Page 44 - NM Winter 2023
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                  mentioned have included Del Mar and the Breeders’ Cup. He scored his first graded stakes victory in 2018 with Runaway Ghost (Runaway Ghost-Rose’s Desert, Desert God) in the Sunland Derby (G3). He picked up his 1,000th career win
in 2019 with Hustle Up (Abstraction- Speedin Excess, In Excess) in the Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland. He swept the Rio Grande Senorita and Senor Futurities with Comic Hot Toddy (Indian Firewater- Comicsperfectstorm, Comics Genius) and Delbert Too (Marking-On Stride, Ghostly Moves), respectively, in 2020.
In the fall of 2022, he won Kentucky-based stakes with Slammed (Marking-Hennesey Smash, Roll Hennesy Roll) and Senor Buscador (Mineshaft-Rose’s Desert, Desert God). 2023 marked his first trip to the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill. He brought Flying Connection (Nyquist-Free Flying
Soul, Quiet American) with him. Nyquist carries a Kentucky Derby victory in his resume. Sheriff Brown (Curlin-Rose’s Desert, Desert God), a stakes-
winning half-brother to Senor Buscador who took Fincher to the 2023 Breeders’ Cup, joined the trainer’s Keeneland string.
Remember when Fincher
first began the chapter
on his training career,
and he said his most
expensive horse was around
$5,000? Now he has Bye Bye
Bobby (Quality Road-Revel In The
Win, Red Bullet), purchased at the
September Keeneland Sale for $870,000. Fincher and Bob Baffert frequently find themselves in bidding wars, with Baffert often coming out on top. It happened again at the Keeneland Fall Sale but, this time, Fincher was determined. He won the final bang of the gavel and, thus, the name Bye Bye Bobby.
Trips to the rarified atmosphere of
tracks such as Churchill and Del Mar are becoming more common for Fincher but none of the glamour goes to his head. He doesn’t walk any taller than he usually walks and, if there’s any added pressure, he doesn’t let it bother him. Fincher remains Fincher, regardless of the horse.
“All I can do is the best I can,” he said. “I’ve been around long enough to know I put in my best effort and then we wait to see what happens. I can’t make a donkey run like a racehorse. I don’t really feel
the pressure anymore. I’ve seen expensive horses not make enough to feed themselves, and I’ve seen cheap horses become multi- millionaires.” There are a lot of ways to
hedge your bet in this business, but there’s no way to ever guarantee a guarantee.
Some people may compare Fincher’s leader-of-the-pack success story in New Mexico to the old “big fish in a little pond” adage. That’s okay. Remember, this is a man who believes in brutal honesty. He doesn’t strut, but neither does he hang his head when he walks down shed row at Churchill or Del Mar. He wouldn’t be there if he didn’t have the right horse. To do otherwise would mean the possibility of embarrassing himself, New Mexico, owners, and many others. Fincher won’t do that because it’s irresponsible, which he is not.
He’s 26th on the 2023 Leading Trainers’ list with 363 starts, an 87-68-57 record,
24% wins, and 58% wps. Stats can be tricky sometimes. Consider that Brad Cox, number one on the list, has 786 starts, 28% wins, 60% wps. Steve Asmussen, number two, has 1,844 starts, 17% wins and 45% wps. Number three, Todd Pletcher, checked in with 843 starts, 19% wins, 53% wps.
Fincher loves training. It may not provide the adrenaline rush of riding but it’s challenging and it’s intensely competitive. That, and a full belly, keep him ticking.
Dang it! Forgot to ask him if he still eats peanut M&Ms!
42 New Mexico Horse Breeder
 Benoit Photo
Todd and Senior Buscador winning the
San Diego Handicap.

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