Hello old friend and Merry Christmas Eve. A year removed from being the second most read story of the year here at This Is Horse Racing, Senior Senator makes the list again in 2019.
Senior Senator won his third Maryland Hunt Cup in late April, his 2019 score joining other victories in 2016 and 2018. Joe Clancy was on the scene and his story, with an accompanying video, set the scene pre- and post-race.
“At about 7 Saturday morning, trainer Joe Davies took race favorite Senior Senator out of the barn and turned him loose in a paddock,” Joe wrote. “The move went against the instructions of Davies’ wife Blythe and assistant Ashton Williams, but the horse loved it.
“The 2016 and 2018 Maryland Hunt Cup winner pawed a sand pit once or twice, then flopped down on his right side. He rolled, flipped to his left side without rising and scratched all over. Then he bolted to his feet and reared, flicking his white bell boots like a boxer hitting a speed bag. While his mascot Fernando the Donkey looked for something to eat in a fence feeder, the horse came down on his front hooves, auditioned for the rodeo with two twisting bucks and cantered away with a squeal.”
Senior Senator went on to a 4-length victory over Drift Society with Joshua G., completing the 22 timber fences and 4 miles of turf to win in 9:16 4/5.
Eric Poretz, the only person to ride Senior Senator in a timber race, rode the winner again for owners Skip and Vicki Crawford.
“Senior Senator, a Pennsylvania-bred who was too much of a rogue to be successful (or even useful) in an eight-start flat career, joined Garry Owen, Princetwon, Blockade, Winton, Pine Pep, Jay Trump, Mountain Dew and Cancottage as three-time winners of the storied race,” Joe wrote. “The son of Domestic Dispute won the 2016 Hunt Cup in an upset Davies still calls a ‘Hail Mary,’ fell at the third fence in 2017 (breaking a bone in his neck) and has won the last two. No horse has won four, and it had been 36 years since Cancottage claimed his third.
“Hence the comparisons to legends.”
The story ran April 29 and is No. 8 on the TIHR Top 10 for 2019.
Check out the rest of the TIHR Top 10 for 2019: