May 24, 2020

Factor This beats his own course record in Muniz Memorial Classic

Factor This wired the Muniz Memorial Classic in course-record time at Fair Grounds (Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

After springing an 8-1 upset of the Feb. 15 Fair Grounds S. (G3) on the front end, Factor This turned in a resounding encore at 9-1 in Saturday’s $300,000 Muniz Memorial Classic (G2) at the same course and distance.

The Brad Cox trainee not only toppled a deeper field, but lowered his own course record from 1:47.29 to 1:47.21, to kick off a graded triple for the barn. Stablemates Bonny South and Wells Bayou went on to land the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) in what turned out to be the meet’s final day.

Campaigned by Gaining Ground Racing, Factor This strode to the lead through splits of :23.49 and :47.94 on the firm turf. Marzo took closer order and tried to increase the pressure through 6 furlongs in 1:11.46.

Factor This was merely humoring him. Turned loose by Shaun Bridgmohan entering the stretch, the son of The Factor kicked right away from the field and crossed the wire three lengths clear. His loyalists were rewarded with a $21 win dividend.

Forwardly placed Dontblamerocket held second by three-quarters of a length, with Rockemperor rallying a fraction late in third. Aquaphobia rounded out the superfecta, followed by 2018 Muniz winner Synchrony, non-threatening 2-1 favorite Instilled Regard, Marzo, the inconvenienced Channel Maker, Henley’s Joy, Bundibunan, Dot Matrix who lost all chance when breaking very belatedly, and Secretary at War. Captivating Moon scratched in favor of the New Orleans Classic (G2) where he placed second.

Factor This has now bankrolled $725,030 from his 28-9-3-4 line. Claimed for $62,500 out of a Saratoga wire job in August 2018, the bay progressed through allowance conditions in 2019 before making his mark in stakes company. He earned his first stakes score in the Aug. 4 Kentucky Downs Preview Kentucky Turf Cup at Ellis Park, clocking a 1 1/4-mile course record in 1:59.12.

Fourth when trying 1 1/2 miles in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3), Factor This dropped his next two allowances. At Fair Grounds, he placed third in both the off-the-turf Buddy Diliberto Memorial and Jan. 18 Col. E.R. Bradley back on grass, but has reached a new level since.

Bred by Maccabee Farm, Factor This initially sold for a scant $2,700 as a Keeneland September yearling and $11,000 as an OBS April juvenile. The 5-year-old is out of the Singspiel mare Capricious Miss, a full sister to 2010 Ribblesdale (G2) runner-up Eldalil from the family of Japanese stars Victoire Pisa, Asakusa Den’en, and Robe Tissage.