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Senior Senator jumped the last fence of the Grand National and rolled to a dominant victory last Saturday. (Douglas Lees photo)

Irvin L. “Skip” Crawford’s Senior Senator, on the cusp of history, looms as a heavy favorite to win Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Hunt Cup and retire the challenge cup with his third victory in one of America’s most storied and testing horse races.
The most recent horse to complete the Hunt Cup triple was Joy Valentine’s Cancottage in 1983.
The 123rd edition of the Hunt Cup in Glyndon attracted a field of 12; several of Senior Senator’s opponents tested him last Saturday and were overwhelmed by a brilliant performance by the nine-year-old Domestic Dispute gelding trained by Joe Davies.
Ridden confidently by Eric Poretz, Senior Senator retired the Grand National Challenge Cup on Saturday with his third victory in the Maryland Timber Triple Crown’s middle jewel, and the effort had to be regarded as one of his best.
He took command at the second-to-last fence and danced away from his opposition to win by 30½ lengths.
Senior Senator won the Hunt Cup in 2016, sustained a neck fracture in the 2017 race, and came back from surgery to win last year’s Hunt Cup by five lengths. Poretz will be in the saddle again on Saturday for the Hunt Cup’s four miles.
Davies, who has become the dominant Hunt Cup trainer of his generation, will be shooting for his fourth straight victory in America’s best-known timber race. He will saddle Gerry Brewster’s Derwins Prospector, the 2017 winner, who will be ridden by Annie Yeager.

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Grand National Recap: Another landslide Win for the Incumbent

Irvin “Skip” Crawford’s Senior Senator retired the Grand National Challenge Cup on Saturday for trainer Joe Davies and 23-year-old jockey Eric Poretz after taking his third straight victory in the Butler timber classic. Next Saturday, Senior Senator will attempt an even bigger prize, his third Maryland Hunt Cup, the crown jewel in the Maryland timber triple. Photographer Douglas Lees has the photo recap of the Grand National races.

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