MALIBU STAKES | PURSE: $300,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 1 | 7 FURLONGS
Fog City Stable and George Bolton's The Factor cruised to a decisive 3 1/2-length victory in the Malibu Stakes before a crowd of 44,579 on the Dec. 26 opening day card at Santa Anita.
After breaking quickly from the outside 11 post position, The Factor and jockey Martin Garcia dueled with Centralingeligence and Joel Rosario for the early lead before the latter dropped back nearing the three-eighths pole and was eventually eased.
A 3-year-old son of War Front -- Greyciousness, by Miswaki, trained by Bob Baffert, The Factor zipped along in :22.61 for the first quarter mile, completed the half in a quick :44.61, and got the six furlongs in 1:07.96. The colt went on to win by 3 1/2 lengths, with Rothko and Corey Nakatani finishing second. The 123 pound highweight, The Factor completed the seven furlongs in 1:19.89, just missing the track record of 1:19.70.
The winner paid $7.20, $4.80, and $3.60, with Rothko worth $6.00 and $4.00 and Associate returning $3.60.
The Malibu was the fifth win in nine starts for The Factor, who has now earned $652,180. The Malibu was the second Grade 1 win of the year for The Factor, who previously won the Pat O'Brien. Earlier in the season, the colt was a classic contender, winning the San Vicente and Rebel Stakes before finishing seventh in the Arkansas Derby.
Bred in Kentucky by H&W Thoroughbreds, The Factor was purchased at the 2010 Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training for $250,000.