Hot Rod Charlie showed them how it’s done in the Big Easy, winning the Louisiana Derby (G2) by two lengths over the hard-trying Midnight Bourbon. The speedster set a track record 0f 1:55.06 for 1 3/16 miles.
Trained by Leandro Mora for the suspended Doug O’Neill, Hot Rod Charlie earned 100 2021 Kentucky Derby qualifying points and sits atop the leaderboard with 110 points.
Edward A. Cox Jr. bred the dark bay colt. Hot Rod Charlie brought $17,000 as a short yearling at the Fasig-Tipton February sale. He sold for $110,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October sale the same year and is campaigned by the partnership of Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing LLC, and William Strauss.
Only two previous Louisiana Derby winners prevailed in Kentucky: Black Gold (1924) and Grindstone (1996). Funny Cide (2003) was second in the Louisiana Derby and won in Kentucky. In 2019, Country House finished fourth in Louisiana and won the Kentucky Derby on the disqualification of Maximum Security.
Pedigree: Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow - Indian Miss, by Indian Charlie) was a later-maturing 2-year-old. He figured things out in his fourth start and has been in the money in each start since. He was a closing second to Essential Quality in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. In his 3-year-old debut, Hot Rod Charlie was in a three-way photo for the victory but had to settle for third place.
Hot Rod Charlie has a middle distance pedigree. He keeps a straight path with no wasted movement such as high knee action or paddling when he runs. (Click here for his pedigree chart.)
Oxbow (Awesome Again - Tizamazing, by Cee’s Tizzy) was a later-maturing 2-year-old, needing four starts to find the winner’s circle. He put himself on the 2013 Kentucky Derby trail with a victory in the Lecomte (G3) and followed up with a second-place finish in the Rebel (G2). After finishing out of the money in the Arkansas and Kentucky Derbies, the Wayne Lukas trainee upset the Preakness Stakes with a front-running score. He followed up with a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. In his final start, Oxbow set the pace but weakened, nosed out for third place in the Haskell Invitational (G1). He retired with a 13: 3-2-1 ($1,243,500) record.
Oxbow has 145 winners, six of them stakes winners. Besides Hot Rod Charlie, his most accomplished runner is Gulfstream Oaks (G2) winner Coach Rocks. So far, Hot Rod Charlie is the only one of the black-type earners to hold a victory beyond 1 1/16 miles.
Despite not winning in three career starts, all of Indian Miss’ (Indian Charlie - Glacken’s Gal, by Smoke Glacken) runners are winners, led by 2019 Champion Male Sprinter Mitole (Eskendereya). The speedy warrior won six of seven starts in 2019, capping off a brilliant career with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He was never off the board in 14 starts and retired with $3,104,910.
Hot Rod Charlie is the fifth foal out of Indian Miss and her second black-type earner. She has an unnamed 2-year-old filly and just bore a colt, both by Into Mischief.
Hot Rod Charlie’s second dam was the brilliant but fragile Glacken’s Gal. After capturing her debut by 3 1/2-lengths at Belmont Park, the daughter of Smoke Glacken returned to wire the field in the listed Astoria Stakes by two lengths. Unfortunately, she was injured and retired to the luxurious life of a broodmare after her Astoria victory. Five of Glacken’s Gal’s eight starters are winners. Her sole black-type earner is Live Lively (Medaglia d’Oro), who won the Davona Dale (G2) and placed in the Gulfstream Oaks (G2).
Glacken’s Gal has a pair of stakes-winning half-siblings. Bankers Buy (Distorted Humor), a restricted-winning miler, stakes-placed at nine furlongs, and listed winning sprinter City Dweller (Carson City).
Hot Rod Charlie’s third dam is the sprinter/miler Lady Diplomat (Silver Deputy), who placed in two stakes.
Indian Charlie (In Excess (IRE) - Soviet Sojourn, by Leo Castelli) was a brilliant but fragile competitor. After capturing his debut and two allowance starts, the Bob Baffert trainee won the 1998 Santa Anita Derby by 2 1/4 lengths over stablemate Real Quiet. The roles were reversed in the Kentucky Derby when Real Quiet wore the roses and Indian Charlie placed third as the favorite. Indian Charlie retired after the Kentucky Derby.
Indian Charlie’s most significant legacy at stud is his son Uncle Mo, who sired Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.
As a damsire, Indian Charlie imparts speed to his daughter’s offspring. Out of 69 graded/listed winners, only four have won beyond a mile. Three of the four were successful on the lawn.
Hot Rod Charlie is bred along the same Awesome Again/Indian Charlie lines as multiple Grade 2-winning sprinter Gypsy Robin. The mare is by Awesome Again’s son Daaher out of a daughter of Indian Charlie.