by Jeremy Plonk
December 22, 2020
Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.
MVP: Senor Buscador
Owner: Joe Peacock
Trainer: Todd Fincher
Jockey: Luis Quinonez
Performance: Rocketing last-to-first winner of the Dec. 18 $200,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park, Senor Buscador looks to be a southern contender on the 2021 Derby trail. The son of Mineshaft and half-brother to Sunland Derby winner Runaway Ghost made up more than a dozen lengths before drawing clear by 5-3/4 lengths. Among those in his wake were Kentucky shippers from the Steve Asmussen, Wesley Ward and Brad Cox barns. Senor Buscador is now 2-for-2 after a Nov. 6 debut maiden sprint win in Oklahoma City.
On Tap: Trainer Fincher’s runners will winter this year at Sam Houston as the racing schedule at home at Sunland Park is in flux. He indicated that the Fair Grounds 3-year-old schedule, which includes the Lecomte, Risen Star and Louisiana Derby could be the route taken. Oaklawn’s Arkansas Derby trail and a possible Sunland Derby date also could be spring targets.
Honorable Mentions: Trainer Bob Baffert’s Los Alamitos Futurity dominance continued for a seventh straight year Dec. 19 when Spielberg scored a nose photo and avenged a couple of disappointing efforts prior. He’ll head next to February’s Lewis at Santa Anita. Sleepy Eyes Todd cut back in trip to win Gulfstream’s Dec. 19 Mr. Prospector with a sharp effort. He’s traveled the country in 2020 from Fonner to Charles Town to the big circuits, sharing success along the way. Maxfield, one of the favorites for this year’s Kentucky Derby, but sidelined by a series of setbacks, returned to action Dec. 19 at Fair Grounds with a promising victory in the Tenacious. While he could be fast-tracked to the Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 23, you have to think Godolphin would love to have him for the Dubai World Cup in late March.