07/24/2011 6:49PM

Arapahoe Park: Queen Greeley provides happy homecoming for Fincher

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Shawn Coady/Coady Photography
Queen Greeley captures the Columbine Stakes for New Mexico-based trainer Todd Fincher.

Trainer Todd Fincher’s homecoming to Colorado was a successful one on Sunday, when he sent out Queen Greeley to a five-length win in the $40,000 Columbine at Arapahoe Park. She was the first horse Fincher, a Denver native, has ever saddled at the Aurora, Colo., track. The trainer is based in New Mexico.

Fincher shipped Queen Greeley to Colorado on Friday. She broke well in the 1 1/16-mile Columbine, sitting third behind pacesetters Lucky Lo Lo and Foxy Moon. The leaders put up fractions of 23.90 and 47.91 seconds, and  then were overtaken by Queen Greeley ($3.40). The eventual winner went on to separate herself from her rivals in the stretch, covering the distance on a track rated fast in 1:44.58.

Vernon Scantling was aboard Queen Greeley, who races for Barbara and Chris Coleman. Fincher, a former jockey, rode at Arapahoe in 1996. He now operates one of the most successful stables in New Mexico.

Vannacide, a 10-year-old who has won four runnings of the Columbine, rallied from last for seventh on Sunday.