The Factor...strikingly similar to Big Brown and Fusiachi Pegasus

The Factor...strikingly similar to Big Brown and Fusiachi Pegasus
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

With the second to last Kentucky Derby prep under his belt, The Factor posted an effort in the Rebel Stakes that draws striking similarities to the second to last prep races of both Big Brown and Fusiachi Pegasus!  While these Kentucky Derby winners did not share The Factor’s wire-to-wire running style, they both were presser types that were part of the early pace in their preps.  Going back to our exclusive Kentucky Derby Super Screener, check out these pace and final speed ratings for the preps leading up to the Derby for Big Brown, Fusiachi Pegasus and The Factor.






1st Call   2nd Call   Late Pace    Final Speed

Big Brown

Florida Derby

GP Allowance

1 1/8
1 Mile

107        117            98                     110

96          105            96                     105

Fusaichi Pegasus

Wood Memorial
San Felipe

1 1/8

1 1/16

100        115           108                    110
100        106            93                     103

The Factor

Arkansas Derby
Rebel Stakes

1 1/8
1 1/16

?              ?               ?                        ?
95          109            98                     106


A very interesting pattern emerges when we compare these runners.  The Factor’s Rebel Stakes pace and speed ratings are nearly identical to that of Big Brown’s second to last prep race going a mile at Gulfstream Park.  And, while Fusiaichi Pegasus went a bit swifter early on in the San Felipe Stakes, The Factor posted superior 2nd Call, Late Pace and Final Speed Ratings in his Rebel Stakes effort.


Now, look at the numbers both eventual Derby winners posted in their final preps.  This gives us a very useful benchmark for what we need to see The Factor produce if he has any chance of being considered a legitimate Derby contender.  Since he is a wire-to-wire type, a running style that has not yielded many Derby winners (and typically only if the Derby pace was soft), we need to be even more demanding about the figures he puts up in the Arkansas Derby.  According to our Kentucky Derby Super Screener, speed types have to post 1st Call and 2nd Call pace numbers of 105+ and 115+ respectively, to have a shot at winning the Kentucky Derby much like Big Brown did on his way to Derby glory.


Now, remember, it is not “what” pace and speed ratings horses have run in the their final preps it is “how” they earned those pace and speed ratings that separates contenders from pretenders.  Besides energy distribution profile, The Factor differs from Big Brown and Fusiachi Pegasus in another important way.  The Derby winners earned their pace figures while battling with others early on.  The Factor has been able to secure a lone lead in each of his three victories.  To date, he has not been fire tested by contesting the early lead with a fellow rival.  He may not get that opportunity in the Arkansas Derby if no other true speedster shows up.  But, you can count on relentless pressure in the Kentucky Derby if the likes of Uncle Mo and Flashpoint have anything to say about it.  It’s sure getting interesting isn’t it?


Alright let’s take a closer look at the Rebel Stakes and update our quality rating:


 Oaklawn ParkThe Rebel Stakes 1 1/16 miles


Beyer Speed Rating: 103

BRIS Pace/Final Pars:  First Call = 94; Second Call = 104; Final = 104

Actual Pace/Final:         First Call = 95; Second Call = 109;  Final = 105

Track Bias: None

Tough Trips: Sway Away encountered trouble early and was taken out of his game

Impressive Effort: None

HRN Pre-Race Grade = B+

HRN Post-Race Grade = A-

Notes: Not The Factor’s fault he had no takers on pushing him early.  He did what he was supposed to do, proved he can go 1 1/16 and turned on the after burners when challenged coming for home.  He moves forward again.  Really want to see him tested in the Arkansas Derby to become a believer.


You have to see the amazing offer that DISH is offering to Horse Racing Nation fans.  Check out the ad on our home page.  Get 80 tracks in your living room, NOW!  It's like having your own simulcast center without ever leaving your house ! Incredible!!!  Don’t miss all the final Derby preps action.


Check back on Friday when we preview the Louisiana Derby and the Spiral Stakes.  Coming soon, you’ll get your chance to order this year’s Kentucky Derby Super Screener only from your friends at Horse Racing Nation.






About Me

Mike has been a passionate horseracing fan for over 30 years. He received his “handicapping education” through countless hours of deciphering the mystery that is embedded in every race. It was the tough beats at the window, however, that propelled him to never make the same mistake twice (well, maybe three times).

As Managing Partner of Horse Racing Nation, Mike serves as investor, business advisor, staff handicapper and developer of handicapping content.

Handicapping the Derby has always been one of Mike's favorite endeavors.  He spends weeks compiling notes, speed figures and analysis in preparation for the big race.  In 2010, his HRN pals pushed him into packaging his time-tested methods into what became the 2010 Kentucky Derby Super Screener, an e-book that became extremely popular with HRN readers and was downloaded over 3,000 times.   

In preparation for the 2011 Derby, Mike will be "Rating the Preps" each weekend on the Derby trail.  The goal will be to build a good picture for which prep races are most likely to produce the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner.   

Top Stories

Seventeen graded stakes make the coming week busy...
The anticipation continues to build as we are less...
For the second time in the last six runnings of th...
Because early speed helps horses avoid the kickbac...
Training up to her next start in the Breeders’ Cup...