Fresh from a win in the Grand National, Irvin L. “Skip” Crawford II’s Senior Senator will attempt a rare back-to-back victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Hunt Cup, the crowning finale to the Maryland timber triple crown.
Trained by Joseph G. Davies, Senior Senator won last year’s Hunt Cup in a hotly contested stretch battle after setting most of the pace in America’s best-known timber race.
He rated nicely in last Saturday’s Grand National, fired when asked by jockey Eric Poretz, and won by 1 1/2 lengths. Poretz, who rode the seven-year-old Domestic Dispute gelding to victory in last year’s Hunt Cup, again will be in the saddle.
Senior Senator will have 12 challengers, including several from the Grand National program on April 22, over the Hunt Cup’s 22 fences spread over four miles. Post time is 4 p.m. for the afternoon’s only race at the Glyndon course.
Kinross Farm’s Old Timer, an outsider in the Grand National, ran a strong race to finish second in the Grand National, second jewel of the Maryland timber triple. McLane Hendriks will ride Old Timer for two-time Hunt Cup-winning trainer Richard Valentine.
The steeplechase sport’s leading owner, Maryland native and resident Irv Naylor, will be represented by supplemental entry Super Saturday, who finished fourth in the Grand National, nine lengths behind the winner. Roger Quinlan will ride for trainer Kathy Neilson.
Also jumping into the Hunt Cup picture from the Grand National were Derwins Prospector (fifth); Imperial Way (sixth), and supplemental entry Terko Service (seventh). Serene Harbor and And the Eagle Flys, both of whom fell in the Grand National, also were entered.
Coming out of the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur allowance timber race on the Grand National card were De Chera (second), Great Halo (sixth), and Our Town (seventh).
The sole Hunt Cup starter from the My Lady’s Manor, first leg of the timber triple, is Bruton Street-US’s Drift Society, who finished second. English jockey Hadden Frost will ride for champion trainer Jack Fisher.
Here is the field for the 121st Maryland Hunt Cup. All starters carry 165 pounds.
Terko Service. 2007 b. g., Service Stripe—Terko Bates, by Bates Motel. Owner: Frank A. Bonsal Jr. Trainer: Ann D. Stewart. Casey Pinkard. Breeder: Campbell Stable (Mich.) 2017record: 2-0-0-0, $450. 2016 record: 2-1-0-1, $10,500. 2015 record: 2-0-0-1, $1,000. 2014 record: 1-0-0-0, $500. Finished seventh in 2017 Grand National after sixth in John D. Schapiro amateur allowance timber at My Lady’s Manor. Won 2016 Willowdale amateur apprentice timber after third in Winterthur timber allowance race for second straight year.
Our Town. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Purim—Eurosceptic, by Cozzene. Owners: Gerry Brewster, George Tydings, and Richard F. Blue Jr. Trainer: Joseph Davies. Jockey: Max Kendrick. Breeder: F. Bruce Miller (Pa.) 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2016 record: 3-0-1-0, $4,050. 2015 record: 2-0-1-0, $2,550. Finished seventh in Grand National’s 2017 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur allowance timber race. Pulled up in 2016 Virginia Gold Cup after finishing third and placed second in 2016 Murray.
Serene Harbor. 2003 b. g., Valley Crossing—We Wak Harbor, by Waquoit. Owner: Welcome Here Farm. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Annie Yeager. Breeder: Nina Gardner (Pa.). 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $8,000. 2015 record: 1-1-0-0, $18,000. 2014 record: 3-2-0-0, $21,000. Fell in 2017 Grand National. Finished third in 2016 Grand National, then fourth in Maryland Hunt Cup. Won Grand National in only 2015 start. Closed 2014 season with a runaway victory in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Returned to the races after a nearly two-year break and won a Winterthur timber allowance race that year.
Derwins Prospector. 2008 ch. g., Van Nistelrooy—Stringtown Sally, by Crafty Prospector. Owner: Gerry L. Brewster. Trainer: Joseph Davies. Jockey: Gozangue Cottreau. Breeders: Patricia Lagden and Devi Hall (Ky.). 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,200. 2016 record: 4-0-1-1, $5,100. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 3-0-0-0, $2,200. Finished fourth in the 2017 Grand National. Finished sixth in 2016 Grand National, then lost rider in Maryland Hunt Cup.
Senior Senator. 2010 b. g., Domestic Dispute—Queen Kennelot, by Awesome Again. Owner: Irvin L. Crawford II. Trainer: Joseph Davies. Jockey: Eric Poretz. Breeder: Charles C. D. McGill (Pa.) 2017 record: 1-1-0-0, $18,000. 2016 record: 2-1-0-0, $60,000. 2015 record: 2-0-2-0, $10,800. 2014 record: 3-1-1-0, $12,000. Won 2017 Grand National by 1 1/2 lengths. Won 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup after setting most of the pace. Finished first and disqualified to last for interference in 2016 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur allowance timber at Grand National.
Old Timer. 2006 b. g., Orientate—Chatham Hall, by Green Dancer. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Richard L. Valentine. Jockey: McLane Hendriks. Breeder: Gainesway Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2017 record: 1-0-1-0, $5,400. 2016 record: 4-0-1-2, $17,400. 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 2-0-1-1, $12,900. Finished second in 2017 Grand National, beaten 1 1/2 lengths. Finished third in 2016 New Jersey Hunt Cup after second in Radnor Hunt Cup. Finished third in My Lady’s Manor and was fifth in Virginia Gold Cup. Fell in the 2015 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, his only start that year. Finished second in 2014 My Lady’s Manor before third in Virginia Gold Cup.
Great Halo. 2007 b. g., Great Notion—Noddy’s Halo, by Halo. Owner: Keystone Thoroughbreds. Trainer: Todd McKenna. Jockey: Trevor McKenna. Breeder: Roland Farm (Md.) 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $600. 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $2,450. Finished sixth in 2017 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial at Grand National. Finished fourth and was placed third in 2016 Murray Memorial after sixth in division of John Rush Streett maiden timber at My Lady’s Manor.
Imperial Way. 2005 ch. g., Point Given–Lasha, by Rahy. Owner: Merriefield Farm. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Bethany Baumgardner. Breeders: McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Craig and Cathy Beam, et al. 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $900. 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $4,000. 2015 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 2-0-1-0, $14,300. Finished sixth in 2017 Grand National. Finished fifth in 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup after seventh in Grand National. Disqualified from win in 2015 Maryland Hunt Cup after losing saddle weights late in race. Just missed by a nose in thrilling 2014 Maryland Hunt Cup finish.
Joshua G. 2006 ch. g., Run Softly—Search for Reality, by Regal Search. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Jennie Brannigan. Breeder: Jason L. Cole (Pa.) 2017 record: No starts. 2016 record: 5-0-0-3, $8,000. 2015 record: 4-0-0-0, $5,750. 2014 record: 3-1-0-0, $10,400. Finished fourth in 2016 Grand National, then fell in Maryland Hunt Cup and finished third in Willowdale amateur allowance timber. Finished third in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, then was third in Pennsylvania Hunt Cup allowance timber race. Finished fifth and placed fourth in Maryland Hunt Cup.
Drift Society (Ire). 2008 b. g., Jackson’s Drift—Tansey Yearwood (Ire), by Moscow Society. Owner: Bruton Street-US. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Hadden Frost. Breeder: Eleanor Bennett (Ire). 2017 record: 1-0-1-0, $5,400. 2016 record: 3-1-1-1, $23,500. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 5-1-1-0, $14,000. Finished second in 2017 My Lady’s Manor. Finished second in 2016 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Won 2016 John D. Schapiro amateur apprentice allowance at My Lady’s Manor, then finished good third in Maryland Hunt Cup. Finished second in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup.
And the Eagle Flys. 2002 ch. g., Double Honor–Slick Mountain, by Peaks and Valleys. Owner: Mrs. William D. Class Jr. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Open. Breeders: Philip and Karen Matthews (Fla.). 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2016 record: 2-0-1-0, $5,400. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. Fell in 2017 Grand National. Finished second in 2016 Grand National, then fell at 11th fence of Maryland Hunt Cup. Pulled up in the 2014 Grand National and Maryland Hunt Cup. Won the 2012 Grand National and finished second in the 2011 Maryland Hunt Cup.
De Chera. 2006 ch. g., Deputy Commander—Torchera, by Pirate’s Bounty. Owner-Trainer: H. Bruce Fenwick. Jockey: Open. Breeder: Hidden Point Farm (Fla.). 2017 record: 1-0-1-0, $3,600. 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $750. Finished second in the Grand National’s 2017 Benjamin H. Murray Memorial amateur allowance race, beaten a neck. Finished fourth in a 2016 Virginia Fall maiden timber race and then fell in a Pennsylvania Hunt Cup maiden timber.
Super Saturday. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Any Given Saturday—Lady Aloma, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Roger Quinlan. Breeder: Walton Breeders (Ky.) 2017 record: 1-0-0-0, $1,500. 2016 record: 5-0-1-0, $4,550. 2015 record: 4-1-1-0, $19,800. 2014 record: 5-1-0-1, $13,000. Finished fourth in the 2017 Grand National. Began 2016 campaign with second in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase, then was fourth in Winterthur Bowl and seventh in Willowdale Steeplechase. Finished eighth in Shawan’s Legacy Chase and fifth in Virginia Fall’s Steeplethon.