The Factor Works Out
The Factor jogs under the Twin Spires
George Bolton and Fog City's Stable's THE FACTOR (War Front), who loomed as a possible favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1) until his seventh-place finish in last week's $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), got a feel for the Churchill Downs racing surface on Wednesday when he jogged a mile on his first day at the historic Louisville, Kentucky, track.
The Bob Baffert-trained winner of Santa Anita's San Vicente (G2) and Oaklawn Park's Rebel S. (G2) arrived at the home of the Kentucky Derby Monday afternoon following a plane flight from Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Lexington, Kentucky, and a subsequent van ride to Churchill Downs.
"He felt good," said Baffert assistant Peter Hutton, who was in the saddle aboard The Factor.
The Factor will be joined in Barn 33 on Thursday by Arnold Zetcher's homebred MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE (War Chant), the winner of the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and a contender for Kentucky Derby 137. The bay colt will be joined by PLUM PRETTY (Medaglia d'Oro), a 25-length winner of the Sunland Park Oaks and a contender for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), on a flight from Southern California that will carry several Baffert trainees to Louisville.
Missing from the flight manifest is Zayat Stables' Grade 1 winner JAYCITO (Victory Gallop), the San Felipe (G2) runner-up who was knocked out of the Santa Anita Derby by a foot abscess. Baffert had looked at running Jaycito in Keeneland's Lexington S. (G2) on Saturday, but his name was not among the half dozen three-year-olds entered in the race.
Trainer Juan Arias galloped Decisive Moment under the Twin Spires (Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs)
However, Baffert said by telephone on Wednesday that Jaycito's absence from Wednesday's flight should not be interpreted as an indication that the colt is out of consideration for Kentucky Derby 137.
"He's just not ready and I didn't want to bring him into bad weather," Baffert said. "I'm still working on the foot, so we'll keep him here where it's dry."
The Sutton Forwarding Company flight carrying Baffert's horses from California is scheduled to land at 12:45 p.m. (EDT) at Louisville International Airport. The horses should arrive at Barn 33 about 30 minutes later.
Two other Kentucky Derby contenders were out on the track Wednesday -- Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing Stable's MUCHO MACHO MAN (Macho Uno) and Just for Fun Stable's DECISIVE MOMENT (With Distinction). The pair galloped over a track left sloppy by a round of severe storms that rolled through the Louisville area overnight.
Trainer Juan Arias, who jogs and gallops Decisive Moment, was in the saddle aboard the Spiral (G3) runner-up.
Mucho Macho Man and Decisive Moment, both housed in Barn 41, walked off the track together.