Arkansas-bred star Weast Hill was scheduled to return to the track Wednesday morning to begin preparations for his next scheduled start, the $100,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes at 1 1/16 miles April 8, trainer Brad Cox said Tuesday afternoon.
Weast Hill suffered his first loss in eight career Oaklawn starts in Saturday’s $100,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes when Racer scored a front-running 1 ¼-length sprint victory over the odds-on favorite and defending champion.
“It wasn’t bad,” Cox said. “It’s just the other horse, I wouldn’t say ran away from us, we were kind of in grinding mode. We were getting to him, but weren’t getting to him fast enough. The wire was just getting there faster. He ran all right. Wasn’t able to get the lead like he normally does against the Arkie-breds.”
Weast Hill, a 5-year-old gelded son of Rockport Harbor, had won his previous seven starts at Oaklawn, including the $75,000 Rainbow Stakes in 2015 and successfully stretching out in the $100,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes last April.
Weast Hill entered the Nodouble off two state-bred allowance victories sprinting earlier in the meeting.
“It was obviously a little disappointing because his winning streak at Oaklawn is over, but it wasn’t a bad thing,” Cox said. “He made some money, and you keep on rolling. He came out of it in good order, so that’s positive.”
Bred and owned by Starsky Weast of Star City, Ark., Weast Hill has won 8 of 12 career starts and earned $391,210. He has amassed $361,000, or 92.3 percent of his career earnings, at Oaklawn.
Also pointing for the Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes is Mallard’s Bro, who won the race in 2014 and was runner-up to Weast Hill last year. Mallard’s Bro worked 5 furlongs in 1:02.60 Sunday morning for trainer Al Cates of Hot Springs.
All About the Girls Stable Wins with First Oaklawn Starter
The seventh race Feb. 10 at Oaklawn was all about the girls. Our Majesty, a 3-year-old daughter of Majesticperfection, was a sparkling 5 ½-length career debut winner for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs and the It’s All About the Girls Stable, an all-female ownership group founded in 2013 by Anna Seitz.
“We’d been trying to run her for weeks,” said Seitz, also the stable’s syndicate manager. “But the races didn’t go and then she scratched her legs up and we scratched out of that one.”
Asked what he thought about the filly’s chances in her career debut, Moquett said Our Majesty “might need a race or two,” according to Seitz. Clearly, that wasn’t the case.
Under four-time defending Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr., Our Majesty broke sharply from post 8 and sat just off the pace before taking command three-wide turning for home. The filly, the only first-time starter in the 10-horse field, extended her advantage in deep stretch and covered 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.34. She paid $8 as the slight 3-1 favorite.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” Seitz said of the stable’s first Oaklawn starter.
After missing on a couple of prospects earlier in the year, It’s All About the Girls Stable purchased Our Majesty for $150,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s June 2-year-olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale. She had the co-fastest quarter-mile work (:20.80) during the under-tack show.
“All of the girls logged on and watched the breeze,” Seitz said. “We just absolutely fell in love with her right away. We were like, ‘This is the one. Let’s get her.’ ”
Seitz said Our Majesty was turned out for a couple of months after the sale, adding Moquett’s patient handling of the filly “paid off for us.”
In addition to Seitz, Moquett said other owners in this particular partnership include Bonnie Hamilton, Catherine Adams Hutt, Edna Edick and Ella Lou Smith. Hamilton (Kentucky-based Silverton Hill Farm) campaigned Oaklawn stakes winner Great Notion. Adams Hutt, who has a ranch about 50 miles north of Dallas, and Moquett co-own Triple Crown nominee Petrov, and the trainer has had horses for Edick and Smith, both Arkansas residents.
“I found the horse,” Moquett said, referring to Our Majesty. “Anna had the partnership that’s doing good for the girls and then I put some of my people in it – all the ladies. It’s kind of Team Valor, but for ladies. You can own a piece of this one and not of that one.”
Our Majesty is among six horses – all fillies, naturally – for It’s All About the Girls Stable, which also campaigns Australia’s top 3-year-old filly, Global Glamour, a dual Group I winner. Global Glamour has some 40 partners from several countries.
Seitz, a former administrative assistant to seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, said she wants to bring new owners into the game and tries to build partnerships around where owners reside, making it easier for them to visit the barn and watch their horse train and run. Seitz said she sets up all the LLCs, so the “girls can just show up and have fun.”
“Our whole goal is to make it fun, educational and entertaining,” Seitz said. “We encourage the women from all the different syndicates to get together. So we have parties and invite all the groups, rather than just the one you’re in, so you can be friends with girls from all the other syndicates.”
Seitz said she first met Moquett a few years ago trying to recruit him to Fasig-Tipton’s yearling and 2-year-old sales (Seitz heads client development and public relations for the historic auction company). She said Moquett loved the idea of an all-female ownership group and “jumped on board right away” when asked about taking a horse for the stable.
“Just kind happened naturally,” Seitz said.
In her first work since the debut victory, Our Majesty breezed a half-mile in :47 Sunday – second-fastest of 56 moves recorded at the distance. Moquett said he plans to run the filly next in a first-level allowance spot.
“The girls are asking, ‘Do you think she’s an Oaks filly?’ ” Seitz said, referring to the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 5 at Churchill Downs. “I said, ‘Who knows?' We’ve gotten some offers and people have been interested in maybe buying a little piece of her or something, but so far nothing has happened. It’s still just the girls. We’re enjoying it.”
Monday was the one-year anniversary of Creator’s 7 ¼-length maiden victory at Oaklawn. Creator went on to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn and the third leg of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, before being retired last fall to begin a stud career in Japan. … Perfect Wife breezed a half-mile in :49.40 over a sloppy surface Monday morning for trainer Kenny McPeek, who is pointing the 3-year-old filly for the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 11. Perfect Wife – after breaking through the gate and cutting her mouth – was last of eight as the favorite in the $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes Feb. 11. … Oaklawn ($3,036,250) surpassed $3 million in claims at the meet Sunday, the 29th day of racing. There have been 231 claims. … Tempo Seeker, a 3-year-old Union Rags colt, was claimed out of a 10th-place finish as the favorite in Sunday’s fifth race for $50,000 by trainer Greg Compton, equaling the highest-priced claim of the meeting. Tempo Seeker, who is winless in four starts, had been claimed out of his Jan. 14 career debut at Oaklawn for $25,000 by trainer J.R. Caldwell. Tempo Seeker sold at public auction for $50,000 in 2014 and $25,000 last year. … Oaklawn passed the halfway point of the scheduled 57-day season Sunday.
Source: Oaklawn Park