Far Right Returns
Far Right is scheduled to take his first step toward a return to stakes competition in Thursday’s ninth race at Oaklawn, a $72,000 third-level allowance/optional claimer for older horses at a mile that marks the 4-year-old debut for the Notional ridgling.
Far Right was the top locally based 3-year-old at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, winning the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) before finishing second to future Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).
Far Right, who ran 15th in the Kentucky Derby, hasn’t started since finishing sixth in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) July 18 at Indiana Grand. He will be facing older horses for the first time Thursday and is the 3-1 program favorite.
“I’ve got him as good as I can get him without a race, and this is the next step,” trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said. “We want him to come back from this race prepared for the next one. We hope we can do that with a win.”
Moquett said Far Right’s major spring objective is the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 16.
After the Indiana Derby, Far Right was under consideration for several races in the late summer and early fall, including the $1.6 million Travers Stakes (G1) Aug. 29 at Saratoga. But Moquett decided to freshen Far Right for a 2016 Oaklawn campaign and said in early December that he was targeting this spot. Far Right has had three published half-mile workouts at Oaklawn since Christmas Eve.
“Our goal is to expand his fitness – safely,” Moquett said. “Our goal is to get to the big stakes races here at the end of the year.”
Far Right, who races for Harry Rosenblum and Robert LaPenta, is scheduled to break from post 6 and be ridden for the first time by Didiel Osorio.
Also entered are Ain’t Got Time, Hillbilly Royalty, Mal Guapo, Stealcase, Poseidon’s Way, Doctor Peter, Bump Start, Paid Admission, Ride the Lightning, Almost Famous and Bold Stephen.
Poseidon’s Way and Bold Stephen were late scratches.
Multiple stakes Ain’t Got Time (7-2 on the morning) line won the $75,000 DTHA Governors Day Stakes Sept. 12 at Delaware Park in his last start for trainer Tim Ritchey. Hillbilly Royalty (5-1) ran fifth in the Southwest and second in the $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes last year at Oaklawn for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel.
Bump Start (5-1) worked a half-mile in company in :48.40 after Saturday’s fourth race. The Kellyn Gorder trainee ran fifth in the $300,000 Ohio Derby in 2014 at ThistleDown. Far Right finished sixth in last year’s Ohio Derby.
Probable post time for Thursday’s ninth race is 5:10 p.m. (Central).
Bird of Trey worked a half-mile in :49.40 after the renovation break Thursday morning for trainer John Servis, who is pointing the 3-year-old son of Birdstone for the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 15 at Oaklawn. The colt two-minute clipped from the half-mile pole to the wire and then worked back to the half-mile pole.
Bird of Trey won the $75,000 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes Dec. 5 at Parx before finishing fourth in his 3-year-old debut, the $200,000 Jerome Stakes (G2) Jan. 2 at Aqueduct. He and stablemate Nasa arrived earlier this month in Hot Springs. Nasa worked 5 furlongs in 1:02 Thursday morning.
Servis’ son, Tyler, is overseeing his father’s small string and said 3-year-olds Percolator and Miss Inclusive were scheduled to arrive Thursday. Percolator finished second in the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (G3) July 25 at Saratoga.
John Servis won the 2004 Southwest with champion Smarty Jones.
A High Dollar Woman
Grade 2 winner High Dollar Woman moved closer to her 4-year-old debut with half-mile workout in :49 over a fast track Wednesday morning for trainer Steve Hobby of Hot Springs.
It was the fourth recorded work at Oaklawn since New Year’s Eve for High Dollar Woman, an Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March 2-year-old in training purchase for Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway, Ark.
“She worked good, very good,” Hobby said.
Hobby said the chances of High Dollar Woman making the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) Feb. 14 at Oaklawn are “pretty slim,” and the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 19 remains the first major 2016 objective for the daughter of Super Saver.
Hobby said he could use an allowance race as a prep for the Azeri, which is the final major local prep for the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 15. High Dollar Woman hasn’t started since finishing 10th in the $100,000 Monmouth Oaks (G3) Aug. 22 at Monmouth Park because of a problem with a suspensory ligament in a hind leg, Hobby said.
“She’s kind of lightly made, and not an easy keeper,” Hobby said. “I’ve tried to keep the weight on her and not hone on her too hard.”
High Dollar Woman finished fifth in her 3-year-old debut, the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes last January at Oaklawn, before scoring her biggest career victory to date in the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G2) July 18 at Indiana Grand.
Eight older horses, including three graduates of the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), are entered in the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes Saturday at Oaklawn. Probable post time for the King Cotton, the eighth of nine races, is 4:38 p.m. (Central).
Ivan Fallunovalot, the defending King Cotton champion, is scheduled to break from post 5 under Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel. He will be making his first start since finishing ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint Oct. 31 at Keeneland.
Also entered are Alsvid, 13th in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and Gentlemen’s Bet, who ran third in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Alsvid, Ivan Fallunovalot and Gentlemen’s Bet ran 1-2-7, respectively, in last year’s $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn.
The King Cotton field from the rail out: Bayerd, Ricardo Santana Jr., 119; Hebbronville, Chris Landeros, 122; Lewys Vaporizer, 122; W.B. Smudge, Carlos Marquez Jr., 115; Ivan Fallunovalot, Calvin Borel, 117; Alsvid, Chris Emigh, 115; Creative Art, Santo Sanjur, 115; and Gentlemen’s Bet, Robby Albarado, 122.
Hebbronville and Bayerd, who are both now 4-year-olds, will be meeting for the eighth time in a little more than a year.
Bayerd had a 4-3 advantage in head-to-head meetings last year, including the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn.
The King Cotton is the first of two major local preps for the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10.
Noble Bird, winner of the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) June 13 at Churchill Downs, breezed 5 furlongs in company in 1:00.60 Thursday morning at Oaklawn for trainerMark Casse. Noble Bird was an allowance/optional claiming winner at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting. … Multiple stakes winner Kiss Moon should begin breezing in the next 10 days, four-time Oaklawn training champion David Vance said Thursday morning. Vance said Kiss Moon is being pointed for the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares March 19 at Oaklawn. … Set the Trappe, sixth as a maiden in the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes (G1) for 2-year-olds Sept. 7 at Saratoga, returned to the work tab Thursday morning at Oaklawn, breezing 3 furlongs in company in :37.20 for trainer Steve Hobby of Hot Springs. … There have been 53 claims totaling $785,000 through the first seven days of the Oaklawn meeting.
Source: Oaklawn Park