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Saudi Cup 2024 | King Abdulaziz Racetrack Replay
Senor Buscador (Shamela Hanley/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Saudi Cup 2024 | King Abdulaziz Racetrack Replay

The Todd Fincher-trained Senor Buscador won the 2024 Saudi Cup (G1) at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in a photo finish with Ushba Tesoro.

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Watch the race replay here:

The press release:

Senor Buscador had only three horses beaten when he made his decisive move going wide in the 550-yard homestretch, picking off rivals and getting the bob of the head in the final stride of his victory Saturday in the Grade 1, $20 million Saudi Cup.

A runner-up to National Treasure in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational last month at Gulfstream Park, 6-year-old Senor Buscador overtook pace-setting Saudi Crown, who had the lead until the last 75 yards, and Ushba Tesoro, who flashed to the front 25 yards before being caught at the wire.

The son of Mineshaft was ridden to victory by Junior Alvarado, whose first race with Senor Buscador was a runner-up finish in the Cigar Mile Invitational two starts back.

Ushba Tesoro from Japan finished second, Brad Cox-trained Saudi Crown came in third, National Treasure fourth, Derma Sotogake fifth and Isolate sixth in the field of 14.

Post-time favorite White Abarrio raced about fifth through the first six furlongs, but he faded in the last three-sixteenths of a mile to finish 10th in his first race since he won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November.

The winning time for Senor Buscador was 1:49.50 for the one-turn, 1 1/8-mile Saudi Cup that is the richest race in the world for Thoroughbreds.

Senor Buscador raced for the first time in the colors of new lead owner Sharaf Mohammed Al Hariri. He is co-owned by breeder Joe Peacock Jr. With the victory worth $10 million, his career earnings rose to $11,496,427 from a record of 18: 7-2-2.

“We got a bit unlucky the last two races on the track, very fast with speed horses, and I never like to change the style of horses,” Alvarado said. “I always had faith in the horse and we just needed, not even luck, just a fair track and I knew we would get that today. I’m very happy, very grateful for opportunities that come along. I try give my horses the best opportunity. I’m trying to take advantage of every opportunity I get after having some injuries.”

“I’m about to cry, it’s amazing,” Fincher said. “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 know he was going to run good, we just had to hope for the right set up. It’s awesome.

“From New Mexico, we don’t have the quality of horses very often but the stable is getting better now and they treated us great over here. I’m very excited about the opportunity and getting it done is unbelievable. The plan is Dubai but we will leave it up to the horse. He usually doesn’t take long to bounce back and we just need to make sure his physical health is in good shape.”