Welcome Here Farm’s Serene Harbor put in a huge jump at the final fence of Saturday’s $25,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and pulled away to a 38 3/4-length victory over Snow Blizzard. They were the only two finishers after Grinding Speed stumbled after landing at the last fence and unseated jockey Mark Beecher. Almarmooq was pulled up.
Trained by Todd McKenna and ridden by Annie Yeager, Serene Harbor ran the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup’s 3 1/2 miles over timber fences in 7:39.80 on a Geneseo, N.Y., course rated as firm. It was the second victory of the year for the 11-year-old Valley Crossing gelding, who previously scored in a Winterthur timber allowance race on May 4.
Michael T. Wharton’s Grinding Speed set the early pace and was displaced on the lead by Serene Harbor on the final circuit. Beecher asked Grinding Speed to challenge at the second to last fence, and the leaders came to the last together. Serene Harbor’s big fence gave him a significant lead, and Beecher was unable to stay in the saddle after Grinding Speed’s stumble. Trained by Nancy Knox and ridden by Bethany Baumgardner, Equinox Stable’s Snow Blizzard followed Serene Harbor to the finish line to take second money.