When it comes to Thoroughbred racing, everybody likes the live long shot. In Derby 141, that could very well be a colt named Far Right. What are the things that put him in this category? Let’s take a peak.
Far Right fits into the long shot category because of the overwhelming presence of a few others in the field and the fact he has 3 wins in 9 lifetime career starts. Also factored in is he comes from the barn of trainer Ron Moquett. Not exactly a household name, the Arkansas-born conditioner has had his own stable since 1996, but this will be his first Kentucky Derby starter.
So here is where the live part comes in. Two of the three lifetime wins for Far Right have come this year. Running as if he has a compass in his head, this son of Notional navigated through traffic from the back of the pack to take both the Smarty Jones and Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. In the 20 horse field that is the Kentucky Derby that can be a real plus.
“I would like to say I taught him that,” says Moquett, “but anybody that knows horses realizes that isn’t so. He has a lot of God-given ability and we are just trying to make the most of his talents.”
Guiding Far Right will be hall of fame jockey Mike Smith, another huge plus. Smith has won a ton of huge races in his career, but only one Kentucky Derby. That one blanket of roses, however, came 10 years ago when a long shot closer named Giacomo weaved through traffic and took the 2005 Derby. The internal clock in a jock’s head is something you can not teach and Smith has proven time and again he knows when to hit the gas.
“We have confidence in Mr. Smith about putting the horse in position,” says Moquett. “The old saying is good riders don’t need instructions and the bad ones don’t listen anyway.”
Smith, himself is a believer in the horse he guided to those two wins and a second place finish in the Arkansas Derby behind American Pharoah in his last start.
“He’s an honest race horse that always comes with a big run at the end,” says Smith. “He gets a thumbs up from me.”
Spirit is the last thing that tells us Far Right has a shot to shake up the world. Full of himself and very playful, Moquett and his wife, Laura, have had their hands full trying to quell his enthusiasm in pre-Derby training. Not wanting to do too much too soon, team Moquett has worked diligently on keeping their “Maserati” driving towards a Derby dream.