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Mar 18, 2011

The Factor and Archarcharch in Rebel Stakes



Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - The Factor and Archarcharch lead a solid field of 13 three-year-olds in Saturday's $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The Rebel is the final local prep for the Arkansas Derby on April 16.

The Factor, winner last month of the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita, can give trainer Bob Baffert his second straight win in the Rebel. Lookin At Lucky won the 1 1/16-mile race and was later voted 2010 champion three-year-old.

Owned by Fog City Stable and George Bolton, The Factor will be ridden by Martin Garcia from post six. The colt won the San Vicente as the 9-10 favorite in his seasonal debut.

"It's hard to get a horse like this," Baffert noted about The Factor. "They don't come around very often. I want to give him a chance to see if he can handle two turns. If he doesn't win the Rebel, he doesn't belong on the Derby trail. We'll let him tell us."

The gray colt has won two of three career starts for $124,680. The Factor was fourth in his initial start last November at Hollywood Park and came back a month later to win by 8 1/4-lengths.

Archarcharch, winner of Oaklawn's Southwest Stakes on President's Day, has drawn the inside post with Jon Court back to ride. Court is trainer William Fires' son-in-law and the only jockey the colt has ever had.

"In my opinion, he has really progressed since that race (Southwest)," said Court. "Before the Southwest, I felt there was still room for him to improve and now he's graduated to the next level."

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

"He's got a great mind," said assistant trainer Pat Tanner. "He's got the kind of mind that can take him to the Derby."

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.

Also coming in from the San Vicente Stakes is runner-up Sway Away. The colt, trained by Jeff Bonde, will be ridden by Garrett Gomez from post nine. Gomez was aboard Lookin At Lucky in winning last year's Rebel.

Co-owned by Batman Stable, Sway Away made a late rally to finish less than a length behind The Factor last month at Santa Anita Park. The three-year-old has earned $75,100 in three career starts, which inhcludes a second in the Best Pal Stakes to J P's Gusto last summer at Del Mar.

"He has a pedigree that says he's going to run all day," Bonde recently said. "With the way he trains I don't see any problems for him stretching out at all. This horse is the best (Kentucky) Derby chance I've had in many years."

Here is the complete field for the Rebel in post position order: Archarcharch, Jon Court; Alternation, Luis Quinonez; Dreaminofthewin, Cliff Berry; Picko's Pride, Isreal Ocampo; J P's Gusto, Ramon Dominguez; The Factor, Martin Garcia; Caleb's Posse, Eddie Razo; Saratoga Red, Terry Thompson; Sway Away, Garrett Gomez; Elite Alex, Calvin Borel; Glint, Gabriel Saez; Bluegrass Jam, Michael Baze and J W Blue, Joe Rocco Jr.

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