Belmont Stakes 2017: Senior Investment ready to roll

June 04, 2017 12:17pm

Senior Investment has turned the corner. As a matter of fact, he's turned a few corners, and as we head into the 2017 Belmont Stakes, I believe the good looking son of Discreetly Mine may be sitting on his biggest race yet.

Unveiled at Ellis Park last summer, the $95,000 yearling purchase of trainer Kenny McPeek was not ready for prime time. After two uninspiring efforts against maiden competition at the Western Kentucky oval, and purchased privately by Fern Circles Stables in between, the son of Discreetly Mine was given a freshening, and that, along with a little maturing, did him a world of good.

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In his third start, he made up some ground in a contentious maiden race at Churchill Downs to get up for third. Finally breaking his maiden in his fourth start, Senior Investment rallied nicely to win in New Orleans going away. He came back one month later at Fair Grounds and rallied to hit the wire first over a soon to be stakes winner in, It's Your Nickel, but was taken down for interference. And then, three weeks after that, he rallied boldly to blow by a field of stakes hopefuls at Oaklawn Park to win in impressive fashion.

Three straight strong performances in a row prompted his trainer to debut him in graded stakes racing, but stuck down on the rail, he never fired in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. Planning at first to give him more time, McPeek liked the way he was galloping at Keeneland, so he pulled the trigger and ran Senior Investment back two weeks later in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes. His charge responded in kind.


Made confident by that eye-catching late run for the victory, and watching his horse thrive in the mornings, McPeek again chose a challenging route for the big, strong colt. Still last as the Preakness field turned for home, Senior Investment was left with too much to do in the Pimlico stretch.

Much like he had done at Keeneland, though, the 31-1 longshot came flying down the lane. The bold late run was good enough for third in a classic. In review of his wide, late rally, it was as good as it looked to the naked eye. Those were very solid horses that he was getting the better of in the final furlong at Pimlico, despite the wide trip.


Some horses thrive on work and competition, and a quick review of Senior Investment's past performances show a horse who does not mind at all coming back on short rest. In fact, two of his best races came quickly after the previous race. This should serve the third-place finisher of the Preakness very well as he comes back three weeks later for the Test of a Champion.

He's also trained by a man who knows how to get a horse ready for the distance. McPeek, of course, famously conditioned Sarava, who had also run on Preakness day, to a shocking victory in the 2002 Belmont, but that is far from the only time he has brought a horse into big race to run well over a distance of ground. Remember Golden Ticket's run in the Travers? Or how about how well Hard Buck ran in the prestigious King George and Queen Elizabeth stakes in England?

Tejano Run, a rallying second in the Kentucky Derby back in 1995, is another McPeek trainee that comes to mind. Senior Investment happens to remind his trainer of that one quite a bit.

Senior Investment is developing, can run all day, and keeps coming back for more. The Belmont Stakes is not always kind to late runners, but have no doubt that the improving chestnut will be well prepared for the test. 



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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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