overcame some early trouble and rallied wide to win Monday's Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
The William Fires trainee, ridden by Jon Court, broke from post six and
raced wide and in traffic around the first turn. He was 5th after an
opening quarter in :22.60 and advanced to 4th after a half in :46.88.
Longshot pacesetter Derivative started to crack after six furlongs in 1:12.04 and there was a mad scramble turning for home.
Archarcharch hit the front in the lane and post time favorite J P's Gusto
, always in contention under Ramon Dominguez, tried to make a run
at the leader.
was also rallying wide from post nine but Archarcharch had a
2-1/2 length advantage and crossed the line a length to the good of J
P's Gusto, who was bothered late by the winner but the outcome was
Elite Alex was another 1-1/4 lengths back while best of the rest and was
followed by Picko's Pride, Yankee Passion, Caleb's Posse, Grant Jack,
Derivative, Brickyard Fast, Ghost Is Clear, and Bonaroo.
The winner, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old colt by Arch out of Woodman mare
Woodman's Dancer, completed his one mile journey in 1:38.23 and paid $31
to win. [Which performance was more impressive at Oaklawn Park on Monday? Alternation's allowance win or Archarcharch in the Southwest? Log in and rank
your 2011 Kentucky Derby contenders!]
Earlier on the card Alternation
, a head winner over Elite Alex at Oaklawn Park Jan 15, rallied smartly to take a non-winners three lifetime
allowance event by 3-1/4 lengths. Elite Alex was also eligible for this
softer spot but his connections elected to get stakes experience for
the son of Afleet Alex.
Alternation rallied from 6th in Monday's win and paid $5.20 as the slight favorite. Second choice Dreaminofthewin edged Bluegrass Bull for runner-up honors. The eight and one-half furlong race was run in 1:45.24.
The impressive winner, by Distorted Humor out of the Seattle Slew mare Alternate, was bred in Kentucky by Pin Oak Stud. Donnie Von Hemel trains.
The next step on the Derby trail in Arkansas is the March 19 Rebel Stakes (G2).