Another Points Race, Another Upset
By Dick Downey
The Stonestreet Lexington Stakes was won by longshot Senior Investment as he just got up at the wire to beat post-time favorite West Coast.
The race saw multiple lead changes. After both No Dozing and Souper Tapit were in close quarters through the first turn, Resiliency emerged with the lead going up the backstretch with Time to Travel in closest pursuit and Souper Tapit, He's Munnie and Convict Pike nearest them. The first quarter-mile was gone in 24.16.
Headed to the second turn after a half-mile in 47.71 and six furlongs in 1:12.44, Resiliency was still in charge and Souper Tapit had moved up to second. That was not to last much longer as those two waved the white flag. Time to Travel seized the lead in the turn while West Coast mounted a charge, and they came into the stretch in that order with space separating the pair from the rest of the field.
With a short run to the finish line at the 1 1/16-mile Keeneland distance, the Lexington looked like it was over, but there was suspense yet to come as No Dozing mounted a late challenge to West Coast and Time to Travel. But none of those three would win.
Instead, Senior Investment and Channing Hill, who were 11 1/4 lengths behind after a half-mile and four lengths back with one furlong left in the race, came flying wide to run them all down and win by a head. West Coast finished a neck ahead of No Dozing, who was 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Time to Travel.
They were followed across the finish line by Lookin at Blessing, Convict Pike, Souper Tapit, He's Munnie, Capt. Grider and Resiliency. The final time was 1:45.05.
The result was yet another upset in a Kentucky Derby points race. Senior Investment was sent off at 11-1 odds and paid $24.20 to win, $8.20 to place and $4.20 to show.
Senior Investment was last seen finishing sixth to Girvin in the Louisiana Derby, his first stakes appearance. After the race, trainer Ken McPeek declined to say where he might send the colt next.
Senior Investment is a son of Discreetly Mine out of the Deputy Commander mare Plaid. He was bred in Kentucky by Dixiana Farms LLC and was purchased for $95,000 at the Keeneland September 2015 Yearling Sale. Fern Circle Stables is the winning owner.
While Kentucky Derby points were awarded (10 - 4- 2- 1), the race isn't expected to produce a starter in the run for the roses. Neither Senior Investment nor West Coast had any Derby points going into the Lexington, and No Dozing was removed from Kentucky Derby consideration a few weeks ago.
Ken McPeek, winning trainer: “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. He trained really good here this week. So do we work him or do we run him? So, let’s say we run him.
“I really felt like a mile and an eighth would have been great for him. I think Churchill ought to add more points to this race immediately, but that’s the way the ball bounced. Preakness? Maybe, we’ll see. We have a really good horse and we’re going to have some fun.”
Channing Hill, winning rider of Senior Investment: “He timed it right. Once I got him tipped out where he could really stretch his legs out, he came home nice. At the eighth pole, I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was going to get there, but he was really running on. This is a really nice colt – really special. When I won on him at Oaklawn, he showed a lot, showed a turn of foot, too. Today, he was the best one.”
Flavien Prat, rider of runner-up West Coast: “It was a good race and I had a good trip. He made a nice move on the turn and it was too bad we got caught at the end.”
Joel Rosario, aboard No Dozing: “He ran a tremendous race after that. He put everything back together. He was running really well in the end and it looked like for a second he was the winner.”
Edgar Prado, aboard Time to Travel: “He broke OK so he got a nice spot around the turn. He settled and all the way around was laying third. When they came to us, he gave me a run and kept trying hard. He just got a little tired at the end. He ran really hard and gave his best.”