06/07/2009 11:00PM

Furthest Land just fine at a mile


Furthest Land will turn back in distance to one mile when he faces eight other older horses in the $100,000 Golden Bear on the turf at Indiana Downs on Wednesday.

Trained by Mike Maker, Furthest Land has won 3 of 5 races this year, two at 1 1/16 miles and one 1 1/8. He has won 4 of 6 since being claimed for $35,000 at Belmont in October by owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey. Three of those wins came on the turf and one over the Polytrack at Keeneland.

"He is just a very professional horse, so the distance is not a big concern," said Maker. "He has been very versatile and can come from way back or lay just off the pace, and that is a great characteristic to have. In his other races we would have run a mile if it was offered, but they came up longer, so we ran him there."

Furthest Land comes into the race off a five week layoff, having finished well back in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill May 2. Maker, who has been winning at a 31 percent rate off a 31- to 60-day layoff, doesn't think the time off will be a problem.

"He is excellent right now," Maker said. "He has several great works and he is coming into this race at his best."

Leading Rider Orlando Mojica will ride Furthest Land, a 4-year-old son of Smart Strike. The Maker-Mojica combo has won at a 38 percent clip the past two years.

"Let's hope that goes up even farther after this race," Maker quipped

Should Furthest Land fail to fire, Rahystrada is poised to make it two in a row over the Indiana turf. In his last out May 27, Rahystrada won an allowance race by 5 1/2 lengths. Leandro Goncalves retains the mount.

Others in the field are Darling Mon, Stratham, Boss Lafitte, Crested, Budget Man, and the entry of Sahmmy Davis Jr and My Private Lake.