The Factor

published: 10 Jan 2015 in Stallion profiles

When you are hot in the breeding industry you really are hot, and there is no more sought after sire in the world today than Danzig’s son War Front who is getting Gr.1 winners in America and in Europe. War Front’s son The Factor (USA), a dual Gr.1 winner, has made quite a splash in the Hunter Valley this season, covering his first southern book on a $22,000 fee.

HANDSOME dual Gr.1 winner The Factor (USA), who has just finished covering his first excellent southern book at Newgate Farm, is a member of a hot new branch of the Danzig sire line. His sire War Front has electrified the breeding industry in the northern hemisphere since entering stud in 2007, with yearlings selling up to $US2.5m in 2014 and his fee at Claiborne Farm in 2015 is again set at $US150,000.

The Factor (ex Greyciousness by Miswaki) and Coolmore shuttler Declaration of War (USA) (ex Tempo West by Rahy), also a dual Gr.1 winner, are the first sons of Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 runner-up War Front (Danzig-Starry Dreamer by Rubiano) to stand in Australia, but given their sire’s extraordinary success of 33 stakes winners (eight Gr.1) in such a short space of time, they won’t be the last.

Henry Field, who has turned the former Brooklyn Lodge property at Aberdeen into a showplace during the past couple of years, was delighted to be able to secure the services of The Factor for Australian breeders. “At Newgate we are not trying to re-invent the wheel. Fast, good-looking horses by pre-potent stallions have worked in Australia, so we set about finding the fastest and best looking horse that we could, and that horse is a son of the globe’s emerging breed-shaper, War Front, named The Factor,” he said when announcing the horse would shuttle in 2014.

“As a multiple Gr.1 winner and record-breaking two year-old, The Factor was an outstanding racehorse, but what attracted us most to him was how perfectly he suits Australian breeding. He was brilliantly fast, so fast that his hall-of-fame trainer, Bob Baffert, described him a ‘freak’ and the fastest horse that he has ever trained.” The grey, a $50,000 weanling and then a $40,000 yearling, is from the first crop of his sire. John Moynihan purchased him as a juvenile for George Bolton, who named his colt after the Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor. The colt cost $US250,000 at a Barretts two year-old breeze-up sale in the US. Moynihan, a leading US bloodstock agent who was active in Australia at the sales in 2014, described The Factor as ‘a rocket-ship’.

“He’s the fastest horse we’ve ever had. Physically he’s a 15 out of 10, he really does have the physical presence to match just how fast he was.”

Fourth on debut over 6.5f as a favourite when ridden from behind on November 28, 2010, The Factor more than redeemed himself next time out on December 26. On Santa Anita’s new lightning fast dirt track he set fractions of 21.62, 44.11 and 55.42 to win by 8.25 lengths, running the 6f in a new track record (1:06.98). His first run in the new year came on February 20, 2011, when he ran 1:20.34 to beat a handy bunch of three year-olds in the San Vincente Stakes-Gr.2 (7f) at Santa Anita, runner-up Sway Away was three-quarters of a length behind the winner who was ridden by Martin Garcia. “He’s so talented,” Baffert said of The Factor. “I knew he was going to get a lot of pressure up front. I told Martin, ‘you are the speed. Let’s go with him and find out what he’s made of.’ He got a little tired at the end. That’s a nice horse who ran second.”

The Factor looked firmly on the Kentucky Derby trail when winning the $300,000 Rebel Stakes-Gr.3 (8.5f) at Oaklawn next time out on March 19 after an electrifying front-running effort that saw him come home 6.25 lengths in front of Caleb’s Posse in 1:42.19. Fancied in the $1m Arkansas Derby (9f) at Oaklawn on April 16, the colt finished seventh of 13. Tests after the race revealed he had flipped his palate and had a hairline fracture in a hind leg and his Derby campaign was abandoned.

Racing for George Bolton and David Shimmon’s Fog City Stable, he returned to the track on August 28 in the Pat O’Brien Stakes-Gr.1 (7f) at Del Mar, playing cutthroat with crack sprinter Smiling Tiger in a speed duel up front before drawing clear in the straight to beat Camp Victory in 1:21.56, just outside Camp David’s record on the Del Mar Polytrack of 1:21.71 set in the 2008 O’Brien. The Blood-Horse reported The Factor, facing the older horses for the first time and only the fourth three year-old to win the race in its 26-year history, “affirmed his status as one of the fastest horses in the country”.

Fourth in the Ancient Title Stakes-Gr.1 (6f) at Santa Anita on October 8 and then eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-Gr.1 on November 5, The Factor bounced back to claim his second Gr.1 in the Malibu Stakes (7f) at Santa Anita on December 26. He cruised home 3.5 lengths clear of Rothko, after leading and carving early fractions of 22.61, 44.61, 1:07.96 and easing up near the line to record 1:19.89, just outside the track record (1:19.70).

Given a break until February 25, The Factor claimed the San Carlos Stakes-Gr.2 (7f) at Santa Anita (from Sway Away) before travelling to Dubai where he was sixth in the Golden Shaheen-Gr.1 on March 31.

He was runner-up to Camp Victory in the Hollywood Triple Bend Handicap-Gr.1 (7f) on June 30 and bowed out of racing with a second to Aberzombie in the Bing Crosby Handicap-Gr.1 (6f) at Del Mar on July 29, 2012.

The Factor retired to Lane’s End Farm, near Versailles, Kentucky for the 2013 breeding season on a fee of $US15,000. “The Factor showed brilliant speed and exceptional scope and quality in his three seasons on the racetrack, and Lane’s End is very pleased to stand this stunning horse whose pedigree will be of great interest to breeders,” Lane’s End principal Will Farish said at the time.

Buyers from all parts of the globe clamoured to get youngsters by War Front in 2014 as his horses showed outstanding ability on dirt and turf. The demand for progeny of War Front (Danzig-Starry Dreamer by Rubiano) was there for all to see when a colt from Julie in Dixie (Dixie Union) made 1,150,000 guineas at the Tattersalls Craven Sale in mid-April to smash the European breeze up record, while a War Front filly from Pastel Gal (Lemon Drop Kid) topped the Tatts Guineas Breeze Up Sale, making 270,000 guineas in early May. David Redvers secured the filly, while a Coolmore syndicate (they are among the sire’s biggest fans) claimed the colt. War Front’s 35 yearlings sold at the 2013 Keeneland September Sale made $US14,057,000 and included the $US2.5m sale topper, a colt from stakes placed Blading Gold Ring (During), also sold to Coolmore.

Even the most enthusiastic fan of War Front could not have predicted this scenario when he retired to the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky in 2007 on a fee of $12,500, where his sire Danzig (Northern Dancer-Pas de Nom by Admiral’s Voyage), foaled in 1977, had stood throughout his long and illustrious career (also starting on a modest fee), retiring from active duty in 2004 (died 2006).

In fact there are parallels with another Danzig son in Danehill (USA), who retired to stud at Arrowfield in 1990 on a fee of $37,500 (his fee at Coolmore topped $200,000 at one stage) after winning four of his nine starts including the Ladbroke Sprint Cup-Gr.1 and went on to become a nine times Champion Australian Sire.

War Front also won four races, including three of his five starts at three, most notably the Listed Princelet Stakes (8.5f) by eight lengths. He also won an Allowance (6f) by six lengths in 1:09.31 and broke his maiden at Saratoga, running the six furlongs in 1:09.68 and cruising home by 11.5 lengths. 

His major win came at four when he took the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders’ Cup Handicap-Gr.2 (6f) by 2.5 lengths in 1:10.21.

“The race set up beautifully for War Front, who settled in third while racing off the rail as the speed burner Afrashad blazed through an opening quarter-mile of 21.08. Godolphin’s Afrashad, undefeated in three starts coming into the race, backed up quickly on the turn as outsider Bishop Court Hill took over the lead. However War Front, rallying four wide, surged past both of the frontrunners after a half-mile in 45 and was firmly in control at the head of the lane. War Front continued to edge away while drifting through the lane as Judith’s Wild Rush and Mass Media unsuccessfully attempted to muster a late charge,” reported The Blood-Horse magazine.

War Front also registered five seconds in his seven starts at four including in the Vosburgh-Gr.1 (6f to Henny Hughes), Forego Stakes-Gr.1 (7f, to Silver Wagon) and the Tom Fool Handicap-Gr.2 (7f to Silver Train, beaten a neck and recording a high Beyer Speed Figure of 114). He retired to Claiborne, where he was born and raised for owner Joseph Allen, after Claiborne purchased the breeding rights in the horse while he was still racing. An immediate success at stud, his fee had jumped to $US60,000 by 2012 (and $150,000 by 2014) after he had seven stakes winners and earners of $US2.7m in 2011 including Gr.1 winners The Factor and Summer Soiree.

Anyone who studies a photograph of War Front (or is lucky enough to view him at Claiborne) will no doubt be struck to his striking resemblance to his sire, a son of Kentucky Derby hero and super stallion Northern Dancer (who he also resembles, although a bit bigger at 16 hands), who won his only three starts before retirement because of a knee injury. In his 24 crops Danzig, also a sire of major winners on dirt and turf, had 1075 foals for 684 winners (64%) and 202 stakes winners (19%). His sire sons include Danehill, Chief’s Crown, Langfuhr, Anabaa, Boundary, Hard Spun, Belong to Me, Elnadim, Maroof, Polish Precedent and Bianconi.

War Front’s dam, the stakes winner and Gr.1 runner-up Starry Dreamer (six wins), is a daughter of champion sprinter Rubiano (Fappiano-Ruby Slippers by Nijinsky) and her seven foals also include the Gr.2 winner Teamate (A P Indy). Rubiano won 13 of 28 starts and $US1.2m and won an Eclipse Award in 1992 as Champion Sprinter in the US. The dashing grey won three Gr.1 events, the NYRA Mile, Carter Handicap and Vosburgh and retired to Lane’s End, Kentucky in 1993, the northern home for The Factor from 2013.

War Front’s second dam, the winner Lara’s Star, is a daughter of Argentinian champion Forli (dam sire of Nureyev) and from True Reality by Round Table. This is family 4r with close family members including Gr.1 winners Sunshine Forever (US Champion Turf Horse 1988) and Brian’s Time (leading sire in Japan), both by Roberto.

War Front has sired 33 stakes winners, eight of them Gr.1 winners. He had 18 stakes winners in 2013 including the Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1 winner War Command (also for a Coolmore partnership) and Declaration of War, who took the Juddmonte International-Gr.1 and Queen Anne-Gr.1 in very fast time.

In 2014 his major runners included the juvenile Gr.1 winner Peace and War (Alcibiades Stakes; dam by Smart Strike) and the Diamond Jubilee-Gr.1 runner-up Due Diligence (dam by Pulpit), the Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 runner-up Summer Front (El Prado) and the Gr.2 winner Pontchatrain (Housebuster). He has five crops of racing age with 167 winners from 244 starters and his 33 stakes winners represents a high 10% of foals of racing age. He also has 20 stakes placed runners. Since retiring to stud his stock have won 457 races and earned $US25.7m (to mid-December). He has had 64 juvenile winners, 13 of them stakes winners.

War Front’s Gr.1 winners are from daughters of Rahy, Arch, Unbridled’s Song (the Hong Kong Classic Mile winner Warning Flag, who is 4x4 Fappiano, a son of Mr. Prospector), Miswaki, Known Fact, Red Ransom, Mazel Trick and Smart Strike and with other good winners from daughters of Capote, Pulpit, El Prado, Alydeed, Coronado’s Quest, Housebuster, Clever Trick, Procida and Forty Niner. He responds well to inbreeding to Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer and has had success with mares featuring the blood of Roberto. The Factor’s immediate pedigree shows a strong influence of the grey champion Native Dancer through that horse’s daughters Natalma (dam of Northern Dancer, whose son Nijinsky also appears in this pedigree) and Shenanigans (dam of Icecapade). Northern Dancer and Icecapade appear 4(ND),6(ND)x4(I) in this pedigree and are bred on the Nearctic/Native Dancer cross. There is also a 5mx3m cross of Mr. Prospector, whose sire, Raise a Native, is a son of Native Dancer.

The Factor’s dam Greyciousness is a daughter of the Prix de la Salamandre-Gr.1 winner Miswaki (Mr. Prospector-Hopespringseternal by Buckpasser), a leading sire in the US for Walmac Farm, his best runners include Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea (dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars), 1991 US Horse of the Year Black Tie Affair, Japan Cup winner Marvellous Crown, Irish 2000 Guineas winner Bachelor Duke and Australian Gr.1 winner and sire Umatilla.

The Factor’s second dam Skatingonthinice (Icecapade-Rain Shower by Bold Forbes) was a stakes winner of eight races in the US and her winners include the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-Gr.1 and Champagne Stakes-Gr.1 runner-up Chief Seattle (Seattle Slew). Rain Shower stakes placed and was a stakes producer, while her dam, Right as Rain (Rasper II-Arthurette by Rosemont), produced four stakes winners including Gala Lil (25 wins) and Gala Double (13 wins), this is family 10c. Of interest is The Factor’s distant family kinship to Black Toney (Peter Pan), one of the most influential North American sires of the 20th century, thanks to his affinity (and that of his son Blue Larkspur) with La Troienne and her family.

The Factor, who stands 16 hands, has much in common with Danehill, both being Gr.1 sprinter and with pedigrees that have feature many of the same names. Inbreeding to Danzig (and indeed Danehill) is becoming a common theme in Australia and The Factor appears the right type to complement Danehill-line mares. He should also suit mares by other leading sires such as More Than Ready, Testa Rossa (another from the Danzig line), Lonhro and Red Ransom, for example.

Toggle Cross Duplications
Show/Hide Sibling Identifiers

Six x Six Enhanced Pedigree Grid for

THE FACTOR (USA) 2008 Roan or Grey colt
by War Front - Greyciousness, by Miswaki


B. 2002
GW 4 wins
f:287 r:254 w:177 SW:32
B. 1977
Wnr 3 wins
f:1075 r:837 w:658 SW:198
  Northern Dancer
B. 1961
GW 14 wins
f:636 r:488 w:382 SW:147
  Nearctic   Nearco   Pharos 13
  Nogara 4
  Lady Angela   Hyperion 6
  Sister Sarah 14
  Natalma   Native Dancer   Polynesian 14
  Geisha 5
  Almahmoud   Mahmoud 9
  Arbitrator 2
  Pas de Nom
Br. 1968
GW 9 wins
f:11 r:8 w:4
  Admiral's Voyage   Crafty Admiral   Fighting Fox 4
  Admiral's Lady 8
  Olympia Lou   Olympia 4
  Louisiana Lou 4
  Petitioner   Petition   Fair Trial 9
  Art Paper 16
  Steady Aim   Felstead 3
  Quick Arrow 7
  Starry Dreamer
R. or Gr. 1994
SW 6 wins
f:8 r:7 w:7 SW:4
Rn. 1987
GW 13 wins
f:500 r:397 w:329 SW:33
  Fappiano   Mr. Prospector   Raise A Native 8
  Gold Digger 13
  Killaloe   Dr Fager 1
  Grand Splendor 16
  Ruby Slippers   Nijinsky   Northern Dancer 2
  Flaming Page 8
  Moon Glitter   In Reality 21
  Foggy Note 3
  Lara's Star
B. 1981
Wnr 1 win
f:11 r:11 w:10 SW:3
  Forli   Aristophanes   Hyperion 6
  Commotion 9
  Trevisa   Advocate 4
  Veneta 3
  True Reality   Round Table   Princequillo 1
  Knight's Daughter 2
  Secret Promise   Warfare 4
  Secret Valley 4
R. or Gr. 1995
Wnr 2 wins
f:9 r:8 w:6 SW:1
Ch. 1978
GW 6 wins
f:1147 r:939 w:670 SW:94
  Mr. Prospector
B. 1970
SW 7 wins
f:1178 r:980 w:739 SW:182
  Raise A Native   Native Dancer   Polynesian 14
  Geisha 5
  Raise You   Case Ace 1
  Lady Glory 8
  Gold Digger   Nashua   Nasrullah 9
  Segula 3
  Sequence   Count Fleet 6
  Miss Dogwood 13
Ch. 1971
f:8 r:6 w:4 SW:2
  Buckpasser   Tom Fool   Menow 8
  Gaga 3
  Busanda   War Admiral 11
  Businesslike 1
  Rose Bower   Princequillo   Prince Rose 10
  Cosquilla 1
  Lea Lane   Nasrullah 9
  Lea Lark 16
Gr. 1986
SW 8 wins
f:7 r:4 w:4
Gr. 1969
GW 13 wins
f:565 r:504 w:384 SW:73
  Nearctic   Nearco   Pharos 13
  Nogara 4
  Lady Angela   Hyperion 6
  Sister Sarah 14
  Shenanigans   Native Dancer   Polynesian 14
  Geisha 5
  Bold Irish   Fighting Fox 4
  Erin 8
  Rain Shower
B or Br. 1980
SP 2 wins
f:9 r:8 w:7 SW:2
  Bold Forbes   Irish Castle   Bold Ruler 8
  Castle Forbes 8
  Comely Nell   Commodore M. 12
  Nellie L. 9
  Right as Rain   Rasper   Owen Tudor 10
  Red Sunset 16
  Arthurette   Rosemont 4
  Panamerica 10

Mr. Prospector (USA) 1970 : 5m x 3m
Nearctic (CAN) 1954 : 4m x 4m
Native Dancer (USA) 1950 : 5f x 5m 5f
Princequillo (IRE) 1940 : 6m x 5f
Hyperion (GB ) 1930 : 6f 6m x 6f
Fighting Fox (USA) 1935 : 6m x 6f

Northern Dancer (CAN) 1961 : 3m 6m x
Nasrullah (GB) 1940 : x 6m 6f