Thursday, April 02, 2015
Far Right to Have Final Work this Weekend
Far Right will have his final work for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 11 at Oaklawn this weekend, trainer Ron Moquett said Thursday morning. Moquett said he plans to breeze his multiple stakes winning ridgling a half-mile Saturday or Sunday.
Far Right is the top locally based Kentucky Derby prospect following victories in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 19 and the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 22. Moquett opted to skip the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 14 and train Far Right up to the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby. The son of Notional, who races for co-owners Harry Rosenblum and Robert LaPenta, has had only two published works since the Southwest, but Moquett said that has been by design.
“We did a two-minute clip the other day, which is exactly how we got him up to the Southwest,” Moquett said. “If I would have called in any time, at any distance, he could have gotten a time. But I just said it was a two-minute clip. Every horse is different. He trains so hard every day. I don’t have to do much.”
Another horse scheduled to run in the Arkansas Derby, Bridget’s Big Luvy, arrived Wednesday for trainer Jeremiah Englehart. Bridget’s Big Luvy, a son of Tiz Wonderful, won the $100,000 Private Terms Stakes at 1 1/8 miles March 21 at Laurel.
Other locally based horses pointing for the Arkansas Derby are Bold Conquest and The Truth Or Else, who finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Rebel. Oaklawn’s signature race is expected to be headed by runaway Rebel winner American Pharoah, the country’s champion 2-year-old male.
Just a Fantasy
Achiever’s Legacy is scheduled to make her second start outside California in Saturday’s $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. A partnership that includes Richard Robertson of Camden, Ark., privately purchased Achiever’s Legacy after she beat males in her June 27 career debut, a five-furlong turf race, at Gulfstream Park in Florida.
Achiever’s Legacy was subsequently transferred to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in Southern California, where the daughter of City Zip has made her last seven starts. She arrived late Tuesday morning at Oaklawn.
“To get to run in the Fantasy, we didn’t know that when we bought her, obviously,” Robertson said before Achiever’s Legacy went to the track to train Thursday morning. “It’s always the plan. I’ve been pretty fortunate to get these horses in these races.”
Robertson campaigned stakes winner Brown Almighty (ninth in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf) early in his career and still co-owns multiple stakes winner Delta Flower, the 2014 Arkansas-bred Horse of the Year.
Achiever’s Legacy scored her biggest career victory in the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes Nov. 16 at Del Mar. In her last start, she finished fourth in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) Feb. 28 at Santa Anita. She was nominated to the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 7 at Oaklawn, but her connections decided to remain on the West Coast for the Santa Ysabel. Now, she’s headed east.
“We just thought the way this track plays, right or wrong, it would be a good fit for her,” Robertson said.
Achiever’s Legacy is scheduled to break from post 8 under Joe Rocco Jr. and carry equal top weight of 121 pounds. Robertson said Hollendorfer’s longtime friend, Oaklawn-based trainer Tom Swearingen, will saddle Achiever’s Legacy Saturday. The filly went into Swearingen’s barn after arriving Tuesday.
Steve Hobby won’t win the Oaklawn training title, but he’s bounced back strongly from a subpar 2014 meet in which he won just 5 of 60 starts and amassed $268,417 in purse earnings. Through the first 45 days of the 2015 meeting, Hobby has a 10-7-2 record from 50 starts and purse earnings of $412,482.
“Getting the right horses in the right races,” Hobby said before training hours Monday morning. “The right horses have won for me at this meet. My better horses have stepped up and ran really well with these big purses.”
Hobby saddled Spring Included to win the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes for older filly and mare sprinters Feb. 21. The trainer said Spring Included remains on target for the $100,000 Carousel Stakes April 8 after working a half-mile in :50.40 Thursday morning. He has also scored victories with his top older males, For Greater Glory and Fire Starter.
Spring Included, For Greater Glory and Fire Starter are all owned by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway, Ark. Alex Lieblong is a member of the Arkansas Racing Commission.
Hobby said 2015 is the first time since 1985 that he hasn’t had horses at Oaklawn for Oklahoma-based CresRan LLC (Carol Ricks). But, Hobby said he’s scheduled to receive the stable’s homebred, Sassy Miss Sue, at the upcoming Churchill Downs meeting. Sassy Miss Sue is a 2-year-old full-sister to Tiz Miz Sue, a millionaire and Grade I winner also campaigned by CresRan and Hobby. Tiz Miz Sue won Oaklawn’s Azeri Stakes (G3) in 2012 and 2013.
Hobby said Sassy Miss Sue, by Tapit, has received glowing reviews in her early training, but isn’t close to a race.
“No hurry,” Hobby said. “With that family, they all get better with age.”
Hobby also trained the dam of Tiz Miz Sue and Sassy Miss Sue, multiple stakes winner Sue’s Good News, for CresRan.
Although a severe thunderstorm struck late Wednesday afternoon, the track was rated fast for workouts Thursday morning. … Trainer Will VanMeter said he will run March 14 allowance winner Pearl Turn, assuming she emerges from a weekend work in good shape physically, in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 10. … Co-owner/trainer Doug Anderson said Sugar Shock has been nominated to the 6-furlong Carousel as a backup plan to the Apple Blossom, the multiple stakes winner’s intended target. Anderson said he plans to work Sugar Shock this weekend. … Sunday maiden winner Hillbilly Style will be pointed for the $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes April 11, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Thursday morning. … Lukas said sharp Wednesday entry-level allowance winner Henry Jones will “probably” be wheeled back in the $250,000 Lexington Stakes (G3) April 11 at Keeneland. A Triple Crown nominee, Henry Jones was making his first start since Oct. 22 because of a shin issue, Lukas said. Henry Jones covered 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.07. “It was a pretty impressive comeback race,” Lukas said. “Running 1:10, I think he probably earned his way into the Lexington.” … Mr. Z has resumed training at Oaklawn following his last-place finish in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) Saturday at Fair Grounds. Lukas said he has no explanation for the colt’s poor performance, but added the blinkers off experiment didn’t work. Lukas said owner Ahmed Zayat will evaluate this weekend’s three major Kentucky Derby prep races before a decision is made on Mr. Z’s next start. Zayat also owns Kentucky Derby candidates American Pharoah and El Kabeir.
Thursday, April 02, 2015