Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 21
own headline: Local horse makes good, Nice guys finish first, Another longshot
winner on the 2011 Kentucky Derby Trail. Any and all would work just fine as Archarcharch
survived a furious late rally by Nehro to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby by
a thrilling neck in front of a crowd of more than 62,000 at Oaklawn Park.
perfectly timed ride by veteran rider, Jon Court, Archarcharch circled horses
on the far turn, took the lead in mid-stretch, and then was game to the wire as
the Louisiana Derby runnerup Nehro staged his second consecutive spirited rally
to fall just short. For Archarcharch, it was the second stakes win this spring
at Oaklawn Park, as he had previously scored in the Southwest Stakes. That day
he clicked at 14-1. Today he was much higher.
Sent off as
a 25-1 outsider, Archarcharch returned $52.40 to his happy backers, while the
exacta with 9-1 shot Nehro, returned a healthy $416.80. Longshot Dance City
outgamed Sway Away to the wire for 3rd, leading to a $1 Trifecta of
$5,282.90, and a robust $1 Superfecta payout of $29,993.80.
the pattern of beaten favorites in recent Derby preps, the heavily favored The Factor faded in the stretch to finish a well beaten 7th after stalking
the fast early pace, set by J P’s Gusto, from third.
completed the nine furlongs over the fast Oaklawn strip in a respectable
1:49.34. A fast early part of the race (22.54, 46.53, 1:11.22. 1:36.18) set
things up nicely for the top pair to unleash their rallies. Archarcharch, a
dark bay son of Arch raised his lifetime record to 3 wins in 6 starts.
Jinks Fires and owned by locals Bob and Loval Yagos, Archarcharch becomes a
nice story of the little guys winning a big one. Add in winning rider Jon
Court, and the Arkansas Derby winning team is a very likeable bunch indeed.
second consecutive weekend, what the world thought they knew about the Kentucky
Derby was shaken to the core, as not only did the Arkansas Derby produce a
longshot winner, but the Blue Grass at Keeneland was won by 19-1 chance,
Brilliant Speed. Today’s result at Oaklawn also means that the horse oddsmaker
Mike Battaglia had tabbed as the early favorite for the Derby, The Factor, is
now a huge question mark for Louisville.
As for what
today’s Arkansas Derby means for May 7, I believe it may be an important prep,
and certainly more important than the Blue Grass. Archarcharch is a
legitimately nice horse, and is bred to handle the 1 ¼ miles of the Derby. He
is one of many that could end up draped in roses. The 2nd place
finisher though could be even more of a threat in the Derby.
raced, Nehro is closing full of run in these key preps. He looks all the part
of a horse who should love the move to ten furlongs, which elevates him to one of
the horses to beat in Louisville.