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Feb 25, 2011

Archarcharch surprises to win Southwest Stakes


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Archarcharch, ridden by Jon Court, swung wide around the final turn and went on to capture Monday's $250,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The Southwest Stakes is the first of Oaklawn's three major Kentucky Derby preps followed by the Rebel Stakes on March 19 and Arkansas Derby on April 16.

Trained by William Fires, Archarcharch was sent off at 14-1 after opening in the program at 10-1. J P's Gusto was the 6-5 favorite and Elite Alex was 2-1 at post-time.

Setting the pace in the mile race was Derivative with Brickyard Fast to his outside in the 11 horse field. Racing in third was Grant Jack with J P's Gusto about six-lengths back of the leaders in fourth. Archarcharch was running with the favorite up the backstretch.

Around the final turn there were six horses across the track. Archarcharch sprang from the group to take the lead at the head of the stretch. J P's Gusto and jockey Ramon Dominguez split horses to move into second as Elite Alex came from the back of the field.

J P's Gusto made a late rally down the stretch in an effort to run down the leader. Archarcharch held on for a one-length win over the favorite as Elite Alex rallied to finish third.

Completing the order of finish was Picko's Pride, Yankee Passion, Caleb's Posse, Grant Jack, Derivative, Brickyard Fast, Ghost Is Clear and Bonaroo.

The time for the Southwest Stakes was 1:38.23 on a fast track.

Archarcharch, owned by Robert Yagos, opened 2011 with a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes on January 17 at Oaklawn Park. The President's Day victory was worth $150,000 to bring the colt's career earnings to $202,744.

After finishing second in his career debut in November at Churchill Downs, Archarcharch won for the first time in the Sugar Bowl Stakes at the Fair Grounds in December.

Archarcharch returned $31.00, $8.80 and $4.80. J P's Gusto paid $3.60 and $2.80, and Elite Alex paid $3.00 to show.

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