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Bunny's Derby Darlings: Archarcharch
Category: Member Blogs

 Bunny's Derby Darlings is a series on my favorite Kentucky Derby contenders.


Part Seven:  Archarcharch


Last weekend’s Arkansas Derby was quite surprising.  I was not shocked that The Factor lost, because I always questioned his ability to handle distance.   However, I was dumbfounded at his running style, for he was never a factor in how the race played out.  If he was to be beaten, I expected someone to challenge him on the pace, and for him to burn himself out.  What was not surprising is that Archarcharch, with his strong record this season, winning the Southwest Stakes and a third in the Rebel, became the horse to upset The Factor.  
Archarcharch has an interesting pedigree, being by Arch, the sire responsible for 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Blame.  Archarcharch’s dam, Woodman’s Dancer, is by Woodman, known for being one of the top broodmare sires. Woodman’s Dancer’s broodmare sire is champion three year old (in France) Nureyev, who sired one hundred thirty-five stakes winners in his lifetime, and twenty-three of which were Grade or Group I winners. 
Structurally, Archarcharch appears to be a durable horse with big legs. I’ve noticed his lead ponies are always larger than he, which hints that he may be on the small side. He is an attractive dark bay or brown colt with a blaze, having kind eyes that resemble his sire.
In the Arkansas Derby, Archarcharch settled in as the eighth horse off the pace after breaking with jockey, Jon Court.  Around the first turn, the William Fires trainee went about three wide with a relaxed, fluid stride. He remained in the same position throughout the early portion of the race.  Hitting the five-eighths pole, he began clipping off horses before swinging five out on the second turn.  Heading down the homestretch, Archarcharch stayed committed to his lane, not drifting inward.  Typically, when horses are taken wide, the tendency is to move back to the rail as they head down the stretch.  Moving horizontally in any way lengthens the actual distance of the race.  Another lesson learned in competitive swimming; “Stay in the center of your lane!”  Always a challenge for me during Backstroke!  Closing in on the wire, Nehro made a strong final effort with Archarcharch denying him the win by a neck.
Archarcharch is a horse showing improvement heading towards the Derby.  Even though he won the Southwest Stakes, his following third in the Rebel was a better quality performance, concluding with the Arkansas Derby’s solid, start to finish victory.


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