about each other. "Honestly, thinking back, what I remember most is those bus rides back from games we lost," says Patrick O'Neill. "And that's crazy to say. We were very competitive. Second or third, pretty much every year we played in the Ivy League. But it's those losses where you really...

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Dubai World Cup Horses Out in Force

Less than a week remains before the $26.5-million Dubai World Cup card, split between eight Thoroughbred races and one for Purebred Arabians. Horses were out in force over the Meydan track on Monday morning, with several turning in final works prior to the big night. Most of the $12-million G1 Dubai World Cup hopefuls completed maintenance works on Monday, but one of the American contenders-Jesus' Team (Tapiture), runner-up in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. on Jan. 23--galloped 1 1/2 circuits. "We went to the track with him very...

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