New Mexico Trainer up to the Task at Del Mar

August 28, 2022

DEL MAR, Calif.— It may not look like it on paper, but trainer Todd Fincher is pleased with how his summer has gone at Del Mar. Sometimes progress is not necessarily measured in victories. Going into Saturday’s racing, Fincher has one winner out of eleven starts with a second and two thirds.

“It’s been okay,” Fincher says. “My numbers aren’t the best but a lot of the horses have run good. We’ve brought some good horses and we’re not running in claiming races so we’re going up against the best. A couple have not run to expectations but we’re getting a feel for them.”

Not quite what he’s used to in New Mexico and in the midwest at Lone Star Park and Remington Park, where Fincher has made many a trip to the winner’s circle. He’s compiled over $1 million in earnings every year since 2009.

Fincher has brought six horses to Del Mar this year. Senor Buscador ran third in the G2 Pat O’Brien Saturday and Slammed won an allowance by five lengths at Del Mar last month. She’s running in today’s G3 Rancho Bernardo.

“I’ve been coming (to Del Mar) for years,” Fincher says. “The first time I came here with horses was 2018 and I just didn’t bring the right type of horses. Live and learn through the years. Obviously, I wouldn’t come here unless I have the quality. We have a Grade 2 and Grade 3 (this weekend), hopefully they’ll run good because they’re very nice horses.”

Fincher is all too familiar with how to play the game. He grew up in the racing business.

“My dad was a jockey and he rode for 25-to-30 years,” Fincher says, “and my mom trained so I grew up in it. When I was 16, I was a jockey for 10 years. I won over 900 races on Quarterhorses and Thoroughbreds but I couldn’t keep my weight down anymore. I did it as long as I could and I was blessed to do it.”

He approaches the task of training the same way he did riding and the results have been encouraging.

“We’ve built our business from the ground up,” Fincher says. “We’re doing great in New Mexico and we’re expanding and getting better quality Kentucky breds. We’re going to Remington and Lone Star, Texas and Oklahoma.”

The New Mexico circuit has been very good to Fincher. He scored his first and only graded stakes race with Runaway Ghost in the 2018 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park. The son of Ghostzapper would win six of his eight races at Sunland, all stakes, and eventually compile $783,509 in earnings.

But with all of the success Fincher has enjoyed in New Mexico, Del Mar remains a summer destination.

“Obviously, if we got good enough horses we want to come here,” Fincher says. “Everybody loves it. The horses love it, I love it, the owners love it. If you got the quality you want to come out here and run against the best.“

DMTC Press Release

Photo: Todd Fincher (Coady Photography)

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