Every good Triple Crown race needs long shots - the kind that will go off at big prices but which are interesting enough to be at least a little viable and could potentially get into the exotics and help the payout. Senior Investment qualifies on that front. He has a chance to be the longest shot on the board - though he'll likely go off at shorter odds than Term of Art, I'd guess. And he won his last race, has some class, and though he is far behind the top horses here he isn't awful by any means. But is he good enough to trust?
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Last race: The Lexington Stakes is technically a Kentucky Derby prep. But the winner gets just 10 points (compared to 100 for the major prep races like the Florida Derby, the Santa Anita Derby or the Wood Memorial), so it is very unlikely to ever be relevant. Senior Investment wasn't looking for Derby points - he just needed to get a win and gain some momentum. And he did just that. He was the 11/1 sixth choice in the 10-horse field. He was ninth for much of the race, only starting to move forward after three-quarters of a mile. He was fourth at the top of the stretch and kept picking away at the leaders until grabbing the win by a head. It wasn't a particularly fast or impressive race, but he gets credit for closing strong despite fairly slow early fractions. That's tough to do.
Prior experience: The Lexington was his best race, but he had plenty of experience before that point - that race was his eighth start. He needed four tries to break his maiden starting in July, falling short twice at Ellis Park and once at Churchill Downs before finally getting it done at Fair Grounds the day after Christmas in a dominant performance against a solid field. Then it was time to move up to allowance company to kick off his three year old year. He was a disastrous seventh in the first outing at that level at Fair Grounds, but he moved to Oaklawn a month later and was far better as he won by three lengths in a compelling performance. Then the story repeated as he moved up to stakes company. The first outing was ugly - he was sixth in the Louisiana Derby, and he was never a factor. And then he went to the Lexington and had a big day. He just seems to need to get comfortable with the level of competition before he can be at his best.
Trainer: Kenny McPeek has been training since 1985 and has many major wins to his credit. Most significant for our purposes is his win in the 2002 Belmont with Sarava, who won at 70/1 to spoil War Emblem's Triple Crown bid. He isn't always in the biggest races, but he certainly knows how to handle a horse and is a factor when he does have a contender. This colt will be ready to give his best - whatever that means here.
Jockey: Channing Hill will be looking to do better than his 17th-place showing in the Derby upon the horribly-outclassed Fast and Accurate. Hill is looking to win just his second Grade 1 race here and his first since the 2008 Forego Handicap. He's a solid rider in the midst of potentially the best year of his career, but he is a journeyman and won't be the best rider in this race by any measure. Hill has been on board for the last three races - two of them wins.
Breeding: Senior Investment is a son of Discreetly Mine, a son of Horse of the Year Mineshaft. Discreetly Mine had his best win in a sprint and now stands in Uruguay after an underwhelming start to his stud career in the U.S.. He's not a great influence for a race like this one or longer. Senior Investment's damsire is Deputy Commander, who won the Travers in 1997 and was second in the Breeders' Cup Classic that same year. He was a decent-but-not-spectacular sire. The highlight of his progeny was Ten Most Wanted, who also won the Travers. Senior Investment gets more stamina influence from this side of the pedigree. Combine that with Mineshaft's influence - he's a son of the great Belmont winner A.P. Indy and grandson of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew - and this horse has a decent chance of handling this distance effectively.
Odds: Bovada has this horse at +2500, which has him tied with Term of Art as the longest shot in the field. I have two suspicions - that he'll go off at longer odds than that, and that he will only be the second longest shot on the board. Actually I have one other strong suspicion - that I will not be betting any real money on him.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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