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Archive for the ‘The Factor’ Category

Warming up to the Preakness Stakes

Posted by Brian Appleton on May 11, 2011

Sometimes leftovers can taste better than the meal and that’s the way it’s looking with the May 12st Preakness Stakes (gr.1). With the Kentucky Derby limited to 20 starters chosen by their graded stakes earnings some horses are inevitably left out and forced to wait another two weeks for the Preakness Stakes to prove their mettle. When Uncle Mo was scratched from the Derby on Friday morning Sway Away was currently sitting at number #21 on the graded stakes earnings list but was still prevented from running in the Derby because of the starters policy that will not allow another horse to be entered if one has scratched out. Churchill Downs is currently contemplating changing the policy to allow horses to enter after scratches.

This year the Preakness Stakes seems to be attracting a full, strong field of 14 starters with Sway Away being one of them. It took virtually a matter of minutes after Animal Kingdom’s Derby victory for trainer Graham Motion to declare his horse a definite Preakness Starter so the Triple Crown hopes for 2011 at least remains alive. Animal Kingdom’s final time for the Derby was a respectable 2:02.04 but it was his closing half mile in :47 1/5 which is now the second fasted closing half mile in the Derby ever, behind only Secretariat’s closing half, was brilliant. It’s hard to believe he won the Derby with such relative ease with only four prior starts. The question now is can he add the Preakness to his trophy case, and the really big question is can he win the Triple Crown? I think the ability is there but I’m not confident he can get the job done in the Triple. The Preakness seems doable even with the strong field but add the Belmont three weeks later and that’s asking an awful lot of such an inexperienced runner.

Included among the list of possible starters is Derby runner-up, Nehro, who is more likely to pass on the race than he is to run, and Derby third place finisher Mucho Macho Man as well as fourth place finisher Shackleford along with Santiva and Derby favorite Dialed In. Astrology could be headed to the Preakness fort trainer Steve Asmussen after bypassing the Derby.

Other possible Preakness starters include; Prime Cut, Dance City, Flashpoint, King Congie, Mr. Commons, Norman Asbjornson, The Factor, Isn’t He Perfect and Harlan’s Hello.

The most intriguing of these is the possibility of The Factor running. After he flipped his palate and ran seventh as the heavy favorite in the Arkansas Derby the Bob Baffert colt will be making a fairly quick turnaround after surgery to correct his problem. Flashpoint is also an interesting addition. He was last seen finishing fourth in the Florida Derby (gr.1) after winning the Hutcheson Stakes (gr.2) by more than seven lengths.

So as things stand now the Preakness appears to be shaping up as a very competitive race. The Derby is only the beginning not the end, we still have two legs of the Triple Crown left and much more room for surprises.

Uncle Mo it appears will be skipping all the three year old classics as the son of Indian Charlie has been sent to WinStar Farms in Kentucky to diagnose and receive treatment for a yet undiscovered ailment. Trainer Todd Pletcher said the goal is to get him healthy and bring him back to win Champion Three Year Old Male and Horse of the Year.

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Posted in Animal Kingdom, Dialed In, Flashpoint, Kentucky Derby, Mucho Macho Man, Preakness Stakes, Santiva, Shackleford, The Factor, Triple Crown, Uncle Mo | 2 Comments »

The Arkansas Derby and Commander

Posted by Brian Appleton on April 15, 2011

The Arkansas Derby (gr.1) looks like The Factor’s race to lose but I’ve been burned too much in the last couple of weeks by favorites (Wood Memorial and Ashland Stakes anyone?) to play this one without any angles. With that being said I think The Factor is the class of this field and is poised to run big. In his last start the Bob Baffert trainee won the Rebel Stakes (gr.2) by six lengths, earning a 103 Beyer for his front running effort. The Rebel was his second straight Grade 2 victory after he captured the San Vicente in similar run away fashion. It is well documented that The Factor is an unratable speed ball who will be gunning for the lead right from the start. With 13 horses in the Arkansas Derby field he will have much tougher time setting the pace on his own terms.

Brethren’s star has probably fallen farther than any former leading Kentucky Derby candidate this year after his lackluster third place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr.2). After winning the first three starts of his career with impressive ease the bay colt failed to live up to expectations against a weak field in the Tampa Bay Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher has decided to add blinkers to help Brethren focus in the Arkansas Derby, feeling that his charge lost focus when he got to the lead in the Tampa Bay Derby. He has fired off two five furlong bullets at Palm Meadows Training Center, the last move he completed in a fantastic time of :59.00 flat. It seems like he could be a little out of his element running against such a competitive field after failing so badly against a weak field last time but he’s been training much better for this race than he did for his last so don’t be surprised if he bounces back with a stronger run.

Sway Away was last seen finishing a troubled 6th in the Rebel Stakes (gr.2) after smashing into the side of the gate at the break and knocking out some teeth. Before the Rebel Stakes Sway Away produced one of the most impressive late runs displayed by a three-year-old colt this year to finish second to The Factor in the San Vicente (gr.2). He has breezed twice over the Oaklawn dirt track in preparation for the Arkansas Derby. His last move, a six furlong move he completed in a final time of 1:12.60 came one week after he worked five furlongs in less than a minute. He should be ready to come back with a much stronger run than his incident-filled Rebel run suggests, he is a lot better than his six place finish there.

Alternation rides a three race win streak in the Arkansas Derby. On January 15th Alternation defeated fellow Arkansas Derby contestant Elite Alex in an Allowance race at Oaklawn Park by a head after a stretch long battle that resulted in a three-way photo finish. He has a pedigree to die for on both sides of his family as a son of Distorted Humor and his dam, Alternate, is a daughter of Seattle Slew. His last two works at the 5 and 6 furlong distance have been easy moves that border on slow but despite that he could make an impact in the Arkansas Derby as he has proven his class at Oaklawn two time now.

Because of time restraints I won’t be able to write about the other three colts I want to keep an eye on Saturday, Elite Alex, Archarcharch and J P’s Gusto. Of those three Elite and Alex will enter off a speedy 6 furlong work completed in 1:11.60. If Calvin Borel finally gives him a good ride this colt will be heard from big time. J P’s Gusto enters off a sizzling 5 furlong work he finished in :58.60 to earn the bullet. If that April 9th work doesn’t have him sharp for the Arkansas Derby I’m not sure what will.

Before I take off I have to make mention of a colt I think could be poised to become a major force amongst the sophomore ranks. In the January 15th allowance race that Alternation won by a head over Elite Alex the Larry Jones trained Commander finished another neck back in third. Commander has one of the most fluid strides in a horse I have ever witnessed, it’s truly a thing of beauty. I remember reading Larry Jones saying that he believed this colt could be one of the best of this crop if he would only stop goofing off in his races. Jones feels Commander is just like a teenager out for a run with his buddies when he runs his races but he was finally able to get the colt to focus in his last start when he won an allowance race after swerving to the inside behind the two leaders at the top of the stretch, being righted by Calvin Borel, then swerving in sharply again before finally angling to the outside and winning in a casual hand ride. He runs Saturday at Oaklawn in the 1 mile Northern Spur Stakes.

Posted in Alternation, Archarcharch, Brethren, Commander, Elite Alex, J P's Gusto, Norther Spur Stakes, Sway Away, The Factor | Leave a Comment »

The Florida Derby: ‘Big Five’

Posted by Brian Appleton on April 2, 2011

The Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 19th was hyped for weeks beforehand as the deepest Derby prep of the year. Well, the Grade 1 Florida Derby blows the Rebel field out of the water. Five graded stakes winners are set to contest the Florida Derby on Sunday and four of them are almost unanimously listed in the top ten of most Kentucky Derby contender’s lists, five if you count Flashpoint.

Fountain of Youth (gr.2) winner Soldat is listed as the deserving 9-5 favorite in the field of eight 3-year-old colts. Starting the year off with a 10 ¾ length romp in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park in the slop, Soldat next took the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream over Gourmet Dinner and To Honor and Serve on February 26th. He’s coming into the Grade 1 race off two strong 5 furlong works. On March 20th he went in 1:00.60 and then ran 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 one week later on Sunday.

Dialed In will be making just his fourth lifetime start in the Florida Derby. He started the year with a terrific win in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr.3) on January 30th in just his second career start, closing like an express train from far back to defeat Sweet Ducky and Gourmet Dinner handily. In his last start he finished second by half a length to older stablemate Equestrio in a 1 1/8 mile allowance at Gulfstream. He posted a fantastic half mile bullet on March 24th, getting the distance in :47.55. Trainer Nick Zito has been giving the Mineshaft colt long gallops to keep him fit between works and is extremely confident in his charge.

Stay Thirsty is still working his way out of Uncle Mo’s shadow even after a solid 3 ¼ length winning performance in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes on March 5th. He will be given blinkers for his second start of the year which trainer Todd Pletcher believes will help him focus more and not become intimidated running in tight quarters. He posted a relaxed 5 furlong move in 1:01.95 on Sunday that is much slower than the 5 furlong moves he was running before his Gotham Stakes win. It appears he may not be ready to run his best effort in only his second start of the year but owner Mike Repole is confident he will only get better as the distance increases and the 1 1/8 miles of the Florida Derby will be the longest he has ever run.

To Honor and Serve led many Derby Dozen lists at the start of the year along with Uncle Mo due to his impressive pair of Grade 2 wins as a juvenile last year in the Remsen and Nashua Stakes. He produced a flat performance in his 2011 debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, finishing a distance third to Soldat and Gourmet Dinner. He enters off a solid 4 furlong work he completed in a time of :49.00. He has recorded four works since his third place finish in the Fountain of Youth, two of those works he ran as bullets. Trainer Bill Mott has stated all along that the talented Bernardini colt would have only two Kentucky Derby preps this year in the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby. You can bet he’s going to make this race count for his charge.

When it was announced the undefeated Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes winner Flashpoint would run in the 9 furlong Florida Derby instead of the 7 furlong Swale Stakes on the same day things became much more interesting. A confirmed speed ball, Flashpoint will break from the far outside post while the other speed in the race, Soldat, will break from post #1. The question this front running son of Pomeroy needs to answer in the Florida Derby is whether or not her can carry his speed a distance and conserve his real running past 7 furlongs . If he is able to set reasonable fractions on the front end there’s a chance he could have some say as to the final outcome. If he rates that would be one of the biggest shocks of the year, to win he’ll have to pull of a ‘run them off your feet’ performance, something akin to The Factor.

Bowman’s Causeway, Shackleford and Arch Traveler complete the field and while anyone of them seem capable of moving forward if an upset were to take place it seems highly unlikely one of the ‘big five’ won’t win. If Flashpoint runs the way he has in both his career starts he should shoot straight out to the front with Soldat right there. Soldat will either need to refrain from contesting a heated pace or rate off it to produce his best effort with classy runners like Dialed In and Stay Thirsty closing from behind. To Honor and Serve could also play a part in pace scenario. Both his Grade 2 wins have come in front running fashion but with a speedball like Flashpoint winging it up front he’ll need to be a superhorse to hold the lead gate to wire this time. If any horse is set to benefit the most from a rapid pace scenario it will be Dialed In. If he stays well back as he has all year he might end up winning for fun like he did in the Holy Bull.

Posted in Dialed In, Flashpoint, Kentucky Derby, Shackleford, Soldat, Stay Thirsty, Swale Stakes, The Factor, To Honor and Serve, Uncle Mo | 2 Comments »

WRRB March 24th: Passion and More

Posted by Brian Appleton on March 24, 2011

The Factor has been stealing headlines line a fish takes to water since his impressive win in the Rebel Stakes on Saturday but there was a slew of other big stories this past week that can stand well on their own. For starters Havre de Grace announced she is ready to leap the proverbial barrier in 2011 and become one of the nation’s leading older female runners when she soundly defeated Blind Luck in the Azeri Stakes on Saturday. Many racing enthusiasts and industry insiders alike think she could well wind up becoming the leading older female by year’s end. She may just have caught up to her arch nemesis Blind Luck this year and looks unlikely to stop improving from here. The sky’s the limit with this impressive filly.

Hilda’s Passion took very little attention in online racing forums and media outlets over the weekend, even the bloggers were virtually silent on her blistering Inside Information Stakes (Gr.2) win at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. From start to finish the race was all about Hilda’s Passion who set swift fractions of :22.07 and :44.20 through the first half mile before shaking clear of Amen Hallelujah at the top of the stretch and romping home by more than 5 lengths. She stopped the clock in the stunning time of 1:20.45 for the 7 furlongs, breaking the track record of 1:20.88 set by Big Drama in 2009 on the dirt track. Together she, Big Drama and Tackleberry if he runs in more sprint distance races, appear to have a strangle hold on the sprint divisions this year.

Bandbox confirmed the confidence of many backers when he emerged victorious from the Private Terms Stakes on Saturday at Laurel Park by 1 ½ lengths, bringing his overall career stats to 4 wins in 6 starts. He will not be pointed to the Kentucky Derby trainer Rodney Jenkins said after the race while also stating, “We’re not going to rule the Preakness out. The horse is doing too good.” I for one hope they give his a shot. He is obviously talented but I love that he has shown the desire to fight for the win when he gets challenged in the stretch. That’s an excellent quality in any colt with his sights set on the Classics.

Kentucky Derby candidate Rogue Romance is off the Derby trail after a fracture was discovered in the colts left forefoot. In his last start the Smarty Jones colt finished third in the Risen Star Stakes on February 19th. Fortunately the injury has not been deemed career threatening and Rogue Romance should be back to run another day after approximately three months of stall rest.

For the second time in his life Square Eddie has been retired to stud duty after a tumultuous return to the races that saw him set a 6 ½ furlong track record at Santa Anita and finish unplaced in two Grade 1 races. After a stellar juvenile season in 2008 he never quite lived up to his reputation in 2009 as a 3-year-old and was shipped of for a stallion career last year.

Rigoletta, best remembered for winning the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes as a juvenile, has been retired due to a tendon injury discovered after he 6th place finish in the Honeybee Stakes. She has been moved to Drew Nerdiello’s Chesapeake Farm near Lexington Kentucky until breeding plans are finalized.

Zenyatta’s historic Breeders’ Cup Classic  run continues to be one of the most compelling stories in horse racing lore and ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic has been chosen as one of six nominees for a Sports Emmy Award. Here’s to hoping it wins and extends the saga of Zenyatta, adding to her already enormous list of victories, let’s have one more for the ‘Queen’!

Guess what race got a makeover last week? The Grade 1 Wood Memorial will no longer be said in a single breath as Resorts World New York has become the sponsor for the pivotal sophomore race changing the official title to Resorts World New York Wood Memorial (gr.1). Try saying that 10 times fast, I guarantee this is one race that will forever be referred to as ‘Wood Memorial’ or simply the ‘Wood’. Along with the name makeover the Wood purse has been raised to a dazzling $1 million. Let’s hope that can help attract a deep field to face Uncle Mo on April 9th.

This weekend headlines the Dubai World Cup card with a very diverse field set to contest the signature event while back home in the States we’ve got the Louisiana Derby stacking up to be one of the more intriguing Derby preps of the season with the return of Risen Star winner Mucho Macho Man.

Check in tomorrow on my Horse Racing Nation blog for a breakdown of some of the Kentucky Oaks preps this weekend.

Posted in Azeri Stakes, Bandbox, Big Drama, Blame, Blind Luck, Breeders Cup Classic, Havre de Grace, Hilda's Passion, Horse Racing Nation, Inside Information Stakes, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Oaks Runner, Private Terms Stakes, Rebel Stakes, Resorts World New York Wood Memorial, Rigoletta, Rogue Romance, Smarty Jones, Square Eddie, Tackleberry, The Factor, Uncle Mo, Wood Memorial, Zenyatta | Leave a Comment »

Fact Over Fiction: Rebel and Azeri Recap

Posted by Brian Appleton on March 21, 2011

It was well documented as the deepest Kentucky Derby prep field of the year but when all the dust had cleared and the race was run it looked more like a one horse show. The Factor remained undefeated Saturday in a dominant gate-to-wire performance, giving the field for the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes a thorough thrashing at Oaklawn Park and stamping himself as a serious contender on the Kentucky Derby trail. Leading into the race he was the deserving favorite but questions regarding his ability to handle two-turns while holding off a full field of talented colts abounded.

The Factor temporarily put those questions to rest as he bounded out of the gate in the Rebel Stakes, immediately seizing the lead and drawing away from the field. Down the backstretch he was already three lengths out in front for jockey Martin Garcia while Southwest winner Archarcharch stalked the pace with J P’s Gusto and Caleb’s Posse not far behind. As the field approached the far turn The Factor’s lead shrunk to less than 2 lengths as the field began to move up but the speedy son of War Front was toying with the competition, simply waiting for Garcia to let him do some real running. Halfway around the turn Garcia let the 3-year-old colt loose and received an immediate response as The Factor surged ahead with Caleb’s Posse making a powerful closing move from mid pack. Down on the rail Archarcharch was a clear second as The Factor began to extend his lead, drawing off to win going away by 6 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:42.19 for the 1 1/16 miles.

It was an impressive win for sure and proved that The Factor did not have as many distance restrictions as many people thought. He manhandled a deep field in the Rebel and soundly defeated Sway Away who many thought would turn the tables on his opponent after finishing a brilliant second to The Factor in the San Vincente Stakes (gr.2) last month. It was his diminishing ¾ length victory in the San Vincente that had most people doubting The Factor’s ability to hold off horses like Sway Away in a two turn race. I remember watching his gallop out after the San Vincente and seeing him pull away from Sway Away after that one came with a neck of him after the wire and that convinced me he would be able to get two turns. I was not convinced however that he would be able to win the Rebel over Sway Away or J P’s Gusto but he proved me very wrong. Aside from the winner only Caleb’s Posse made any rally worthy of mention and Archarcharch began a move that ultimately fizzled mid stretch.

Being an uncontrollable speed-ball who must be on the lead the big question now is whether or not The Factor can sustain his front-running ways in a 1 ¼ mile race, namely the Kentucky Derby. I doubt it. I think he is capable of successfully winning at 1 ¼ miles but not in the Derby with so many other talented speedsters breathing down his neck. He has speed, blazingly fast speed that isn’t cheap by any definition but in a Derby with an Uncle Mo rating comfortably behind or even helping set the pace, The Factor doesn’t stand a chance in my humble opinion. The Rebel Stakes was a great effort yes, but when compared to another colt’s 1 1/16 mile romp last year in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile I’d have to say it’s an easy choice for me who will be more prepared on the first Saturday in May.

Grace under Pressure in the Azeri Stakes:

Havre de Grace - Coady Photography

Oaklawn Park had the complete package on Saturday, featuring a riveting Rebel Stakes field as well as a stellar renewal of one of racing’s most spellbinding rivalries in the Azeri Stakes (gr.3) for older fillies and mares. 2010 Champion 3-year-old Filly Blind Luck was making her third start of the year in the Azeri after finishing second to Always A Princess in both the El Encino and El Canada Stakes, both Grade 2 events. She was facing her biggest challenge of the year in the Azeri in her arch nemesis Havre de Grace who pushed the champion to ever-greater heights of achievement and performance last year.

Last year Havre de Grace and Blind Luck were virtually inseparable in four consecutive starts with Blind Luck defeating Havre de Grace three times including wins in the Delaware Oaks and Alabama Stakes by nose and a neck. Havre de Grace turned the tables in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion, holding off Blind Luck’s furious late rally to win by a neck. In the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic the two fillies finished second and third behind Unrivaled Belle with Blind Luck once again finishing ahead of her counterpart.

The results were a little more dominant this time as Havre de Grace coasted from just off the pace to take control of the lead coming into the homestretch and Blind Luck launched her patented late rally from far back in last. Off the turn Havre de Grace steadily drew off as Blind Luck exploded from the rear, making up more than eight lengths on her rival down the stretch but she was once again too late. Havre de Grace cruised through the stretch under Ramon Dominguez to win easily by 3 ¼ lengths over Blind Luck who was a clear second.

Havre de Grace has been waiting to show how explosive she can be since delivering a brilliant 3-year-old season of racing last year and she made a good show of it in her 4-year-old debut for new trainer Larry Jones. It’s not hard to imagine this impressive daughter of Saint Liam continuing to improve this year as she risen to the challenge in each and every start of her career.

Blind Luck has been racing virtually non-stop since June 0f 2006 when she was a 2-year-old and has never finished worse than 3rd in her entire career, and hasn’t finished worse than 2nd in her last 10 starts but something just isn’t the same with her this year. She has now finished 2nd in her last five starts. Her two second place finishes to Always A Princess were dull compared to all of her 2010 performances and it surprised many fans to see her finish so far behind a filly that she should have handled with ease. We’ve all come to expect more from her than that, so five consecutive runner-up finishes is shocking to say the least. In the Azeri she produced an explosive move much more reminiscent of her 2010 rallies so hopefully she will be able to move forward off this run and find some luck next out. I still think it would be nice to see her get a well deserved break for a couple of months and then brought back fresh for a fall campaign where she could run to her full potential.

Posted in Always a Princess, Azeri Stakes, Blind Luck, Bob Baffert, Caleb's Posse, Havre de Grace, J P's Gusto, Kentucky Derby, Rebel Stakes, Sway Away, The Factor, Uncle Mo | 3 Comments »

Saturday and Sunday: Plenty of Action

Posted by Brian Appleton on February 21, 2011

Kathmanblu is off to a rip-roaring start in 2011 and her latest conquest came Saturday in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr.3) at Fair Grounds. She had to work a litter harder than she did in her last two starts but got the job done but with grit and determination to spare as she held off a strong rally from Inglorious to register a 1 ¼ length victory.

Check out the newest post at the Kentucky Oaks Runner blog on Horse Racing Nation tomorrow morning for a full recap of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes as well as the La Habra Stakes at Santa Anita today where both A Z Warrior and Rigoletta will be making their 2011 debuts.

 

Smiling Tiger has been a well respected runner throughout his career, never finishing worse than third in 12 lifetime starts, but he took his game to a whole new level on Saturday in the San Carlos Stakes (gr.2).

As the gates sprung open in the San Carlos Smiling Tiger stumbled sharply to the left, slamming into the gate before regaining his footing and taking up the rear of the field. In all his previous starts the Hold That Tiger colt has gone either straight to the lead or sat just off the pacesetters. Around the far turn Smiling Tiger began to make his move, coming four wide into the homestretch with Captain Cherokee the one to catch up front. In a very game and impressive effort Smiling Tiger got up in the final few strides to nab the win by a head over Captain Cherokee.

Smiling Tiger showed a new dimension winning the San Carlos from dead last in a sparking time of 1:20.30 for the seven furlongs. His main goal is the Met Mile in May with one more start possible between now and then.

 

If Smiling Tiger was impressive in the San Carlos Champ Pegasus was absolutely brilliant in the San Luis Obispo Stakes (gr. 2). Breaking cleanly from the gate, Champ Pegasus took up a good position a couple of lengths behind Bourbon Bay while Unbridle’s Dream winged it out on the front end. Down the backstretch Champ Pegasus began moving up quickly on Bourbon Bay in second but had to check sharply as he came up on that one’s heels, falling back to fifth. Coming past the stands for the first time in the 12 furlong contest Unbridle’s Dream was clear by more than 8 lengths. Down the backstretch the field began to close ground on the front runner, diminishing his lead to three lengths midway around the far turn. Bourbon Bay led the charge into the homestretch with Champ Pegasus less than two lengths behind. Off the turn came the field and the two favorites proceeded to put on a rousing show as Champ Pegasus drew even with Bourbon Bay and those two sprinted clear of the field.

Under a vigorous hand-ride Champ Pegasus battled it out with Bourbon Bay to the wire, no more than a nose separating the two at the wire. It was a very determined and striking victory by Champ Pegasus who reversed the result of the San Marcos Stakes (gr. 2) in January when Bourbon Bay won over Champ Pegasus by 1 ¾ lengths.

 

The Factor - Benoit Photography

The San Vincente Stakes (gr.2) was won by Bob Baffert’s incredibly fast 3-year-old trainee The Factor on Sunday. Running over a speed-biased track in the 7 furlong race The Factor surged from the gate and aggressively seized the lead from City Cool, zipping his first quarter mile in :22.20. Before the half mile that was run in :43.41 was over City Cool had had his fill, falling well off the suicidal pace being run by The Factor. Into the stretch The Factor with jockey Martin Garcia up kicked away to be two lengths clear of the field with the well-regarded Premier Pegasus running in second. Down the homestretch The Factor continued to pour in on as Sway Away launched a powerful rally from last off the turn to explode into the second spot, losing by just 2 ½ lengths to The Factor. Sway Away’s move from last was so instantaneous and powerful that I completely missed watching The Factor approaching the wire the first time I watched the race. My eye was completely drawn to Sway Away.

 

Mucho Macho Man finally had his day, and man did he ever make the most of it. In the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. 2) at Fair Ground Mucho Macho Man came from just off the pace set by Decisive Moment as the field entered the homestretch and surged to the lead. Charging hard for the wire the Macho Uno colt had enough left in the tank to hold off a serious challenge from Santiva late, winning by a comfortable 1 ½ lengths. Rogue Romance finished third as the favorite, 1 ¼ lengths behind Santiva with Machen just behind in fourth.

In his last race Mucho Macho Man finished fourth behind the undefeated Dialed In in the HolyBully Stakes. How good does this race make Dialed In look now?

 

Enjoy the great lineup of races today and prepare for another fantastic weekend of races coming up!

Posted in Bourbon Bay, Champ Pegasus, Dialed In, Mucho Macho Man, Premier Pegasus, Risen Stakes Stakes, Rogue Romance, San Carlos, San Luis Obispo Stakes, San Vincente Stakes, Santiva, Sway Away, The Factor | Leave a Comment »

 
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