01/19/2015 6:54PM

Far Right saves ground to win Smarty Jones

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Far Right (No. 1) and jockey Mike Smith win the Smarty Jones Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths Monday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Far Right came through on the rail, as even-money favorite Mr. Z drifted out sharply, to win a harried dash to the wire in the $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park on Monday. Bayerd nabbed second, finishing 1 3/4 lengths behind Far Right. Mr. Z was another half-length back in third, while Private Prospect finished fourth.

The Smarty Jones was the first stakes in Oaklawn’s four-race series for 3-year-olds that runs through the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 11.

The first four finishers Monday all earned Kentucky Derby preference points on a scale of 10-4-2-1, with Mr. Z now sitting sixth in the overall point standings with 12 and Far Right seventh, also with 12, according to a release issued by Churchill Downs. If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker is earnings in non-restricted stakes races.

Far Right ($7.40) was content to let the field go in the early stages of the Smarty Jones as American Sailor and Mr. Z dueled through fractions of 23.17 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.92 for the half-mile, and 1:11.79 for six furlongs. Far Right advanced as Mr. Z shook free in the stretch, but as Mr. Z drifted out sharply, Far Right rolled up the rail and proved a clear winner under Mike Smith.

“He won with something left,” said Smith, who was aboard for trainer Ron Moquett.

Far Right was making his first start for a new partnership, as Robert LaPenta now co-owns the horse with Harry Rosenblum. Far Right had raced for just Rosenblum in his last start, a troubled third-place finish in the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot.

Far Right’s effort in the Jackpot caught the attention of Smith, who won that race aboard Ocho Ocho Ocho.

“I thought with a clear run, that horse is going to be all right,” said Smith. 

Smith credited Corey Lanerie, who rode Far Right in the Jackpot, for utilizing the right style with Far Right.

“Corey Lanerie rode him last time and figured the horse out – take him way out the back and make a run with him,” Smith said. “I used the same tactics, rode him the same, asked him, and he pushed on through.”

Far Right earned $90,000 in the Smarty Jones, his first stakes win and the second victory in his seven-race career. He is a son of the In Excess stallion Notional and was bred in Kentucky by Nossab LLC and Patrick J. Crowley.

Moquett said he would defer to the owners as to the next move with Far Right, with the goal to run back at Oaklawn. The Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest is Feb. 16, and the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel is March 14. 

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

Oaklawn estimated attendance for Monday at 12,750. Handle on the nine-race card from all sources was $3,434,917.

Walter More than 1 year ago
Tommy has been a very interesting poster over the past several weeks.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Yea, well I post my opinions and which races were fixed!! I'm so so stupid you know. My ipad is stupid because the spell check doesn't work properly. It changes my words around to the point where it doesn't make any sense lol. Junk apple products made in China which is another discussion for debate!!!
john g More than 1 year ago
Tommy, take your meds and lay down awhile man.
Jeff Byrd More than 1 year ago
By the way, Ron Moquett has done a fantastic job with his horse. Those who have not caught on, notice him today...he's going to have a fantastic year.
Jeff Byrd More than 1 year ago
Tommy, Mr Z just bolted. He's ducked out before. If you watch these youngsters enough, you've seen it before...and it happens to older horses. I think it was Siphon or Swain? in the BC Classic won by Awesome Again---same thing. Jon Court hasn't got a blemish on his record. Sounds like you just got stung over the loss--it happens. But no need to slander the jockey.
tommy More than 1 year ago
The only thing I'm looking forward to is that this jockey will ride take charge Brandi and pull that horse to lose!!!!! I will bet against her!!! I will do win place bets on other horses which I like who have a good jockey!! I'm made a smith because he pulled all the horses at fair grounds which is why I did t put him on top in this race!! I'm lucky to have won my money back where dersormaux trainer did a jockey change to take smith off and won with another jockey!! He didn't care amih was mad because he says he saves his good grade 1 horses for his brother to ride KENT DESORMAUX !!!
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Swain didn't bolt he was trying to duck the whip. He didn't like the left handed whip. Anything trained by Lukas will eventually bolt or break down. He has ruined FAR more horses then he has trained winners.
tommy More than 1 year ago
I played 5 dollar superfecta and almost had had it!!! I had 3,5,7 for first 1,3,5,7 2nd 1,3,4,5,7 for 3rd and 1,3,4,5,7,8 for 4th. The horses I calculated were the best horses had the most weight so I put them 3rd and 4th. The 7 lost because he had 122 lbs and number 8 122lbs while the other horses had 115 lbs!! I felt the jockey for mr. Z pulled the horse because he was paid lots of money to pull the horse which he was stupid for making so obvious!! The stewards should review the race and charge him for fixing the race by pulling the horse. If I were the trainer, that jockey would get a beating!! And then we both go to court and I get assault charge while he gets a race fixing charge plus I can sue him in court!!
Ed Gredvig More than 1 year ago
The thought that Jon Court would pull that horse is absurd. The thought that he would rather have money than a top prospect for the Kentucky Derby where fame and a lot more money were at stake, is absurd.. All to screw you out of your superfecta. I don't know what's more stupid, your thought of a first class jockey pulling a horse or the fact that you left #1 (Far Right) out of the top spot in your superfecta.
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Mike smith cut far right off last time while he was making a huge move in the jackpot.