Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner Archarcharch blitzed through his final Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) work on Friday, April 29 at Churchill Downs, leaving trainer Jinks Fires confident that the colt is ready to run the race of his life on May 7.
“Super. Awesome,” said Fires when asked to describe the move. “He went perfect.”
With regular rider Jon Court in the irons and working in company with stablemate Supreme Ruler, Archarcharch was timed in :59 2/5 for five furlongs over the fast main track. He started the work behind his workmate but finished well of him while clocking the best work of 58 that morning. The son of Arch galloped out six furlongs in 1:12 4/5.
“We wanted a good, fast work,” Fires said. “They way he did it was easy, though. He’s handled the track here very well. We had him galloping in the mud since he’s been here and this was just what we wanted. He’s training beautifully. We’re very excited.”
Owned by Robert and Loval Yagos, Archarcharch won the April 16 Arkansas Derby by a neck at 25-1. He also pulled a 14-1 upset in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) in February at Oaklawn Park and is 3-1-1 from six lifetime starts. Archarcharch was second in his racing debut at Churchill last November.
The other Derby contender working at Churchill on Friday morning was Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Decisive Moment. The son of With Distinction went five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 with Jesus Castanon aboard for trainer Juan Arias. It was the second work for Decisive Moment at Churchill, as he breezed a bullet four furlongs in the mud on April 17.
“He did excellent. That’s what I wanted him to do. I told Jesus, ‘Last time we worked we worked a bullet, so you don’t need to go that fast this time,’ " said Arias, whose colt turned in splits of :12.60, :25.20, :37, :49.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15. "We aimed for between 1:01 and 1:02, so it was right on the money.”
Decisive Moment was the first Derby contender to arrive at Churchill on March 28.
“He loves this atmosphere," the Calder-based Arias said. "He got here early enough that he got acclimated to the weather. By being here early I think it helps a lot. He just loves Churchill Downs. He feels ready to party; he’s ready to dance to any kind of music. He can dance.”