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Kentucky Derby workouts: Archarcharch dusts workmate at Churchill Downs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The sun finally broke through for the first time in more than a week Friday at Churchill Downs, but the racetrack still had some moisture in it and was rated good when opening at 5:45 a.m. before ultimately being upgraded to fast by the time the special 15 minute Derby-Oaks training session began nearly three hours later.
KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Watch Mike Welsch's previous clocker report videos
There were three Derby workers on Friday, two at Churchill Downs and the third in the seclusion of the Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach, Fla. Only three potential Derby starters – Nehro, Twice the Appeal, and Animal Kingdom – trained prior to the break while Uncle Mo led a steadily increasing number of Derby hopefuls onto the course when it re-opened for business shortly after 8:30.
Archarcharch (five furlongs in 59.36 seconds): The Arkansas Derby winner was easily the more impressive of the two Derby workers on site at Churchill Downs. For a horse who did not appear very comfortable training over a wet track earlier in the week, Archarcharch made a nice turnabout while asked for something a little serious on Friday.
With regular rider Jon Court aboard, Archarcharch seemed just a little lackadaisical behind his stablemate Supreme Ruler, who finished a distant ninth last month in the Sunland Derby, coming to the five-furlong pole. Archarcharch broke off about a length behind before quickly joining his partner within a sixteenth of a mile. Archarcharch, who rallied from 10th to win the Arkansas Derby, showed some surprising speed, posting splits of 11.41, 23.06, and :34.88 for his opening three furlongs without need of any urging from Court.
The two 3-year-olds turned into the stretch on even terms with Archarcharch fanned out about four to five paths wide leaving the turn. He switched leads on cue, then quickly left his stablemate in the dust, edging well clear by the time he hit the eighth pole, then widening under late pressure from Court, who did give him a crack of the stick nearing the wire to finish some seven or eight lengths in front of Supreme Ruler. Archarcharch completed his final quarter-mile in a strong 24.38 considering the solid early pace, then continued on willingly around the turn after being roused at the finish line, galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.80.
This was a very encouraging move for Archarcharch who obviously has improved as the week has progressed.
Decisive Moment (five furlongs in 1:01.46): The Spiral runner-up already had his fast work, a bullet half-mile in the mud here 12 days ago, so the intention Friday by trainer Juan Arias was nothing too quick. This seemed evident right off the bat after Decisive Moment went a leisurely opening furlong in 12.80 under jockey Jesus Castanon. Decisive Moment picked up the pace around the turn, completing three eighths in 36.68, but his action suddenly got sloppy leaving the eighth pole as he swapped leads a couple of times near midstretch and labored a bit coming to the wire and while completing a six furlong gallop-out in 1:15.19.
Uncle Mo led an increasingly larger group of Derby gallopers after the break and had another good day as he continues to drag his exercise rider around the track. Stay Thirsty kind of gets lost in the shadow of his more heralded stablemate, following him around dutifully if not somewhat inconspicuously during this morning’s gallop.
Santiva and Twice the Appeal did not have a good morning. Santiva appeared to be somewhat lackluster galloping after the break, losing his focus and subsequently his action briefly enough to stumble badly momentarily after passing the finish line. Fortunately, he was able to recover stride quickly and complete his gallop without further incident.
Twice the Appeal merely jogged two miles the wrong way on the outside fence and looked a little on the stiff side, especially the first time around.
Three fillies potentially eyeing the Oaks on Friday drilled after the break only one of whom, Bouquet Booth (five furlongs in 1:02.20) will now run. The connections of Arienza (a nifty five furlongs in 59.40) and Delightful Mary (five furlongs in 1:01.60) said they will seek other spots.
Two likely Oaks starters who caught my eye galloping on Friday were Kathmanblu and Daisy Devine.
With rain forecast for late Saturday evening and into Sunday, there could be as many as six Derby workers on Saturday. That list includes Twice the Appeal, Animal Kingdom, Shackleford, Mucho Macho Man, Pants On Fire, and Watch Me Go.
Soldat worked four furlongs in 49 flat and galloped out five eighths in 1:01.40, according to his trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on Friday at the Palm Meadows training center in Florida.
KENTUCKY DERBY ACTIVITY REPORT
Friday, April 29, 2011
Animal Kingdom – galloped early at CD, works Sat.
Anthony’s Cross – works Sun. at Hol; would ship Tues.
Archarcharch – worked 5 furlongs in 59.26 under J.Court.
Brilliant Speed – galloped at Kee, then shipped to CD.
Comma to the Top – works Sat. at Hol, ships Tues.
Decisive Moment – worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.46 under J.Castanon.
Dialed In – breezed 4 furlongs Thurs. in 48.53 at PmM; flies in Sat.
Master of Hounds – arrives Tues. from Ireland.
Midnight Interlude – galloped during 8:30 break at CD; works Mon. or Tues.
Mucho Macho Man – galloped 2 miles during 8:30 break at CD; works Sat. or Sun.
Nehro – galloped early at CD; works Monday.
Pants On Fire – galloped during 8:30 break at CD; works Sat or Sun.
Santiva – galloped during 8:30 break at CD; works Mon. or Tues.
Shackleford – galloped during 8:30 break at CD; works Sat.
Soldat – breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01.40 at PmM; flies in Sat.
Stay Thirsty – galloped 1 1/2 miles during 8:30 break at CD; works Sun.
Toby’s Corner – works Sun. at Fair Hill; ships Monday.
Twice the Appeal – galloped 1 1/2 miles early at CD.; works Sat.
Twinspired – galloped at Trackside, works there Sat.; to CD on Tues.
Uncle Mo – galloped 1 1/2 miles during 8:30 break at CD; works Sun.
Watch Me Go – galloped during 8:30 break at CD; works Sat or Sun.