11/08/2009 12:00AM

Furthest Land turns super on synthetic


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Mike Maker said Sunday he hasn't "thought that far ahead" regarding the immediate future of Furthest Land, the former claimer who pulled a 21-1 upset Saturday in the at Santa Anita.

"I don't know if we'll send him back out to California or not," Maker said shortly after returning Sunday to Louisville, Ky. "Obviously he likes the synthetics. We'll let this sink in and go from there."

Furthest Land, ridden by Julien Leparoux, became the first winner of a Breeders' Cup for Maker and for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the perennial top owners on the Kentucky circuit. The 4-year-old Smart Strike gelding was claimed by the Ramseys for $35,000 in October 2008.

One obvious potential target for Furthest Land would be the Grade 2, $400,000 Clark Handicap at his home track, Churchill Downs, but Maker noted that dirt clearly is not the preferred surface for Furthest Land. With his BC win, Furthest Land is now 3 for 3 on synthetics, with his previous wins coming in an April allowance at Keeneland and the Kentucky Cup Classic in September at Turfway Park.

"Look what happened in the Claiming Crown," said Maker, a former longtime assistant to D. Wayne Lukas. Furthest Land was an odds-on favorite in the July 25 Claiming Crown Jewel, run over dirt at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, but finished fourth. "Surface will do that to a horse, you know. He also couldn't win a $35,000 claimer [on the Belmont Park turf the day he was claimed], and now here he is, a Breeders' Cup winner."

For the Ramseys, the win was a long time coming. They had hoped to get their first BC winner five years ago, when Kitten's Joy was a heavy favorite in the Turf at Lone Star Park, but he finished second. In all, they had three seconds and three thirds in the Breeders' Cup before breaking through with Furthest Land.

Ramsey said at the post-race media conference Saturday that he would like to get an invitation to run Furthest Land in the Dubai World Cup next March 27, when the $10 million race will be run over the Tapeta synthetic track installed at the new Meydan facility.

"That'd be the long-term goal," said Maker.