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Archarcharch Now a Member of the Kentucky Derby Trail


The road to the Kentucky Derby took another dramatic twist on the President’s Day card at Oaklawn Park. Heavily-favoured Del Mar Futurity winner JP’s Gusto (Successful Appeal) was only second best as he shipped east to place by a length behind Archarcharch (Arch) in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes.

The half-brother to Blame (Arch) had run a tame fourth-place effort in the ungraded Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn back in mid-January. Archarcharch is now said to be pointed at the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes as he looks to be showing some serious appreciation for the surface at Oaklawn Park.

The three year-old was sent off at a tidy price of nearly 15/1.

Connections will now be looking for the full stretch-out in the next effort and if the bay or brown colt can step up to the Classic distance then he will definitely head into the Derby with some serious momentum.

Observers will wonder how things might have turned out if JP’s Gusto had gotten a better trip as the west coast contender was stuck behind a wall of horses before he got a clean shot in the run-in.

Ramon Dominguez, who piloted JP’s Gusto, pointed to traffic trouble and a reluctance to send the horse up too quickly as the reason for the disappointing finish. The short stretch at Oaklawn likely have Dominguez too much to do in too little time. 

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