The Factor proved he can win going two turns Saturday, rolling to an impressive victory in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The next question is whether he can win going two turns while being pressured a bit more. If he goes in the Kentucky Derby, odds are he’s not going to have things his own way on the front end.
Next up for the Bob Baffert-trained colt will be the Santa Anita Derby on April 9 or the Arkansas Derby on April 16. Wherever he races next, it’s going to be interesting to see how The Factor fares. Right now, he’s taken the step from sprinter to viable Derby contender. Whether he can carry his amazing speed 1 1/4 miles is anyone’s guess, but last time I looked none of the contenders for the Run for the Roses had gone that far yet.
Our updated ratings for the 137th Kentucky Derby, which will be run May 7:
1. Uncle Mo — Todd Pletcher colt hasn’t done a thing wrong yet
2. Santiva — Looking at Blue Grass Stakes on April 16 as final Derby prep
3. To Honor And Serve — Bill Mott-trained colt will go next in Florida Derby on April 3
4. Stay Thirsty — Pletcher targeting talented colt for Florida or Arkansas Derby
5. Premier Pegasus — San Felipe score stamped him as legit Santa Anita Derby favorite on April 9
6. Jaycito — Needs to run big in Santa Anita Derby to warrant a look on May 7
7. The Factor — One of the most talented colts in America
8. Soldat — Will tune up for Derby with a start in the Florida Derby
9. Brethren — Disappointed badly in Tampa Bay Derby; needs to rebound in Arkansas Derby
10. Dialed In — Nick Zito’s best shot at third Derby victory; targeted for Florida Derby