Hot Rod Charlie works Half Mile 48.52

January 9, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif.–One of America’s top three-year-olds from 2021, trainer Doug O’Neill’s Hot Rod Charlie, winner of the 2021 Secretariat Vox Populi (Voice of the People) Award, worked a half mile just prior to 12 noon at Santa Anita on Saturday in 48.52 and galloped out five furlongs under regular rider Flavien Prat in 1:02.15.

Accompanied by O’Neill’s $5.2 million earner and current stable pony Lava Man, Hot Rod Charlie came on the main track via the quarter mile chute at 11:48 a.m., galloped through the stretch, broke free from Lava Man heading to the 4 ½ furlong pole and was set down at the half mile by Prat.

Hugging the rail entering the stretch, Hot Rod Charlie got the first quarter mile in 24.48 and came to the wire with his ears up.

“Charlie went really nice,” said O’Neill.  “The main thing is, Flavien was very happy with him.  Flavien said, ‘He did it very easily.’”

Most recently second, beaten a nose as the 1-5 favorite here in the Grade II San Antonio Stakes Dec. 26, Hot Rod Charlie, who was third in the Kentucky Derby, second in the Belmont Stakes and who won the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby prior to finishing fourth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 6, has amassed earnings of $2,511,200 from an overall mark of 13-3-3-3.  (Although he finished first in the Grade I Haskell Invitational July 17, he was disqualified to last).

Owned by Boat Racing, LLC, Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck), Roadrunner Racing and William Strauss, Hot Rod Charlie was purchased as a yearling by O’Neill’s brother, Dennis, for $110,000.

Hot Rod Charlie’s connections will be presented with the Vox Populi Award in a Winner’s Circle ceremony following today’s fourth race.

Santa Anita Press Release

Photo: Hot Rod Charlie (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

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