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The Factor Sharp in Pat O'Brien

Bolton and Fog City Stable’s The Factor, lone three-year-old in a field of top sprinters, reaffirmed his credentials as one of the fastest horses in America with an impressive victory Sunday in the Grade I $250,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes, a supporting feature on the day of the $1 million Pacific Classic.

Staying on gamely in the stretch under hard urging from jockey Martin Garcia, The Factor, making his first start since last April when he was seventh in the Arkansas Derby, repulsed Smiling Tiger, the 7-5 favorite, after a prolonged battle and then pulled clear late to win by 1 ¾ lengths. Time for the seven furlongs was 1:21.56.

Camp Victory was a solid runner-up, a half-length in front of Crown of Thorns, with Smiling Tiger fading to fourth after dueling with the winner into the stretch.

The Factor, a son of War Front who set a track record of 1:06 4/5 at Santa Anita last winter, provided trainer Bob Baffert with his third consecutive success in the O’Brien, winning with Zensational in 2009 and El Brujo last summer.

The Factor, notching his fourth win in six starts, was the 8-5 second choice and paid $5.40, $4.20 and $3.20 while earning $150,000 to push his bankroll to $457,180.

The Kentucky-bred colt carried lightweight of 118 pounds, five fewer than Smiling Tiger.

Camp Victory returned $5 and $3.20, while Crown of Thorns paid $3.40.



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