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Apr 22, 2011

Archarcharch wins Arkansas Derby as favorite falters


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - The entire Kentucky Derby picture is now in complete disarray with the upset victory Saturday by Archarcharch in Saturday's 75th $1 million Arkansas Derby. The 25-1 longshot got the best of 4-5 favorite The Factor just one week after champion colt Uncle Mo lost the Wood Memorial.

The Factor, who assumed the role as Kentucky Derby favorite after Uncle Mo's loss, had to prove he could go 1 1/8-miles in the Arkansas Derby. The co- second choices in the race were Elite Alex and Sway Away.

Setting the pace was J P's Gusto with Dance City in second and The Factor on the outside in third. The favorite usually races on the lead. Up the backstretch J P's Gusto still set the pace with Dance City second and The Factor third.

Entering the far turn it was Dance City taking the lead with Sway Away moving on the outside into second with The Factor third. Sway Away took control entering the stretch and looked to be headed to victory.

Making a rally down the center of the track came Archarcharch and jockey Jon Court. Also rallying was Louisiana Derby runner-up Nehro.

Archarcharch caught the leader and held off Nehro to win by a neck. Dance City held on for third with Sway Away fading late to finish fourth in the 13-horse field.

Completing the order of finish was Alternation, J W Blue, The Factor, J P's Gusto, Elite Alex, Saratoga Red, Brethren, Caleb's Posse and Truman's Commander.

Archarcharch completed the nine-furlongs in 1:49.34 on a fast track.

Trained by Jinks Fires, Archarcharch picked up $600,000 with the win to gain entry into the Run for the Roses. The Robert Yagos-owned colt has won three of six career starts for $832,744.

Court, who is the trainer's son-in-law, has ridden Archarcharch in all six starts, including wins in last year's Sugar Bowl Stakes and the Southwest Stakes in February at Oaklawn and finished fourth as the favorite in January's Smarty Jones Stakes. The colt was coming out of a third-place finish behind The Factor in the Rebel Stakes.

Archarcharch paid $52.40, $16.80 and $8.20. Nehro returned $9.00 and $5.60, and 29-1 longshot Dance City paid $14.20 to show.

In 2004 Smarty Jones won the Arkansas Derby and then went on to capture the Run for the Roses and Preakness Stakes. Afleet Alex won the next year and then grabbed the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Curlin followed in 2007 by winning the Arkansas Derby, Preakness and Breeders' Cup Classic.

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