Hot Springs, Ark. (Monday, Jan. 19, 2015) – One race after an unlucky rail trip in the $1 million Delta Jackpot, Far Right enjoyed much smoother sailing as he drew clear late from the inside to win the $150,000 Smarty Jones by 1 ¾ lengths over Bayerd. Even-money favorite Mr. Z veered out suddenly in the stretch, but managed to hold on for third after looking like the easy winner.
Breaking from the one hole under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Far Right was last early as long shot American Sailor led through an opening quarter in :23 1/5 and :46 4/5 for the first half mile with Mr. Z in close pursuit. Mr. Z took the lead entering the stretch, but suddenly went off course, allowing the winner to take advantage of this misstep. Far Right finished full of run, completing the one-mile race in 1:38 2/5 over a fast track.
“I felt like I was on the winner, I believed I was on the winner,” said jockey Jon Court of Mr. Z. “He’s had a tendency to lug out in some of his races, but today was a bolt. I’m not really sure of the reason. Once I was able to straighten him out, he ran straight and was fortunately able to hold third.”
“Just take him way out the back and make one run with him,” Smith said. “That was a winning move that day (in the Delta Jackpot). If he had anywhere to go, he probably wins the race that day. I just rode him the way (former jockey Corey Lanerie) would have, expect this time I was able to get through. There was some room down on the rail. I really won with something left. I definitely think he’ll go on an extra sixteenth to an eighth of a mile, maybe even a mile and a quarter.”
Far Right not only earned his first stakes win in the Smarty Jones, but also earned 10 points based on Churchill Downs criteria for making the Kentucky Derby field. Overall, he has a record of 2-2-2 in seven starts and has earned $245,766. He returned $7.40, $4.00 and $2.60 as the 5-2 second choice.
“This is a tremendous feeling,” said winning owner Harry Rosenblum, who indicated the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 16 was the likely next race for Far Right. “Having a good 3-year-old is what everyone dreams of.”
Private Prospect, American Sailor, Hebbronville, Paid Admission, Lucky Player and Runaway Bling completed the order of finish.
Live racing resumes Thursday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. General admission is free all meet long.