05/31/2012 3:40PM

Hollywood Park: Baffert will keep star sprinters Roman Threat, The Factor separated

Benoit & Associates
Los Angeles Handicap winner Roman Threat will bypass the Triple Bend at Hollywood Park in favor of the Bing Crosby at Del Mar.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Trainer Bob Baffert is separating his top sprinters Roman Threat and The Factor in Grade 1 stakes in coming weeks.

Roman Threat, who won his first stakes in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on Monday, will not start again until the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 28 and will skip the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap on June 30.

“I’ll probably just wait,” Baffert said.

The reason is the presence of the five-time stakes winner The Factor, who finished sixth in the Golden Shaheen Sprint in Dubai in March. The Factor will make his comeback in the Grade 1 Triple Bend, which is run over seven furlongs, Baffert said.

Roman Threat races for breeders Hal and Patti Earnhardt. A 4-year-old gelding by Roman Ruler, Roman Threat has won 2 of 3 starts and $123,600. He was second to 2011 champion sprinter Amazombie in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes at Santa Anita on April 7.

The start of his career was delayed by “little issues,” Baffert said.

“It was nothing serious. It took him a while to come around.”

Jordan More than 1 year ago
After watching the LA Cap, I thought Roman Threat would be a bear in the Triple Bend. With Amazombie not at his best at 7 furlongs, and Smiling Tiger in questionable form, the race looked like Roman Threat's to lose. But The Factor is clearly a favorite of Baffert's. And The Factor is best at 7 furlongs. He'll run The Factor in the 7f Triple Bend, Roman in the 6f Bing Crosby, Factor in 7f Pat O'Brien, and then Roman in the 6f Ancient Title, with Factor either running there too or going somewhere else or just waiting for BC. The problem with running them both together is that both like to be on the pace. The Factor can sit to the outside of the lead maybe a half back, but he does need to be up right there close and on the outside to produce his best. And the problem for The Factor is that if he's up on a pace that's sub-22 and sub 44 (at Hollywood at 7 furlongs sub-45), he has trouble finishing. And Roman Threat can definitely go sub 45. If I was lucky enought to have them both, I would instruct Roman Threat to go to the front and for The Factor to get to the outside and on Roman's flank. Hopefully, the jockeys don't lose their heads and they can go 45 and it turns into a two horse race down the stretch and the best of the 2 wins. I'm not sure why the Earnhardt's would acquiesce with the plan given Roman Threat is sharp and clearly likes Hollywood. Maybe Baffert told them privately that if both were in the Triple Bend, The Factor would run Roman Threat into the ground? I don't know. I don't know how Baffert feels about Roman Threat, while I know he thinks The Factor is a superstar.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Roman Threat backed up some in the last half furlong of the Petrero Grande, probably will prefer 6f. The Factor is a 7f specialist, if he goes 22 and 44 he will kill the other speed, and the closers don't have the same kick in the last furlong to go get him in a 7f race. That's why he's unbeaten at 7f going as fast as he wanted. The Ancient Title is no longer a G1, Roman Threat will travel with Plum Pretty and Bodemeister to Belmont Park on Jockey Club Gold Cup day.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
And I, me got slammed for saying Baffert was smart for having Bode duck Cookie... Well now I'm sure those same folks will slam Baffert, right? Yeah, right !
Dan Cronin More than 1 year ago
I hope they win all summer so we got bad favorites in the BC
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Who do you suggest should be the Sprint favorite? Just asking. I say Amazombie. 6 furlongs his distance, Santa Anita a track he likes. The Eastern runners seem best at 7 furlongs+, with the exception of Force Freeze.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Force Freeze, Emcee, Smiling Tiger
Guy More than 1 year ago
What a pansy move by Baffert...run the best against the best...that is what horse racing is ALL about. Poor form Roberto Bafferto!