Hot Rod Charlie Odds to Win the 2021 Kentucky Derby with Picks and Predictions
We are now less than 10 days away from the running of the Kentucky Derby, and the field is starting to take shape. Barring any late scratches, we have a pretty good idea of who will be running and a similar idea of how the race will play out. Based on that, we think Hot Rod Charlie, who is a top-four betting favorite, will be in a prime position to make some noise as they turn from home and come barrelling down the stretch.
Odds: Hot Rod Charlie is the fourth betting favorite on the Kentucky Derby futures board as he’s currently listed from +800 to +900 online and +1000 at WilliamHill. It’s crucial to shop around for the best number as you don’t want to leave any profit on the table should he pull off the upset.
Breeding: In order to understand the breeding and pedigree of Hot Rod Charlie, we must first look at the family tree (if you will). Hot Rod Charlie is a Dark Bay/Brown colt bred in Kentucky by way of Oxbow and Indian Miss. Oxbow wasn’t an elite horse when he was running as he was just a three-time winner in 13 starts, but he did win the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes at Belmont, which is one jewel of the Triple Crown. Oxbow definitely could go the distance, and that should have been passed down to Hot Rod Charlie as a staying stamina trait. The mother, Indian Miss, had just two career races to speak of, managing a third in the process.
Trainer: Hot Rod Charlie is owned by Roadrunner Racing and Boat Racing LLC and is trained by Leandro Mora. Mora is not someone who has been around the track a lot compared to the names of Baffert and Pletcher, but he can sure train them. This year alone, Mora has six training wins in just 18 starts, which is a win percentage of 33 percent. He’s also hit the board (second or third) in six of those 18 races, which essentially gives him an in-the-money rate of 66%. I mean, what more can you ask for if you’re backing a trainer blindly. This year, Mora has captured one stakes race, and that was the Louisiana Derby, which effectively got Hot Rod Charlie a spot in the Derby starting gate.
Jockey: Joel Rosario has been aboard Hot Rod Charlie for much of his early work. However, with Rosario jumping horses to the John W. Sadler trained horse, Rock Your World, that leaves Mora with a big headache as to who he will employ to be in the saddle come May 1. No word has come out of yet on who Mora will be looking to secure, but with a big 20-horse field, you can likely rule out the big names as they will already have secured a mount.
Last race: Hot Rod Charlie last ran in the Louisiana Derby on March 20, 2021. He opened with morning-line odds of 3/1 and went off at post time at 5/2. Hot Rod Charlie led from the onset and rode the rail until drifting off into the three path as they rounded the turn for home. He was neck and neck with Midnight Bourbon (7/1) until pulling away at the 1/16th pole for the two-length victory. It was an impressive effort to say the least, and the time of 1:55.06 on a fast main surface was solid.
Prior experience: Hot Rod Charlie made his debut as a two-year-old on July 11 at Del Mar in a Maiden Special Weight. In fact, his first four races were Maiden Special Weight events, and it was the fourth and final race where he broke his maiden (October 2, 2020, at Santa Anita). From there, Hot Rod Charlie finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. In January, Hot Rod Charlie finished third in the Robert Lewis Stakes. And then from there, went on to win the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. It was that win that secured him a spot in the starting gate on May 1.
Can Hot Rod Charlie Win the 2021 Kentucky Derby? There are a lot of things to like about Hot Rod Charlie’s chances of winning the Derby. He’s been tested in three great stakes events and performed admirably, finishing in the money in all three events. His pedigree is solid as he comes from Oxbow, who won key stakes races during his time. And the stamina and speed passed down to him should serve him well for this distance. Depending on the post position, Hot Rod Charlie should find himself just off the pace and with a chance to turn for him within striking distance. The jockey situation scares me from laying down a bet on him, so I’ll be passing on having him in my win bets.
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