Rockhill Native verified today that he is the best 2-year-old in America, but it gained him naught. After devastating his opposition in the $84,150 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, he was disqualified and placed out of the money.
J.P. Brother, who had finished 6 1/2 lengths behind in second place, was declared the winner.
Rockhill Native was disqualified for fouling his chief rival, I Speedup, because jockey John Ordham was trying hard to do what all riders must do at Saratoga: get into contention on the hard, fast rail.
Both Rockhill Native and I Speedup had broken a bit tardily and were rushing up along the inside into the heavy traffic of the 12-horse field. Rockhill Native kept angling into I Speedup until jockey Angel Cordero Jr. had to check his mount sharply, dropping out of contention.
"Down the backstretch, he kept hitting me closer to the fence," Cordero said. "I gave him a chance to go by and I was kayoed."
Oldham then sent his mount after the front-running J. p. Brother, caught him on the turn, and drew away to an easy triumph. He covered the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16 1/5.
J.P. Brother returned $24.40, $12.80 and $9. Gold Stage, an 80-to-1 shot, paid $41.40 and $14.60, and Googolplex returned $16.60 to show.
Rockhill Native had come into the Hopeful with four victories in five starts, a record that prompted the crowd to make him an even money favorite. Two weeks ago, he had established himself as the leader of his age group when he won the Sapling Stakes at Monmouth. His next objective will probably be the $100,000 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park Sept.