Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

El Paso horse owner Kirk Robison has high hopes for Jackie’s Warrior

El Paso owned Jackie’s Warrior looks to make his last race the most memorable one for El Paso owners Kirk and Judy Robison.

On Saturday at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Maclean’s Music looks to finish off his brilliant career with a win in the one event that has eluded him — the Breeders’ Cup. He was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2020 when it showed he didn’t like two turns and he was sixth in the six furlong, Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 2021, the same race he is entered this year.

“He’s fit, he’s ready,” Kirk Robison said. “Jackie’s Warrior has had a great career, he’s given us everything he can. He’s won graded stakes and he’s won an Eclipse Award, but winning a Breeders’ Cup race would be a defining moment, a special moment.”

Jackie’s Warrior has won 12 of 17 career starts, finished second twice and third once in earning nearly $2.8 million.

Jackie’s Warrior is the 4-5 morning-line favorite and will face 10 rivals in the seventh race of the program and that will begin at 12:30 pm El Paso time. Steve Asmussen is the trainer and his regular rider, Joel Rosario, will be aboard. The race is worth $2 million.

New Mexico trainer Fincher has two horses in Breeders’ Cup races

Longtime trainer Todd Fincher, who is New Mexico’s top thoroughbred trainer and has several top horses at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino and Ruidoso Race Track and Casino, has two horses in this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Both run Saturday.

He’ll send Senor Buscador to post in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the talented New Mexico-bred, Slammed to post in the Breeders’ Cup in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Slammed’s presence in the race has been a hot topic in horse racing circles since it’s been 26 years since another New Mexico horse, Ricks Natural Star, competed in the event. But Slammed has proven she can compete at a high level. She earned her way to this Saturday’s race by winning the Thoroughbred Club of America by 6 and 1/2 lengths last month at the same track she’ll be competing at on Saturday.

But even before her win to qualify for the Breeders’ Cup race, Slammed was second in a stakes race at Del Mar Racetrack in California and won an optional allowance race at the same track before that. New Mexico horse racing fans know her well. She won several races across various races across New Mexico, including the La Coneja Stakes race at Sunland Park on Feb. 6 of this year.

“It’s special to represent New Mexico racing this weekend,” Fincher said. “There are good horsemen in New Mexico. Slammed is a beautiful horse. She’s run great, she’s getting better all the time. To be here with two horses is special, to be here with a New Mexico-bred horse is an amazing feeling. “

Slammed’s record stands at nine wins from 12 starts for earnings of $557,030. She is owned by Lubbock’s Brad King and Suzanne Kirby and Farmington, New Mexico’s Barbara Coleman.

Slammed is one of two horses in this weekend's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland Park in Lexington, Ky., for New Mexico-based trainer Todd Fincher

“Slammed is a tremendous horse and she’s proven she can compete at a high level,” King said. “It’s been a beautiful journey through all of this and we believe she has a great chance to win. She’s been running great and Todd has trained her so well. I’ve worked with Todd for a long time and he’s a great horsemen. He loves what he does. We’ve been involved in New Mexico racing for many years and it means so much for us to be here. The Breeders’ Cup is an amazing event with the world’s best horses, trainers and jockeys here.”

The 4-year-old Slammed, who will be ridden by Florent Geroux and start out of the No. 1 post, will face 12 rivals in the seven furlong race that is worth $1 million. The Filly and Mare Sprint is race no. 3 on the day and is slated to begin at 9:50 am El Paso time. Slammed was given 15-1 morning-line odds.

Fincher’s other horse, 4-year-old Senor Buscador will compete in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Mile against 10 rivals in the fifth race of the day at 11:10 am El Paso time. He qualified for the mile race by winning the Ack Ack Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. on Oct. 1. But Senor Buscador’s journey to Saturday’s race hasn’t been without complications. He won his first two races, then came down with an ankle chip that required surgery. He was set to return but then a stall accident sidelined him again.

The Kentucky-bred began his 4-year-old campaign earlier this year at Lone Star Park and has been steadily improving.

Senor Buscador will run in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Saturday at Kenneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday.  He is trained by Todd Fincher, who is based in New Mexico and trains horses frequently at Sunland Park and Ruidoso racetracks.

Overall, Senor Buscador has run seven times with four wins and a third.

“Todd has been very patient with this horse,” said owner Joe Peacock, Jr. “Senor Buscador has had lots happen to him, but he’s running great now and showing his talent. He only has the seven races and that could help him. Todd really knows how to pick spots for his horses and the patience is now paying off.”

Senor Buscador is 12-1 in the morning-line, will start from the No. 10 post and ridden by Francisco Arrieta, who was once a star jockey at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino. Also in the race is Slow Down Andy, who won this year’s Sunland Derby.

More: Jackie’s Warrior keeps on winningEl Paso owned Jackie’s Warrior wins Churchill Downs Stakes on Kentucky Derby undercard

Felix F. Chavez can be reached at 915-546-6167; [email protected]; @Fchavezeptimes on Twitter

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