Baffert Should be a Derby 'Factor' Again

We're now just a few days away from the New Year, which of course means that juveniles will be officially turning 3 and the Triple Crown trail will launch into full swing.

It is impossible to talk seriously about the Kentucky Derby without mentioning Bob Baffert. There is no better trainer at preparing young horses for a run at the Triple Crown and it looks like the California-based Baffert will once again be loaded in 2011. And he will be even better prepared this year now that Santa Anita has returned to dirt.

Earlier this month I wrote about a few of Baffert's key horses to watch, including The Factor. Last Sunday, the son of War Front rebounded from a disappointing debut with a jaw-dropping maiden win in which he broke Santa Anita's six-furlong track record in 1:06.98 while romping by more than eight lengths over a good field.

The Factor, a $250,000 purchase at Barrett's May sale and out of the Miswaki mare Greyciousness, did what Baffert expected he would do in his first start, which was jump to the lead and run everyone into the ground. Well...kind of. He didn't expect him to go that fast. Rafael Bejarano was in the irons.

"I told the jockey's agent the day before the race that he should win by about five lengths and go about 1:08 and change," Baffert said Dec. 29. "When he hit the wire I thought I had it right. I thought it said 1:08 and four. But then someone said ‘I think it says 1:06 and four.' I said, ‘that can't be right. There must be a bulb burned out on the tote board.'

"He's a horse we've always been very high on. He has a lot of potential. The first race, we didn't want him going too fast but the jockey kind of grabbed him and then he got boxed in and had no chance. We never got a chance to see how he could run.

"I worked him just before this last race and he went a half in :47 and change. It was very impressive so I knew he was going to run well. He was just bouncing over the track. He came back after the race and didn't even take a deep breath."

Baffert said he has not yet decided where The Factor will go next, saying only that he will go right into stakes company. However, when asked about his soon-to-be 3-year-olds as a whole heading into next year he said: "I don't know yet. Some of them look pretty good but last year we had a cannon (Lookin At Lucky). That's what you hope for, a cannon. I'm not sure yet, but The Factor looks like a cannon. He's brilliant."

The Factor earned a 102 Beyer on a track that was playing incredibly fast that day.

Speaking of those other Baffert horses, he also had a very good-looking maiden winner on Monday. Uncle Sam (Tapit-On the Town, by Pleasant Colony) broke his maiden by 2 3/4 lengths going one-mile on the Santa Anita dirt in his debut. Uncle Sam, who runs for prominent owner Kaleem Shah, was a $210,000 Keeneland yearling. Baffert was impressed.

"We knew from the beginning he was a two-turn horse," Baffert said. "We thought about running him short but he probably wouldn't be that good so I entered him in this turf race hoping it would come off--which it did. I like how he re-broke in the stretch; he looked pretty good.

"I'm not sure what we'll do with him next. We're still waiting on all of these horses, they are still maturing. It's all about timing."

Baffert is also still high on Norfolk (gr. I) winner Jaycito, who was transferred to his barn by owner Ahmed Zayat after finishing seventh in the BC Juvenile for Mike Mitchell. Jaycito was given time off after that last race and has just recently returned to the track. He will have his first work in a couple of weeks and no race has been picked out.

Another top Baffert juvenile, Awesome Patriot, won an allowance race on Wednesday at Santa Anita. It was a scratched-filled race that went to post with just three horses but it turned out to be a good one, as he basically hooked up in a match race with BC Juvenile starter Riveting Reason. Awesome Patriot (Awesome Again--Tizamazing, Cee's Tizzy) ran a quick half mile (:22.47, :46.42) and still fought off Riveting Reason by a half-length after a stirring stretch duel. He finished up in 1:35.05 over the 'wet fast' main track. It was a very nice effort considering he was pinned down on the rail and could have easily folded to a pretty good horse that has been consistently running in grade I company. Baffert had been pointing Awesome Patriot to the CashCall Futurity but decided to go the conservative route and instead run in him the allowance. He was third in the Hollywood Preview on Nov. 20.

"I think he has a big future. I'm excited about him," Baffert said before the race. "I didn't want to take too big a leap with him (in the Futurity). When the condition book came out and I saw (the allowance race) I decided to go with that."

Also look for two promising Baffert 3-year-olds to return from the sidelines in early 2011. Smash, also owned by Shah, broke his maiden by 2 1/2 lengths at Hollywood in his debut this summer but was sidelined by what Baffert described as a minor stifle injury. He is now back galloping and will begin breezing in January. Smash, by Smart Strike out of Dixieland Band mare Dixie Holiday, was a $400,000 Keeneland yearling.

Also look for Coil (Point Given-Eversmile, by Theatrical), who Baffert bought privately before his maiden win in November, to return to training in February. Coil had a knee chip removed recently.


Leave a Comment:

Love 'em all

Speaking of The Factor, I saw his race on The Bill O'Reilly's Show a couple nights ago.  Wow!  What a pleasant surprise that was!  

TF is definitely a "Patriot" and definitely not a "Pinhead".  And, he just might be the real deal ... and "The Factor" just might be a perfect name for that one.

30 Dec 2010 9:08 AM

Mr Baffert is always loaded.

30 Dec 2010 10:31 AM

Let me know when any of them beat To Honor and Serve and then I will be impressed.  Until then...yawn.

30 Dec 2010 10:46 AM
Old Yeller

Can anyone tell me what happened to Georgie Boy out in West. Don't hear a thing about him. I know this is not the spot to ask but I'm trying anything. Thanks

30 Dec 2010 11:04 AM

another pearl of wisdom

30 Dec 2010 11:07 AM

It's always nice to have Draynay around for negativity.

Don't get me wrong, To Honor and Serve is a quality colt, but to crown a KD winner already is a bit pre-mature. We have a long way to go.  

Derby fever, catch it!  Obviously Draynay has.  

30 Dec 2010 11:12 AM
The Bid

Hey Dray....Uncle Mo Will have a say in the Triple Crown, If not WIN IT!!!

30 Dec 2010 11:14 AM


I really like to Honor and Serve but I have doubts about his prospect of winning the derby. This bit of historic cold facts may have no value but it forms the basis of my doubt. His dam sire Deputy Minister a grandson of Northern Dancer has an exceptional record in the Belmont. He is dam sire of Belmont winners Rags To Riches, Jazil and Sarava. He also sired Belmont winner Touch Gold. His derby record is not nearly as good. He is dam sire of Derby 3rd &4th place finishers Curlin & Jazil. Five broodmare sired by sons of Northern Dancer have produced derby winners i.e., Big Brown, Street Sense, Monarchos, Fusaichi Pegasus and Thunder Gulch. No grandson of Northern Dancer has been associated with a derby winning broodmare. There is always a first so I guess I should be more optimistic.

30 Dec 2010 11:22 AM

Seems that The Factor's next start should be over a mile among stakes company but not versus the top-notch aspirants; in order to calibrate whether he can run 10 furlongs or not. Its already a little late for him for the triple crown route and he needs more distance but don't err on trying him against the big ones, specially given the way he lost on his first race.

30 Dec 2010 11:47 AM

I'm not impressed with the soon to be 3yo crop. I strongly believe the Derby winner is still unknown to us all.

To Honor and Serve, Thats a pretty chalky prediction.

Uncle Mo needs more conditioning if he's going to get 1 1/4 (IMO). The pedigree scares me. He does like CD, though.


I appreciate your detailed comment.

30 Dec 2010 11:58 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I've been waiting for this article. I wanted affirmation straight from the horse's mouth (Baffert) of what I was thinking.  I have never seen one trainer with so many high quality Derby prospects. Even before I saw The Factor I thought Baffert had the best group. He's going to need a lot of help keeping an eye on this top notch stable. The Factor's first race was tons of trouble, and he did really well to finish 4th without ever really being able to get out of 3rd gear, maybe 2nd gear. Did Rosario not follow instructions? Could be. He doesn't have the mount. Uncle Mo impressed me with his professionalism. The Factor stunned me with his talent. He is number one on my list. It's not the time he did it in but how he did it with a long fluid stride. His legs weren't moving as fast as you would think you would see for a new record. Yes the track was playing fast. I also thought there was some kind of an error on the time or that it wasn't really 6 furlongs. 30-1 right now in the future book, down from 250-1. This is one of the few times I would take odds as low as 30-1 at this stage. I can't wait for this Derby ride, and his next race. Straight to Stakes is what I expected, the tougher the better. Mo has some company now, and Mo doesn't like not being the toughest kid on the block so they're going to meet after school, but maybe not til May. We have our East-West showdown, Mo vs. The Factor, unless someone dethrones Mo. I can't see The Factor being dethroned. Thanks for this article. Awesome.

30 Dec 2010 12:00 PM

I like The Factor, but I think he'll be Baffert's next Zensational and not a TC candidate.  The way he ran on the lead setting those torrid fractions does not suggest that he will be anything more than a top sprinter unless they can harness his speed and possibly get him to rate.  When using Beyers as a means of comparison, in spite of his fast time his race equates to Uncle Mo's 6F at Saratoga.  Not better, but on a par.  Now for the next step.

Regarding the rest………it’s way too early to tell, but I think that we are finally going to have a deep three year old crop, providing injuries aren’t a factor.  There are still some nice ones to come.

30 Dec 2010 12:19 PM

Would love to book action on any horse who ran a 1:06 and change 6 furlongs winning the Derby. Never gonna happen.

30 Dec 2010 12:30 PM


THE FACTOR: A lot of your supporters may think this colt is a crack sprinter based on his 6F TR. He has probably inherited a lot of his speed from his sire War Front. However, closer examination of his pedigree suggests he should be effective over a distance of ground. His dam sire Miswaki was produced from a Buckpasser broodmare. This might just be the reason he was able to sire an Arc winner and was broodmares sire of some top class turf routers. His second dam was sired by Icecapade who was the sire of Breeders Cup winner Wild Again. His third dam was sired by 1976 Kentucky Derby winner Bold Forbes. His dam line is loaded with stamina influence. What is additionally significant about this colt is the fluency of his strides when in full flight. He has energy efficient strides allowing him to skip over the ground. Less time spent on the ground is always good. I like everything about Uncle Mo with the exception of his action. He gallops with his head down and looks like a greyhound when in full flight. He must be putting enormous pressure on his shoulders. No wonder they are only targeting two preps before the derby.  

Uncle Sam: What exactly motivates owners to register these names i.e., Uncle Mo, Uncle Sam etc. An appropriate name for this colt would be ‘Tapit Colony’. Uncle Mo could have been named ‘Indian Arch’ Pardon my poor attempt at humor. I like Tapit a lot although I think his offspring’s are very soft. Uncle Sam’s dam sire is the 1981 Derby winner Pleasant Colony. The last derby winner whose dam was sired by a derby winner was Lucky Debonair the 1965 winner (45 years) The record of derby winners as derby broodmare sires would lead me to automatically eliminate this colt from the derby top spot in spite of his impressive maiden.

Awesome Patriot: He defeated Riveting Reason a colt that I am high on.  Riveting Reason must have returned to the races two weeks after his unplaced effort in the CashCall Futurity. If he had to fight off a colt that was making a quick return to the races he just might not be as good as Bob thinks.  On the subject of Riveting Reason, why would his trainer bring him back so quickly? This is a colt that has ability and a proven Derby pedigree. I think he is being badly managed.

Smash: I just love his pedigree (Raise A Native/Northern Dancer) cross. Lookin At Lucky was bred along the same cross. His dam sire Dixieland Band is one of several broodmare sires that have sired broodmares that have produced two derby winners. Dixieland Band is broodmare sire of derby winners Street Sense and Monarchos. If this colt makes the derby field, Dixieland Band will have an opportunity to joint Blenheim who is listed as broodmare sire of three derby winners.

30 Dec 2010 1:25 PM
Karen in Texas

Bob Baffert is always a "factor"! The Factor looked to be running smoothly and easily considering the record time. It will be interesting to see if he can stretch out and get distance.

30 Dec 2010 1:31 PM
Jason Shandler

Coldfacts: You are very high on Riveting Reason, the horse that Mo beat by 16? C'mon. Stop worrying about how much pressure is on a horse's shoulder and what kind of dog they remind you of, and focus on the speed and dominance. BAT and To Honor and Serve are also having two preps. Too much shoulder pressure for them too? Stop.

30 Dec 2010 1:36 PM


Beamer a very good looking dark brown son of Vindication just won what appears to be a maiden race at Tampa Bay. He was really laying impressively in the last and has the look of a Derby horse. Do you have him on your radar?  His connections are the same as Street Sense. Speedy Bob would certainly have this colt in his barn if not for the fact that he is a homebred

30 Dec 2010 1:50 PM
Jason Shandler

Coldfacts: Beamer ran for a tag in his debut last month, finished fourth. Bob could have had him if he wanted, as could anyone.

30 Dec 2010 1:57 PM


I was high on Mine That Bird heading into the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He finished last beaten about 10L. Six months later he closed from last to silence Churchill Downs. What lesson can be learned from this story? In six months a lot of thing can change and even 16L can be overcome. I only state an observation I made about Uncle Mo action. I meant no offence. When you highlighted Christine Daae, I stated that the filly hit the ground very hard and her prospect of remaining sound was remote.  Such an action was likely to put enormous pressure on her joints. I state a similar observation about Esky. I just state what I have seen. You are at liberty to disagree. If you wish me not to mention what I perceive to be issue with a particular horse’s action I am happy to obloige.

Both BAT and To Honor and Serve made 4 starts.  I am surprised they are also making two stats before the derby. Not a good idea when many 3YO will have far more foundation and this could be the equalizer for ability

30 Dec 2010 2:19 PM
Jason Shandler

Coldfacts: I dont recall you mentioning MTB in your Derby selections.

30 Dec 2010 2:23 PM

I hate the two starts before the Derby nonsense (despite its success for recent Derbys).  I think a horse should have 3 or 4 starts prior to the Derby, starting at 6 or 7 furlongs, going to 1 - 1 1/16 miles, then 1 1/8 miles.  This is what horses seemed to do in the 1970's.  If we were to train horses like that and then breed to the successful ones perhaps we could breed some stamina and soundness back into the breed.

That said, I love the Derby Trail and I think we have quite a few exciting prospects already in Uncle Mo, BAT, The Factor, To Honor and Serve and many others.  I am really looking forward to this year.

Coldfacts, are there any Afleet Alex's on the derby trail that you have a pedigree affinty for?

30 Dec 2010 2:53 PM
Ian Tapp

Here are top Derby contenders and their associated dog breed à la Coldfacts, who already nailed Uncle Mo as a Greyhound.

1. Uncle Mo (Greyhound)

2. Boys At Tosconova (by Officer) (German Shepherd)

3. To Honor and Serve (Doberman Pinscher)

4. Brethren (St. Bernard)

5. The Factor (Whippet)

6. Stay Thirsty (African Wild Dog)

7. Awesome Patriot (Golden Retriever)

8. Mountain Town (Bernese Mountain Dog)

9. Comma to the Top (Great Pyrenees)

10. Dialed In (Bloodhound)

11. Jaycito (Basenji)

12. Queen'splatekitten (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever)

13. Biondetti (Saluki)

14. Smash (Pug)

15. Astrology (Skye Terrier)

16. Santiva (by Giant's Causeway) (Great Dane)

17. Riveting Reason (by Fusaichi Pegasus) (Japanese Chin)

18. Rogue Romance (Bouvier des Flandres)

19. Pluck (Chesapeake Bay Retriever)

20. Mucho Macho Man (Chihuahua)

30 Dec 2010 3:27 PM

Bob Baffert always has horses to watch

30 Dec 2010 3:49 PM

ITapp..what-no pit bull?  Surely we have at least one biter in this group.

30 Dec 2010 4:32 PM
Ian Tapp


I think the Pit Bulls will come out later in the spring. Most likely, it will be the Holy Bull winner.


30 Dec 2010 4:39 PM

I love how people like the latest dish....all of a sudden since Uncle Mo hasn't run in a few weeks, he no longer is quickly people forget how quick he is and the 3 fields he demolished .... including the BC...The Factor will be a factor, but lets see Uncle Mo get beat before we throw him to Charles Town.

30 Dec 2010 4:40 PM

I love Baffert coming out strong opening week at Santa Anita. He also won today's first race with a 2 year old filly. I think he will be a factor this year and I think Awesome Patriot might be his Wimbledon. Nobody will suspect him to do much but he will win some derby prep, maybe the Sunland race. The Factor will be a presence but I am worried about him making the distance. I was real high on Coil but I have been worried about his injury. Jaycito will be a horse that will make noise bringing back Zayat after Esky.

Jason- Do you think Coil might get a chance to make any noise on the derby scene?

30 Dec 2010 4:46 PM

Ian:  HAH!   ;P

(Wasn't there a biter in this past year's Forego?  Was it Warrior's Reward? I'm not sure.)

I was very impressed by The Factor.  Waiting to see how he takes to the distance.

30 Dec 2010 5:35 PM
Zenyatta John

If your not aware of Dancinginherdreams - check her out as I think she might be the best horse of the upcoming 3 yr old crop regardless of sex.

The Factor is fast but probably won't get 10 furlongs.

Uncle Sam looked awesome opening up down the lane with a long easy stride. He will be Baffert's best shot.

30 Dec 2010 6:32 PM

New Jersey loves Bob Baffert and we hope to see him back here again this year.  Great article!  I hope Bob takes the Derby, the whole Triple Crown, and the "Haskell Invitational"Great to see we have some competition for Uncle Mo with The Factor.  I can't wait for us to be in full Triple Crown mode and out of this winter.  I'm just trying to start looking at the 2 yr. olds turning 3 and this article helped.  Heck, I can't get over Lookin' At Lucky being retired yet.  I wanted him around this year so badly, can't shake it off.  So much will change once the preps begin so I try not to get hooked on one just yet, the preps need to evolve more, some will come off the trail, and I don't want to be heartbroken just yet.

30 Dec 2010 6:52 PM

Whatever happened to Bull Creek?

30 Dec 2010 7:29 PM

ITAPP: that was awesome. I am starting to get excited and thinking that we are going to have horses added to this big list that we have not yet heard of. Yahoo!

30 Dec 2010 7:31 PM


You are LOL funny. I did not compare Uncle Mo to a particular breed of canine. I merely compared his galloping action to that for a greyhound. I am retracting this statement as it has obviously offended the Mo supporters. I will just state that I do not like his galloping action.

30 Dec 2010 7:42 PM

Uncle Mo for sure is a beast and BAT is going to get better too.  To Honor and Serve is at the top of my list on talent AND breeding. I have a feeling THS won't be meeting Mo until May.  With steroids a thing of the past I see no horse jumping up 15 lengths and suddenly becoming better than Mo and THS.  I will be betting against a horse winning the Derby near the front.  If someone asked me to place my bet today it would be THS.  January, February, March and April may help to change my mind but someone is going to have to beat him for me to do so.

30 Dec 2010 7:49 PM
an ole rail bird

great article about my hero mr. baffert. some great blogs about what the future holds, for our soon to be 3 year olds. and it just goes to show you that there will be horse racing, after zanyetta & rachel alexandra.

30 Dec 2010 7:49 PM

I can't believe Tapp made up that purebred list. He adores mixes. What gives, and where did he find the time? ... Anyway, how about Uncle Sam and Uncle Mo? That would be interesting. ... Love horses that make their first start around 2 turns and win impressively.

30 Dec 2010 7:53 PM


I use to write threads regularly on the MSNBC Message Board before it was shut down. I dedicated a thread to MTB heading into the 2008 BCJ. I recommended him as a live longshot. After his last-place finish I jumped ship. I lost touch with him and was unaware he was racing in New Mexico. Based on his graded earnings he was unlikely to get into the derby so I was not focused him. He actually backed into the derby because of defections. I did not have him in my derby picks. However, because of the love for May foals I boxed all the May foals, i.e., Pioneerof Nile, MTB, Musket Man and caught the EXT. Sadly did not box a TRI.  Jumping ship on MTB taught me a lesson in perseverance.

I wrote a thread on Rachel Alexandra after seeing her 2nd place finish in the 2008 Debutante. She was unknown then. I predicted that she would be a monster when given a distance of ground. I had no idea she would have been a mega monster. I also did a thread on Summer Bird prior to his 3rd-place finish in the Arkansas Derby. He had only a maiden victory to his credit.

If any of your supporters used to contribute to the MSNBC Message Board they can verify these disclosures.

30 Dec 2010 8:37 PM
Matthew W

Absolutely love this horse--really wish someone would step in and overrule  the track records--Spectacular Bid was the track record-holder--that should get the benefit of the doubt over a track that was playing, a'hem, a bit fast, shall we say?...c'mon, but they won't get it right, the wind could be 5 mph and a human cannot set a world record--that highway, where a maiden goes 1:06 and change--I love him (The Factor)--and I like Twirling Candy a lot, too--just don't tell me a horse who wins by a NOSE--is better/faster--that Spectacular Freaking Bid. Is that good for racing, to wipe out history with one rolled track?--and how will they come outta that, the (hard!) rolled track--rarely anything good comes of rolling them down--I love The Factor, love Twirling Candy--I do not love the ultra-fast track--not the wet-fast/rolled tracks--I am CERTAIN--it's the wrong way to go....

30 Dec 2010 8:56 PM
Matthew W

The Factor was a bright star on opening day, Santa Anita, maiden race....Uncle Mo was a bright star amongst other bright stars, like Zenyatta, Blame, Goldikova--he was right there with Zenyatta, in my opinion, that is, above the efforts of Blame and Goldikova--Uncle Mo ran the best Juvy ever, in my opinion, he just has that look, a look I have seen before, he keeps his head low, which I believe helps his breathing, great horses like John Henry, A P Indy, Snow Chief ran head-low. So far Uncle Mo reminds me a lot of Snow Chief, with that stalking gear and quick move to the front when roused--his BC Juvenille, over a tiring strip, and a fast time like that--I just think he's gonna romp in the Kentucky Derby, and it has been a long time since I've felt that way about a three year surprised if anybody steps up to beat him on that day, just think he's that good....'corse I thought that way about Snow Chief!

30 Dec 2010 9:10 PM
Paula Higgins

Still like Uncle Mo best. The Factor joins To Honor and Serve. Also like Danginginherdreams alot. ITA Zenyatta John. I also think that 2;24 is right, two races before the Derby is not enough.

30 Dec 2010 9:56 PM

I'm partial to Smash because he is by Smart Strike but he has missed a lot of time and I don't think Baffert is that high on him. I saw him make a comment a month or so ago that he might send him to New York. I don't think he would let a horse he was really high on out of his sight. Of the others, Uncle Mo has been so impressive it is hard to look past him. I do think this is going to be a deep crop though and hope many of the remain sound.

30 Dec 2010 10:38 PM

The Factor was awesome on opening day; Baffert is loaded as Todd P was last spring-;  numbers are good,  I will still take Fletcher and Mo.

30 Dec 2010 10:55 PM

Odd..I never said Twirling Candy was better than Bid...just that he broke Bid's record at SA.  There are many months ahead to gauge how good he really is, and I still think it's much too early to pick a standout until more preps are worked.  What I did react to was Dray's comment about "poly specialists" because Candy proved he's even better on dirt, after having raced well on poly.

31 Dec 2010 7:14 AM

Just a reminder - Super Saver won the Derby with only two preps last year.

I was opposed to it last year and that made me throw out Super Saver - and it came back to bite me.

A few others to keep in mind - Shadow Warrior , Tapizar , J.B.'s Thunder , and Bandbox.

Rick Violette is also loaded - I have four of his colts in my top 24 including Economic Summit , Read the Contract, Sovereign Default, and Leave of Absence.

31 Dec 2010 7:15 AM

Matthew W,

I admire persons who are passionate about a particular horse and are able to draw comparisons to support their passions. I have seen a number of impressive 2YO performances that have left pundits dead certain that the next Triple Crown winner had finally emerged. The approximately six months between the Breeder Cup and the derby has always resulted in a closure of the gap between the exceptional and the above average. Let’s use a recent example. Street Sense romped to a 13L victory in the BCJ gearing down in the fastest time recorded at CD for the race. It was unlikely that any of the colts that he defeated would turn the tables six months later in the derby. Well none did. However, He won the derby by 21/2L defeating Hard Spun who was not in the BCJ. The third place finisher in that derby was Curlin who was also not in the derby. Curlin would eventually go to defeat Street Sense in the Preakness.

To assume that no colt/filly will emerge to challenge Uncle Mo, is to assume that all other 3YOs are of similar in potential to those he defeated in the BCJ. These young horses tend to come into full bloom in the spring and an above average colt/filly can be transformed into a monster. Uncle Mo is a monster right now but he does not have a monopoly on this status.

31 Dec 2010 7:31 AM
Fran Loszynski

I don't believe in superstition so one for the girls:


I've followed alot of Baffert's racehorses in the past but his horses will have stiff competition with the Rylee. She has her Dad's kick-in speed. She has yet to find even another gear we haven't seen yet. Just my opinion.

31 Dec 2010 8:18 AM

Everyone have a safe, wild New Year's Eve.  Happy New Year!

31 Dec 2010 9:14 AM
Pedigree Ann

Laz, I have to agree about The Factor's probable distance limitations. His female family, the part of the pedigree most folks seem to overlook, is definitely sprinter/miler, which is also what his sire was. Miswaki was also more sprinter/miler than stayer as a racehorse; he sired his Arc winner out of a very stoutly-bred German mare and his BC Classic winner out of a solidly-bred American mare.

31 Dec 2010 11:22 AM


Of the Rick Violette’s colts cited in your post, Sovereign Default captured my attention and I have added him to my watch list. His dam She Is Raging reflects inbreeding to siblings. I get sucked in when I see inbreeding to siblings in a horse’s pedigree. A number of top thoroughbred dams reflect inbreeding to siblings. The pedigree of Seattle Slew’s dam My Charmer reflects inbreeding to siblings Striking/Busher (War Admiral/Baby League); Affirmed’s dam Wont Tell You reflects inbreeding to siblings Fighting Fox/Bull Dog (Teddy/Plucky Liege) Big Brown dam Mien reflects inbreeding to siblings Thong/Lt Stevens (Nantalah/Rough Shod). There are many others I could highlight. Sovereign Default’s dam pedigree reflects inbreeding to two of Ribot’s most influential sons His Majesty/Graustark (Ribot/Flower Bowl)


31 Dec 2010 12:08 PM
Matthew W

Coldfacts I am assuming there are not going to be any three year olds who are as good as Uncle Mo--I mean, this is horse racing, where you have an opinion or three, I'm saying it's rare for me to get all hyped up for a Derby horse in December, but, alas, I am...also to Slew, I wasn't challenging you/I was stating my opinion, that the opening day track at Anita was/should be rated BOGUS, and it's a shame a horse so historically important as Spectacular Bid gets his records discarded--just like that! Break his record in a ten length masterpiece--don't get a nosebob and tell me you're better than Bid--if humans need to be within certain wind paremeters for a 100 meter record, then equines should have SOME governing body to (at least) check out a track record--that track was too fast, and it's too bad/not good for racing to just toss out a track record by Spectacular Bid--nobody's saying Twirling Candy is better than Bid--especially not me!

31 Dec 2010 12:35 PM
Matthew W

I mean, horse racing is a sport where if you're wrong 50% if the time you're having a great day out there--maybe I'm wrong about Uncle Mo--I do NOT think he'll have trouble winning the Kentucky Derby, and if I'm wrong, so be it! What I saw himm do over that tiring track was inspiring to me--it inspired me to throw all in/look a little bit foolish--I'm certainly good at that (acting foolish), like I said, he might be another Snow Chief/might not want the tenth furlong--I think only distance will beat this colt/I'd be surprised if another horse comes along as good as Uncle Mo....

31 Dec 2010 12:43 PM


Same to you and to everyone else.

31 Dec 2010 2:14 PM
Sam Anderer

Well, at least there are some sight hounds in the bunch.  When you start calling any of them cheetahs then we can really notice.

How many of them were subjected to Winstrol or other steriods to bulk them up for the sales ring?  Those things have an impact on conformation, ligaments, tendons, calcium and other nutritional uptake, in other words screws with the whole metabolism long term.  How long will it be before we are no longer plagued by chemical off spring?  

31 Dec 2010 2:56 PM

Matthew W: I love yah, bud ♥ but we don't need feel good out-come based track records...don't worry, the Bid will always be the record on one day. His record will always speak for him.

It's only natural a Candy Ride could be that fast...I mean, CR did a mile in 1:31 flat and 1 1/4 in 1:59.1 (123 Beyer)...

31 Dec 2010 3:06 PM

Matthew W.,

 I don't know how fast the track played the day The Bid set the record, but Santa Anita was usually a very fast track back when it was dirt. I won't take anything away from any horse who runs that fast no matter how "souped up" the track was. Twirling Candy is a fast horse who just might win alot of races this year. I'm not saying he is the next Bid, but he is a fast racehorse.

31 Dec 2010 4:08 PM

Pedigree Ann,

I always respect your opinion but I bid to differ on the dam side of The Factor and the assessment of Miswaki’s potential as a sire and dam sire of route horses. I would have no problem with your analysis if the Native Dancer sire line to which of Miswaki belongs did not have the unprecedented level of success in the Triple Crown series of races.  

Subject to correction listed below is the record of the Native Dancer sire line in the TC series:

Kentucky Derby 17

Preakness 15

Belmont 16

Place & Show 33

The Native Dancer sire line has finished in the top three 81 times in Triple Crown races over the last 44 years. If you wish to add the 10F Breeders Cup Classic, the sire line has produces 7 winners. The success of this sire line in route races cannot be attributed to broodmares only. Native Dancer was monster router who was sire of two Kentucky Derby winners and broodmare sire of one. His most successful son at stud was Raise A Native and he became champion 2YO as a sprinter. This did not inhibit his ability to sire Derby and Preakness winner Majestic Prince whose loss in the Belmont prevented him from becoming the first horse to compete the Triple Crown unbeaten. It was his only loss.

This brings us to The Factor. A Miswaki broodmare should be capable producing a router base on the cold facts above. His second dam was sired by Icecapade a son of the great Northern Dancer one the most influential grand dam sire in TC history. Broodmare connected to the Northern Dancer sire line have produced the winners of 20 TC races. Do I need to mention that Icecapade dam Shenanigans was also the dam of the ill-fated Ruffian. Shenanigans was sires by whom? Native Dancer! Icecapade was the sire of the first Breeder Cup winner Wild Again. The factors second dam was sired by Kentucky Derby winner Bold Forbes.

Given the above cold facts do you still think The Factor will not be effective over a distance ground?

31 Dec 2010 4:56 PM

i like premire pegasus but every time he's about to face tougher competition he never runs. the owner was going to run him in the  hollywood futurity but he entered riveting reason instead. but awesome patriot seems to be interesting

31 Dec 2010 4:58 PM
John T

It,s the last day of the year and

tomorrow starts the serious road to

the Kentucky Derby.Whoever that lucky colt is going to be on the first Saturday in May I just hope he can go on to win another race.

It,s been a long drought since that happened and it is not good for racing when the Derby winner fails to win another race.

31 Dec 2010 5:35 PM

I love this time of year and to see how your horses are doing. I mean to create a top 20 or whatever list is a great marker for the derby and triple crown races. To see how my opinion changes from one month to the next or even from week to week make this a great time of year. I feel the horse you have at number 1 in december might not be even close when you get to the first Saturday in May. Right now I have my top 10 as follows:

1 Uncle Mo

2 To Honor and Serve

3 Boys at Tosconova

4 Rogue Romance

5 Brethren

6 Awesome Feather

7 Premier Pegasus

8 Astrology

9 Tapizar

10 The Factor

Who knows what horses will be in my top 10 in one month's time but I do enjoy tackling each week.

To everyone: I wish you a Happy New Year. I enjoy reading each person take each week(including draynay). Thanks Jason for having this blog(even for the avid triple crown follower who has a normal teaching job.) Be safe and kiss the one you want at midnight.

31 Dec 2010 5:50 PM

Still going to watch Rogue Romance develop..

31 Dec 2010 6:12 PM

lTapp...what? no Jack Russell!

31 Dec 2010 6:17 PM
Mike Relva


So you're saying in Dec. that Uncle Mo will win the TC? Don't see it happening. What happened to Lucking At Lucky drawing the one post in the Derby? How many of the horses' everyone goes nuts about regarding the huge upside that doesn't make it into the starting gate due to injury? Please.

31 Dec 2010 6:17 PM

look out for rumor half sister to dixie chatter just broke her maiden at santa anita impressively. oaks?

31 Dec 2010 6:19 PM
Matthew W

Rachel "only natural a Candy Ride is 1:19.70 fast?" Only natural, then, for an Eye of the Tiger to be that fast, as well! (Smiling Tiger)...only natural to go 1:06 in a maiden race?...and "only natural" for an old grump (like me!) to lament those times/that track....

31 Dec 2010 6:27 PM
Old Timer

The new Santa Anita is too fast and it is crazy. Period. That was very funny of Baffert saying "there must be a bulb out on the tote board."

As far as The Factor breaking his maiden in 106.4, no way, no how will that horse win going a mile and 1/4.

Uncle Mo is deserving 2 year old champ, but Street Sense was the only 2 yo champ of the last 30 years to win the Derby (since the Bid). So, although he looks head and shoulders above his class, he is bucking 29 out of 30 odds. It is indeed a long way to May.

31 Dec 2010 8:28 PM

I tend to side with Laz when it comes to The Factor.  No question he has talent and is fast, and he does have an efficient way of going, but it was only a 6 furlong race and his breeding doesn't scream 10 furlongs.  However, the one thing that makes me think he should at least get 8.5 furlongs (or maybe longer) is his damside, as Coldfacts has pointed out.

The Factor's track record should be taken with a grain of salt because the track was ultra-fast. Yet, Baffert is likely right that it was only a second or 6/5ths faster than par; a 1:08 would still be mighty impressive.

The Factor is not a big horse nor does he carry much weight, as some others have noted.  Given how well speed is likely to do at Santa Anita, he could face some serious pace pressure in the Santa Anita Derby and races leading up to it, as the winners of earlier preps are likely to also be frontrunners/stalkers.  I don't dismiss the possibility he can get 10 furlongs, but I will need to see him get at least a mile before I declare him the SA Derby winner.

It is no coincidence that the first day of dirt racing in California in about 3 years produced the most brilliant performance by a 2 year old during that time span.  In The Factor's maiden race we saw a type of brilliance that rarely if ever was produced on synthetic, particularly Pro-Ride; Sidney's Candy's San Vicente(as a 3 year old) was one possible exception.  

What I find interesting is that as brilliant as The Factor appears to be, Baffert rates him behind where Lookin at Lucky was last year, even though Lucky' had never run particularly fast.  Baffert calling Lucky a "cannon" in comparison to his prospects this year highlights the difference between synth and dirt racing.  Although Lucky hadn't turned in a really fast performance as a 2 year old, he had won 3 gr.1 races and was a certain Eclipse winner.  And on synth, much like turf, class is of upmost importance.  Although some observers were skeptical, Baffert was confident that Lucky's class on synth would translate into greater brilliance on dirt, and it did, with Lucky winning the Preakness and Haskell and likely a 2nd Eclipse.

The Factor is fast, but as Laz points out, he's still way behind Uncle Mo in terms of class and development.  And as fast as The Factor's time was, it translated into a Beyer roughly equal to Uncle Mo's Saratoga maiden back in August.  Since then, Uncle Mo has experienced two gr.1 races, both of which he won, and has proven himself equally fast if not faster up to at least 8.5 furlongs.  

As a side note, I have learned to appreciate synth racing, but it's good to have California horses back in a discussion of brilliance.

31 Dec 2010 10:32 PM

Welcome back, Jason, hope you had a Merry Christmas.

Happy New Year, everyone!


31 Dec 2010 10:57 PM

Do not mention The Factor in the same sentence as THS please.  The Factor will be no factor in May.

01 Jan 2011 12:24 AM

The Factor looked like a freak as he set the new track record at Santa Anita Park for six furlongs in 1:06.98. Don't let his fast time make you pigeon-hole him into a sprinter. If you watched his action it's effortless. He reminds me of Barbaro in how easily he gobbles up ground with his stride. I like the way The Factor glides across the track, he's fluid and fast. It's  a thing of beauty to watch. He looks like he can run all day long. I think the 7F (GII) San Vicente at Santa Anita would be a logical spot for his next race. We'll soon find out, if he's ready.      

01 Jan 2011 12:32 AM

Gun Bow,

I always appreciate your measured comments. I agree that The Factor is not a big horse. However, some past Kentucky Derby winners were not very big. The great Northern Dancer was regarded as diminutive as a yearling and was only about 15.3H as a 3YO. Mine That Bird and Smarty Jones were not very big horses. Why I am confident this colt will effectively get 8F and longer in good company is the manner in which he covers ground. He reminded me of the first time I saw Rachael. Her effort was a losing one but I none the less wrote a thread predicting that she would become a champion just by virtue of how effortlessly she covered ground. This was on big display in her Oaks victory. I often use the term “energy efficient strides.” My assessment of The Factor would read “A deceptively fast colt with energy efficient strides”. I would be surprised if he turns out to be just a sprinter as his action in not consistent with that of a sprinter. Admittedly, his sire was a middle distance horse at best but his dam line is loaded with stamina. When a horse like this emerges from the Northern Dancer/Raise A Native cross it should neither be taken lightly nor limitations place on it capability to get a distance of ground. This has been one of the most successful cross in the last 15 years with the biggest star being the very fast Dubai Millennium.

01 Jan 2011 1:21 AM

John T

“It’s been a long drought since that happened and it is not good for racing when the Derby winner fails to win another race”

I am sure you are referring to the last two Derby winners Mine That Bird and Super Saver. Be care full as you might take incoming fire from the Todd Squad for Super Saver. I get confused easily. Your quote gives the impression that Mine That Bird and Super Saver only victory came in the Derby. Mine That Bird and Super Saver recorded 5 & 3 victories respectively heading into their respective Derbies. The fact that they did not win a race subsequent to their derby victories is bad but not a bad as the 1933 Derby winner Broker Tip. The only victory in his racing career came in the Derby.

01 Jan 2011 1:39 AM
Bill C

I think Uncle Mo is a beast and is my pick right now for the KD and possible triple Crown. It was also nice to see Native Dancer mentioned thanks Longwaytomay he has always been overlooked IMO and is my all time favourite horse. He has been ovelooked on the track and in the breeding shed. I have always wanted to get that off my chest sorry if this is the wrong place for that but I do feel better. I think this years crop of two year olds is very strong and the racing will be fabulous. .

01 Jan 2011 4:57 AM

Just a quick aside...both in the BH and HRTV retrospect of racing's finest who have passed in 2010...why did everyone seem to neglect Kip DeVille?  Can your list be corrected?

01 Jan 2011 5:54 AM

Happy New Year and a big Happy Birthday to all the three year olds on the Derby Trail!  

It sure looks like Baffert has a number of triple crown contenders, but they are all going to need 4-5 races in 2011 prior to the Derby and they need graded earnings.  Come Derby day I wonder how much gas will be left in the tank.

01 Jan 2011 8:13 AM

I just have to say that beyers don't seem to mean a whole lot these days. Uncle Mo definately ran about a 104 in the Champagne with his final time of 1:34.2 and final quarter of 24 flat after effortlessly going 6 furlongs in 1:10.2 while being pressed the whole way. He actually wasn't even running hard the first 6 furlongs because he was being rated but he's so fast he still made the front end just like his debut. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile was impressive because he sat 2-2.5 lengths behind Riveting Reason and as usual just exploded in the sretch right on que for another easy win while still coming home without being asked for his best. As for Riveting Reason racing on short rest that has always been the way Myung Kwon Cho manages his horses. I'm one of his biggest fans if not his biggest and to suggest he is being badly managed is just dumb. Cho knows what he's doing. Premier Pegasus hasn't been running as often as Riveting Reason because Cho knows when a horse needs time between starts and when they need to stay active. He is one of the most underrated trainers in the game. The Factor is a sprinter who ran on a paved highway and his 102 beyer isn't an indication of his ability as Baffert would like us to think. He's one trainer I never listen to when he talks up a colt. To Honor and Serve is way too slow and his 102 beyer in the Remson is very inflated because he is the usual overhyped 2 year old we get every year. He won't be much of a factor at Gulfstream if he preps there. Simply put Uncle Mo is a super freak who hasn't had to show anything close to his best while crushing all comers who dare face him. His debut is the best ever by any horse of any age and he never has been in an all out drive while closing with blazing fast fractions. He's so fast that he makes the lead while being rated and he already has shown in the Juvenile that he can sit just off the pace with push button acceleration. His works are phenomenal as he works behind his workmates and wins by a neck and gallops out 10 lengths ahead of his workmates. All said if he stays healthy we may very well have our next Triple Crown winner.

01 Jan 2011 8:28 AM

Old Timer,

I'm not exactly sure off the top of my head how many BC's have been hosted by CD, but a good way to narrow that statistic down is to look at it that way. SS is still the only BCJ (when it was hosted at CD) however the horses that stat includes is a lot less than 29.

Most people who doubt the 2 preps should look at the last 4 derby winners. Also when looking at those horses look at what they had in common. 2 had dominating perfomances over CD as a 2yr old, which relayed into wins in the Derby. 3 out of the four made at least one prep in Florida, 2 of those horses running in the Tampa Bay Derby. Uncle Mo, I believe is under strong consideration for that very race. If he takes this route his last 3 races will all have been over 1 mile.

As of now, we know he will handle the crowd, we know he will handle the surface, we know he will rate, and we know he is heads and shoulders above his class currently.

01 Jan 2011 9:52 AM


I have Rogue Romance on my watch list. I think this colt id the real deal. I also have on my list an interestingly bred colt owned by the boys in blue. His name is Race To Dubai. He is a Storm Cat colt out of a rarely seen Dare and Go broodmare. You will recall Dare and Go ended Cigar's consecutive winning streak at 16 in the 1996 Pacific Classic.

I do not particularly like Storm Cat horses in the Triple Crown but his chestnut sons for reasons unknown are the one that perform at the highest level. Cat Thief, Giant’s Causeway, Tabasco Cat and High Yield are some of his best sons and all are chestnut. Call me crazy but I think it is the Secretariat part of his pedigree.

01 Jan 2011 10:21 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


    For The Factor I'd go with:

* Sham G3 3yo 8.5f 15 Jan SA. then

* Robert B. Lewis G2 3yo 9f 250k 12Feb then

* San Felipe G2 250k 8.5f 3yo on Mar 12, then

* SA Derby Apr 9th G1 One Million dollars, 3yo 9f then

* Kentucky Derby May 7th

* The Preakness May 21st

* The Belmont June 11th.

01 Jan 2011 11:23 AM
zenyatta mondatta

Slew,  over on DRF, Barbara pays tribute to horses that have gone on this year, and she does have a picture of Kep Deville. may he and the others RIP.

01 Jan 2011 11:31 AM
Forbidden Apple

The Factor may be a nice horse, but his 1:06 and change final time should not scare anyone. And Twirling Candy running 1:20 and change should also not scare anyone. These hotter than lava times remind me of when Santa Anita had a super scraped down track about 3 years ago. At this rate every single track record will be broken within the next month. I was excited about a new dirt surface, but I was not expecting highway 101 for horses.

I still say that Pluck was the most talented 2 year old of 2010. Comma To The Top seems to be getting very little respect when all he does is win and get better with every start.

01 Jan 2011 12:05 PM

Theres no doubt the factor is something special but until he goes over a mile who knows he could be a glorified sprinter. As far as to honor and serve he couldnt get a 1 1/4 in the back of truck....Uncle MO looks to be the real deal but i would love to see him rate farther back...If you want to truly see a derby prospect then just watch for the entries this friday or saturday at gulfstream when DIALED IN runs...His last race reminds me of street sense, denis of cork type running styles and thats what wins derbys NOT SPEED ON THE FRONT END...Just watch the 3 horse hes wayyyy in the back on the inside, he was left at the gate and blew the turn and still wins.. i know hes only a maiden but im very excited to see him go 2 turns

01 Jan 2011 12:54 PM


thats an interesting fact ill have to agree with you there about the chestnut storm cats

01 Jan 2011 12:58 PM

I agree with annie - "Tapp...what? no Jack Russell!"

They're fast little suckers.  And mine can carry his speed LOL.

I think The Factor physically looks like a sprinter.  Maybe he can get up to 9f though.  In any case, I'll be interested to see how he fares past a mile.

01 Jan 2011 2:18 PM

Forbidden Apple- that is what dirt tracks were like in California before.  I expected exactly what it is.  So, now everyone should be happy because there is a dirt track back in California.  Now what will be the excuse for not shipping horses West.  The track is too speed favoring?  That's what the excuse was before, so I'm expecting the same now.

01 Jan 2011 2:48 PM

Finally, maybe another promising Point Given colt. Glad he's with Bob B.

01 Jan 2011 4:04 PM
Mike Relva


Considering how many times you've been wrong you can't sit here now and declare The Factor is not a factor for the Derby. I'm not buying it!

01 Jan 2011 4:31 PM

Inquiry, I see you know nothing about pedigree.  1 1/4 is not the problem and never will be for THS.  Mo is a much bigger problem.

01 Jan 2011 5:09 PM
Old Timer

Scary, but I have to agree with Dray, The Factor will be no factor come May.

Trading Places, I do not disagree at all and I believe your stat is relevant (whether a horse won the BCJ at CD). All I am saying is that we've seen a lot of VERY formidable looking two year olds who never panned out come May of their three year old year. Arazi and Favorite Trick, for example, both looked very impressive at two years old. As someone said above, these young colts change a lot over this time period with some getting much better and others staying the same or regressing or not liking the distance.

I'd love to see Uncle Mo prove to be a thoroughbred star at three. He certainly looks the part.

01 Jan 2011 8:26 PM
Ian Tapp


Haha!! You wrote: "As far as to honor and serve he couldnt get a 1 1/4 in the back of truck...."

Really? He's by Bernardini, an A.P. Indy multiple G1SW at 10 furlongs, out of a Deputy Minister mare who was a SW at 8.5 furlongs.

The second dam also produced India, who despite being by Hennessy was a G2SW at 8.5 furlongs.

The next two dams are by distance influences Nijinsky and Graustark.

The pedigree screams a mile and a quarter...


01 Jan 2011 9:00 PM

I think hes a good horse i bet him in new york and he was all out to win, just watch this weekend im telling you this DIALED IN is something special...I just dont see anyone near UNCLE MO right now.

01 Jan 2011 9:09 PM

I hate to admit it but, I agree with Draynay. The Factor will be no Factor come the first Saturday in May.  

So, is IEAH finished?  Rumor has it their money man is being sued and it does not look good.

01 Jan 2011 9:29 PM
John T


 I think I made my point quite clear neither Mine That Bird nor

Super Saver wherever able to win another race after the Kentucky Derby,something that is not good for racing.I am glad you chose the 1933 running of the Kentucky Derby

to try and prove your point as without question it was the most controversial Derby ever run when

Brokers tip won it.Sometimes revenge can come swiftly and Head Play who finished second in that rough Derby went on to win the Preakness.

01 Jan 2011 10:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

More proof today with four Bowl losses including one annihilation of how incredibly overrated the Big Ten is year after year. They always get ranked way too high, and they always get into way too many Bowl games. The entire conference is made up of scrubs from top to bottom. Let then eat Wheaties or something. A diet of Cocoa Puffs and Cream Puffs and Twinkies and Jelly Filled Donuts is just not working.

01 Jan 2011 10:39 PM
Tom F V

"If someone asked me to place my bet today it would be THS.  January, February, March and April may help to change my mind"

Draynay 30 Dec 2010 7:49 PM

I'm sure you change your mind hour to hour and STILL come up with the wrong horse. :)

01 Jan 2011 11:15 PM
Matthew W

gree  with the pedigree asessmnt regarding MoMo--he's Snow Chief/gets the 1 1/16 like a champ, the 1 1/8, very likely...will he be able to go the Derby Distance? Mabye--and that's what makes this game so great--onnly the great ones can go fast all the way thru the tenth furlong....

01 Jan 2011 11:26 PM


The fact that you disagree with my comments about Reverting Reason does not make them dumb. The colt was second behind Comma to the Top entering the stretch of the CCF. He weakened to finish off the board. In my opinion the prudent thing to do was to give him a respite and bring him back in 2011 for some of the preps in Feb/March. The colt does have ability and should not be placed in situations that adversely affect his confidence. If the trainer was not the owner the start pattern would not be adapted. I have always been complementary Myung Kwon Cho but I have to be critical of what appears to be the over racing a young horse. This colt was placed in a G1 race while still being a maiden. He got killed

02 Jan 2011 5:34 AM
Mike Relva


You "have to agree w/ Dray". Please,that's a real laugh. How many times is he right? By Derby day he will have jumped on/off about a hundred horses by then. I say The Factor can get the distance. Good luck with agreeing with Draynay let me know how that works out for you. lol

02 Jan 2011 10:36 AM

Mike, grow up.  Unless something happens to Mo he is the horse to beat make no mistake.  He is simply too fast and there is not enough time for horses to get 10 lengths better to beat him.  However, THS is bred for the distance and if he doesn't beat Mo in the Derby he will rest for the Preakness and be back to beat him in the Belmont.  Mo is the fastest 2 year old I have seen since 1972.

02 Jan 2011 11:20 AM
Forbidden Apple


I prefer betting turf races anyway, so the dirt races are less interesting to me when a horse runs 1:06 and change for 6f. You have to admit that the dirt surface was blistering fast last week. Maybe it has too much clay in it. Like Matthew W, I find it hard to believe that Twirling Candy is faster than Spectacular Bid. And it's sad to see a true champions record fall to man made rock hard surfaces. If Twirling Candy ran 1:19 and change, I would think that the Bid could run 1:17 and change on this new dirt surface. Final times are only a number anyway, I don't see The Factor as a horse to fear just because of the track condition. My only hope is that we don't see an increase in breakdowns that will draw negative attention to the sport.

As I wrote back in early November, Tom Proctor is a top class trainer who I believe will have a smashing 2011. This guy can flat out train and care for a horse. I wish him the best of luck and hope that he lands an owner who will give him a quality horse on the triple crown trail.

02 Jan 2011 12:16 PM
Iron Maidens

It's my experience that the farther back one goes in the pedigree the less bearing it has on a horse's ability to get a particular distance.  It's a major stretch if one must go back three generations or more to bolster their argument.

The Factor appears to be a speedy colt, but blazing six furlongs in December doesn't bode well for getting 1 1/4 miles in May. The Factor's sire War Front (Danzig - Starry Dreamer, by Rubiano) has a pedigree leaning towards speed and never won a stakes race beyond six furlongs. At stud, the 2010 Freshman sire's offspring have yet to win beyond 1 mile 70 yards on dirt and his turf winners haven't gone beyond 1 1/16 miles. It's doubtful his offspring will want to go farther than 1 1/8 miles.

On the distaff side, The Factor's dam Greyciousness won 2 of 14 starts sprinting and was second once going a mile. She's a half sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Champagne Stakes runner-up Chief Seattle who failed to win past a mile.

The Factor's damsire Miswaki was also a sprinter; however, as a broodmare sire his daughters have produced 15 stakes winners that have won at 1 1/4 miles or longer, including the European sensation Sea the Stars and his Group 3 full sister All too Beautiful, Tattersalls Gold Cup victor Black Sam Bellamy and Arc de Triomphe hero Dalakhani.  The one thing all of these winners have in common is that their sires are all known stamina influences.  As a broodmare sire, Icecapade has produced no winners at 1 1/4 miles, and only one stakes winner (Atoned) at 1 1/8 miles, so it's highly unlikely that he will be a stamina influence for The Factor.  As for Bold Forbes, yes, he won the Derby, and Belmont, but like Miswaki, his daughters only produced stakes winners at classic distances when mated to stallions with known stamina attributes.

Overall, The Factor has the pedigree to handle a mile and could possibly stretch his speed to 1 1/16 miles. He may find 1 1/8 miles a stretch against top company and it's doubtful that he will be a factor at the classic distances.

02 Jan 2011 2:25 PM

DrayNay -- Georgie Boy has had various setbacks in 2010 - but he's getting ready to come back to the races soon!

02 Jan 2011 3:21 PM

OOPS - meant to address the Georgie Boy update to OLD YELLER.

02 Jan 2011 3:28 PM
Mike Relva


He might be the fastest as you've stated,but how many 'fast" horses have you seen in your time with all the potential in the world,that didn't make it into the gate come Derby day?

02 Jan 2011 4:23 PM

Can Robby A.  catch any luck?  I mean good grief he is having bad luck one right after the other.

02 Jan 2011 7:45 PM
Matt Converse

Jaycito is my #1 Derby horse.  He was 15 lengths behind the next-to-last horse after bolting a dozen lengths wide and nearly being pulled up after half a mile in the BC Juvy.  What he did from there was trulky remarkable.  He finished 7th and was only a few lengths from crashing into the superfecta.  His sneaky-good BC run after a terrible start has been overlooked.  Who ran the final 9/16th of that race the fastest?  It was Jaycito, who outran Uncle Mo by six lengths the last 9/16th, even though 'Mo was cutting some pretty nice fractions himself.  He's by Victory Gallop out of an Ascot Knight mare, so his best distance should be 10f to 12f.  

02 Jan 2011 7:52 PM
Matthew W

Matt interesting about Jaycito--this is a legit two-turn horse, who has already earned Gr 1 earnings in the Norfolk--sad that Mitchell lost him--he did the wet work, as they say--Baffert has done it and he gets him--I heard he contacted the trainer directly--right after the race--if that is true, I have no problems with that--none--Baffert trains for him, too, and I have no problems with Baffert--he is a straight shooter--he wanted him/he got him, end of story--I feel for Mike--it looks like Baffert is Pletcher this year--and Pletcher holds the ace...the "story" so far out here is Santa Anita is like old Longacres only faster--gotta think that's not good/gotta wonder "how does this happen"? Is The Great Race Place cursed?! Good point, matt--Jaycito is for real, and he's in good hands--the best--if you want to win The Kentucky Derby--Bob Baffert.

03 Jan 2011 12:26 AM

Matt Converse

I feel the same as you.  Although it's still early, he ran an impressive race in the Juvenile once he straightened himself out and started running.  The west coast horses are a lot better than many realize.  I don't think that The Factor is going to be a serious candidate, not with the way he set the pace in his record smashing run, but he should be near the top of the sprint division.  I like the way that JP's Gusto came back also.  I still think that Uncle Mo is at the top of the division but what I really want to see is a horse hook him and see how he responds.

03 Jan 2011 1:31 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

1. The Factor

2. Uncle Mo

3. Clubhouse Ride

4. Elite Alex

5. Cook Inlet

6. Sway Away

7. Jaycito

8. To Honor and Serve

9. Smash

10. Astrology

Early Derby List after three martinis, one without any olives.

03 Jan 2011 1:53 AM
Matt Converse

1. Jaycito

2. Uncle Mo

3. To Honor and Serve

4. The Factor

5. Sway Away

6. Mucho Macho Man

7. Boys at Tosconova

8. Tapizar

9. Brethren

10. Dialed In

11. Rogue Romance

12. Santiva

03 Jan 2011 2:51 AM

Iron Maidens,

Your post 02 Jan 2011 2:25pm was an excellent analysis of The Factors pedigree, top and bottom.  A very classy sprinter/miler he may become but he's a non-factor as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned IMO.

The top two derby prospects at this stage are Uncle Mo and Santiva.  

03 Jan 2011 9:58 AM

Forbidden Apple- I prefer turf also.  I don't think anybody believes that Twirling Candy is in the same league as Spectacular Bid.  Dirt tracks in California have been notoriously fast.  That was their hallmark.  I too hope that there wont't be a plethora of breakdowns.

03 Jan 2011 10:13 AM
Fran Loszynski

Even after a martini Dr. D., good choice #4. Elite Alex. Add Alexandra Rylee and you've got the olives.

03 Jan 2011 10:25 AM
Mike Relva


I think you left out TO HONOR AND SERVE as a top prospect.

03 Jan 2011 10:42 AM
Pedigree Ann

Iron Maiden, you said it better than I could.

I remember when Bold Forbes and Icecapade were racing. Icecapade was a sprinter/miler, longest win at 9f, best win at 1 1/16. Bold Forbes was a speed demon who used his class and guts to win longer races. He was staggering at the end of the Belmont, the stayers coming to get him, but he wouldn't let them pass him. He was never the same horse afterward and I think the industry under-appreciated what he had accomplished. I hadn't been a fan of his, but his Belmont made me respect him.

03 Jan 2011 11:03 AM


I agree that The Factor has a wonderful stride; he looked like a gazelle out there opening day.  Also, it is true that a horse doesn't have to be big to get a distance, with Northern Dancer and Affirmed notable examples.  I guess what I really meant is that his confirmation doesn't say to me distance(10 furlongs).  But I definitely give him a chance.

03 Jan 2011 11:12 AM

Alright, enough is enough with the freeway that is the new Santa Anita dirt course.  For opening day, it was ok, as it made a loud statement that dirt racing was back in Cali and allowed fast horses like Twirling Candy, Smiling Tiger, Sidney's Candy, and Switch to really strut their stuff.

However, seeing $20k claimers go 1:14 and 2, or modest allowance horses like Irrefutable go 1:07 and 1 is almost a mockery of the track records and standards of speed.

In addition, I was at Santa Anita yesterday and saw 3 horses vanned off after running on the dirt track.  2 of the 3 were unable to finish.  I honestly can't remember that happening on a synthetic surface the dozens of times I have attended the races in person; maybe La Brea day of 08'(Indyanne broke down in the stretch of the La Brea and I remember at least one other incident).

Let's get the track playing about 7/5ths slower.

03 Jan 2011 11:24 AM

Baffert is going to have to take on that buzz saw Comma to the Top sooner or later and with the track coming up lightning fast look for Comma to topple some records.  I do hope Coil can return to racing.  I really liked what I saw.  I think Jaycito is his best bet this early.  You have to like the Victory Gallop side of things but his run in the Breeder's Cup was just strange.  

03 Jan 2011 12:41 PM
Matthew W

Cho's horse Premier Pegasus is a runner/think he'll route...I'd put him on my list....

03 Jan 2011 2:21 PM
Matthew W

The day Bid beat Paster in the Strub, Radar Ahead beats Double Discount, in 1:14 for 6 1/2--I'm doing this on memory, I was there--track was fast, all right, but nothing like right now--Santa Anita is as fast/faster than any track in history right now....

03 Jan 2011 2:25 PM
Matthew W

The reason I remember so well about Strub Day, 1980, is: My boss gave me a parlay--he bet a straight Radar Ahead/Double Discount exacta--if that won (it did),I was to parlay it all on Shoemaker in the 9th, which was, in those days, the last race--he figured Shoe in the last/especially after riding The Bid in the 8th--it must have been an "important" horse for Shoe to stay for the last race--it turned out to be Swaps winner First Albert, he pays a ton and I gave my boss hundreds of dollars--he gives me back half(what a tip!)--I went to Santa Anita, got to see Bid break the world record for 1 1/4...and was paid! Radar Ahead was a real good horse--a distinctive brown color--dark chocolate--he was fast--he beat Affirmed as a four year old (Malibu I think) 7 fur--on the square--outran Affirmed...old Double Discount, big, bit swaybacked, old, all class...then Bid/Paster/Relaunch/Valdez in the Strub--what a foursome! Shoe in the last on a future Swaps winner/at boxcars! That is why the day stays in my memories--That cool, windy day stayed with me all these years...

03 Jan 2011 2:40 PM

Is Georgie Boy still with Kathy Walsh?  

Is Bob Black Jack still around?  Let's set some world records for sprinting distances on dirt.  

03 Jan 2011 2:42 PM


The only AP Indy line offspring that I'll accommodate on my list are those sired by Pulpit (Sweet Duckie) or Mineshaft (Dialed-In).  The Bernardinis, I'm leaving alone for now, until they convince me that the maturity lag for the Kentucky Derby doesn't apply to them.  Good luck to you with THS.

03 Jan 2011 4:46 PM

Ranagulzion & Pedigree Ann, thanks for the compliments.

I like Jaycito too.  Supposedly, he didn't handle the track which is unusual, since most of Victory Gallop's offspring do well at CD. I feel the move made by the Zayats to take Jaycito out of the Mike Mitchell barn and send him to Baffert is very telling.  The colt should improve with racing and hopefully will be a contender come Derby day.

My favorite is To Honor And Serve. I'm fortunate to live near Payson Park and have met him. I look forward to following his progress this winter.  

03 Jan 2011 7:53 PM
The Bid

Mike Relva or WHOMEVER you are...Dray has a way of enticing opinions from ANYBODY!!! I recall absolutely loving FRIESAN FIRE on These blogs a couple of years ago, and Dray was all over Dunkirk...Needless to say, we were both wrong(for ONCE)!!(I wish) Let me remind you...He and I got absolutely LAMBASTED on here re: Zenyatta and her POOR handling by one..MOSS!!! I leave that for another day!!! It is January 3rd...Mo may NEVER run again, I hope NOT, but he has IT!!! Whatever IT is... HE has it, and THS has absolutely a REGAL pedigree...Somebody needs to mention ROCKPORT HARBOR's son finished second by a whisker to THE FACTOR in that race, He should have a say on the TRAIL--Out West...Any thoughts on the Best 2yr. old Fillie- Turbulent Descent's unlikely but possible prospects for Derby or (DRAY dare I say) her possible run @ Rachel's 3yr. old campaign???? The BEST time of the YEAR is only 4 months away and it is a DAMN shame it only lasts for 2 stinking minutes..I am an ETERNAL OPTIMIST and THIS IS THE YEAR...Remember...1979 Should've been the last if it weren't for a BOBBY-Pin or some think it was R. Franklin, whatever it was... The Bid will ALWAYS be MY BOY and The ONE that got me all GEEKED-UP over the Ponies at a very impressionable age of 8... and have been an avid Lover of The Sport Of Kings ever since.......

03 Jan 2011 10:16 PM

Uncle Mo looks like a good clone of Seattle Slew, and his jump from maiden to grade 1 wins is really unmatched. I will be curious to see if he can top his 108 Beyer in in the BC Juvenile. If he can, and stays sound, he should be the only colt anyone needs to know for The Triple Crown. Yes, he has some pedigree issues, the same ones that plagued Secretariat. If I recall correctly, Secretariat buried those rumors and his rivals in The Belmont. His Beyer was 139 for that race.

So, if Uncle Mo beats his 108, I would guess 120-130 for the classics.

In short, forget the other colts/fillies/ The search is over. The question is not whether Mo can win the Crown, but whether he will beat Secretariat's speed figures. I think he can. I also think he is going to beat his pedigree.

03 Jan 2011 10:19 PM

Iron Maidens,

That was a very interesting analysis of The Factor’s pedigree and his potential to effectively get 10F.  I note that in spite of the extensive evaluation, you did not definitively state that the colt was incapable getting 10F.

“It's a major stretch if one must go back three generations or more to bolster their argument.”

No one can accurately identify the generation that contributes the most to a particular thoroughbred’s ability. If such a determination could be made we would not be having this exchange. The mention horses in the 3rd & 4th generation of a dam should not be seen as an effort to bolster a position. It is merely to indicate that there is sufficient stamina influence in the dam’s pedigree that could enable a particular foal to carry its speed over a distance of ground.

“ The Factor's sire War Front (Danzig - Starry Dreamer, by Rubiano) has a pedigree leaning towards speed and never won a stakes race beyond six furlongs”

Are you suggesting that a son of Danzig is incapable of siring a horse that can effectively get 10F in top class company? .

“The Factor's dam Greyciousness won 2 of 14 starts sprinting and was second once going a mile”

I am not sure of the value of this bit of information. Secretariat’s dam made one start and was unplaced. Big Brown dam made two starts with one win and Mine That Bird’s dam was unraced. Greyciousness has the profile for a derby winning broodmare.

“The one thing all of these winners have in common is that their sires are all known stamina influences.”

Let me see if I understand the above statement. All the top class winners at 1 1/4 miles or longer produced from Miswaki broodmares had sires with stamina influences. In light of this revelation Miswaki deserves no credit as he was a sprinter. Interesting! Clearly from the above, you place a lot of weight on the stamina influence of sires. If my assessment is correct, you are not being consistent. You have dismissed Miswaki as a stamina influence in spite of the fact that he sired Breeder Cup Classic winner Black Tie Affair and Arc winner Urban Sea.  I respectfully request that you must pardon my confusion. Why do the broodmares of a sire that has sired the winners of two of the world top distance races need help from a stamina influencing sires to produce top class stake horses? It does not compute.

“As a broodmare sire, Icecapade has produced no winners at 1 1/4 miles”

There are two sons of Nearctic that still appear regularly in pedigrees. One is Northern Dancer who was produced from a Native Dancer broodmare. The other is the above Icecapade who was also produced from a Native Dancer broodmare. I would not be so bold to conclude that Icecapade is not a stamina influence.

03 Jan 2011 11:27 PM


04 Jan 2011 6:23 AM
Love 'em all

The Factor's Bill O'Reilly poll results are in:

December 28, 2010

Is the record-breaking horse named "The Factor" a pinhead or a patriot?

Pinhead 8%  

Patriot 92%  

4204 total votes ... Poll closed on January 2, 2011.

Cheers to The Factor and to the 92% who voted for him being a "patriot".

04 Jan 2011 7:10 AM

There has been a lot of discussion of pedigrees on this blog.

I suspect this discussion will escalate after the 8th race at Gulfstream on Friday. I hope my horse does not win because it will affect his price on the Future Pool. I will pray for rain.

04 Jan 2011 7:54 AM

Santa Anita now a dirt track? Judging by the times I would think it was now a "concrete" track!Oh I know -"the horses just bounce over it"-we will see how many break down and how many come back after a meet running over it!

04 Jan 2011 8:17 AM


I have been reading these comments on Danzig as a stamina influence.

I have always been fascinated by Danzig. What I notice though, is that the dam of his best son at stud, Danehill, was by His Majesty out of a mare by Buckpasser. (Danehill produced both speed and stamina).

The dam of his son Stephans Odyssey was  by Gallant Man out of a mare by Ribot.(Stephans Odessey was a stayer).

The dam of his son Danzig Connection was by Sir Ivor out of a mare by Princequillo.(Danzig Connection was a stayer too).

Chief's Crown was out of a mare by Secretariat(Chief's Crown stayed).

There might be something to the belief that Danzig produces stamina when bred to stamina influences and is suspect as a stamina influence when bred to other mares. This is just a suspicion. I do not pay much attention to the pedigree of horses after they have raced 3 or 4 times because they show by then what they can do.

04 Jan 2011 9:10 AM

The Bid - I blame Ronnie Franklin much more than the safety pin.  It was once said about Secretariat that if it weren't for his human connections making mistakes he would never have lost a race.  The same could be said, I believe, about The Bid especially with regard to Ronnie Franklin and/or the connections' obsession with Secretariat's records.  If the Bid won the Triple Crown, I believe he would be universally considered one of the top 4 horses in North American history (with Secretariat, Man 'o War, and Citation).  I have the utmost respect for The Bid and believe that any discussion of the Top 5 or 10 NA horses must include him.

04 Jan 2011 10:07 AM

Jon...Uncle Mo a clone of Slew???  Do you want my glasses?  The only clones I have seen of Slew were Swale and Vindication (who were his sons).  Added to that, UM is totally unrelated to Slew and was sired by a sprinter, Indian Charlie.

04 Jan 2011 10:31 AM
Pedigree Ann


Urban Sea's dam Allegretta was a talented classic-distance horse (2nd Lingfield Oaks Trial) and a full sister to Deutsches St. Leger winner Anno: she was also half-sister to Anatas, winner of the Grand Prix Prince Rose, Belgium's top classic distance race at the time. Her sire Lombard won the Deutsches St. Leger, among other races. She was also inbred to Alchimist, a Deutsches Derby winner who belongs to the same female line as Allegretta's fourth dam, the Deutsches Derby winner Asterbluete. The stamina in this German bloodline in unlimited. Given this background from her mother's side, you cannot give Miswaki credit for Urban Sea's stamina; for a spark of brilliance, yes. For stamina, no.

04 Jan 2011 11:10 AM


Your defence of The Factor's pedigree in terms of stamina for the Derby distance is quite hollow Bro, with the greatest of respect for your opinion.  War Front, an out and out sprinter, sired by Danzig via a Rubiano broodmare is not going to throw a stayer that runs six furlongs in 1:06 and change.  Give it up my friend.  

I cant believe that one fast race on a souped up track by The Factor has enarmoured you so much that your sense of logic is warped.  The argument you raised about Black Tie Affair and Urban Sea to counter Iron Maiden's point only reinforces Iron Maiden's point.  Black Tie Affair's female family is loaded with stamina influences giong back five generations in which Hyperion, War Admiral and the blue hen mare La Troinne are all present.  It is superfluous to detail Urban Sea's female family.

Regarding Iron Maiden's assertion about Icecapade as a broodmare sire not producing winners at 1 1/4 miles, all you have to do is pull out the cold facts ...if you can find any.  Can you?

Otherwise let us watch The Factor's season and see who knows what they are talking about.  This is my last posting on this particular subject but I'll continue to follow the debate. .  

04 Jan 2011 11:14 AM

Jason, is it in the air or what? Bid, I wasn't all over Dunkirk I was all over Quality Road until he got hurt.  He was the best horse that year and I think he proved it later on.  Mo could be the next Citation. I would love it if he is but time will tell.  A undefeated Triple Crown winner would be great for the sport.  I still like my future bet on THS at 25 to 1.

04 Jan 2011 11:23 AM
Mike Relva


That's my real name,not using an alias.

04 Jan 2011 12:19 PM
The Bid

And Mike...MY Real name is Spectacular!!!!!!!!!lmao

04 Jan 2011 9:48 PM
The Bid

Seriously..My name is also Mike...Funny how WE Mike's always seem to find each other one way or another...Watching THS in The Remsen and Nashua, he REALLY scares me just by how easy he runs without exerting any energy...Curious though to see if His turn of foot is Anywhere close to Mo's...As well as his reaction to a Real Challenge before The Turn!!!

04 Jan 2011 9:54 PM

"Uncle Sam can find no more!"

18 Jan 2011 2:26 PM

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