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LOUISVILLE, KY – Gaining Ground Racing’s Factor This extended his hot streatk to three straight graded scores after gamely taking the field gate to wire in Saturday’s $200,000 Wise Dan Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs.
Factor This was the even-money favorite as he broke from post 3 under Shaun Bridgmohan and set out on an early lead, but Ritzy A. P. kept him company through fractions of :23.93, :47.53, and 1:11.46.
Factor This inched clear at the top of the stretch, but he had no chance to catch his breath before English Bee came barreling down the lane after him. Digging in gamely late, Factor This held off his rallying rival by a neck.
The Brad Cox trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile firm turf route in a final time of 1:41.15.
“We got a lot of pressure early and, once we sort of got into a rhythm, I tried to wait on him as much as possible,” Bridgmohan said. “I looked over and (Ritzy A. P.) was actually about to take the lead, and then I had to go. He was still able to hold off the charge after getting that pressure early. He has a lot of fight and determination; he’s just getting better.”
English Bee was 3/4 of a length ahead of Parlor, who made an early stretch bid that he could not sustain. Aquaphobia, Emmaus, March to the Arch, Casa Creed, Just Howard, and Ritzy A. P. completed the order of finish.
Eons and Hembree completed the order of finish.
Factor This’ win followed similar front-running scores in the Fair Grounds Stakes (G3) and the Muniz Memorial Classic Stakes (G2). The 5-year-old offspring of The Factor now sports a record of 29-10-3-4 with $844,070 earned.
“That wasn’t as easy as an even-money shot is supposed to win but he ran a huge effort,” Cox said. “He got pressure early, and every step of the stretch, he was able to fight off his rivals. It was an impressive effort on the front end. We’ll get with the owners and determine a plan from here, but it was very exciting to see how hard he ran today with that adversity.”
Factor This returned $ to win, $ to place, and $ to show. Place brought back $ to place and $ to show, while Show paid $ to show.
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