Hot Springs, AR (SportsNetwork.com) – Favorites Far Right and J S Bach have
drawn the two inside post positions for Monday’s $300,000 Southwest Stakes at
The 1 1/16-mile Southwest is a local prep race for the $1 million Arkansas
Derby on April 11 and offers 10 points toward a spot in the 141st Kentucky
Derby on May 2. A dozen 3-year-olds were originally entered but 11 are
expected to start.
Smarty Jones winner Far Right is the 3-1 morning line favorite and has drawn
post 2 with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in the saddle for a second straight
Far Right, trained by Ron Moquett, rallied along the inside to win the Smarty
Jones on Jan. 19 by 1 3/4 lengths over Bayerd and 11-10 favorite Mr. Z.
“There was some room down on the rail,” Smith noted after the win. “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, owned by Robert LaPenta and Harry Rosenblum, was second his first
two times out last year and found the winner’s circle last September at
Churchill Downs. He followed with a fourth in Belmont Park’s Futurity on Oct.
5 and three weeks later was third in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill. Far
Right was third in the Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 22 behind Ocho Ocho Ocho
with Mr. Z second.
The chestnut colt has two wins, two seconds and two thirds in seven starts for
Starting from the rail will be 4-1 third choice J S Bach with Hall of Fame
jockey John Velazquez again riding. The colt will be making just his third
career start and first in a stakes.
J S Bach, trained by Todd Pletcher for Donald Dizney, finished second in his
debut race last December at Gulfstream Park. He romped to an 8 1/2-length win
at Gulfstream on Jan. 17.
War Story, the co-third choice, drew post 11 and will be scratched from the
Southwest. The chestnut gelding will return to Fair Grounds in New Orleans
for next week’s Risen Star Stakes. .
“It’s been well-documented that that post (11) is tough to win from,” trainer
Tom Amoss said. “And the weather forecast combined with that – it’s just too
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will saddle 7-2 second pick Mr. Z, owned
by Zayat Stables. The chestnut colt will be ridden for the first time by
Corey Nakatani and leave from post 10. Jon Court had the mount when Mr. Z
finished third in the Smarty Jones.
“If Jon would have not hit him, I think, and just hand rode him, he might have
won by five or six (lengths),” Lukas said. “He knifed him left-handed. He
won’t take that.”
Mr. Z hasn’t won since his first start last June at Churchill Downs. However,
he has four seconds and a third in eight career starts for $514,726.
Here is the field for the Southwest from the rail out: J S Bach, John
Velazquez, 4-1; Far Right, Mike Smith, 3-1; Private Prospect, Alex Birzer,
15-1; Bayerd, Ramon Vazquez, 8-1; The Truth Or Else, Calvin Borel, 20-1;
Kantune, Shaun Bridgmohan, 15-1; Phenomenal Phoenix, Cliff Berry, 30-1;
Majestico, Terry Thompson, 30-1; Bold Conquest, Ricardo Santana Jr., 12-1;
Mr. Z, Corey Nakatani, 7-2; War Story, Joe Talamo, 4-1 and Bold Animaux,
Israel Ocampo, 30-1
Post time for the Southwest will be approximately 6:09 p.m. ET.
Following the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn for 3-year-olds will be the $750,000
Rebel Stakes on March 14.