A dual Derby winner, $5.6 million earner Hot Rod Charlie will join the stallion roster this year at Shadai Stallion Station. He will stand for an advertised fee of ¥2 million ($15,500). Shadai Stallion Station previously purchased leading racehorses from the United States that became successful sires in Japan, chief among them 1989 Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence.
Hot Rod Charlie's move to stud in Japan brings to a conclusion a racing career in which the son of Oxbow won five of 19 starts for trainer Doug O'Neill and owners Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable and Strauss Bros Racing. "I guess we have to say sayonara to Charlie from the US and have him head over to Japan," said Mike Helm, who heads the Roadrunner Racing partnership.
"He took the ownership on quite a ride for three years." High class from ages two to four, Hot Rod Charlie captured the Grade 1 2021 Pennsylvania Derby and advanced his reputation with some close defeats.
He ran second in the 2020 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and also finished second in the 2021 Kentucky Derby (via the disqualification of Medina Spirit), the 2021 Belmont Stakes and the 2022 Dubai World Cup. His 3yo season included his being disqualified in the 2021 Haskell Stakes for interfering with Midnight Bourbon, who fell in the race. At the end of that 3yo campaign, he was honoured with the Secretariat Vox Populi Award, an annual prize that recognises a horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the general public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing.
"He has more frequent flyer miles than I do," continued Helm. "He was quite a fan favourite. We all know that. Perhaps part of that was his travels all over the country and the world. We followed him to quite a few, though we didn't make every race. It was the thrill of a lifetime." Hot Rod Charlie's four other victories came in a maiden race as a 2yo, the 2021 Grade 2 Louisiana Derby as a 3yo, and last year as a 4yo in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 at Meydan and Grade 2 Lukas Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs.
"Hot Rod Charlie was a phenomenal racehorse," added Doug O'Neill. "He competed against the best of his generation and proved his class time and again. As a half-brother to Champion Sprinter Mitole, the sky's the limit. We look forward to following his stud career."