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BALTIMORE, MD – Gaining Ground Racing’s Factor This dug in deep when headed and proved to be a game winner of Saturday’s $250,000 Dinner Party Stakes (G2) at Pimlico.
Bet down to 4/5 favoritism, Factor This broke well from the far outside post 7 under Florent Geroux and crossed over to the rail heading into the clubhouse turn.
Given an uncontested lead, Factor This posted opening fractions of :24.28, :48.74, and 1:13.61 while Somelikeithotbrown and Irish Strait gave closest watch.
Somelikeithotbrown tipped out to make a two-wide bid near the top of the stretch and met Factor This’ gaze momentarily, but the pacesetter dug in gamely and fended him off.
Drawing away inside the final 1/16 of a mile, the Brad Cox trainee crossed 2 3/4 lengths clear while completing the 1 1/16-mile yielding turf route in 1:46.17.
Despite his failed bid for the lead, Somelikeithotbrown crossed with his runner-up placing intact, while Hembree took third over Doctor Mounty by a 1/2-length.
True Valour, O Dionysus, and Irish Strait completed the order of finish.
Factor This’ win was his fifth of the year and avenged a last-out second in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes (G1), a defeat which ended his 4-race win streak at the time. The 5-year-old son of The Factor now sports a record of 32-12-4-4 with $1,242,780 earned.
Factor This returned $3.60 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Somelikeithotbrown brought back $3 to place and $2.40 to show, while Hembree paid $2.60 to show.
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