Hot Rod Charlie Head towards Saratoga Racetrack on August 1 to prepare for the $1 million Whitney Stakes (G1) next weekend.
The 4-year-old colt, owned by Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing and William Strauss, has been placed at Keeneland for the summer, where he worked four times at the Lexington Oval under the supervision of Doug O’Neill’s assistant coach, Leandro Mora.
His last start was in the Salvator Mile Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park where he finished second as a 1-5 favorite, beaten by a header by Thought control .
The son of oxbow will have the blinkers back for the August 6 Whitney. He hasn’t worn blinders in his last four starts.
“Touch wood, everything is fine,” O’Neill said from California.
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Grade 1 to 3 winner of the Pennsylvania Derby (G1), Hot Rod Charlie has raced three times this year, including two in Dubai. He won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 Presented by the Longines Record (G2) on February 4, then finished second behind country grammar in the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1).
In the Whitney, he will face foes such as Life is Beautiful and Olympiad . Hot Rod Charlie edged out Life Is Good, which finished fourth at the Dubai World Cup.
“I’m really excited to face Life Is Good again,” said O’Neill, who will arrive in Saratoga on August 4. “It seems like a small field, but a really tough field.”