Southwest Stakes Recap

Archarcharch golden in Southwest

The even-money favorite in the January 17 Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn, Robert Yagos' ARCHARCHARCH (Arch) took the unusual strategy of dueling for the lead before wilting to fourth, 13 1/4 lengths behind, in that one-mile contest. Fast forward one month and a more relaxed Archarcharch rewarded his loyal followers with mutuels of $31, $8.80 and $4.80 at 14-1 with a more typical stalk-and-pounce rally in Monday's $250,000 Southwest S. (G3) over the same track and trip.

A faster pace in the Southwest compared to the Smarty Jones made things much easier for the Jinks Fires-trained Archarcharch. Knocking heads early were Derivative (Mr. Greeley) and Brickyard Fast (Sharp Humor), who led in that order through splits of :22 3/5, :46 4/5 and 1:12. Avoiding the dirty work, Archarcharch raced a bit wide into the first turn and settled into a nice stalking trip in fourth down the backside. A cavalry charge ensued approaching the short stretch with Archarcharch, bidding five wide, making the strongest move.

Under Jon Court, Archarcharch opened up 2 1/2 lengths in the stretch, but had to deal with a late charge from 6-5 favorite J P's Gusto (Successful Appeal), who had raced in close attendance to Archarcharch throughout and attempted to rally inside of the eventual winner. The finish line arrived just in time for Archarcharch, who had a length on the favorite at the line. Elite Alex (Afleet Alex), the 2-1 second choice, was fanned six-wide turning for home but failed to sustain his rally when finishing third, 1 1/4 lengths behind J P's Gusto. The final time for a mile on the fast track was 1:38 1/5.

Picko's Pride (Cactus Ridge) crossed the wire in fourth and was followed by Yankee Passion (Yankee Gentleman), Caleb's Posse (Posse), Grant Jack (Harlan's Holiday), Derivative, Brickyard Fast, Ghost is Clear (Ghostzapper) and Bonaroo (Dynaformer).

Second in his seven-furlong debut at Churchill Downs on November 27, Archarcharch broke his maiden in the six-furlong Sugar Bowl S. at Fair Grounds by a commanding 1 3/4 lengths. After flopping in the Smarty Jones and rebounding in the Southwest, Archarcharch's mark now stands at 4-2-1-0, $202,744.

'With all of the weather and the way the track came up last time, we knew he was going into this race a lot better,' Fires said. 'He came back from that last race with a little filling in his hock.

'I will sit down with all my owners and we will make the decision together (for Archarcharch's next start). Mrs. (Patricia) Blass has Bluegrass Jam (Bluegrass Cat) for the (March 19) Rebel (S. [G2]), so we could have him in there. We will see what we do after we talk.'

Bred in Kentucky by Grapestock LLC, Archarcharch was a $60,000 Keeneland September yearling. He was produced by the Grade 2-placed Woodman's Dancer (Woodman), making him a half-brother to stakes winner Run Sully Run (Cherokee Run). Woodman's Dancer has also produced a juvenile full sister to the Southwest winner named Androeah and a yearling half-brother by Silver Train.

Archarcharch's second dam was the Hollywood Oaks (G1) winner Pattern Step (Nureyev), who also produced stakes winners Seattle Pattern (Seattle Slew) and Total Bull (Fusaichi Pegasus) and was the ancestress of Group 3 winner and classic-placed Arch Swing (Arch). Pattern Step was the daughter of another Hollywood Oaks winner, Tipping Time (*Commanding II).

from brisnet.com

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