Si Si! Senor Buscador Seizes $20 Million Saudi Cup

Beaten by several champions in the United States over the past four years, Senor Buscador made amends in 10 million ways on Saturday night, barreling down the stretch for a thrilling victory in the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1).

A longshot in a 14-horse field that included Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) champ White Abarrio and Pegasus World Cup (G1) winner National Treasure, Senor Buscador edged Japan’s Ushba Tesoro by a head at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.

Senor Buscador won the biggest race of his career and the richest race in the world all at the same time in the Saudi Cup

“I’m about to cry,’’ New Mexico-based trainer Todd Fincher said of the surprise win in the world’s richest horse race. “He never got the credit he deserved, and he finally got to show it today.

“I didn’t believe it, as something always happens to him in every race. He always has 10 or 11 horses to weave in and out of. We knew he was going to run good, we just had to hope for the right set up. It’s awesome.”

The 6-year-old son of Mineshaft earned the $10 million winner’s share for breeder/owner Joe Peacock, Jr., who now shares ownership with Sharif Mohammed S. Al Hariri.

Senor Buscador ($28.80 for a $2 win bet) was ridden by Junior Alvarado, who also was the jockey for 2023’s heart-warming journey of Horse of the Year Cody’s Wish.

As expected, the 1,800-meter, one-turn Saudi Cup saw Saudi Crown and National Treasure head right to the front, with favorite White Abarrio sitting in fifth place. By the time the leaders came into the long stretch, it appeared as if Saudi Crown was going to take the race gate-to-wire.

The Intense Final Moments of Senor Buscador’s Triumph

With 200 yards to go, Saudi Crown was still in front, but Ushba Tesoro, with Senor Buscador on his tail, was gobbling up ground on the far outside.

Saudi Crown with jockey Florent Geroux win the 2024 Louisiana Stakes a Fair GroundsUshba Tesoro briefly led in the final meters, but Senor Buscador was right on his outer flank and seized the lead in the final stride.

“He was unbelievable,” Alvarado said. “That horse that finished second passed us at the sixteenth pole. I was saying, ‘C’mon boy. C’mon boy. Keep going here.’ He kept going right down to the wire.”

Last out, Senor Buscador was second to National Treasure in the Pegasus World Cup. Before that, he was second to Hoist the Gold in the Cigar Mile (G2), seventh in the BC Classic (behind White Abarrio and Derma Sotogake), third in the Awesome Again (G1), and fourth in the Pacific Classic (G1). His career record is 18-7-2-2 over 12 different racetracks

“There are no words to express this. This was the last horse [my father and I] bred together,’’ Peacock said, referring to his father Joe, who passed away three years ago. “We always knew he could put it together, but we didn’t know it would be in the Saudi Cup.”

Saudi Crown held on for third for trainer Brad Cox, National Treasure was fourth for trainer Bob Baffert, and Japan’s Derma Sotogake was fifth.

Following him were Isolate, Defunded, Scotland Yard, Crown Pride, White Abarrio, Carmel Road, Lemon Pop, Power in Numbers, and Hoist the Gold.

Saudi Cup results and $2 win bet payouts (2020-2024)

2024: Senor Buscador: $28.80

2023: Panthalassa, $34.10

2022: Emblem Road, $229.20

2021: Mishriff, $41.60

2020: Maximum Security. $4.40*

*Disqualification pending. Runner-up Midnight Bisou would be declared the winner.


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