(Guest post by Tom Hall)
Arkansas seems an unlikely place to be the birthplace of a future chef-de-race Thoroughbred stallion. But the fact is this: A good horse can be born anywhere, from the "horse capitals" of the world to any out-of-the-mainstream state in the hinterlands. Such is the case with Nodouble.
On March 4, 1965, a chestnut colt arrived at Gene Goff's Verna Lea Farm near Fayetteville, Ark., a son of the Australian-import Noholme II, winner of both the 10-furlong Cox's Plate and 12-furlong C.B. Fisher Plate at 3. At 15.2 hands, the son of Star Kingdom was a small, compact, sturdy sort, cut from the same cloth as Star Kingdom's grandsire, the great English stallion Hyperion.
Nodouble's dam, Abla-Jay, was a hickory switch of a mare who won eight of her 68 starts across a four-year career. Her sire was 1946 champion 2-year-old male Double Jay, a rangy, durable runner who as an older horse parlayed his four-furlong juvenile speed to success in stakes at nine furlongs. Although Abla-Jay raced mostly at the bargain-basement level, she won from four furlongs to 1-1/16 miles and showed a fondness for an off track.
As a runner, Nodouble combined the stamina of his sire with the hardiness of his dam, winning 13 races from four to 10 furlongs. At 4, the rangy 16-hand colt who was more in the mold of his broodmare sire, developed into quite a handicap horse, with wins in such iconic handicap races as the Strub Stakes (although disqualified to 2nd), Santa Anita Handicap, Brooklyn Handicap, Californian, and Hawthorne Gold Cup. At year's end he was named 1969 champion handicap male, an honor he repeated the following year. His only start on turf came as a 3-year-old when he finished fourth in the Nashua Handicap at Arlington Park. Despite Nodouble's failure in the Nashua, his trainer Bert Sonnier declared that he could indeed handle the turf, as one might expect given the turf heritage of his sire line and his dam's proclivity for an off track.
As a stallion, Nodouble produced runners much in the same vein as he: hardy, versatile performers that were at home on both dirt and turf. From 644 foals, he sired 554 runners (86%). Of those runners 428 (77%) were winners. From his entire foal crop, he was represented by 91 stakes winners, a hefty 14.1%, which bumps to 21% for stakes winners to runners. Although his progeny's average distance raced was 7.67 furlongs, their average winning distance was 7.78. Of his 91 stakes winners, 78 won at a mile or more, and their median distance was 8.5 furlongs.
[Note from Scot: Six stallions were declared Dosage "chefs-de-race" this fall. I thought it would be fun to provide a short profile of each of the sires, concentrating on what type of influence they add to a pedigree. My friend and fellow Blood-Horse editor Tom Hall--you might know him as lordatwar on Twitter--agreed to tackle the first stallion. Additional information about Nodouble may be found on Dr. Roman's Dosage website: Nodouble. Additional installations will address the remaining five stallions in coming weeks.]