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Feb 20, 2015

Field redrawn for Southwest Stakes


Hot Springs, AR ( - The field for the $300,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park Sunday has been redrawn after being postponed Monday due to bad weather.

Eleven 3-year-olds have drawn into the 1 1/16-mile Southwest which serves as a prep race the track's $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 11 and offers 10 points to the winning horse toward a spot in 141st Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Far Right, winner of Oaklawn's Smarty Jones Stakes on Jan. 19, is again in the field and will break from post 6 with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in the saddle for a second straight start.

Far Right, trained by Ron Moquett, rallied along the inside to win the Smarty Jones 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 $245,766.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will saddle Mr. Z, owned by Zayat Stables, to start from the far outside post in the 11-horse field. The chestnut colt will be ridden for the first time by Corey Nakatani. 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. The colt posted runner-up finishes as a 2-year-old in the Sanford, Saratoga Special, Breeders' Futurity and Delta Downs Jackpot.

Bayerd, trained by Steve Asmussen, has drawn the inside post with Ramon Vazquez again riding.

Owned by Clark Brewster, Bayerd put together two straight wins after finishing third in his debut at Saratoga last July. After breaking his maiden, the colt won the Kip Deville followed by a second in the Clever Trevor Stakes, both at Remington Park.

Bayerd won Remington's Springboard Stakes last December five weeks before getting second in the Smarty Jones. He has banked $312,100.

Here is the field for the Southwest from the rail out: Bayerd, Ramon Vazquez; Majestico, Terry Thompson; Hillbilly Royalty, Luis Quinonez; Private Prospect, Alex Birzer; Bold Conquest, Ricardo Santana Jr.; Far Right, Mike Smith; Phenomenal Phoenix, Cliff Berry; The Truth Or Else, Calvin Borel; Kantune, Shaun Bridgmohan; Bold Animaux, Israel Ocampo and Mr. Z, Corey Nakatani.

Post time for the Southwest will be approximately 5:42 p.m. ET.

Next at Oaklawn for 3-year-olds will be the $750,000 Rebel Stakes on March 14.

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