Gucci Factor surprises in the Kingston Stakes

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Coglianese Photos

By Bill Heller

Monday’s renewal of the one-mile $125,000 Kingston Stakes on turf on Big Apple Showcase Day at Belmont Park on Memorial Day Monday was supposed to be a showdown between Offering Plan, who was seeking his third consecutive victory in the stakes for trainer Chad Brown, and Therapist, who had a perfect four-for-four record at Belmont Park for trainer Christophe Clement, who co-bred the four-year-old gelding with owner Oak Bluff Stables. But Clement also saddled Castleton Lyons’ idle six-year-old gelding Gucci Factor, who had three wins and a third in his previous four starts, in the field of six.

And after Mo Maverick and Luis Saez took a shocking 15-length lead midway through the race, it was Gucci Factor and jockey Jose Ortiz who surged to a length and a quarter victory at odds of 9-2. Mo Maverick, who was 7-1, held on for second, a length and a quarter ahead of Offering Plan, the even-money favorite under Javier Castellano. Therapist, who was the 9-5 second choice under Eric Cancel, finished a nose behind in fourth.

Highclere bred Gucci Factor, a son of Gio Ponti out of Shoo In by Dynaformer, who had made just one stakes start in 11 previous races, when he finished third by a length and three-quarters in the Ashley Cole Stakes, a half-length behind Offering Plan, who finished second that day to Black Tide last September 22. Gucci Factor then won an open allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs on December 22 in his final start as a five-year-old.

Coglianese Photos

Clement did a masterful job of getting Gucci Factor ready for the step up to stakes company off a five-month layoff.

Riding Gucci Factor for the first time, Ortiz got him away second, three lengths behind Mo Maverick after an opening quarter-mile in :23.33.

Then Saez let Mo Maverick loose, and he sprinted away to a 10-length advantage, then a gaping 15-length lead by running a half-mile in :46.53. Ortiz kept Gucci Factor in second, meaning he would get first shot at the frontrunner if and when he stopped.

Gucci Factor pulled within 10 lengths after three-quarters of a mile in 1:09.96, and then Mo Maverick began to weaken. He still had a five-length lead in mid-stretch, but Gucci Factor hauled him in and drew away late for his first stakes victory. [VIDEO]

Gucci Factor is now five-for-seven on grass with one third. He also has one win, one second and one third from six dirt starts for combined earnings of more than $270,000.

Leave a Reply