Stoneway Farm’s Exfactor charged down the stretch, made the lead with just over an eighth of a mile remaining and drew clear to win the 110th running of the Grade III, $111,500 Bashford Manor for 2-year-olds by 2 ¾-lengths on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Trained by 71-year-old Bernie Flint and ridden by three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel, Exfactor covered the six furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.30. It was the second win in the Bashford Manor for the Flint-Borel duo, as the pair previously teamed up to win its 2008 edition with William Carl’s Screen Your Friend. Borel, who rode five winners on Saturday, scored his third Bashford Manor win overall as he won the race in 2000 aboard Phillips Racing Partnership’s Duality.
The 5-1 third-choice in the field of seven, Exfactor returned mutuels of $12.60, $5.20 and $3.60. Courtlandt Farms’ Power World rallied from sixth to finish second under Corey Lanerie and returned $4.80 and $3.60, while Dumbarton Stable’s Friscan, who set a rapid early pace under Shaun Bridgmohan, held for third and returned $4.60 to show. It was a neck further back to Klaravich Stables Inc. and William Lawrence’s Sum of the Parts, the 4-5 Bashford Manor favorite who broke in the air, but rushed to challenge Friscan for the early lead before giving way in the stretch.
The victory was worth $67,748 for Exfactor and increased the bankroll for the Kentucky-bred son of Exchange Rate to $109,348. The winner’s career record stands at 2-1-0 in three starts.
Exfactor broke last in the field of seven and stayed there as Friscan and Sum of the Parts led the field through a quick opening quarter in :21.59. Borel asked Exfactor for his run with three-eighths of a mile remaining and began to pick off horses as he swung five-wide entering the stretch. Friscan and Sum of the Parts led the field into the stretch, but Exfactor was rolling on the outside, stuck his head in front with an eighth of a mile to go and quickly drew away. Power World rallied from sixth and closed well in the stretch to gain the runner-up spot, but could not threaten Exfactor.
Chalybeate Springs finished fifth, and was followed past the finish by Bonaparte and Hot Speed. Lil Cherokee, Green Mouse, Tarpy’s Goal and Laurie’s Rocket were late scratches.
Racing continues beneath the historic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs on Sunday, July 3 with a 12-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m. EDT.
BASHFORD MANOR QUOTES
Bernard Flint, trainer of Exfactor (Winner)
“The game plan was (Stoneway Farm stablemate) Bonaparte was supposed to go to the front and carry the front end. But apparently it was quite hot out there and he couldn’t get there. But that’s OK because he was sick a couple of weeks ago and I had missed a work or two with him, so sometimes you’ve got to go with the one that’s best ready and that was Exfactor.”
Q: You were very confident before the race that Exfactor was going to run well …
“It was a question of whether I was going to hang around on the front end or go from behind (with Exfactor) and today I decided I’m going to go from behind – that’s it. We have two horses and that’s the purpose for an entry – for one to go on and set the pace, but the other one couldn’t even set the pace. It was vicious out there. It was an extremely good race with good horses, and it’s a pleasure to have something like that in the barn. I thank Mr. Stone for going out and buying these horses.”
Q: Is it more special at this time in your life and career to win a race like this with a young horse?
“This late in your life, you don’t usually get the opportunities. Everybody forgets about the old man, but the old man don’t forget what he learned. Mr. Stone must be congratulated for having enough faith in me to come back to me and give me a second chance. Hey, I’m tickled.”
Q: How much potential does this horse have?
“It’s unlimited, because if I can keep him coming from behind like that we’ve got the Breeders’ Cup right here. He’s a special horse, he’s been a special horse, but I didn’t have him ready to run the first time. … You can’t squeeze the lemon – you’ve got to be careful with what you do.
“The best 2-year-olds in the country have always come out of Churchill Downs. I don’t care what anybody says, whatever price they were or whatever it is, it’s the pinnacle of 2-year-old racing. And I’m just tickled to death at my age to have a horse like this. It doesn’t happen to a 71-year-old man, OK? But Mr. Stone had enough faith in me to say ‘Let’s go out and let’s go get ‘em.’
“It’s really a joy to win at home, but it’s even a bigger joy to have a truly good 2-year-old. No one ever commits suicide if they’ve got an untried 2-year-old, and when they’ve got a stakes-winning or graded stakes-winning 2-year-old, for sure you’re not going to commit suicide.”
Q: What do you think might be next?
“I’m going to see how he came out of this race and hopefully we’ll go on to Saratoga and we’ll wait here and lay in the woods and wait ‘til Breeders’ Cup.”
James Stone (Stoneway Farm), owner of Exfactor (Winner)
Q: What does this win mean for you?
“This means everything because we haven’t been here in seven or eight years. I guess we won the Stonerside Beaumont (at Keeneland) back in ’02, ’03, along in there. It’s that old country song, ‘If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.’ But it’s changed. I’m back to my first trainer, Bernie. We went through 54 trainers, but we’re back and he’s got all my horses.
“He’s got great eyes for picking just the physical horse. Don’t show him the pedigree. He just looks at the horse. We hooked up about a year or year and a half ago, and he’s got 30 horses in the racing stable, all told.
“You’ve got to have someone you can communicate with. That doesn’t mean Bernie and I always agree or he does it my way. He does it his way, but at least we have a great rapport and I’ve been taught more by Bernie Flint than any other individual in the horse business.”
"We’re just rollin’, we’re just loving it. We’re having fun. Whatever comes, it’s a pleasure.”
Calvin Borel, jockey on Exfactor (winner)
“I let him drop back out of there. I knew they’d have a little speed, :21 and :45, that’s pretty good fractions for a 2-year-old. I just said, ‘If we’re going to teach him, teach him right. That’s what Mr. Carl (two-time Kentucky Derby winner trainer Carl Nafzger) always told me. I’ll tell you what, he’s a nice colt and we’re trying to form him to be a nice colt to get on down the road and do bigger things. So I let him break and was just comfortable. He felt real, real good coming to the (quarter) pole, so I rode him with a lot of confidence. He showed up and gave me that punch. At the wire he was getting a little late, but not bad. I was very impressed.”
Q: What do you think Exfactor learned out of this race?
“A lot. I’ve been working him a long time and he’s very versatile. If you want him there (near the lead), he’s there, but he’ll sit back and make one run. I like that in a horse. Today was big plus for him. They’ll do it in the morning sometimes by themselves, but in the afternoon will they do it? You’ve got to check ‘em out and hope it works out if you want a good one that will fit down the road, and I think this colt can do it.”
Corey Lanerie, jockey of Power World (second): “My horse was good; he broke good today. He was maybe a little keener than I thought he would have been. But I was in a good spot and at the five-sixteenths (pole) I thought I had them. (Jockey) Calvin (Borel on Exfactor) came around me and swept by me. I kind of cut through a little bit and saved a little more ground but I just couldn’t catch him today.”
Neil Howard, trainer of Power World (second): “I thought he ran good. (Trainer) Bernie Flint’s horse (Exfactor) had been on my mind since he broke his maiden. That was a nice race first-time out. Obviously it would have been great to win it, but I love what I’m seeing with this colt for the future … you know, seven-eighths (of a mile) and the races this fall. He’s a nice colt, I think. I hope at least. This was a good group of two-year-olds.”
Leandro Goncalves, jockey of Sum of the Parts (fourth as the favorite): “He didn’t come out of the gate too good, just like during the first time when he broke a step slow. But (Bonaparte) broke out and (Hot Speed) came in and squished me a little bit. After that, he didn’t really relax for me at all. He got bumped from both horses, got mad and tried to run off the whole way. He didn’t have much finish and that’s why. I was never able to get him to relax for me and he didn’t finish strong like he had been training in the morning or like he did first time out. He’s a good horse, though. He’s just a young horse, very competitive and tried too hard. He just needs to learn to relax.”