Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby Quotes

Bensalem, Pa. (Saturday, September 25, 2021)

Media Contact:
Chris Griffin (267) 223-3290

Doug O’Neill winning trainer of Hot Rod Charlie (No, 7, $3.80) - "Charlie is a rock star. I’m just a roadie but I am a pumped roadie, that’s for sure.”

“I could tell Charlie did not corner as well as he could. But it didn’t seem like he affected (Midnight) Bourbon at all, thank God. He seemed like he was clear. Flavien (jockey Prat) had mentioned maybe putting a set of cheaters on him again. He said he got a little distracted being on the led, kind of looking around and that might have caused him not to corner as well as he could have. This one did not seem as dramatic as the Monmouth race (Grade I Haskell on July 17). For this to come on top of his last race, this was definitely exaggerated and had a long inquiry as well. Thank God he was clear and didn’t cause any interference. I was pretty confident they were not going to take him down.”

“When you have speed and stamina and class, you can do some crazy, cool things. He displayed today that he has got some special qualities that, if he stays injury free, could lead to big stuff in November. I think he can be a big force in the Breeders’ Cup. Obviously there are some big time horses out there that have more experience than him but he is coming around at a good time.” “I was stabled here for awhile. I love this track. I love the people.”

ON HIS (Hot Rod Charlie) FIRST GRADE I

It’s so big. It still hasn’t sunk in. he has had so many hard fought races and to not have a Grade I on his resume seemed so unfortunate for a horse as good as he is. It’s good to finally get it.

Flavien Prat, winning jockey aboard Hot Rod Charlie (No. 7):

“He broke well and we got ourselves to the lead. He likes to be forwardly placed. When it was time to go, he kind of looked around. When it was time to go, he kind of messed around and swapped leads. I am really happy for the whole team and the connections. I thought I was on the best horse. He was training absolutely perfect going into the race. I was under control for the whole race.”

Steve Asmussen, trainer of second-place finisher Midnight Bourbon (No.8)

“Flavien Prat almost drops Midnight Bourbon for the second time. My horse ran well. He survived.”

Byron Hughes, Assistant Trainer to Todd Pletcher of third-place finisher Americanrevolution (No. 10):

“I thought Americanrevolution broke well, unfortunately, (Luis) Saez got stuck wide on that first turn, and kind of mid-turn he got himself in good position and two horses that ran one-two never came back to us really. I thought he ran a good race. It’s a tough track to close on as well. A couple have closed today, a couple of favorites, but it’s definitely a hard track to close on. We’ll regroup and see where to go.”