Kentucky Derby Alumni Update for Dec. 29

December 29th, 2021

With so many Kentucky Derby and Oaks alumni in action during the last few weeks, many of them are taking a well-earned rest.  However, several runners from the last two Derbies have raced this week, or will be racing next week, including fan favorites like Hot Rod Charlie and Brooklyn Strong.

Major Fed (10th, 2020 Kentucky Derby)

Major Fed wins at Churchill Downs Oct. 1, 2021 (Photo by Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)

Previously second in an allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs, stepped back up into stakes company for the 1 1/16-mile Tenacious Stakes December 26 at Fair Grounds. Chasing in range inside, he swung three wide into the lane to run at the leading pair, but flattened out in the final furlong to finish fifth behind Chess Chief.

Hot Rod Charlie (3rd, 2021 Kentucky Derby)

Hot Rod Charlie at Belmont Park June 2, 2021 (Photo by Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher)

Concluded his long, consistent sophomore season in the 1 1/16-mile San Antonio (G2), December 26 at Santa Anita. Tracking the leading pair early as the 1-5 favorite, he kept in range of pacesetter Eight Rings down the back straight, engaged him on even terms at the quarter, and battled outside of him down the stretch. Despite another plucky effort, though, Hot Rod Charlie could not hold off the late three-wide rally of Express Train, who nipped him by a nose at the wire.

O Besos (5th, 2021 Kentucky Derby)

O Besos at Churchill Downs. 04.17.21 (Photo by Rickell Nelson/

Unraced since finishing second in the Matt Winn (G3) in May, is entered to return in a second-level allowance at Fair Grounds on January 2, going a mile and a sixteenth on the dirt. Despite the fact that it will be his first attempt against older foes, he was named the 4-5 morning line favorite in a field that includes G1 winner Math Wizard.

Brooklyn Strong (15th, 2021 Kentucky Derby)

Brooklyn Strong (Coglianese Photos)

Scratched from the Kris Kringle Stakes on December 28 at Parx. He is cross-entered in the Alex M. Robb Stakes at Aqueduct on December 31. Restricted to New York-breds, the Alex M. Robb covers a mile and an eighth over the Aqueduct main. It will be Brooklyn Strong’s first attempt against older foes, and his first start since the Pegasus S. at Monmouth on June 13.