12/13/2011 5:17PM

Hollywood: The Factor a Malibu candidate

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Shigeki Kikkawa
The Factor, Martin Garcia up, wins the Pat O'Brien.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The Factor, the winner of the Grade 1 Pat O’Brien Stakes in August but was winless in two important stakes in the fall, is a candidate for the $300,000 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, trainer Bob Baffert said on Tuesday.

The Factor worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 at Hollywood Park on Monday.

“Right now, he’s right on schedule,” Baffert said. “Right now, he looks good.”

The Factor was fourth in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes at Santa Anita in October and eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

The Grade 1 Malibu is run over seven furlongs. Trainer Steve Asmussen said last weekend that he could have two candidates in Rothko and Wine Police. Rothko has won three consecutive races, but has yet to start in a stakes. Wine Police won the Distorted Humor Stakes at Saratoga in September and has placed in two other stakes this year.

The list of Malibu candidates also includes Hoorayforhollywood, Racing Aptitude, and Smash, all trained by Baffert; Centralinteligence, and Casper’s Touch.

Comma to the Top, the winner of the 2010 CashCall Futurity, is being considered for the Malibu Stakes or the $150,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes over a mile on turf for 3-year-olds on Dec. 26, trainer Peter Miller said.

Sunday at Hollywood Park, Comma to the Top won an allowance race over seven furlongs. The win ended a five-race losing streak that included a second in the Santa Anita Derby and a 19th in the Kentucky Derby.

“He came out of the race great,” trainer Peter Miller said. “We’ve nominated to both and we’re just kind of playing it by ear at this point.”