Oaklawn News

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Friday, Feb. 24, 2017) – Defending champion Weast Hill will try to keep his Oaklawn record perfect in Saturday’s $100,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes for Arkansas-bred male sprinters.

Probable post time for the Nodouble, named for the greatest Arkansas-bred money winner in history, is 4:38 p.m. (Central). The Nodouble goes as the eighth of nine races, with action scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m.

Weast Hill, a 5-year-old gelded son of Rockport Harbor, has already stamped himself one of the elite state-breds of recent years, winning 8 of 11 starts overall and $371,210. His best work has come at Oaklawn, where he is 7 for 7 the last three years, including three stakes, and bankrolled $341,000.

Bred and owned by Starsky Weast of Star City, Ark., Weast Hill is 2 for 2 this year in Hot Springs – front-running state-bred allowance sprint scores – but had to work hard in both races under regular rider Joe Rocco Jr. He is being wheeled back in 16 days by trainer Brad Cox after edging Rock City Roadhog, also entered in the Nodouble, by a half-length Feb. 9.

“He hasn’t put away his competition like I thought he would,” Cox said with a laugh. “I guess that’s a concern. No, it’s all good. He’s doing good. He’s training good.”

Weast Hill, the overwhelming 1-2 program favorite, is scheduled to break from post 6 under Rocco and carry top weight of 123 pounds. He has beaten most of his scheduled rivals at least once the last three years at Oaklawn.

Completing the projected Nodouble field from the rail out: Racer, Jon Court to ride, 117 pounds, 6-1 on the morning line; Explosive Lake, Alex Canchari, 117, 20-1; Rock City Roadhog, Alex Birzer, 114, 9-2; Maize Road, Chris Landeros, 117, 20-1; Chantmeupbaby, Joe Johnson, 114, 15-1; and Suspect a Storm, Belen Quinonez, 117, 8-1.

Trainer Tim Martin is taking two shots at the gelding with Suspect a Storm and Racer, second and third, respectively, to Weast Hill in his three-quarter length state-bred allowance victory Jan. 22.

“I’m going to try and soften him up a little bit, if I can,” Martin said. “But, I don’t know if they can get in front of him. He’s hard to soften, ain’t he? I think both of my horses will be up there challenging him – maybe not on the lead – but they’ll be out there pushing him.”

In addition to the Nodouble, Weast Hill won the $75,000 Rainbow Stakes as a 3-year-old at Oaklawn and stretched out to 1 1/16 miles to win the $100,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes last April at Oaklawn.

The mighty Nodouble earned $846,749 after winning 13 of 42 career starts in 1967-1970 for his late owner/breeder, Gene Goff. Nicknamed the “Arkansas Traveler,” Nodouble won the 1968 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn and was named the country’s champion older male in 1969 and 1970 after winning major races from coast to coast, including the Brooklyn Handicap at Aqueduct, Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park, Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita, Met Mile at Belmont Park and Hawthorne Gold Cup at Hawthorne.