02/19/2005 12:00AM

Big rally carries Greater Good

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Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Greater Good rallies to win the Southwest Stakes on Saturday at Oaklawn Park.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Greater Good put on a show in front of a crowd of 21,932 on Saturday, when he closed from last to first to win the $100,000 at Oaklawn Park. The one-mile race is the first of three local preps for the Kentucky Derby.

Munificence finished three-quarters of a length back in second, and it was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third to Humor at Last.

Greater Good ($3) was making his first start since winning the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Nov. 27. He broke slowly in the Southwest and settled about 12 lengths behind Munificence, who jumped out to an uncontested lead and put up fractions of 23.40 seconds for the opening quarter and 47.20 for the half-mile.

Greater Good began to pick up steam approaching the half-mile pole, but still had just one horse beaten nearing the quarter pole. Into the stretch, he swung to the outside of horses and ran down Munificence, covering the distance in 1:39.09 over a fast track that was hit with a rain shower shortly before post.

"He really showed a great effort today," said John McKee, who rode Greater Good for trainer Bob Holthus.

Greater Good earned $60,000 for the win, which was the third two-turn stakes victory of his career. He won the Kentucky Jockey Club and the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile as a 2-year-old. Greater Good has now won 4 of 6 starts for $286,285.

A son of Intidab, Greater Good races for his breeder, Lewis Lakin.

Holthus said the remaining goals for Greater Good at the Oaklawn meet are the Grade 3, $250,000 Rebel Stakes on March 19 and the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 16.

Holthus has now won four runnings of the Southwest. His other wins came in 2001 with Son of Rocket, in 2000 with Afternoon Affair, and in 1988 with Proper Reality.