04/12/2011 11:46AM

Oaklawn Park: The Factor arrives for Arkansas Derby

Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Leading Kentucky Derby contender The Factor is the favorite for Saturday's Arkansas Derby.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Arkansas Derby favorite The Factor was one of seven horses from Southern California who arrived in Hot Springs, Ark., on a Tex Sutton charter flight around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, most expected for stakes engagements this weekend at Oaklawn Park.

The Arkansas Derby closes out the meet on Saturday. The Factor is returning to Oaklawn after winning last month’s Grade 2, $300,000 Rebel Stakes by more than six lengths. Martin Garcia has the mount for trainer Bob Baffert.

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Miss Match and Switch also made the trip, and are in town for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap for fillies and mares on Friday. Entries for that race were being taken on Tuesday.

The flight also included Albergatti, a nominee to both the Arkansas Derby and Saturday’s Northern Spur, and City Cool and Road Ready, both of whom are expected for the $75,000 Bachelor for 3-year-olds on Friday. Also on the flight was May Day Rose, for Baffert, who is nominated to Saturday's Instant Racing Stakes.

In other morning activity, Southwest Stakes winner Archarcharch breezed a half-mile in 50.80 seconds first after the renovation break, going in hand under regular rider Jon Court. Oaklawn head clocker timed the horse galloping out five furlongs in 1:03.80. Archarcharch was third to The Factor in the Rebel, and will try him again in the Arkansas Derby. He is trained by Jinks Fires.

Entries for the Arkansas Derby will be taken on Wednesday.

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