The Factor's half-length win in the $200,000 San Carlos S. at Santa Anita was the second straight graded win for the 4-year-old colt and was the 11th straight winner, and 16 out of the last 17, for Bob Baffert.
The Factor was coming off a win in the Grade 1 Malibu S. on Dec. 26 and had some formidable opposition in the seven furlong San Carlos, namely 2011 Sprint Champion Amazombie. Using his customary front-running style, The Factor knocked out the first half-mile in :44.50 with a one-length lead. Amazombie tried to apply pressure in mid-stretch, but faltered in the final furlong. Sway Away put in a late bid but the winner was able to hold him off while hitting the wire in 1:20.56, under a second from the track record.
“I’m just glad The Factor showed up today,” Baffert said afterward. “He ran really hard. He was pretty tired when he came back, but we’re excited the way he ran. He’s always been brilliant from day one.”
Baffert said plans for the colt's next start are uncertain and right now he just wanted to enjoy the victory.
The trainer also shared credit for his stable’s remarkable run. “Like I’ve said, I’ve got a great staff,” he commented. “They work hard, everybody’s focused right now. That’s why we’re doing well. We’re picking the right spots for these horses, and that’s the most important thing.”
The Factor, a son of War Front owned by George Bolton and Fog City Stable's David Shimmon, has now won six times in ten starts and earned $772,180. His victories include the Grade 1 Pat O’Brien S. at Del Mar, Santa Anita's Grade 2 San Vicente S., and Grade 2 Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park.