It wasn't too hard to come up with the top two finishers in the Preakness. They were two of the three most likely winners. If you had Senior Investment to finish third, though, you are doing a kind of handicapping that I don't do, and you wound up cashing a very nice trifecta ticket. I've watched the race enough times to convince myself that the result was no fluke -- he benefitted from circumstance but he earned the finish. The bigger and more important question now, though, is whether he can replicate it. He won't pay quite as much this time around in all likelihood, but he'd still be part of some pretty solid exotics if he can repeat his showing.
Last race: Before the horses had even made it to the track for the post parade in the Preakness I was concerned about this horse, and I wasn't alone. He was clearly agitated and was sweaty and seemed miserable. And when he came out of the gate it seemed like the whole situation had taken too much out of him. He was slow at the gate and was out of touch from the start. He was dead last by six furlongs, and it seemed like it was going to be a very forgettable day -- especially because the early pace, which wasn't suicidal, had made things tough for the closers. But then he just started moving. By the end he wasn't any match for the top two, but he was the best of the rest. Given his relative class compared to the top performers it was about as good a result as he could have hoped for.
Prior experience: The colt raced four times at three different tracks as a two year old in an attempt to break his maiden, and he finally did it the last time. At three he ran in allowance races twice and won both. That earned him a shot at the big time. He wasn't ready, finishing a very underwhelming sixth, well behind Girvin, in that race. That ended his Derby dreams, but he was given a shot to redeem his stakes reputation in the Lexington. And that's just what he did. He won that race by a head against a reasonably-respectable crowd, and that earned him his shot in the Preakness. He keeps improving, and that is what you want to see from a colt.
Trainer: Kenny McPeek is obviously capable of winning this race and dangerous here with a long shot -- he won in 2002 with Sarava at more than 70/1 to spoil War Emblem's shot at a Triple Crown. That is his only Classic win, and he doesn't show up in these races too often. When he does have a horse in a big race, though, you can count on it being ready - as this colt was for the Preakness.
Jockey: Channing Hill. Hill is a solid jockey but far from the best in his field. He had his most success as an apprentice when he had the extra weight advantage. He has ridden in New York and New Jersey, so he knows this track. And he has had solid chemistry with this horse, as the strong showing in the Preakness proved. Hill is the kind of rider who really won't hurt this horse, but he also isn't an extra asset who is sure to get the best out of the horse. I would prefer a different rider, but this one doesn't make or break the horse in my mind.
Breeding: Senior Investment is a son of Discreetly Mine, who was a fast miler. Discreetly Mine is a son of Mineshaft, who was Horse of the Year in 2003 and is the sire of fellow Belmont contender J Boys Echo and grandson of great Belmont winner and stamina influence A.P. Indy. Senior Investment's damsire is Deputy Commander, who won the Travers in 1997. This isn't the best-bred horse in the field for this challenge, but it could certainly be worse.
Odds: After his surprising success in the Preakness the oddsmakers at MyBookie have this colt installed as the fourth choice in the field at +580. I don't have a real problem with his spot in the hierarchy, though I would have him behind more horses. However, the price is far lower than it would need to be to excite me.
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