Belmont Stakes 2021 Horse Profile: Hot Rod Charlie

Doug O'Neill has every chance of Belmont success with early speed runner Hot Rod Charlie
Doug O'Neill has every chance of Belmont success with early speed runner Hot Rod Charlie

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The main event on Saturday is clearly the $1,500,000 grade I Belmont Stakes. As we've done for both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness - our in-house handicapper (Sean) and turf-man (J.N.) have put together their thoughts on all the runners for the race.

This piece features their thoughts on Hot Rod Charlie. Does his early speed give him a chance to dominate the race?

You can bet on the Belmont with any of our betting partners via our Race Card at the bottom of the page.

Sean's Take...

Hot Rod Charlie:  My top pick in the Derby ran as well as I could’ve hoped in the ‘Run for the Roses.’ I thought Flavien Prat executed an absolutely beautiful ride to save ground around the far turn and tip out in the stretch, but despite the picture-perfect trip Hot Rod Charlie was ultimately turned back by both Medina Spirit and Mandaloun. It was a solid effort nonetheless and should set him up nicely for this race, however I have slightly more conviction that the added ground of the Belmont is going to be to Essential Quality’s liking. Hot Rod Charlie is no doubt a contender, but I wonder if it’s time to change allegiances in the final leg of the Triple Crown.

J.N's Take...

Adding the hot-riding Flavien Prat is going to be a boon to Doug O’Neill and those flamboyant Brown University owners. They are getting an accomplished jockey to ride their already successful colt. Even though he sat the bench for the Preakness, it probably was the best choice, so he could prepare for this moment at Belmont Park.

The son of Oxbow should have no issues stretching out to this distance, but how well will he handle a surface that is sand-based? All the entrants have the same problem, but I keep thinking how much money was placed in his coffer to win the Kentucky Derby. It was extraordinary to say the least. That is not a comment that is meant to disparage considering the 3rd place finish in the Derby.

Rather, it just goes to prove how strong an opinion a good portion of bettors possessed. Can Hot Rod pull off what he did in the Louisiana Derby by bullying his way to the front? Possibly, but that tactic may not be so easy as he tests a pair of turns that are longer than the straightaways. Should be interesting. 

Here at HorseRacing.net we'll have comprehensive coverage of the action at Belmont Park throughout the week and on Belmont Stakes day itself. Our in-house handicapper will be handicapping the cards in-depth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with our turf-man also providing his thoughts on all the Graded Stakes races throughout. So keep checking back with us all week for coverage of the Belmont Stakes and all the undercard races.

You can bet on the Belmont with any of our partners via the Race Card below.

Belmont Stakes 2021

Belmont Stakes 2021 Race Card

2
PP 2

Essential Quality

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: L. Saez /
  • Trainer: B. Cox /
Morning Line Odds

Morning Line favorite. Unbeaten before surprise defeat in Kentucky Derby. Got a bad trip that day. Very likeable horse.

3
PP 3

Rombauer

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Velazquez /
  • Trainer: M. McCarthy /
Morning Line Odds

Shock Preakness winner. 3-1 is a short price for me. If he wins then has to be considered the top three-year-old so far this year.

4
PP 4

Hot Rod Charlie

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: F. Prat /
  • Trainer: D. O'Neill /
Morning Line Odds

Should provide the early pace. Importantly drawn inside other speed horse Rock Your World.

7
PP 7

Rock Your World

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Rosario /
  • Trainer: J. Sadler /
Morning Line Odds

Winner at Grade I level on turf and dirt. Has the stamina. Got a terrible break in the Derby. Needs to get out front early. Contender

6
PP 6

Known Agenda

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: I. Ortiz Jr. /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
Morning Line Odds

One of three Todd Pletcher horses entered. Probably his best shot. Won the Florida Derby but still not expected to challenge. Potential to hit the board.

1
PP 1

Bourbonic

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: K. Carmouche /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /

Won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct but 13th in the Derby. Tough to use even in deep exotics.

8
PP 8

Overtook

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: M. Franco /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /

Only horse entered yet to have a Graded Stakes win to his name. Longshot.

5
PP 5

France Go de Ina

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: R. Santana Jr. /
  • Trainer: H. Mori /

Japanese invader did not do well in the Preakness. Struggled in the UAE Derby. Huge longshot.

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