Joe R. Peacock Jr.’s multiple graded stakes winner Senor Buscador rallied gamely from last of 12 to finish second to Hoist the Gold in Saturday’s Cigar Mile Handicap (G2) at Aqueduct.
Trained by Todd Fincher and piloted by Junior Alvarado, the connections hoped the 5-year-old Mineshaft bay would utilizing a more close-up approach as he did when taking last year’s Ack Ack (G3) traveling a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs.
Instead, Senor Buscador reverted to the deep-closing tactics that saw him win the San Diego Handicap (G2) in July at Del Mar and that he repeated through three follow-up efforts in Grade 1 events, including a seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in November at Santa Anita.
“He does what he wants to do. Junior tried to let him run away from there, but he just took himself out of it,” Fincher said. “There’s not a whole lot you can do about that. He was way, way back on a track where everyone won on the lead and the rail and then he went wide with nowhere to go.
“They made it tight on him down the lane,” added Fincher. “A horse on the inside of him came out and another horse was laying on him – he overcame a lot, that’s for sure. Hoist the Gold is also a great horse and he ran a great race himself. He was on the better side of the bias, but you have to give him credit, he ran a great race.”
Fincher said Senor Buscador, who matched a career-high 101 Beyer Speed Figure with his Cigar Mile effort, exited the race in good order and is en route to Gulfstream Park with an eye toward a start on Jan. 27 in the $3-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) going 1 1/8 miles.
“He ate all his dinner last night and jumped on a van to Gulfstream Park. We’re planning for the Pegasus,” Fincher said of the talented bay, who has now banked $923,427 through a 16-6-1-2 record.
Senor Buscador, bred in Kentucky by Peacock and the late Joe Peacock Sr., is out of the multiple stakes-winning Desert Gold mare Rose’s Desert. She has produced five winners from as many foals that all were campaigned at one point by Fincher, including graded stakes winner Runaway Ghost, multiple stakes-winner Sheriff Brown, and stakes winner Our Iris Rose. A fifth half-sibling, the 2-year-old filly Aye Candy, made a winning debut Tuesday at Zia Park for Fincher.