George Bolton and Fog City’s Stable’s The Factor, who loomed as a possible favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) until his seventh-place finish in last week’s Arkansas Derby (gr. I), got a feel for the Churchill Downs racing surface on April 20 when he jogged a mile on his first day at the Louisville track.
The Bob Baffert-trained winner of the San Vicente (gr. II) and Rebel (gr. II) arrived at Churchill Monday afternoon following a plane flight from Hot Springs, Ark. to Lexington and a subsequent van ride to the racetrack.
“He felt good,” said Baffert assistant Peter Hutton, who was in the saddle aboard The Factor.
The Factor will be joined in Barn 33 on Thursday by Arnold Zetcher’s homebred Midnight Interlude, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). The son of War Chant will be joined by Plum Pretty, a 25-length winner of the Sunland Oaks and a contender for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), on a flight from Southern California that will carry several Baffert trainees to Louisville.
Also settling in a Churchill was Robert and Loval Yagos’ Archarcharch, winner of the Arkansas Derby. He had an easy morning of walking under trainer Jinks Fires’ shedrow at Churchill Downs on Wednesday.
It was the colt’s first full day back in familiar surroundings at Churchill, where he trained last summer and fall and made his career debut in a runner-up finish in a November maiden race. He arrived at Churchill following a van ride from Oaklawn Park on Tuesday.
Two Kentucky Derby contenders—Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing Stable’s Mucho Macho Man and Just for Fun Stable’s Decisive Moment—galloped over a track left sloppy by a round of severe storms that rolled through the Louisville area overnight. Mucho Macho Man and Decisive Moment, both housed in Barn 41, walked off the track together.