The Factor blew his rivals away in the San Vicente Stakes (G-2) at Santa Anita on Sunday February 21, getting the seven furlongs in a blazing 1:20.34. He was out-gunned by City Cool in the first few strides out of the gate, but quickly joined that one on the lead with the previously undefeated Premier Pegasus sitting a length back in third. The trio quickly put plenty of air between themselves and the rest of the field as they traveled the first quarter in 22.20 seconds. Picking up the tempo, The Factor put the put the pedal to the metal, gunning the half mile in 43.41 and putting 1 ½ lengths between himself and City Cool who was beginning to melt from the pressure. Premiere Pegasus raced as a team with City Cool and put that one away in the stretch. On the front end, The Factor kept going, getting six furlongs in a screaming 1:07.31. Meanwhile, Sway Away unwound from the back of the pack and whipped by the tiring field, gaining with every stride. The Factor was getting leg weary on the front end, traveling the last but held off Sway Away by a rapidly narrowing ¾ lengths. Gutsy Premiere Pegasus took third. To date, the Bob Baffert trainee has a 3-2-1 record and earnings $ 124,680. Not bad for a colt who brought $250,000 as a two year old in training and is poised to become a major player.
So just how far can THE FACTOR (War Front – Greyciousness, by Miswaki) stretch his speed? So far, the pretty gray colt is emulating his sire War Front, who was a top-notch sprinter. War Front preferred to play catch me if you can on the lead in most of his races. Although it took three attempts to win his maiden, once he figured out the game, War Front crushed his opponents by 25 lengths in three consecutive races, including the 1 1/16 mile Princelet Stakes at Belmont Park. Taking on graded stakes competition for the first time in the Discovery Handicap (G-3), War Front suffered his first defeat when he was rated off the lead. Learning a valuable lesson, the H. Alan Jerken’s trainee switched back to a sprint in the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G-3) but fell a neck short of victory after encountering some traffic. A few starts later, War Front became a graded stakes winner in the Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup In total, War Front started 13 times with a 4-5-1 record and earned $424,205.
Currently at stud at Claiborne Farm, War Front is a product of the historic Claiborne Farm breeding program and carries the bloodlines of some of their best stallions and mares. His sire, the internationally acclaimed Danzig, had amazing versatility, getting winners over all surfaces and at all distances. Danzig is also noted as a sire of sires and his sons stand at stud worldwide. War Front's dam was a multiple stakes winner and graded stakes placed. His damsire Rubiano was the champion sprinter of 1992.
War Front conveys his speed to his progeny, getting sprinter/milers over all surfaces. The second-crop sire has five offspring that have won beyond a mile, but only one, Soldat, who has been victorious at 1 1/8 miles. Soldat is out of a mare by Travers Stakes winner Coronado’s Quest.
The Factor gets his pretty gray coat from his dam, the appropriately named Greyciousness. The mare raced 14 times, but was victorious only twice, once sprinting over the dirt and taking a 1 1/16 contest over turf. She placed three times and grabbed the show spot twice for earning s of $ 64,680. Retired to the breeding shed, Greyciousness has produced seven foals of racing age, all have started and all except one have been victorious. The Factor’s half-brother Atlantic Vision (by Stormy Atlantic) won two graded stakes races in Kazakhstan. Greyciousness dam Skatingonthinice (by Icecapade) was a minor stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles over the dirt. Besides Greyciousness, she delivered the precocious Seattle Slew colt Chief Seattle, who placed in the Champagne (G-1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G-1) Stakes. He’s currently at stud in Indiana.
The Factor’s damsire Miswaki was a Group 1 sprinter in Europe. Although Miswaki was a sprinter, he inherited stamina from his damsire Buckpasser and passed these genes along to his offspring. Miswaki’s offspring include Breeders’ Cup Classic Champ Black Tie Affair, Irish 2000 Guineas winner, Bachelor Duke, and Pix De L'Arc De Triomphe (Fr-G1) heroine Urban Sea, who also earned Broodmare of the Year honors as the dam of the International Champion Sea the Stars. As a broodmare sire, Miswaki is currently #33 on the National Broodmare Sire list. His daughters are adaptable, with diverse progeny that tend to favor their sires’ influences either as precocious sprinters or stamina laden improvers.
So will The Factor be able to carry his blistering speed 1 ¼ miles? Conformation wise, The Factor appears to have the build of a miler-type runner. He has a smooth topline, a deep, but slightly upright shoulder, flat croup and long hip. He appears to have well-proportioned legs with good bone and muscling. The gray colt has a longer, smoother stride than a typical sprinter. If The Factor can harness some of his speed, he could successfully carry it to 1 1/16 miles or even 1 1/8 miles against top company, although this may not happen until he matures and gains racing experience. If The Factor is kept to shorter distances throughout the remainder of his three year old season, his owners may have a legitimate Breeders’ Cup Sprinter or Miler on their hands.