Hot Rod Charlie Wins the Pennsylvania Derby 2021

The Pennsylvania Derby 2021 took place at Parx racecourse on 25th September, according to the horse racing schedule 2021, outside Philadelphia. The race was pretty competitive with confident riders like Hot Rod Charlie, who had complete faith in his 3-year-old horse. He didn’t let any intimidation get in his way as his eyes were already fixed on the price. The win was adventurous for Hot Rod Charlie, and it was his first-grade victory.

Earlier, while horse racing, he had hit the wire first by a nose in TVG.com Haskell. However, he was disqualified and ranked last for drifting, causing Midnight Bourbon to stumble and unstable his ride. On 25th September, he decided to break the record and put aside his bad memories of horse racing.

The race included eight horses, but seemed pretty much a race between Hot Rod Charlie and his rival Midnight Bourbon. The Pennsylvania Derby had a lot of drama, especially for Hot Rod Charlie. He had just crossed the wire when Ricardo Santana Jr decided to file an inquiry into an incident that happened at the top of the stretch. It seemed like Hot Rod Charlie had drifted, bumping into Midnight Bourbon.

It took the longest five minutes trying to defend his qualifications, especially after his win in Haskell, which was nullified. There were no disqualifications and it had been clear from the start that Hot Rod Charlie would win the race. Other riders like Flavien Prat were also in the race, and he went wide, which led to him making the stretch.

It turns out that Hot Rod Charlie did not do anything to Midnight Bourbon. The stewards who were checking for the evidence did not find anything graphic. As the race progressed towards the end, the two rivals, Hot Rod Charlie and Flavien Prat seemed to carry the rest of the ravers as they headed for the finish. The race ended with Hot Rod Charlie winning his grade 1 win, which earned him the $1 million prize money. 

O’Neill went ahead to say that Charlie was the rock star of horse racing. He was still shocked that Charlie had won because he remembered how hard he had fought in the other races to get his grade1. It was an amazing experience for Charlie that he finally got it on his resume. Hot Rod Charlie might not have made the corner the right way, but it did not look like he had any effect on Midnight Bourbon either. 

The defense Hot Rod Charlie had for making his corner badly was because he was in the lead he might have looked around, making him miss the turn. What happened did not attract much attention as what happened back in Haskell. The whole incident was exaggerated, which did not require any disqualifications. 

On the other hand, Midnight Bourbon’s trainer Steve Asmussen had a different thing to say about the incidents of the race. He was convinced Midnight Bourbon’s horse was sabotaged. However, this win was Hot Rod Charlie’s third win in his 11 career starts and the second win in his six tries this year only.

Reference Links:

  1. https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/253559/hot-rod-charlie-earns-grade-1-win-in-pennsylvania-derby
  2. https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2021-09-25/hot-rod-charlie-wins-pennsylvania-derby-horse-racing
  3. https://www.playpennsylvania.com/pennsylvania-derby-2021-winner-payouts/
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