Pedigree Spotlight: The Factor, Jaycito & Cal Nation

March 21, 2011 02:03pm
Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 47

Pedigree Spotlight written by Scott Dick

The Factor keeps making me look silly. Every time I think this horse can't hold his speed he proves me wrong time and again. The Factor has now won three races in a row against only one career defeat, that being in his first race over Hollywood Park's synthetic surface.

The Factor is coming off a DOMINATING performance in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He showed his customary speed and cruised to the lead. He was able to settle and set reasonable fractions and by the time Caleb's Posse and Archarcharch made their run at him, It was way too late. The Factor drew off like a horse who can get 10 furlongs and won by an impressive 6 ¼ lengths. The time of 1:42.19 for the 1 mile and 1/16th's was also eye popping. It was less than a fifth of a second slower than Havre De Grace in the Azeri Stakes - the race that immediately preceded the Rebel. When you consider that Havre De Grace could very well be the best older female in the country right now, it puts the Factor's superb time into perspective.

The Factor's sire is War Front - a very talented sprinter who won the grade II Alfred G. Vanderbilt stakes at Saratoga. He also boasts a very impressive 2nd place finish to the super quick Henny Hughes in the 2006 Grade I Vosburgh Stakes.

War Front is quickly turning into a freak in the breeding shed. In his first crop he's given us two of the top contenders for the Derby, in The Factor and Soldat. War Front reminds me of Distorted Humor, in that they both were better going around one turn, but the progeny of both of these sires have been able to stretch out much further.War Front is also the sire of Grant Mills who has won 3 of 4 races, including the Grindstone Stakes at the Fair Grounds. He is also the sire of Derby hopeful Data Link. Data Link has won his last 3 races, all of them on turf.

The dam of War Front is Starry Dreamer. She was a hard trying filly who won 6 races in 31 starts, hitting the board 21 times in the process. She won the Regret Stakes on the turf at Churchill Downs at the distance of 1 1/16 miles. As good as she was on the track, Starry Dreamer has been even better as broodmare. She has produced 4 winners, including the colt and turf sensation Ecclesiastic and the Grade II winning filly Teammate - who won over $618,000 in her career.

The dam of The Factor is Greyciousness. She sports a lifetime record of 2 wins from 14 starts. She was able to win at the 6 furlong distance and the distance of 1 mile and 1/16th. Greyciousness has produced 5 winners.

Greyciousness is sired by Miswaki. Miswaki won 6 races in 13 starts, most notably having captured the grade I Prix De La Salamandre in France. Miswaki has been a very good sire. He produced the grade I winning colt Urban Sea- who won the prestigious Arc De Triomphe. He captured over $1,700,000 in his career. He also sired millionaires in Sir Shackleton and the champion and grade I Breeders' Cup Classic winner Black Tie Affair.

The dam of Greciousness is Skatingonthinice. Skatingonthinice won 8 races in 46 starts. She won the Miss Kansas City Handicap and the Minneapolis Handicap. She has produced 4 winners, including Chief Seattle. Chief Seattle, in only one year on the race track, finished 2nd in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Chief Seattle is the sire of the California millionaire and grade II winner Bold Chieftain.

The Factor reminds me a little bit of Foolish Pleasure. The Factor, like Foolish Pleasure, has been told he can't stretch out. Yet every time Baffert has asked him to run farther, The Factor has delivered- in eye popping fashion. He could definitely find himself in the Churchill Downs winner's circle for the Kentucky Derby just like Foolish Pleasure.

That said, I tend to go for a horse that has shown the ability to rate. Although every time I say he won't be...well...a factor, he shows that he might, ultimately, prove to be THE Factor.

Jaycito started his career in the barn of Mike Mitchell. As a two year old, he showed signs of having serious talent. He broke his maiden in the grade I Norfolk Stakes at Del Mar, defeating Derby hopefuls JP's Gusto and Riveting Reason. Off of that impressive victory, Jaycito's connections sent him to Louisville to take a shot at Uncle Mo in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile. The son of Victory Gallop showed his immaturity, dropping far back and nearly bolting in the first turn. It looked as if Mike Smith would have to ease him out of the race, but he continued on and actually beat three other horses.

Jaycito's ownership decided to make a change, moving him to the barn of Bob Baffert. He made his 3 year old debut in the grade II San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. That day, he settled far off the blazing pace set by Albergatti and Run Flat Out. He made a nice move on the turn to finish 2nd , but he was far behind the impressive winner Premier Pegasus. The connections of Jaycito are definitely expecting a much improved performance with this 2nd start of the year.

The sire of Jaycito is Victory Gallop - a real fighter on the race track. He captured several graded stakes wins, including the grade II Arkansas Derby, grade III Rebel Stakes, and the grade I Whitney Stakes. He's best known, however, for ending Real Quiet's Triple Crown run by defeating him in the Belmont Stakes. 

Victory Gallop was named Champion older male in 1999. He hasn't quite equaled his racetrack success in the breeding shed, but he has been productive. He is in the sire of the Japanese millionaires Eishin Dover and Eishin Lombard. He is also the sire of millionaire and multiple grade II winner Anak Nakal. Not to mention the filly Victory U.S.A. who won the 2004 grade II Beaumont Stakes. He is also the sire of Rendezvous who won the 2009 grade II Del Mar Derby.
The dam of Jaycito is Night Edition. Night Edition was a consistant mare. She only won 3 races in 32 starts but she hit the board in 15 of those 32 races. She was able to win an allowance race at the distance of 1 mile and 1/16th. 

Besides Jaycito, the only other horse Night Edition has produced is the filly Meli. In her only start Meli dominated a maiden field. Closing from far back, she relished the turf and cruised to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Unfortunately Meli was pulled up after the race and hasn't been able to make it back to the track.

Night Edition is sired by Ascot Knight - the son of Danzig (and we all know how good those Danzig's are!). The dam of Night Edition is Lydia's Star- who never raced. As a broodmare she has produced 3 winners, including the gelding Gst Blues - a sprinter whose career highlight was a victory in the Bull Page Stakes at Woodbine. Gst Blues won over $131,000 in his career.

Jaycito has the running style to relish the 10 furlong distance. But I question if he has the talent and composure to be a major competitor in the Kentucky Derby. He will definitely improve off his first start as a 3 year old, but he has a lot of catching up to do to run down the likes of Premier Pegasus, let alone Uncle Mo.

I won't count him out just yet, I think he can improve. He's certainly worthy of a place in the starting gate. And who knows what can happen in Kentucky?

The Nation is speaking and I am listening.

Cal Nation, arguably, had one of the most impressive maiden victories of 2011. Pressing a brisk first quarter mile of 22.1, and a half mile of 45 flat, Cal Nation strode to the lead under the hand ride of John Velazquez. The Todd Pletcher trainee scored the easiest of victories, cruising to a 7 3/4 length win. He finished the 7 Furlongs in an eye popping time of 1:22. Cal Nation stretched out to the mile distance in an allowance race on Sunday. He bobbled a bit at the start, and under the hands of the overly confident John Velazquez he took the lead passing Dance City. Johnny V waited until deep stretch to get into Cal Nation, but by that time it was too late. Dance City came back at him and put his nose down on the wire beating the Nation. While the race was something of a setback, Cal Nation did show talent, and in my opinion was the best horse in the race.

Cal Nation's sire is Distorted Humor. It seems like every week in this space, we spotlight a Distorted Humor colt. Still, in case you've missed our previous summaries, here's a quick refresher on Distorted Humor's background. 

Distorted Humor is a multiple grade II winner. He was best going the mile distance. He was a very talented and fast runner. And as I've just mentioned, he really has been remarkable in the breeding shed. Distorted Humor is the sire of grade I winners Drosselmeyer (last year's Belmont,) Any Given Saturday, Flower Alley, Commentator, the “Gutsy Gelding” Funny Cide, and Awesome Humor. Not to mention grade II winners Regal Ransom and Hysterical Lady.

The dam of Distorted humor is Danzig's Beauty. Danzig's Beauty was a lightly raced filly, winning 3 times in 8 starts. Her career highlight was capturing the Gardenia Stakes, she also had a credible 2nd place finish in the grade I Acorn Stakes. Danzig's Beauty has been a very productive broodmare. She has produced 6 winners, including the gelding Power of Humor. Power of Humor won 6 times in 35 starts. He was best going around two turns.

The Dam of Cal Nation is She's a Winner. The unraced mare She's a Winner has been an excellent broodmare. She has produced 5 winners, including the grade I winner and Kentucky Derby runner up Bluegrass Cat. She's a Winner is sired by the great A.P. Indy.

The dam of She's a Winner is Get Lucky - a very good filly, who won 5 times in 11 starts. The highlight of her career was a win in the Affectionately Handicap (G3).
Get lucky has been a sensational broodmare, having produced 8 winners, including the grade I winner Girolamo. She also produced the grade II winners in Daydreaming and Accelerator. She is also the dam of Supercharger who, of course, is the dam of last year's Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.

Cal Nation is very light on experience and has questions to answer. We really don't know how good he is or can be. He's only beaten a maiden field and his first attempt at a mile was unsuccessful. But his blood lines are phenomenal, with distance on both sides of his pedigree. His dam side has produced many distance winners and even a Kentucky Derby winner. Cal Nation will have to run in stakes company in his next race if he wants to find his way in the starting gate for the Derby. But if he can improve, this will be another Todd Pletcher horse that we'll have to look out for.

[For more the pedigree of 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders, please visit the HRN Pedigree Analysis page]


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Older Comments about Pedigree Spotlight: The Factor, Jaycito & Cal Nation...

I think The Factor is a brilliant runner with enough stamina in his pedigree to stretch that great speed he has to the 10f Derby distance. Now, as far as his running style goes, I agree with Zipse in that I like a horse that can rate for the Derby and even more I like fast closers with an awesome, strong late kick like Afleet Alex and Street Sense. Though, I'm not dismissing The Factor by any means. I will use him as long as he has a good 9f run in the Arkansas Derby. Obviously, Uncle Mo is the one to beat and I think he will have no problem with the 10f Derby distance, though some would disagree. He has showed that he can rate and I think he's getting enough stamina from his BMS, Arch, to excel at the longer distances. One horse that I like a lot right now is PrePeg. I was at Churchill when his daddy won it in '00. The San Felipe was very impressive and he has a great pedigree and gets plenty of stamina from the bottom half with horses like Summer Squall, his BMS, and The Axe. And having the great Secretariat in the X-passing position is a key part in passing the LH gene. PrePeg also has many great Reine-de-course mares like Blackball, Weekend Surprise, Source Sucree, Lavendula and more. I'm anxious to see how well he does in the SA Derby. I think this guy is starting to peak!
I've heard rumors he might ship to NY to run in the Wood. But that will be against UNCLE MO. We'll see he definitely has a belmont running style. He reminds me a bit of Summer Bird.
Guess we are maybe looking for Jaycito to skip the Preakness and run big in the Belmont?

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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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