Trainer Kenny McPeek thinks he has a mile and a quarter horse in Senior Investment, but will have to wait a while to run the son of Discreetly Mine at that distance despite a rallying victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Lexington (G3) over 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland.
The Lexington, the penultimate points-scoring race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, was worth only 10 qualifying points to the winner, far short of what Senior Investment would need to make the Derby field in three weeks time without a huge number of defections. This win came two weeks after Senior Investment failed to place in a more points-rich prep, the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds.
“I think Churchill ought to add more (Kentucky Derby qualifying) points to this race immediately, but that’s the way the ball bounced,” McPeek said, tongue-in-cheek, after the Lexington.
With a short stretch to work with and in front of only one other horse through six furlongs, Senior Investment swung seven-wide entering the stretch, closed furiously and denied second choice West Coast by a head under Channing Hill. It was another neck back to 9-5 favorite No Dozing, with Time to Travel fourth.
Owned by Paul Fireman’s Fern Circle Stables, Senior Investment completed one lap of Keeneland in 1:45.05 over a fast track and paid $24.20.
“I was pretty confident. I’ve been trying to find a mile and an eighth race, and I had the option of taking him out of town. But I really felt like OK, we’re here,” McPeek said. “He trained really good here this week. So do we work him or do we run him? So, let’s say we run him.
“We have a really good horse and we’re going to have some fun.”
Fourth, sixth, and third in his first three outings, Senior Investment graduated on December 26 at Fair Grounds, but was disqualified from a follow-up allowance win over the same track. Shipped to Oaklawn in mid-February, he beat entry-level allowance foes there by three lengths, but was a nondescript sixth in the Louisiana Derby back at Fair Grounds. He’s now earned $207,080 from a line of 8-3-0-1.
Bred in Kentucky by Dixiana Farms, Senior Investment was a $95,000 Keeneland September yearling. He’s out of the multiple stakes-winning Plaid, by Deputy Commander.