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Mar 25, 2011

The Factor likely for Arkansas Derby

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - The Factor, front running winner of Saturday's Rebel Stakes, is probable for next month's $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

Trainer Bob Baffert told Santa Anita Park's Ed Golden that the gray colt is likely to return for the April 16 race.

"He looked good today, he ate up well and all reports are positive," said Baffert by telephone Sunday morning. "I think he comes back to Santa Anita tomorrow. I don't know (if he'll run in the Arkansas Derby). Right now, I would say he's going back to the Arkansas Derby. I could leave him at Santa Anita, but I don't know. I'm just going to get him back here and look at him and I'll let him tell me where he wants to go."

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, The Factor took the lead out of the gate and proceeded to register a 6 1/4-length win over Caleb's Posse in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel. It was the three-year-old's first time around two turns.

"I thought he might run like that," Baffert said of the Rebel. "He was doing that well."

The Factor, who won the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita last month, covered the 1 1/16-miles in 1:42.19 on Oaklawn's fast dirt track.

"It was pretty amazing what he did today," said Baffert on Saturday. "This was a more demanding track than Santa Anita and he probably got more out of this than any race so far."

Exactly where Baffert's horse will go next is still up in the air.

"I have a lot of options with him," Baffert noted. "I could go anywhere. He's nominated everywhere. You never know where I'm going to go."



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