O'Neill weighs options for Hot Rod Charlie's next race

O'Neill weighs options for Hot Rod Charlie's next race
Photo: Ernie Belmonte

Hot Rod Charlie, game runner-up to favored Essential Quality in the Belmont Stakes last Saturday, enjoyed his first day back on the track this morning at his home base of Santa Anita.

“He jogged a mile and a half and looked fantastic,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “He was happy and full of energy.”

The hard-hitting son of Oxbow arrived Wednesday night from the East Coast; now team O’Neill is pondering the future.

“Deciding on his next race is a group effort,” O’Neill said. “No one wants to say much right now . . . it’s the old cliché, ‘We’ll see where Charlie takes us,’ and we really can’t know that until we see how he is on the track, eating, and all that stuff, so in a couple weeks we’ll have a better idea.

“The Pacific Classic at Del Mar is a possibility (Aug. 21), the Haskell at Monmouth is possible (July 17) as is the Pennsylvania Derby (Sept. 25). There are tons of possibilities and options.”

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