West-coast shipper HOT ROD CHARLIE Won the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Saturday by two lengths after setting a pressured pace and fighting off his lone challenger.
He accomplished this Victory by posting a solid, perhaps under-whelming, 99 Beyer Speed Figure for the Winning trip.
In regard to that trip, the main obstacle for HOT ROD CHARLIE was, seemingly, the fast pace.
The son of OXBOW set early fractions of 23.10 and 47.04, which were relatively fast numbers considering the longer distance and fractions of other dirt routes on the card Saturday.
After the half-mile mark, HOT ROD CHARLIE had a direct challenge from MIDNIGHT BOURBON on the far turn and needed almost the entire stretch run to pull clear of him.
HOT ROD CHARLIE Won by two lengths in 1:55.06 for the 1 3/16 miles.
MIDNIGHT BOURBON held 2nd by only a head over the long-shot closer O BESOS in 3rd. PROXY lost contact on the far turn again, before grinding his way to a flat 4th.
Eight lengths behind PROXY was the heavily bet MANDALOUN who ran a clunker by finishing 6th. As the 6-5 Post-Time favorite he was a non-factor- 11 3/4 lengths behind HOT ROD CHARLIE.
HOT ROD CHARLIE appears to remain on the fringes of top 3-year-olds pointed to the Kentucky Derby. The last round of prep races would need to be below average at this point in order to change that opinion.
This weekends featured Prep race on the Road To The Kentucky Derby is the $750,000 dollar, Grade 1, Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.