O’Neill On Winning The Kentucky Derby: ‘It Is All Horse Driven’

Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie had his penultimate Kentucky Derby (G1)  workout at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., on Saturday, going six furlongs under Flavien Prat in 1:14.20 as the son of Oxbow prepares for his Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on May 1.

Doug O’Neill hopes the third time’s the charm, even though the 52-year-old trainer has captured the world’s most famous race twice before, with I’ll Have Another in 2012 and Nyquist in 2016.

But it never gets old.

Hot Rod Charlie is sitting on go with 110 Kentucky Derby qualifying polnts and Prat committed as his rider. Hot Rod Charlie is scheduled to have his final major Derby breeze next Saturday at Santa Anita.

“Now it’s day to day to day, keep him injury free and keep moving forward,” O’Neill said. “I would think having gone through the Derby twice before is an advantage.

“It is all horse driven, based on who you’re going there with, but we’re very optimistic with Hot Rod Charlie. He’s already shown he can ship and perform well at the highest level.

“We’re excited, and the previous experience definitely is a benefit, I would think.”

As to the origin of the colt’s name, O’Neill attributes it in part to the dam’s sire. “He’s out of a mare (Indian Miss) by Indian Charlie, so I think that’s where it comes from, but Hot Rod?

“I’m not sure about that, but for us it’s got a good ring to it.”

The post O’Neill On Winning The Kentucky Derby: ‘It Is All Horse Driven’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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