Fern Circle Stables’ Senior Investment nabbed West Coast at the finish line after circling the field in a thrilling finish of the $200,000, Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes on April 15 at Keeneland.
The 3-year-old Discreetly Mine colt raced near the back of the 10-horse field for most of the 1 1/16-mile race before jockey Channing Hill turned him loose on the far turn. The timing was perfect, as he caught West Coast in the final strides to win by a head.
“He timed it right,” Hill said. “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% sure I was going to get there, but he was really running on. This is a really nice colt.”
Resiliency and Souper Tapit eagerly raced for the early lead into the first turn, as tight quarters caused Souper Tapit to be checked. Resiliency led the field through quarter-mile fractions of :24.16 and :47.71 through a half-mile.
As six furlongs went in 1:12.34, Senior Investment remained six lengths behind the pace as West Coast, under jockey Flavien Prat, began to make a move going four wide on the final turn. Clear by a length into the stretch, West Coast continued a drive toward the finish line as Senior Investment and No Dozing were closing hard on the outside.
“I was pretty confident,” winning trainer Kenny McPeek said. “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. [Running in the] Preakness? Maybe. We’ll see. We have a really good horse and we’re going to have some fun.”
West Coast finished a neck ahead of No Dozing, who had his share of trouble in the race when checked hard behind Souper Tapit entering the first turn.
Time to Travel was another 3 1/4 lengths back in fourth. The final time was 1:45.05 over a track rated fast.
Bred in Kentucky by Dixiana Farms, Senior Investment is out of the stakes-winning Deputy Commander mare Plaid. Senior Investment was a $95,000 purchase at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale by McPeek from the Lane’s End Farm consignment.
After breaking his maiden in his fourth try, a one-mile and 70-yard race at Fair Grounds in December, he crossed the finish line first next time out in a January allowance race but was disqualified and placed last. Senior Investment then scored by three lengths in an Oaklawn Park allowance but finished a nonthreatening sixth in the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby. He now has three wins from seven starts with earnings of $207,080.