Last-To-First Rally In Springboard Mile Sends Senor Buscador Onto Derby Trail

Senor Buscador means Lord Seeker in English. Jockey Luis Quinonez must have been saying some prayers in the early going when he was about 17 lengths behind in the field of 10 for the $200,000 Springboard Mile on Friday, Dec. 18 at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Senor Buscador and Quinonez made up every bit of their trailing deficit, and more, to win the Springboard, Remington Park’s top 2-year-old offering and a Kentucky Derby qualifying-points race. After making the lead before mid-stretch, Senor Buscador pulled away with ease to win by 5 3/4 lengths.

“He broke bad, but that was good because he settled down on the backstretch,” said Quinonez. “On the turn for home, I thought, ‘Oh my God, what a horse I have.’ It feels like he can go farther.”

This 2-year-old colt by Mineshaft, out of the Desert God mare Rose’s Desert, showed signs of his bloodlines from his 2003 Horse of the Year sire. Mineshaft finished his career that year with three Grade 1 wins in a row, sweeping the Suburban Handicap, the Woodward Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup all at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. Two of those races came at 1 1/4 miles and the other at 1 1/8 miles. Mineshaft won 10-of-18 starts lifetime for $2.2 million in earnings.

It sure looked like Senor Buscador wasn’t stopping as he cleared the field and drove through the finish line without being asked to run by Quinonez.

On the dam side, Rose’s Desert’s sire was unraced, but she won 10-of-15 starts, albeit in New Mexico, winning $626,035 in her career. That’s not easy to do on that circuit. Rose’s Desert won most of her stakes sprinting, taking one at one mile.

“She had bad ankles and still did that,” said trainer Todd Fincher. “She did win one around two turns.”

The New Mexico circuit is one Fincher frequents and calls home. He said it doesn’t look like their 3-year-old races are going to be a go this year, sending Senor Buscador in search of his next late-running effort.

“We’ll see how he comes back tomorrow and then take him to Houston and possibly on to the Fair Grounds (in New Orleans) for their stakes schedule,” said Fincher. “We do what’s best for the horse. That’s my responsibility. So we’ll see.”

Senor Buscador won his first race, a maiden event, at 5 1/2 furlongs by 2 1/2 lengths at Remington Park on Nov. 6, but he was very green in that race.

“The first time he won, he really didn’t know what he was doing or what was going on,” said Fincher. “He was really ornery in the post parade. But he was impressive in that race even though he sure doesn’t like breaking from the gate.”

Senor Buscador was 10 lengths behind in his career debut after a half-mile and still caught his opponents like they were standing still. He went off at 7-2 odds in that maiden race, and was amazing enough for his fans to knock him down from 15-1 morning line odds in the Springboard to go off at 7-2 again.

Senor Buscador paid $9.80 to win, $5.80 to place and $4.60 to show across the board. Cowan (7-2), a shipper from Keeneland out of trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn, was a distant second and he was 3 3/4 lengths ahead of longshot Red N Wild (30-1), who finished the slimmest of noses ahead of fourth place Saffa’s Day (9-1).

The 7-5 betting favorite, another shipper from Wesley Ward’s barn, Outadore, could do no better than fifth. He had run third in the Grade 1, $1-million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. in his last start before the Springboard.

The rest of the Springboard order of finish was Joe Frazier (9-1) sixth, Vim and Vigor (61-1) seventh, Number One Dude (9-1) eighth, Flash of Mischief (23-1) ninth and Gushing Oil (33-1) last. Game Day Play was a late scratch after he got loose in the walk over to the paddock before the race, hopping the outside rail on the backstretch, and then going back to his barn.

Senor Buscador wasn’t in the same time zone with the Springboard field during the early part of the race. The pacesetters, Saffa’s Day and Flash of Mischief, hit the timers in :23.52 for the first quarter-mile, :47.22 for the half-mile and 1:12.51 for three-quarters of a mile. Senor Buscador made the lead at the top of the stretch, reaching the time for seven furlongs in 1:25.69. He stopped the mile timer at the wire in 1:37.87 over the fast track.

Senor Buscador put up a quality time for the mile on the night compared to older horses earlier in the program. Dont Tell Noobody, a 3-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding, won the one-mile $70,000 Jim Thorpe Stakes in 1:39.50. Dipping In, a 3-year-old Oklahoma-bred filly, won the $70,000 Useeit Stakes at one mile in 1:40.69.

Senor Buscador earned $120,000 for owner Joe Peacock Jr., of San Antonio, and is two-for-two lifetime with $137,247 in earnings. He was bred in Kentucky by the owner and his father, Joe Peacock, Sr., both of San Antonio.

Senor Buscador was the second Springboard win for Quinonez who won aboard Louies Flower in 2013. He provided the first victory in the race for the rest of his connections.

The post Last-To-First Rally In Springboard Mile Sends Senor Buscador Onto Derby Trail appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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