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The post below was published earlier this week at PaulickReport.

Although best-known as a stallion station standing such sires as international star More Than Ready, 2010 leading freshman sire Congrats, and champion sprinter Kodiak Kowboy, Vinery also breeds horses, and Archarcharch became the farm’s most important winner with his victory on Saturday in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

Farm president Tom Ludt said “a Grade 1 win for a million-dollar purse would be the fanciest win for our breeding program, although we did sell the dam.”

The progressive colt was bred by Grapestock, which Ludt said is the “name of the entity that holds all of [Vinery owner] Tom Simon’s equine assets. It functions as a client of Vinery, like any other on the farm.”

Grapestock and Vinery work to strike a balance between the businesses of breeding and racing for Simon, who races a stable under the Vinery name and breeds yearlings for the commercial market. “We have bred most of our mares commercially for years,” Ludt said, “and although we race a stable, we mostly buy those at sales as yearlings by our own stallions.”

With those considerations as a stallion farm and racing stable, it is a bit surprising that Archarcharch is not by a farm stallion.

Instead, the colt is by Claiborne stallion Arch, also the sire of 2010 champion older horse Blame, and on the surface, the mating would not appear an obvious choice for a mare from Vinery. But Vinery’s assistant general manager Frances Relihan said the mating was a very good physical match.

Woodman’s Dancer, the dam of Archarcharch, Relihan said, “is a typical Woodman: very strong body, stands about 15.3 hands, and correct. We felt she needed more leg and substance; so we sent her to Arch, were pleased with the result, and bred her back to him the next year.”

In fact, the folks at Vinery were so pleased with Archarcharch as a young horse that they brought back his dam from the 2008 Keeneland November sale to get the second foal by Arch, then sold the mare in foal to farm stallion Silver Train at the 2009 November sale.

When Archarcharch arrived, Relihan noted that he was a “pretty good-sized foal whose only problem was a contracted left hind leg. But the veterinarians at Rood & Riddle put a splint on it, and he progressed nicely. He had good balance and a good hip and body type.”

In sum, Archarcharch was a well-proportioned and athletic young horse who looked the part he has come to play. The mating with Arch gave the colt greater leg length and resulting scope, and Archarcharch has shown increasing ability as he matures and races over longer distances.

A dark horse in color, as well as in general prospects for the classics, Archarcharch held on to win his most important race to date by a neck over the Mineshaft colt Nehro at Oaklawn. One of 28 stakes winners by his sire Arch, Archarcharch is the second stakes winner from Woodman’s Dancer.

The dark bay daughter of Woodman also produced Run Sully Run (by Cherokee Run) from her first five foals to race. A much better-than-average stakes-placed runner, Woodman’s Dancer earned $298,486 and placed in five stakes, including the G2 A Gleam Handicap and G3 Las Flores.

Woodman’s Dancer sold for $35,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November breeding stock sale in foal to Silver Train. The buyer was the Stallion Company, and the mare produced a chestnut colt in 2010. The mare was resold privately to a partnership, and she was bred back to US Ranger (by Danzig) in May last year.

The mare’s dam is the G1 winner Pattern Step (by Nureyev), one of the last G1 winners bred by Nelson Bunker Hunt before his bloodstock empire was dispersed.