June 22, 2024

Senor Buscador stamps Dirt Mile ticket in Ack Ack

Senor Buscador wins the Ack Ack Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Sidelined for 17 months last year, Senor Buscador is back in form and headed to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) following Saturday’s upset win in the $300,000 Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs. The four-year-old colt rallied to take a short lead in upper stretch and determinedly held runner-up Injunction safe to score by 1 1/4 lengths.

The one-turn mile event awarded an expenses-paid berth to the Dirt Mile at Keeneland on Nov. 5, and Senor Buscador stopped the teletimer in 1:34.60. Francisco Arrieta was up on the 6.18-1 fourth choice for owner/breeder Joe Peacock Jr. and trainer Todd Fincher.

A smashing winner of the 2020 Springboard Mile S. in his second start, Senor Buscador headed to the sidelines for an extended rest after faltering at short odds in last year’s Risen Star (G2). He returned with a Lone Star allowance triumph in July, and after an unplaced effort in the San Diego H. (G2), Senor Buscador tuned up with a fine third in the seven-furlong Pat O’Brien (G2) at Del Mar on Aug. 27, closing strongly late after a rough and wide trip on the far turn.

He continued to progress in the Ack Ack.

“He worked really well over this track the other week so we were confident he’d run a big effort,” Fincher said. “He’s shipped well in the past and handled it well coming here to Kentucky. He showed his talent today. We knew he was a talented horse by the way he won the Springboard Mile in 2020 and he’s now maturing and I think is coming into his own.”

Off a little slowly, Senor Buscador launched a bold move while three wide on the far turn and powered his way to a clear lead after straightening for home.

Injunction, who tracked pacesetter Surly Furious through opening fractions in :22.91, :45.74, and 1:10.08, tried to overhaul the winner in the latter stages but came up a little short, finishing 3 1/2 lengths clear of third-placer Three Technique. Surly Furious, Fulsome, Silver Prospector, 1.43-1 favorite Speaker’s Corner, and Untreated came next under the wire.

“I was able to get him into a really good rhythm down the backside,” Arrieta said. “He was travelling in a good position behind the speed in front of us. In the stretch he showed a lot of fight to him. It’s really exciting to win a race like this and I’m so thankful for Joey (Peacock) and Todd (Fincher) for letting me ride him.”

A Kentucky-bred son of Mineshaft, Senor Bucador has now earned $376,677 from a 7-4-0-1 career line. He’s out multiple stakes winner Rose’s Desert, a daughter of Desert God, and that makes Senor Buscador a half-brother to Grade 3 victor Runaway Ghost and multiple stakes winners Our Iris Rose and Sheriff Brown.