Michael Scheffres’ multiple grade 3-placed Factor It In continued his career-best form Jan. 21 at Laurel Park by cruising to his third stakes victory in his past five starts, a two-length triumph in the $100,000 Fire Plug Stakes.
With Angel Cruz up for trainer Carlos Mancilla, Factor It In covered the distance in 1:18.01 on a fast main track for his second straight win after capping 2022 in the Dec. 30 Dave’s Friend Stakes at Laurel.
Factor It In, a gray or roan 7-year-old son of The Factor, also won the Challedon Stakes against fellow Maryland-bred/sired horses last fall and ran third in back-to-back graded races in New York – the Bold Ruler Stakes (G3) and Fall Highweight (G3) – beaten less than a length combined. He is one of the many recent blacktype runners who´ve graduated from the famed Hidden Brook Florida Training Center.
“Carlos and his brother Oscar, they do such a spectacular job not only on this horse but on all our horses,” Scheffres said. “They work so hard and they’re such a great team. I’m so lucky to have them.”
Five Dreams, runner-up in the six-furlong Blitzen Stakes Jan. 4 at Parx, and 40-1 longshot Air Token , winner of the 2021 Maryland Million Sprint, dueled through an opening quarter-mile in :23.51 and a half in :46.62 as Cruz kept Factor It In in the clear in third. Factor It In launched his bid midway around the far turn and set his sights on the leaders once straightened for home, powering through the stretch under Cruz, who wrapped up approaching the wire.
Bred by Pope McLean, Marc McLean, Pope McLean Jr., and Phil Hager in Kentucky, Factor It In is out of the Speightstown mare Speightlass. Six years ago, Factor It In was purchased by trainer John Servis from Pope McLean’s consignment at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The horse initially raced for D. J. Stable with Servis as his trainer.