03/06/2011 3:27PM

Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes new target for The Factor

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Shigeki Kikkawa
The Factor is going back to California after winning the Rebel, but is likely to return to Oaklawn Park for the Arkansas Derby.

ARCADIA, Calif.- The Factor, who has won two starts at Santa Anita in electrifying fashion this winter, is being pointed for the $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 19, trainer Bob Baffert said on Sunday.

The Factor won the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Feb. 20. Following that race, Baffert mentioned the $800,000 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico on March 27 as a possibility, but was leaning toward a trip to Oaklawn Park on Sunday.

“If he works well next week, and I’m happy with him, we’ll go to the Rebel,” Baffert said. “If I’m not happy, we’ll go to the next one. That’s my plan.”

The Factor lost his first career start, finishing fourth in a maiden race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28, but rebounded to win a six-furlong maiden race by 8 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita in track record time of 1:06.98 on Dec. 26.

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The Rebel Stakes is run over 1 1/16 miles and will be the longest start of The Factor’s career. Baffert admits that throttling The Factor’s speed may be difficult.

“I think he deserved one chance at two turns,” Baffert said. “He’s a runaway train.”

Owned by George Bolton and Fog City Stable, The Factor has earned $124,680 in his career. Purchased for $250,000 at the 2010 Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in-training, The Factor has worked quickly since his win the San Vicente. Saturday, The Factor worked six furlongs in 1:10.60, the fastest of 18 recorded works at the distance.