Hot Rod Charlie

Hot Rod Charlie Tunes Up for Breeders' Cup

Trainer Doug O'Neill's Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) began tightening the screws for the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic with a four-furlong move at Santa Anita Saturday morning. Out at 7:45 a.m., the popular dark bay, known for his gritty style, had Mike Smith in the irons. The Hall of Famer was filling in for regular rider Flavien Prat, who was riding at Keeneland Saturday. "He went a half-mile in 48 and change and galloped out in 1:01 and three," said O'Neill. "He looked good. It was his first piece...

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F-T Kentucky October Yearlings Catalogue Now Online

Fasig-Tipton has catalogued 1,586 yearlings for its Kentucky October Yearlings Sale, to be held on October 25-28, in Lexington, Kentucky. The four continuous sessions, conducted on Monday-Thursday, will begin each day at 10 a.m. "Kentucky October has developed into one of the most important yearling sales on the calendar," said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. "This year's catalogue is outstanding, with every current top 25 ranked sire represented by multiple yearlings. Buyers will find tremendous quality no matter what their budget." Sale graduates continue to have success at the highest levels,...

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The Week in Review: Does the Path to the Classic Run Through Parx

It was 35 years ago this weekend that Broad Brush bolted to the outside fence at the top of the stretch while on a clear lead in the Pennsylvania Derby, then amazingly re-rallied to claw back the lead for an improbable win. They've long since rebranded Philadelphia Park to Parx, added a racino, and been awarded an upgrade of that track's premier stakes from Grade II to Grade I. But history tends to repeat, and that same quirky spot at the quarter pole proved eerily enigmatic yet again on Saturday,...

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Hot Rod Charlie Outbattles Midnight Bourbon in PA Derby

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), among the most talented horses in training yet to have officially reached the highest level, got his Grade I in Saturday's Pennsylvania Derby--but not without some more drama. He had last been seen getting DQ'd from first to seventh in the GI Haskell Invitational S. at Monmouth July 17 when he crossed over on and clipped heels with Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow), causing that runner to drop Paco Lopez. And it was Midnight Bourbon who again was involved in a controversial stretch drive with Hot Rod Charlie....

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This Side Up: Quit Chasing the Dollar and Try Cruz Control

Assuming that you, too, have by this stage marvelled at the tenacity, balance and athleticism of Alex Cruz in winning a race despite losing both irons leaving the gate, at Emerald Downs last weekend, then perhaps you might also have been prompted to reassess our prejudices against the seat of the 18th Century guardsman. To the modern eye, the long-shanked equitation of those days appears ludicrous: awkward, stilted and, above all, inimical to the freedom of the horse's movement. We think of the elevation of the modern jockey, as popularized...

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'Spirit'-less PA Derby Weekend's Main Event

The decision to withdraw GI Kentucky Derby first-past-the-post Medina Spirit (Protonico) from Saturday's $1-million GI Pennsylvania Derby is certainly a disappointing development, but eight of the nine remaining entrants already have at least one stakes win to their credit, six of those at the graded-stakes level, with a couple of new shooters that have earned their chance to contest a race of this magnitude. Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) is a deserving favorite based on his body of work, one that could look dramatically more sparkling with a few different bounces...

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Hot Rod Charlie, Medina Spirit Among Early PA Derby Noms

GSW Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) heads the early nominations for the Sept 25 GI Pennsylvania Derby. The nine-furlong marquee race for 3-year-olds highlights a stacked card which features eight stakes races, including five at the graded level. The Pennsylvania Derby was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. "We're still a few works away, but we're real optimistic about Charlie's next stop, the Pennsylvania Derby," said trainer Doug O'Neill. "The race looks to be coming up tough, which one would expect with a million dollars on the line." Winner...

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Flavien Prat Suspended Seven Days for Haskell Ride

The Monmouth Park stewards have handed jockey Flavien Prat a seven-day suspension for his ride aboard Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) in the July 17 GI Haskell S. The ruling was issued Sunday, three days after the stewards granted Prat a hearing. The suspension runs from Sept. 7 through Sept. 13. The timing may not be a coincidence, as the suspension starts the day after the Del Mar meet closes. California racing then shift to Los Alamitos, where Prat doesn't normally ride on a regular basis. It will, however, keep...

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Monmouth Stewards Hold Hearing for Prat, Ruling Expected Sunday

Over a teleconference, the Monmouth Park stewards held a hearing with jockey Flavien Prat Thursday morning concerning his ride aboard Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) in the GI Haskell S. run July 17. The stewards called for a hearing after disqualifying Hot Rod Charlie from first place. In a tight finish, Hot Rod Charlie may have come over on Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow), who was in third at the time. Midnight Bourbon fell, tossing his jockey, Paco Lopez. Neither Lopez nor Midnight Bourbon was seriously injured. According to a Monmouth Park spokesman,...

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This Side Up: Overcrowding One Weekend, Isolation The Next

No man an island, huh? Not so sure about that, after the last year or so, when even a family household has sometimes felt like a peninsula at best. So, the very last thing anyone wanted on returning to Saratoga, after being denied its unique balm of fellowship last year, was to hear "the Q word" yet again. A 21-day quarantine for horses stabled in Barn 86, after one of Jorge Abreu's fillies tested positive to EHV-1, must have felt like Groundhog Day for Abreu and neighbor Kenny McPeek. Here...

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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 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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