No Spend No Glow gets ready for big boys
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) _ Jockey Robert Lester had sand in his teeth and a smile on his face.
No Spend No Glow was responsible for both.
With Lester aboard, the 5-year-old gelding went from last to first to win the $150,000 Razorback Handicap Saturday at Oaklawn Park. No Spend No Glow, trained by Don Von Hemel, now has won 7-of-11 starts at Oaklawn and never has been worse than third.
The victory is almost certain to earn No Spend No Glow an opportunity to compete against Mt. Sassafras, Skip Away and Formal Gold in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap April 5.
``I guess we need somebody to represent Oaklawn,″ Von Hemel said. ``I understand things will get a lot tougher. Hopefully, we will, too.
``I wouldn’t haul him over to Little Rock to run against those kind of horses, but right now this is home.″
As the favorite in the field of eight, No Spend No Glow paid $6.40, $3.40 and $2.60. He finished a head in front of Illesam, who returned $5.60 and $3.20. It was another three lengths back to Come on Flip, who paid $3.
No Spend No Glow, who earned $90,000, finished the 1 1-16-miles in 1:43 1-5.
No Spend No Glow was still last when the field turned for home and he fanned eight wide for the stretch run. When Lester got him going, No Spend No Glow looked like he was going to blow by the field. He got by a half-dozen, but Illesam and jockey Tim Doocy were stubborn.
The stretch battle with Illesam lasted for more than 100 yards.
``I threw the reins at him .... to let him know he wasn’t done yet,″ Lester said.
``I couldn’t have asked for a better trip,″ Doocy said. ``My horse moved at the right time and gave me another big effort. He just got outrun today.″
Illesam’s trainer, Jim Gaston, said he would pass the Oaklawn Handicap and take Illesam to Texas for a race on opening weekend at Lone Star Park.
No Spend No Glow needs a fast pace to set up his late kick and he got a solid 46 3-5 half-mile from Shakka Con and Krigeorj’s Gold. Illesam waited behind them and emerged as the leader when they tired.