Midnight Bourbon

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 TVG.com 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 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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Mandaloun Put Up In Haskell, Hot Rod Charlie DQd

After a heart-stopping incident in the stretch, and heated battle to the wire between Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) and 'TDN Rising Star' Mandaloun (Into Mischief) in Saturday's whip-free GI Haskell Invitational S. at Monmouth, the former crossed the line a nose to the good, only to be taken all the way down to last and Juddmonte's Mandaloun crowned the official winner. With the win, Mandaloun earned an automatic berth to the GI Breeders' Cup Classic later this year. Stretching-out 'Rising Star' Following Sea (Runhappy) seized the early lead entering the...

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This Side Up: Haskell Throwbacks to the Future

So the big question is whether the out-of-town jocks, in the heat of a $1-million battle for the GI TVG.com Haskell S., can master the instinct to reach for the whip? If any lifelong flagellants are anxious of their self-discipline, then they need only play back the 1988 running and remind themselves how Laffit Pincay, Jr. coaxed Forty Niner home, in withering heat, by a nose from Seeking the Gold. The whip is unsheathed, for sure, but so seamlessly with the horse's own efforts that the overall effect is like...

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Triple Crown Heavy Hitters Reconvene in Haskell

The runners-up in all three Triple Crown races—though one of them may be promoted to winner at a later date—will clash along with a very intriguing stretch-out sprinter Saturday at Monmouth in a quality renewal of the GI TVG.com Haskell S., a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic. Pegged as the 6-5 morning-line favorite is Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), who ran the best race of the three Triple Crown returnees when finishing a hard-luck second to division leader Essential Quality (Tapit) in the GI...

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Rombauer in Good Order, Ships to Belmont Monday

After a few hours of sleep, trainer Michael McCarthy was back at Pimlico Race Course Sunday morning, quietly talking about Rombauer (Twirling Candy)'s emphatic victory in the 146th GI Preakness S. Saturday and looking ahead to the June 5GI Belmont Stakes. Bred and raced by John and Diane Fradkin, Rombauer rallied to a convincing 3 1/2-length score Saturday and stopped the clock in 1:53.62, the eighth-fastest time since the race distance was changed to 1 3/16 miles in 1925. While McCarthy, 50, acquired plenty of experience in Triple Crown races...

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Rombauer Does it in the Preakness

The vast majority of the headlines leading up to the 146th renewal of the GI Preakness S. had to do with one horse, one trainer and one subject. But when the dust had settled at Pimlico at approximately 7 p.m. Saturday, the narrative had suddenly changed. In the span of 1 3/16 miles, the story was no longer one of rumors and speculation. It became a story about an improving horse, John and Diane Fradkin's Rombauer (Twirling Candy), that finally had his chance to prove his mettle on the big...

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The Show Continues in Preakness

BALTIMORE, MD--Immediately after the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby, it appeared that the GI Preakness S. two weeks hence would be a routine affair. Trainer Bob Baffert would be heading to Pimlico with a record seventh Derby victory under his belt and he would be in the enviable position of trying to collect his eighth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. And then the unthinkable happened. The Derby winner, Medina Spirit (Protonico), tested positive for Betamethasone, a substance banned on race day. That single event sparked a...

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TDN Preakness Preview

This week's Triple Crown feature ranks the GI Preakness S. entrants in "likeliest winner" order. 1) Medina Spirit (Protonico--Mongolian Changa, by Brilliant Speed) O-Zedan Racing Stables; B-Gail Rice (FL); T-Bob Baffert; J-John Velazquez. Sales History: $1,000 ylg '19 OBSWIN; $35,000 2yo '20 OBSOPN. Equineline PPs. There's an old adage in sports betting that warns not to bet against underdog, overachieving teams that keep winning "must" games, and although that analogy is not an exact fit for Medina Spirit, he definitely matches the mold of having more fight in him than...

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