HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Archarcharch rallied from off the pace and held off a late threat from Nehro to win Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.
Ridden by Jon Court, Archarcharch ($52.40) finished a head in front of Nehro in the field of 13, finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.34. The Factor, the 4-5 favorite, was as close as third on the backstretch and turn but faded in the final furlong.
The stewards conducted an inquiry into the stretch run, focusing on a bumping incident between third- and fourth-place finishers Dance City and Sway Away, but did not change the order of finish.
Archarcharch has won 3 of 5 starts and $832,744, including the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds last December and the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 21. Owned by Robert and Loval Yagos and trained by Jinks Fires, Archarcharch was third behind The Factor in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes on March 19.
Nehro ran in his second stakes in the Arkansas Derby. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Nehro was a fast-closing second at 36-1 in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 26.
Trainer Bob Baffert said immediately following the race that it appeared The Factor displaced his palate.
- additional reporting by Mary Rampellini