03/28/2013 3:52PM

Oaklawn Park: Goods Gone West towers over the Rainbow


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – No horse comes into the $60,000 Rainbow at Oaklawn Park on Saturday sharper than Goods Gone West. He has won both of his starts at the meet and also owns the field’s best career Beyer Speed Figure.

The Rainbow is a six-furlong race restricted to 3-year-olds bred in Arkansas. The field of nine includes Hezunusal, who gave jockey Calvin Borel the 5,000th win of his career, and Rock City Roadhog, runner-up in last year’s $50,000 Razorback Futurity at Louisiana Downs.

Goods Gone West won a maiden special weight sprint for Arkansas-breds in his first start at Oaklawn on Jan. 17, edging Rock City Roadhog by a nose. He came back to win a first-level allowance at the same distance at Oaklawn in his most recent start Feb. 15.

“He outran older horses in the allowance, Arkansas-breds, and he did it pretty convincingly,” said Kenny Smith, who trains Goods Gone West for James Glover. “He was in trouble until the sixteenth pole, then just ran away from them. So, to me, he should be competitive [Saturday].”

For the allowance win, Goods Gone West earned a Beyer of 78, the best career number in the Rainbow. He will break from post 4, under leading rider Ricardo Santana Jr.

“He’s a horse that lays behind horses and runs down the lane,” said Smith.

Rock City Roadhog is still a maiden, but established his class when he was second in the Razorback Futurity. He will be making the third start of his form cycle in the Rainbow. Trainer Al Cates has given the mount to Alex Birzer.

Cliff Berry will be riding Hezunusal, who dominated a $15,000 maiden claiming sprint March 7 to give Borel his milestone win. Hezunusal could set the pace or track Rock City Roadhog and Hes a Cat. A duel between the three might set the plate for Goods Gone West.

Racing Festival nominations closing

Nominations to three of the major stakes of Oaklawn’s Racing Festival of the South close at midnight Saturday, said the track’s racing secretary, Pat Pope. Pope on Thursday said he has just a handful of confirmed starters for the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 13, the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap for fillies and mares April 12, and the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy for 3-year-old fillies April 10. It is $500 to nominate to the derby, $200 for the Apple Blossom and $100 for the Fantasy.