02/22/2015 8:04PM

Far Right rallies to capture Southwest

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Coady Photography
Mike Smith brings Far Right up the rail to win his second straight stakes in the Southwest.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Far Right is making his presence known on the road to the Arkansas Derby. He won his second straight stakes in Oaklawn’s series for 3-year-olds on Sunday, when he closed up the rail in the slop for a three-quarter-length win over The Truth Or Else in the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest. Far Right also came up the rail last month at Oaklawn to capture the $150,000 Smarty Jones.

“I was hoping [the rail] was opening up,” said winning rider Mike Smith. “We ducked down to the fence. It didn’t seem like the place to be today, but he made it look good.”

Far Right picked up 10 points for the Kentucky Derby to improve his standing to sixth on the overall list of points-earners with 22. The Truth Or Else earned four for running second, while Mr. Z earned two for third and Bold Conquest, one for finishing fourth.

Far Right ($7.40) had just a few horses beat early Sunday, as Mr. Z found himself on the lead, taking the field through an opening quarter in 23.61 seconds, a half-mile in 47.90, and six furlongs in 1:14.33. Far Right advanced on the final turn, angled off the rail coming to the quarter pole, and then darted back inside in the stretch. Far Right then put in a determined bid to win the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:47.50.

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays

“I was just happy that he handled the surface,” said winning trainer Ron Moquett. “That was my concern. I have a lot of confidence in my horse and I was just thinking when the track was sloppy, ‘Well, here’s something I don’t know about [the horse].’ A good horse overcomes the situation, and I was very proud for the horse, for the owners, and for the barn.”

Harry Rosenblum, who co-owns Far Right with Robert LaPenta, said the next move is to be determined for Far Right. He said his initial thought is to pass on the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel that is now 20 days away with the Southwest having been run six days later than first scheduled due to its weather-related cancellation Feb. 16. From there, Far Right would await the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 11. However, Rosenblum stressed that “nothing is written in stone,” with regard to scheduling for Far Right.

Rosenblum, who is a native of Arkansas, dedicated the win to his wife, Kay, who fell this week and was unable to attend the Southwest.

Smith said he feels Far Right, is an improving horse.

“I think he’s just going keep getting better,” he said.

Far Right earned $180,000 for his win in the Southwest, his third career victory from eight starts. His earnings now stand at $425,766. Far Right is a son of Notional and was bred in Kentucky by Nossab LLC and Patrick Crowley.