Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 49
there is nothing more dangerous than good old fashioned speed, and that is
something The Factor has in abundance. Making every pole a winning one, The
Factor, under rider Martin Garcia, powered to the lead within the first few strides
and rolled to an easy six length score in today’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
pair of impressive wins sprinting at Santa Anita, there were many questions on
whether the son of first-year sire War Front could handle two-turns. At least
some of those answers were answered in high fashion this afternoon in Arkansas.
Fog City Stable & George Bolton, The Factor paid $4.80 as the 7-5 favorite
in the field of nine, in winning his third straight race after losing his
debut. Caleb’s Posse nipped Archarcharch for place money. For now the Factor’s
next race is uncertain, but the April 16 Arkansas Derby is a possibility,
according to trainer Bob Baffert.
be no doubt that The Factor’s win today was high quality, but what will it mean
as we close in on the Kentucky Derby? Today he ran 8 ½ furlongs with little
pressure. A good speed horse should be too strong for the rest after an easy
first part like that. Fractions for the grey speedster included a first quarter
in 23.33, the half in 46.77, six furlongs in 1:10.98, the mile in 1:35.99, and
the final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:42.99. Meaning he set quality, but
not blazing quarters of 23.33, 23.44, 24.22,
before finishing with a final 5/16 in 31.20. Solid, but the final part of the
race shows us that no one in the field was doing much running in the late
stages. By way of comparison, The Factor ran only .17 slower than the top older
filly Havre De Grace ran in winning the Azeri Stakes one race earlier.
forward seven weeks, whether The Factor turns out to be like many other speed
horses who were toasted by the early pressure and demanding distance of the Kentucky
Derby remains to be seen. Horses of great speed like Spend A Buck, Winning
Colors, and War Emblem were able to lead their Run for the Roses competition on
a merry chase, so there is hope. I am not ready to fully buy in yet, but he
does remind me of Winning Colors to this stage.
[How high will The Factor rise in the HRN 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders after today's impressive win?]