05/20/2011 10:56AM

The Factor out with hairline ankle fracture

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Barbara D. Livingston
The Factor has been sidelined by a hairline fracture of a hind ankle.

BALTIMORE – The Factor, impressive winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn in March, is sidelined with a hairline fracture of a hind ankle, trainer Bob Baffert confirmed Friday. The injury was detected last weekend in a nuclear bone scan done by Dr. Larry Bramlage at the Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Ky., and has already begun to heal Baffert said.

Baffert said The Factor will soon ship from Churchill Downs to Southern California, where he will get an additional 30 days of rest before resuming training in late June.

After opting to skip the Triple Crown races with The Factor, Baffert was pointing the speedy 3-year-old to the Woody Stephens, a seven-furlong race at Belmont Park on June 11. The horse had worked twice in a six-day period at Churchill Downs, including a five-furlong move in 1:00 on May 10, three days after the Kentucky Derby.

Noticing that The Factor would “try to get out once in a while” in his training, Baffert opted to send him for a nuclear scan, which revealed the stress fracture.

“It must have happened a month ago,” said Baffert, assuming it may have occurred when The Factor finished seven as the 4-5 favorite in the Arkansas Derby. “It’s halfway healed up. He was never off on it, but it was biting him.”

The Factor has won three of five races, including the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita. Baffert hopes to have the horse ready for the King’s Bishop, a Grade 1, seven-furlong race at Saratoga on Aug. 27.

The Factor, a son of War Front, is owned by David Shimmon’s Fog City Stable and George Bolton.