Senor Buscador's Peacock Added Investor Before Saudi Cup, Two-Race Lease In Place Through Dubai World Cup

Senor Buscador wins the Saudi Cup | The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

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Just before the gate load in Saturday's G1 Saudi Cup at the King Abdulaziz Racecourse, if you were an American race fan scouring the circling field looking for the customary light blue and neon green standard carried by Joe Peacock Jr.'s homebred MGSW Senor Buscador (Mineshaft), then you might have been left wondering.

The banner wasn't there. That's because jockey Junior Alvarado was sporting royal blue and white aboard the eventual winner.

Despite reporting by several Middle Eastern news outlets–namely Arab News and the Saudi Gazette–which either listed Peacock secondarily as the owner, or in the case of latter, totally omitted his name, rest assured, said the San Antonio-based breeder and owner, he is still firmly in control.

“I think it was a misunderstanding and probably due to not fully comprehending the nature of the business agreement,” said Peacock, when he was reached by phone on Monday afternoon. “This is a two-race lease for a minority interest in Senor Buscador, and he is, and always will be ours.”

It is true that after Senor Buscador arrived for the Saudi Cup under the care of trainer Todd Fincher, Peacock did forge a racing license agreement just before the race on Friday with Saudi businessman Sharaf Mohammed S. Al-Hariri.

Peacock says that the terms pertain only to Senor Buscador's time in the Middle East and have nothing to do with breeding rights. The arrangement includes competing in the Saudi Cup and then the opportunity to run in next month's G1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse.

In exchange for an undisclosed amount, but one which Peacock confirmed was significant, Al-Hariri's stake is strictly based on the horse's winnings.

The other portion of the deal gave Al-Harari the right to have his silks borne by jockey Junior Alvarado in both races.

“I started to receive all kinds of offers for Buscador when we were invited to go to the Saudi Cup,” the owner explained. “The answer was always 'no thank you' but I understood how important it was to them over there to have their silks in the race, so I thought from a business standpoint, it would be good to mitigate our own risks, hedge our bets, and offer a short-term lease.

Owner Joe Peacock Jr. | Horsephotos

“I think Sharaf took a gamble, a major risk, and I applaud him for that effort. I am happy that it worked out for him.”

After the 6-year-old won on Saturday in Riyadh, there was confusion over why Peacock and his contingent were not allowed to take part in the official trophy presentation.

The owner and his supporters were denied access by the Royal Guard to the area where the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, conducted the ceremony. Al-Hariri instead received the Saudi Cup trophy.

“I was very disappointed,” admitted Peacock. “I told them I owned the horse, but it wasn't until later that they brought the trophies to us during the press conference. That is the way it goes.”

When asked about the news stories put out by the press in Saudi Arabia, he said, “I'm really over it and not going to spend time thinking about it because I know who we are and what it took to get our horse into this position.”

As of Monday morning, Senor Buscador arrived safe and sound in Dubai after he was joined by a contingent of other Saudi Cup card participants for the two-hour flight. The logistics were organized shortly after the invitation to come to Saudi Arabia was extended, according to Peacock.

Over the next month, Senor Buscador will be housed at Meydan with Fincher assistant Oscar Rojero, who traveled with the horse to Saudi Arabia. Regular workouts will take place, with Fincher making all of the decisions concerning the tab–just as he always does–added the owner.

Dubai World Cup Night is scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 30 with Senor Buscador attempting to become the first dual winner of the Saudi Cup and Dubai World Cup.

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