Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bodemeister's Derby Outlook

January 16th, race 7 at Santa Anita: maiden special weight limited to 3 year olds. 

Distance: 5 and a half furlongs

Jockey: R. Bejarano

Pace: 21.41, 44.17, 56.14, 1:02.39

Post Position: 10/10

Lots to like in this, seemingly meaningless, debut. First, Bodemeister breaks on top. While I’m no expert, the ability to break from the gate cleanly, especially for a speed horse, seems paramount to success. Second, he gained experience relaxing off the early leader. With Trinniberg in the field, it’s unlikely he’ll make the early lead in the Derby. And who knows, he may even have to contend with Hansen’s rainbow colored tail in his nostrils while rounding the first turn, thus, this experience is crucial. 

His greenness is a concern, but let’s look at it with Bob Baffert colored glasses. He was extremely green in the stretch, while chasing a very talented speed horse in American Act, who had essentially been loose on the lead, and still only lost by two freaking lengths. Did I mention this was at 5 ½ furlongs, and he’s better suited around two turns? 

February 11th, race 3 at Santa Anita: maiden special limited to 3 year olds 

Distance: 8 furlongs (around two turns)

Jockey: R. Bejarano

Pace: 23.09, 46.95, 1:10.72, 1:22.50, 1:34.55 

Post Position: 8/8

Once Bodemeister is able to clear the field on the first turn after breaking from the far outside yet again, this one was over. Not to criticize his effort, but a talent like Bodemeister, while racing loose on the lead against an overmatched field of maidens, is supposed to win by open lengths. 

What I fancied most about this race, was Bodemeister’s professionalism. In stark contrast from his debut, Bodemeister switched leads on cue at the top of the stretch, and proceeded to draw away, racing straight as can be.
March 10th, race 9 at Santa Anita: The Grade Two San Felipe Stakes limited to 3 year olds

Distance: 8 and a half furlongs

Jockey: R. Bejarano
Pace: 22.95, 46.98, 1:11.23, 1:35.50, 1:41.84

Post Position: 2/10

Bodemeister’s first test regarding sitting off the lead around two turns, which gave the more insight into his Derby chances than any other of his starts.

Although the chart says that he “pulled early” Bodemeister appeared to race just off of pacesetter American Act’s flank just fine.

The stretch run here got a bit wild, and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it. As soon as Bodemeister deposed of American Act, he had Creative Cause to deal with on the outside. Once Creative Cause took over, he weaved out towards the outer rail. While I can’t be sure, it looks as it Bejarano went to left hand whip in order to veer Bodemeister out into the middle of the stretch so he’d see Creative Cause. When Bodemeister noticed Creative Cause, he responded gamely.

Although this effort was nothing to be ashamed of, Creative Cause had some massive issues with staying engaged in the stretch, and yet still won. Creative Cause also galloped out much stronger than Bodemeister. 

Creative Cause (highlighted in green) galloping out much better than Bodemeister (highlighted in blue).

This race now serves as the blueprint to beating Bodemeister.

With this effort we can determine that Bodemeister is ‘rate-able’ (although he’s probably better when on the lead) and has a Michael Jordan-like competitive spirit. 

April 14th, race 11 at Oaklawn Park: The Grade One Arkansas Derby limited to 3 year olds

Distance: 9 furlongs

Jockey: M. Smith

Pace: 23.02, 46.55, 1:11.36, 1:36.74, 1:48.71

Post Position: 11/11

Must like the maiden win, this race was over once Bodemeister cleared Stat on the first turn. Loose on the lead setting reasonable fractions, Bodemeister is going crush any 3 year old field around two turns.

Aside from stamping him the Derby favorite, and demonstrating his ability to relax on the backstretch (furlongs 4-6 went in 24.81) this blowout win was pretty meaningless, since barring any unforeseen circumstances he won’t be on the lead in the Derby.

Pros: Bodemeister has shown in just four career starts that he’s the most talented runner in this year’s Derby. He’s got that coveted high cruising speed that usually eliminates any traffic issues. He doesn’t need the lead. He breaks from the gate without issue. He’s bred to get the distance. He’s training exceptionally well. And I know his low number of career starts is a burden, but it’s encouraging to know that he’s still got boatloads of improvement ahead of him.

Cons: Hasn’t shown much of a propensity to stalk and pounce, which he’ll have to accomplish on Saturday.  With Trinniberg and Hansen, each with a bevy of early speed, the pace may very well be quite brisk. Bodemeister doesn’t seem versatile enough to lay back in 5th or 6th if such a scenario were to occur, which could make him a PoP (Prisoner of pace). And not only does Bodemeister have to avoid a hot pace, he cannot be a factor inducing one. In each of his last two starts, he’s been a part of a very hot early fast pace. So not only does Bode have to avoid an eventful pace, he can’t instigate one.

Okay, enough handicapping pace, which is often a futile effort. There’s one constant in each of Bodemeister’s career starts, and it’s his talent. If Bodemeister wins the Derby, nobody ought to be surprised, since much like his father Empire Maker, he’s got worlds of nature ability.

Should things go to plan, once Trinniberg packs it in, it’s quite conceivable that Bodemeister will inherit the lead at the top of the stretch. Whether he has the foundation to hold off the challengers is an unknown, but should be master the art of rating, things bode well for Bodemeister.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Turbo Compressor

Turbo Compressor striding away from the field.

May 14th, Race 5 at Monmouth Park: A 3 year olds and up, non-winners of one allowance. 

Here, we're going to be taking a look at the eventual winner, Turbo Compressor. Turbo Compressor is a 3 year old colt, who looks to have been a private purchase, and was making his first start for Todd Pletcher. This was his fourth career start. Previously he had broken his maiden in a state-bred special weight at Gulfstream and ran second in a 75k state-bred stakes at Tampa Bay for Gilberto Zerpa.


It's safe to say Turbo Compressor had a perfect trip, having set a dawdling pace on a track that generally favors speed. The competition wasn't exactly steep either; his main rival, Roman Invasion, was coming off a 19 month layoff. However, visually, his late turn of foot was breathtaking. While I hate to wax poetic over a simple allowance race, this performance may have given us a glimpse into an immensely talented 3 year old, one who could contend amongst the leaders of the 3 year old division sooner rather than later. 

The beyer from this win came back light, a mediocre 88, but this can be attributed to the slow early fractions.

His pedigree notes that he shouldn't have a problem stretching out further. Out of a Wild Event mare, and with that turn of foot, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up having some success on turf as well.

Turbo Compressor has been entered in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth this Saturday. While the competition appears formidable (mainly Rush Now and Pants On Fire) this is an appropriate spot for our favorite allowance winner.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Kentucky Oaks

Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Pace: 23.65, 46.99, 1:11.25, 1:36.41, 1:49.50

Plum Pretty

Much like Animal Kingdom - I've got no knocks on Plum Pretty's Oaks win. In fact, in addition to her race having been visually impressive, her victory becomes even more appealing considering Churchill's outside, closer friendly bias that day. Not to mention her position throughout the race (2nd). A quick glance of the chart shows that Summer Soiree, Lilacs and Lace and Daisy Devine raced 1 - 3 - 4 early finished far out of it. Now these 3 may have been over-matched, but it does indicate that this race was, perhaps slightly, best suited to closers.

I'm quite excited to witness what Plum Pretty might turn out to be. She's exceptionally talented, and as a filly that excels when stalking and pouncing she'll almost always get a perfect trip.

One last note on Plum Pretty, and I realize much of this is Monday morning quarterbacking, but wasn't 6/1 (9/1 until the final minute) much too high on a filly who had just run a 99 beyer? The next top figure, earned on dirt, in the field was Zazu's consecutive 89's. Is this a sign that the majority of players are bunch of wiseguys? Or is the betting public buying more and more into the 'bounce' theory?

St. John's River

Now this wasn't Dublin in last year's Preakness, but St. John's River did cost herself a length or two with her clumsy break from the gate. Depending on just how much you buy into the inside bias at Churchill that day, you may or may not want to dissuade the notion that even though she cut the corner coming into the stretch she didn't get the best of trips. I'd go ahead and say they canceled each other out.

Nevertheless, a very impressive race from St. John's River. Her second place finish solidified her status as the top closer in the 3 year old filly division. At this point, she's my early favorite in the Alabama.


No real troubles for Zazu here, once she got to the outside of Bouquet Booth at the top of the stretch she had clear running room. This is the 2nd consecutive race she's come up short in the lane which is why I'm beginning to look at her as a grinder-type. Now unless the leaders in the stretch take to a crawl or she develops a more potent late kick, she's going to have difficulty doing anything more than clucking up for minor rewards at this level.

Zazu has now shown great consistency having earned 3 consecutive beyers in the high 80's/low 90's range that will keep her formidable in Grade 2's/3's.

Joyful Victory

An even run from Joyful Victory; no significant trouble although she may have been a tiny bit rank early on. Not much of a surprise, her top beyer had been an 83 coming in, so my opinion of her (much like Zazu) is that while she's a classy filly, until she shows improvement, she's probably just not fast enough to win at the true Grade 1 level.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Kentucky Derby

Animal Kingdom 

In the hopes to retain objectivity, I've re-watched Animal Kingdom's trip maybe 15 times (an arduous task when NBC has 2 announcers calling the same race) attempting to find a single knock on his race. I cannot. I'm smitten with Animal Kingdom, and not just entirely because he was my top pick in the Derby. The ease of which he possessed winning, in just his fifth career start on a surface that may not be a favorite of his, off of a 6 week layoff, was marveling.

He received a dazzling ride by John Velazquez; splitting Santiva and Soldat on turn and then correctly deciding to go outside of Mucho Macho Man at the top of the stretch. This wasn't the most closer-friendly race, I don't think many would have been surprised had Shackleford come home the winner when the 1/2 mile time of 48.63 was posted. Actually, the pace was more of the Belmont Stakes, with the field doing their best to click off :12 furlongs, rather than a typical, torrid early paced Kentucky Derby. Along with his pedigree, this bodes quite well for Animal Kingdom's chances in the Belmont should he continue his winning ways in Balitmore.

And as for the Preakness, with perspective starters such as Shackleford, Dance City, and Flashpoint, Animal Kingdom should get a favorable setup up front. I can't see Shackleford getting away with another uncontested slow pace. Animal Kingdom is also a fresh colt, so at this juncture I expect him to win the Preakness.


An admirable second from Nehro despite moving too soon on the final turn and having traveled so wide the entire trip. The inside was not the place to be but he still ran much more than 10 furlongs. Although I do believe that Nakatani moved too soon, he is without blame. Having sensed that the pace was slow, advancing to take the lead, early on the final turn, wasn't a bad move by any means but in hindsight he probably would have been better served waiting just a bit longer. Perhaps he would have had more in the tank late to challenge Animal Kingdom, not that I think Nehro was ever going to beat Animal Kingdom last Saturday.

Nehro continues to impress, especially with such versatility. It's my opinion that he's best making one run, as he demonstrated in Arkansas Derby so I would like to see Zayat and Asmussen point him to the Preakness, with an expected faster pace, rather than the Belmont.

Mucho Macho Man

Mucho Macho Man lacks spark. He'll never take your breath away. But in a crop of 3 three years mired with inconsistency of epic proportion, Mucho Macho Man is dependable as they come and he won't even have his 3 year old birthday until June 15th. His run in the Derby was exactly what is he at this point in this career, solid but not spectalular. Classy but not flashy.

I suppose he'll get a similar trip in the Preakness as to Nehro's trip here - sitting close and pouncing on the pacesetters on the final turn, getting the first run on the closers. As I've maintained the pace is expected to be quicker, so the profile of the Preakness does not suit Mucho Macho Man, as he's best stalking a slow pace such as his race in the Risen Star.


Although Shackleford was able to find himself loose on the lead, setting an incredibly slow pace, (Steven Crist delves into just how unhurried the pace was on his blog) as @ianlozada points out, he was the only top finisher who raced along a somewhat dead rail. I'll go along and hypothesize that both factors canceled themselves out.

Dialed In

As proactive as Corey Nakatani was, reacting to the slow pace, Julien Leparoux was as stubborn. Taking back to last, and racing along the rail no less, Leparoux and Dialed In fell victim to the lazy pace, but this wasn't his only deterrent, as his stretch run was unexcusably flat. His performance did little to change my pre-Derby opinion of him that he is best at a mile. Zito can say whatever he likes how Dialed In will relish the quick turnaround but he and owner Robert LaPenta have 6,100,000 reasons to run him back in the Preakness, none of which are anticipated success. 

{Edit: In a complete flip-flop, I've changed my opinion on Dialed In within the last few days; afterall he was up against the slow pace and got no help from Leparoux. As stated in Crist's article, Dialed In ran his final 2 quarters in 23.19 and 23.76, quite exceptional, especially at 10 furlongs. It's now my thinking that he'll be the main threat to Animal Kingdom in the Preakness.}

Full chart

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Midnight Interlude's Derby Outlook

Midnight Interlude's maiden victory - a two-turn mile, maiden special weight at Santa Anita. (Wet-Fast Track)

Pace: 23.02, 45.77, 1:10.11, 1:22.91, 1:36.25

Midnight Interlude (Post Position 3, Joel Rosario) has an uneventful trip here, after breaking well and finding himself on the lead. Riding the rail the entire trip, Grip Hands does a nice job pressing Interlude into a second quarter of 22.75, but Interlude then relaxes and slows the pace to his liking from then on. Once Grip Hands throws in the towel at the top of the stretch, Interlude draws off to an easy eight and a half length win.

Not much to go on here, facing just four rivals - only one of whom Interlude had any authentic contact with. I'm not going to pretend I know anything about Grip Hands, but Interlude having dueled him into submission before finishing last can only be looked at as a positive. Interlude, sans quickening the second quarter too fast, was very professional in the win.

Equibase chart 

The Grade One Santa Anita Derby at a mile and an eight around two turns.

Pace: 22.81, 47.33, 1:11.53, 1:36.05, 1:48.66 

Midnight Interlude (Post Position 6, Victor Espinoza) breaks well and shows speed, sitting two lengths off the lead, on the outside (five wide) around the clubhouse turn. The opening quarter is very quick, but leader Comma to the Top is able to slow the pace, running the second quarter in 24.52. After having sat in third, a length off the leader on the backside, Comma to the Top mildly spurts away on the final turn. Interlude, now three lengths back, still in third begins to advance on the outside with Espinoza going to the left handed whip. Comma to the Top maintains his spot in the four path as Interlude shifts in behind him and is forced to steady. Once Espinoza is able to straighten Interlude out he finally wears down Comma to the Top in the shadow of the wire.

Midnight Interlude, highlighted in white, steadying behind Comma to the Top in the stretch.

Having first thought Midnight Interlude's kick in the stretch, once he escaped trouble, was unsatisfactory, after studying the pace, reeling in Comma to the Top was no easy task. Comma has the tools to become a nice miler, and becomes a tough catch on the lead when he's enabled to run three quarter miles, slower than :24, in a row. Had Interlude been able to keep a straight line in the stretch he may have won by two or three lengths.

Full chart

Final thoughts - No question, Midnight Interlude is very talented. Jumping up from a maiden special weight to win the Santa Anita Derby is quite notable. He's just beginning to blossom, and I'm sure he's got some fantastic performances ahead of him but the Derby will not be one of them.

I do accept that Midnight Interlude ran a nice race in the Santa Anita Derby, but take a look at the chart. I'm no connoisseur of the races out west, but I'd be surprised if this wasn't the weakest field ever assembled for the Santa Anita Derby.

His best asset, tactical speed, becomes a disadvantage in the Derby since we're expecting a hot pace with so many others (Uncle Mo, Mucho Macho Man, Pants on Fire, Soldat, Comma to the Top, Shackleford, and Decisive Moment) with early speed as well. Perhaps he'll be able to stalk and pounce at the quarter pole, but I don't see him holding off the closers down the lane.

I look for Midnight Interlude to show promise later in the year, (maybe even in two weeks) where he'll get much more of a favorable pace setup but on Saturday he'll be an underlay if he drops below 18-1.

Midnight Interlude's PP's

Monday, May 2, 2011

Toby's Corner's Derby Outlook

The Whirlaway Stakes, a mile and a sixteenth around two turns on the inner track at Aqueduct. (Muddy Track)

Pace: 23.53, 48.80, 1:14.03, 1:39.31, 1:45.66

Video of the race can be seen here.

Toby's Corner (Post Position 1, Eddie Castro) takes back to last early and rides the rail along the clubhouse turn behind a solid first quarter. He draws closer on the final turn and begins his move after swinging out, six to seven wide, outside of Arthur's Tale and Preachintothedevil. He draws alongside J J's Lucky Train, whom had a perfect trip racing loose on the lead, mid-stretch with his head cocked to right (curious to check out out the grandstand construction I suppose) still racing on his left lead. He unimpressively allows J J's Lucky Train back in it but finally pulls away, once he straightens his head and switches to his right lead, to a two length win.

Had J J's Lucky Train turned out to be a respectable route runner I'd have been most intrigued with Toby's Corner's win here, but alas J J's Lucky Train has turned out to be a sprinter. Not to say J J's Lucky Train is a complete dog while racing loose on the lead setting slow fractions going a mile and a sixteenth, but it's not his A game. Nevertheless, Toby's Corner winning the race, despite his immaturity in the stretch, was encouraging.

The Grade Three Gotham stakes, a mile and a sixteenth around turn turns on the inner track at Aqueduct.

Pace: 24.79, 49.18, 1:13.47, 1:38.37, 1:44.78

Toby's Corner (Post Position 4, Eddie Castro) tussles with the bit early and rounds the first turn three to four wide. He gets a fine spot in sixth on the backside then slightly advances on the turn having been put to a drive heading into the stretch. Despite Castro's efforts Toby again kicks his head out to the right and appears to have some difficulty switching to his appropriate right lead. Eventually he does straighten out but is unable to find another gear, finishing a flat third.

A disappointing performance since Toby showed regression having performed the same antics he showed in the Whirlaway, as well as fighting the bit. The pace was slow enough that expecting a win would have been asking too much, but you would have liked to have seen some maturation.

Full chart
The Grade One Wood Memorial, a mile and an eight around two turns on the main track at Aqueduct.

Toby's Corner - Blinkers ON

Pace:  23.49, 47.98, 1:12.28, 1:37.26, 1:49.93

Toby's Corner (Post Position 2, Eddie Castro) comes out to his left at the break, bumping Starship Caesar. He then settles and finds a great spot along the rail into and around the turn. He slightly advances down the backstretch run but finds himself in a tough spot on the rail, mid-way on the final turn. Fortunately he does not ever have to steady as he Castro sweeps him out into the three path at the top of the stretch. His lane there is closed once Norman Asbjornson slides over in his path. Toby's Corner is steadied while taken out in between Norman and Arthur's Tale on the outside. He takes a few strides to retain his momentum, with his head slightly arched to the right, and straightens out to rally past Arthur's Tale from his inside. He wins by a neck.

Toby's Corner, highlight in white, steadying behind Norman Asbjornson in the stretch.

This colossal upset took magnificent growth from Toby's Corner, most of which I'm guessing had to do with the added blinkers. Although he did have a minor hiccup in the stretch, his improved efficiency was much to like, as there's never been a question that he is quite talented. While he did save every inch of ground, he also overcame a significant obstacle from a pace perspective. 47.98 and 1:12.28 aren't fractions that aide closers. Throw in his mid-stretch skirmish with Norman Asbjornson and this was obviously a tremendous performance.

Full chart

Final thoughts - Up until the Wood, Toby's Corner has reminded me of a three year old Eddington in 2004. His regular jockey, Jerry Bailey, would speak to his talent and inability to run a full race at peak performance - instead he would do his running in 'spots'. But now with those blinkers on, Toby's Corner has taken a distinct step in the right direction and is most likely on the upswing. 

What I find most interesting about Toby's Corner is that, of all the top choice closers in the Derby (Dialed In, Nehro, Archarcharch, Animal Kingdom) he's the only colt to have not benefited from a scolding, white-hot early pace which may just present itself in the Derby.

My knock on Toby's Corner is that I'm torn over what I think of this year's rendition of the Wood Memorial, after all, Arthur's Tale was second by a neck. I'm not saying Arthur's Tale isn't of quality, but I'm suspect of his true abilities at this point in time. And as we all know, Uncle Mo was not himself in the Wood. Toby's Corner also might not relish the tenth furlong according to his pedigree.

I'll certainly be using Toby's Corner on Saturday, but probably more so on the bottom of my exacta's and trifecta's.

Toby's PP's

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Archarcharch's Derby Outlook

Before you watch any of these races you might want to hit the mute button, even Andy Rooney thinks Oaklawn Park announcer Terry Wallace is washed up.

The Grade Three Southwest, one mile around two turns at Oaklawn Park.

Archarcharch (Post Position 6, Jon Court) breaks well and moves along to the first turn in midpack. He loses his footing, baring out to the right just a bit, as he begins to take the turn and gets back to steady sailing three and four wide. Despite the quick early pace Archarcharach begins a continual advance along the backside, and takes on the wall of three longshot pace setters four wide in a move what looked to be premature, but Court bides his time a length off the lead in fourth around the turn. He finally puts away the pacesetters at the quarter pole, also having to deal with closers to his outside, but quickly spurs away to one and a half length lead. Archarcharch shortens his stride late, appearing to have possibly switched back to his left lead but has enough to hold off the closing J P's Gusto at the finish line after having, slightly, cut Gusto off as he runs away, towards the rail, from Court's right handed stick. 

If you cashed on Archarcharch here back in February be sure to thank Jon Court the next time he's at a track near you. This was a hall of fame ride, having gone up and pressed the pace setters to their outside so early turned out to be a brilliant move, scenting the middle fractions would be slow and subsequently getting the jump on the closers. Archarcharch gets credit for having survived a wide trip around both turns, and although he tired late, (the final quarter mile went in 26.19 seconds) that was to be expected since he was asked far earlier than two-three finishers J P's Gusto and Elite Alex.

Full chart
The Grade Two Rebel, a mile and a sixteenth around two turns at Oaklawn Park.

Archarcharch (Post Position 1, Jon Court) picks out a nice spot early along the rail in third, taking the first turn better this go around. While initially about five lengths off of The Factor racing lose on the lead, Archarcharch closes that gap to a length and a half going into the final turn. The Factor lets it out a notch to, again, put a significant amount of ground between he and the rest of the field. Archarcharch rides the rail around the turn and comes back to Caleb's Posse who ranged up from the outside, having looked like he easily had second place wrapped up. He does ends up losing that battle for second, but only by a neck.

The Factor was never going to be caught here, racing lose on the lead setting a controlled pace at nine furlongs, so the loss is inconsequential. However, it's my thinking that rather than being game and resolute to only lose out by a neck to Caleb's Posse, when at the eight pole Caleb's Posse looked like he was going to draw away with second, it had more to do with Caleb's Posse getting to the front (excluding The Factor) after having made a big move on the turn and pulling up some. Archarcharch also rode the rail the entire trip so I'm not too enthralled with this effort.

Full chart

The Grade One Arkansas Derby, a mile and an eight around two turns at Oaklawn Park.

Archarcharch (Post Position 10, Jon Court) once again breaks in mid-pack and takes the turn about four wide, back in tenth. He makes up about four lengths on the backside, after another wide gradual advancement. He continues to advance on the turn, four and five wide, as the pace begins to collapse. Archarcharch makes a nice run down the stretch - as Sway Away and Dance City, understandably, don't put up much of a fight - and has enough  of an momentum advantage to hold off Nehro at the wire. He pulls up sooner than you'd have liked to have seen going into a 10 furlong race in the gallop out.

Archarcharch's trip here has very much in common with his effort in the Southwest; enjoying a quick pace up front that made mush of the horses up close, (besides Dance City) then advancing wide and having enough of a jump on the closers to hold them off. The middle fractions where he did his damage weren't nearly as slow (furlongs four through six in 24.69 and six through eight in 24.96) as the Southwest, indicating improvement.

Full chart

Final thoughts -Another heady closer, with a pedigree and past performances that suggest he'll have no problem with the ten furlongs, Archarcharch is a prime candidate for Kentucky Derby coronation. 

Besides having taken advantage of the lazy middle fractions in the Southwest, I have no significant knocks on either of his wins at Oaklawn. (The Rebel is a toss for me.) I'm encouraged with his running style - a closer, yes, but Jon Court has shown the foresight to gradually advance him along in his races, earlier than most jocks would, in order to get the jump on the dead closers. Now I'm sure much of this had to do with Oaklawn's short stretch but I wouldn't be surprised should he attempt the same tacit again at Churchill hoping that the dead closers will encounter some traffic in the stretch. 

What's more encouraging is that the Southwest and Arkansas Derby shaped out to take a similar race form as the Derby is expected to: fast early pace with slow middle and final fractions. Archarcharch has obviously preformed admirably under such circumstances.

Let's not forget that Archarcharch is 'experienced' when it comes to this group with six career starts, two as a two year old. He's also shown to be very professional so immaturity shouldn't be an obstacle come Derby day. For me he's a must use at 10-1 or higher.

Here are Archarcharch's PP's.