Hot Rod Charlie

Hot Rod Charlie Denies Rich Strike in Lukas Classic

   The gutsy Hot Rod Charlie clawed his way back late to deny a late rally from GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike in the GII Lukas Classic S. Saturday beneath the Twin Spires. Favored at 6-5, the bay hustled up to press Art Collector (Bernardini) through opening splits of :23.55 and :47.94. Turning up the heat as three-quarters went in 1:11.77, the bay took control entering the far turn and had his nose in front at the top of the stretch. Rich Strike rallied up the outside and briefly...

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Life Is Good Shows Speed, Heart in Whitney Triumph

Life Is Good (Into Mischief) caught a flier right out of the gate, strutted his stuff up front for six furlongs and fought off a pair of stubborn challengers through the Saratoga stretch to capture Saturday's $1-million GI Whitney S., punch his ticket to the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic and stick his nose in front of a crowded Horse of the Year race. Running away to a 9 1/2-length debut romp and 'TDN Rising Star' honors for Bob Baffert in November of 2020 at Del Mar, the $525,000 Keeneland...

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Life is Good for Pletcher Heading into the Whitney

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - At this time last year, trainer Todd Pletcher and his staff were getting to know Life Is Good (Into Mischief). Some 400 days after he arrived and with four wins from six races, the bay colt is an unquestioned standout in Pletcher's powerful and deep stable. Up next for Life Is Good in a season that could yield an Eclipse Award and possibly even a Horse of the Year title is the $1-million GI Whitney S. Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. The historic Whitney, first run...

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The Week in Review: Mind Control Learning Two-Turn Tricks at Age Six

When the late John Brunetti Sr., the colorful and sometimes controversial owner of Hialeah Park and the Red Oak Stable breeding and racing operation, died at 87 in 2018, his racing manager, Rick Sacco, told TDN, "He's been active right up until the very end [and] this is probably Mr. Brunetti's best crop of homebred 2-year-olds that we've ever had." The standout from that Red Oak foaling class of '16 ended up being GISW Mind Control (Stay Thirsty), who at age six edged up over the $1.5 million earnings mark...

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Mind Control Noses Out Hot Rod Charlie in Salvator Mile Thriller

OCEANPORT, NJ--It was an unseasonably cool and windy June day at the Jersey Shore for Monmouth Park's GIII Salvator Mile S. and the match up on display for Saturday's marquee race was just as unusual as the weather. It is not often the Salvator Mile attracts a pair of Grade I winners, but that is exactly what the Monmouth Park fans were treated to Saturday with Mind Control (Stay Thirsty) meeting Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) for the first time. And what a treat it was! GI Pennsylvania Derby hero Hot...

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Hot Rod Charlie Back in Action Saturday on Loaded Monmouth Card

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), a strong second when last seen in the G1 Dubai World Cup Mar. 26, will begin his road to the GI Breeders' Cup Classic in Saturday's GIII Salvator Mile S. on Monmouth Park's inaugural GI Haskell S. preview day. He'll face six rivals with Hall of Famer Mike Smith booked to ride. The half-brother to champion Mitole (Eskendereya) returns to the Jersey Shore for the first time since being disqualified from first and placed seventh for interference in a roughly run edition of last year's...

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Hot Rod Charlie Carries Banner for Ever-Growing Hermitage Farm Legacy

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), runner-up in this year's G1 Dubai World Cup, will return to the starting gate on Saturday in the GIII Salvator Mile S. The winner of last year's GI Pennsylvania Derby and GII Louisiana Derby has put in five works over the past month in preparation for his next start. "He came back from Dubai in great shape and we intentionally gave him a little extended time between then and now," said the 4-year-old colt's trainer Doug O'Neill. "He's training with great energy and good stamina. I'm...

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Country Grammer Schools Rivals in Dubai World Cup

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- On paper, it was horseracing's version of the 'Dream Team.' Trainer Bob Baffert, a three-time winner of the G1 Dubai World Cup, and the charismatic Frankie Dettori, still riding at the peak of his powers into his early 50s, also with three World Cup trophies to his name. Each of those victories was achieved as the retained rider for Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor, but the Italian maestro hadn't hoisted the hardware since Electrocutionist (Red Ransom) took the 2006 renewal at old Nad Al Sheba...

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This Side Up: Horses, Not Humans, Back At The Epicenter

First things first: let's give their chance to the guys off the bench. Okay, so there are going to be plenty of eyeballs rolled now that three of Bob Baffert's four Derby migrants are joining a former assistant, on the same circuit, with a total of 38 starters to his name this year—especially as it was the handling of another Baffert medication violation that reportedly caused the scuffle between this same gentleman and a fellow trainer at Clocker's Corner one morning last April. (Both were fined $500.) The wiseguys will...

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Life Is Good The Main Man at Meydan

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- In a Thursday morning presser at Meydan Racecourse, Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher suggested that a good deal of the allure of running in a race like the G1 Dubai World Cup is that it brings together a smorgasbord of horses from a variety of jurisdictions with patriotic pride at play. "I think part of it is the international competition aspect of it," he offered. "I said this when Coal Front (Stay Thirsty) won the [G2 Godolphin] Mile [in 2019], it almost takes on...

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Life Is Good Draws Gate One in Dubai World Cup

WinStar Farm and China Horse Club's Life Is Good (Into Mischief), who won the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. in dominating fashion, has drawn gate one in the $12-million G1 Dubai World Cup. The 4-year-old colt is six for seven, with five of his wins at the graded level. Elliott Walden, president and racing manager of co-owner WinStar Farm said, "It's an 11-horse field. He has enough time to get over, and has enough speed to put himself in a good position. It's...

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Life Is Good, Hot Rod Charlie Among Dubai World Cup Nominations

American stars Life Is Good (Into Mischief) and Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) are among 153 horses nominated to the $12-million G1 Dubai World Cup, which will be run at Meydan on Mar. 26. A total of 750 horses from 20 different countries have been nominated for the nine-race, $30.5-million card. The 4-year-old Life Is Good was the emphatic winner of both the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar and the GI Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 29, while Hot Rod Charlie was multiple Classic-placed last year and won...

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