Coppertree Farm's Quel Senor, who won the 2001 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, headlines a six-horse field in the $30,000 Miles Valentine Memorial Stakes at the Fair Hill Races on May 27 in Fair Hill, Md.
Invest West joins Quel Senor as a grade I winner in the group, which also includes 2002 stakes winners P.C. Plod and Brown Lad, 2001 stakes winner Indispensable and 2000 stakes winner Golden Rule.
Since winning the $250,000 Breeders' Cup (NSA-I) last October, Quel Senor has been something of a mystery. He was pulled up in the Colonial Cup (NSA-I) in November and fell in the Royal Chase (NSA-I) at Keeneland in April. Trained in Maryland by Tom Voss, the 7-year-old French import finished second to Al Skywalker at Radnor May 18 and could be coming back into form. Regular jockey Cyril Murphy will be aboard.
Augustin Stable's Invest West hasn't run over fences since 2000, but packs plenty of back class into his form. The 7-year-old son of Lear Fan won his only two starts of 2000 --the Carolina Cup (NSA-I) and a grade II stakes at Arlington Park. A key entrant in that year's Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, he was scratched the morning of the race with a tendon injury and hasn't raced over jumps since.
P.C. Plod makes his fifth start of this campaign, which thus far includes a win, two seconds and a fourth for Virginia's Kinross Farm and trainer Neil Morris.
The Valentine field (with trainer, jockey) in post postion order with
morning line odds:
1. Invest West (Jonathan Sheppard, Gus Brown) 6-1.
2. Quel Senor (Tom Voss, Cyril Murphy) 8-5.
3. Indispensable (Jack Fisher, Chip Miller) 10-1.
4. Brown Lad (Toby Edwards, Arch Kingsley) 8-1.
5. Golden Rule (Jimmy Day, Rob Massey) 3-1.
6. P.C. Plod (Neil Morris, Matt McCarron) 4-1