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SOUTH (Arkansas, Louisiana) / HOME TEAM HOPE ARCHARCHARCH RALLIES TO WIN ARKANSAS DERBY AS THE FACTOR FIZZLES – Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (Grade I) turned out to be both a win for the home team and a family affair as 25-1 longshot Archarcharch closed from 10th to grab the lead in the stretch and then held off the late charging Nehro to win by a neck before 62,634 fans at Oaklawn Park.
Repole Stable’s Stay Thirsty and Just for Fun Stable’s Decisive Moment, 3-year-old colts being pointed toward the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), turned in strong efforts at Churchill Downs on Sunday in their first works of the spring on the track over which the famed Run for the Roses will be run on Saturday, May 7.
The 137th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) looks increasingly likely to have international flavor, as the status of the Aidan O'Brien-trained MASTER OF HOUNDS (Kingmambo) was firmed up Monday.
A spokesman for the well-bred colt's Coolmore ownership told the Blood-Horse and Daily Racing Form that plans currently call for Master of Hounds to ship in from Ireland for the May 7 Run for the Roses. Pending his final workouts at Ballydoyle, O'Brien is expected to give the green light.
Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton's Grade 3 winner ASTROLOGY (A.P. Indy) will not contest the Kentucky Derby (G1), but will instead head to the April 23 Jerome H. (G2), his connections announced Monday.
"We feel that running him in the Kentucky Derby (G1) off one prep race is too much to ask of him at this point," trainer Steve Asmussen said, according to a press release issued on behalf of Stonestreet's Jess Jackson.
Last year after the Blue Grass (G1), trainer Tom Albertrani was perplexed with the last-place showing of Odysseus in the race. A few days later, Albertrani had his answer as Odysseus sustained a bone chip in the back of his left knee in the race.
All was positive at the barn of trainer Jinks Fires Sunday morning as the winning connections of Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) gathered to bask in the afterglow of the neck victory by ARCHARCHARCH (Arch).
Fires and assistant Pat Tanner reported the colt was in fine shape after scoring his second stakes win in the Oaklawn Park three-year-old series and would be headed to Louisville, Kentucky, Monday for a date in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1).
"He's doing great," Tanner said. "He's like he was never in a horse race yesterday."
Repole Stable's STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini) and Just for Fun Stable's DECISIVE MOMENT (With Distinction) turned in strong efforts at Churchill Downs on Sunday in their first works of the spring on the track over which the famed Kentucky Derby (G1) will be run on May 7.
Spiral S. (G3) runner-up Decisive Moment and Stay Thirsty, winner of the Gotham S. (G3), both worked four furlongs after the midmorning break for track maintenance and turned in the two fastest works of the day at the distance.
A lot of unexpected things occurred in Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, the least of which was the 25-1 upset turned in by Robert and Loval Yagos' ARCHARCHARCH (Arch). The start of the race was delayed by the antics of Dance City (City Zip), who refused to load in the gate for several minutes while eight rivals, including 4-5 favorite The Factor (War Front), had time to either get impatient or doze off.
Live Oak Plantation's homebred BRILLIANT SPEED (Dynaformer) caught Twinspired (Harlan's Holiday) in the final jump of Saturday's $750,000 Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland, winning the Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race by a nose.
An NBC film crew was on hand to film MUCHO MACHO MAN's (Macho Uno) final work at Gulfstream Park Saturday before trainer Kathy Ritvo ships her Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful to Churchill Downs on Sunday.
Ridden by exercise rider Mike Herra, Mucho Macho Man was timed in 1:23 3/5, handily, for seven furlongs in a light rain shower over the fast main track at Gulfstream Park. Mucho Macho Man, who turned in fractions of :46 1/5, :58 and 1:10 4/5 on his way to his seven-furlong clocking, galloped out a mile in 1:38 3/5.