Breeders’ Cup Classic Contenders: SENOR BUSCADOR 🏇

The field is almost set for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park on Saturday (Nov. 4). In the days leading up to the race, will publish snapshots of the entries. Updates with odds and post positions will be published following the draw on Monday, Oct. 30.

Senor Buscador, trained by Todd W. Fincher, exercises during morning workouts at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on October 30, 2023, as horses prepare for the 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup

Breeder’s Cup Contenders: SENOR BUSCADOR

Senor Buscador pulled off a 13-1 upset on July 29 in the San Diego Handicap (G2) by closing from ninth and last, 11 lengths behind, to score by 1¼ lengths under Geovanni Franco at Del Mar. He beat some quality horses that day, with subsequent Awesome Again (G1) winner Slow Down Andy coming in second and Bob Baffert’s multiple-stakes winner Defunded, the 4-5 favorite, fourth.

“He’s got one strong kick,” trainer Todd Fincher said. “I told the rider to wait as long as you can and push the button.”

Del Mar is traditionally kinder to deep closers than Santa Anita is, and that race was only 1 1/16 miles. Senor Buscador never has won beyond that distance, making the 1¼-mile Classic a big ask.

The son of 2004 Horse of the Year Mineshaft finished fourth this spring in the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn Handicap (G2). He was out of the money in his only tries at 10 furlongs, both this year, the Santa Anita Gold Cup (G1, fifth) and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar (G1, fourth). He’s 0-for-4 at the Grade 1 level.

Fincher was encouraged by Senor Buscador’s third-place finish on Sept. 30 in the 1 1/8-mile Awesome Again, 3¼ lengths behind Slow Down Andy, who led throughout at Santa Anita. “The track was a little speed-biased, and he made up some ground,” Fincher told “I was pretty impressed. You always want to win, but what he did was pretty good.”

Fincher was leaning toward the Classic but also entered Senor Buscador in Saturday’s Dirt Mile (G1), in which he ran eighth, beaten 13 lengths, at Keeneland last year behind Cody’s Wish. He’d face that superstar again this year, and Senor Buscador seems in over his head in both races.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Odds and Post Positions

Betting advice: If you like wheeling longshots underneath in trifectas and superfectas, don’t leave out deep closer Senor Buscador.

Post position: 9

Odds: 30-1

Jockey: Geovanni Franco

Trainer: Todd Fincher

Owner: Joe Peacock, Jr.

Biggest Win: San Diego Handicap (G2), July 29, Del Mar

Age: 5

Career record: 14-6-0-2

Career earnings: $763,427

Top Equibase speed figure: 115

Pedigree: Mineshaft-Rose’s Desert, by Desert God

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notes: Senor Buscador looked sharp Thursday at Santa Anita, breezing 5 furlongs in 59.40 seconds … Fincher, 52, was born in El Paso, Texas, into a racing family. “My dad was a jockey and rode for 25 to 30 years,” he said. “And my mom trained, so I grew up in it.” … In 1987, at 16 Fincher became a jockey and rode for 10 years, winning “more than 900 races” on quarter-horses and thoroughbreds in New Mexico. Tall for a rider, “I couldn’t keep my weight down anymore,” so in the late 1990s he turned to training both breeds … Based in New Mexico, he’s sent out more than 1,400 thoroughbred winners, and since 2009 has won more than 20% of his starts every year.


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