2nd leg Triple Crown, Hopeful stakes this weekend

THE Philippine Racing Club is set to deliver a speed-soaked weekend of racing at their Santa Ana Park racetrack in Naic, Cavite, featuring the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown series and the Hopeful Stakes races.

Both star-studded events are backed by the Philippine Racing Commission and showcase the talents of the country’s elite local-bred 3YO Thoroughbreds.

Kerby Chua’s filly Superv, longshot winner of the Triple Crown’s mile-long first leg last May 17 at San Lazaro Leisure Park, will attempt to repeat in the second leg on Sunday, June 14.

She faces the challenge of a longer distance—1,800 meters—and a formidable field of 11 other runners. They are Conrado Ong’s colt Breaking Bad, SC Stockfarm’s colt Cat Express, Honorato Neri’s filly Court of Honor, Alchy Enterprises’ colt Diamond’s Best, Felipe Vergara’s filly Driven, Stony Road Horse Farm’s colt Incredible Hook, RMR Equine’s colt Magnetism, Emmanuel King Jr.’s colt Money Talks, Bingson Tecson’s filly Princess Meili, Joseph Dyhengco’s colt Sky Hook, and Dennis Gaddi’s colt Wanderlust.

Up for grabs is P3 million allocated from first to fourth places, with the winner to receive P1.8 million. Colts will carry 54 kgs. and fillies 52.

While some racing fans are eager to see Superv score again, others are not discounting Wanderlust’s chances. Most opine that this race in honor of the late congressman and horseowner Enrique M. Cojuangco Sr. is even-steven.

The Hopeful Stakes on Saturday, June 13, has a full gate field. This is even tougher to call, with SC Stockfarm’s filly Princess Ella, a multiple stakes winner, having a slight edge. Rolando Villardo’s colt Son of Thunder won a special race a couple of weeks ago and looks in good condition.

Also to be considered are the chances of Stony Road’s filly Hurricane Ridge, Marlon Cunanan’s colt Jebel Ali, and Aurora Sevilla’s Icon.

The purse is P1 million for first to fourth with the winner to receive P600,000.

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Third choice Mezzanine (Street Sense x Parapet) came from behind to win a Philracom-sponsored charity race for the benefit of the Philippine Red Cross – Manila Chapter last Sunday, June 7, at SLLP.

The veteran racemare owned by SC Stockfarm and ridden by John Paul A. Guce negotiated the 1,500-meter distance off the pace from frontrunner Lucky Nine, the favorite, to win by a length and a half.

Boss Gee placed second in a photo-finish against Lucky Nine while Seni Seviyorum took fourth. The total time was 1:36.6 (18’-24’-26-27).

Representing the Philippine Red Cross at the awarding ceremony were Jose Lozada Jr., Baby Cayetano, and Peping Chu, along with Manila councilman DJ Bagatsing. Philracom Commissioner lawyer Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr. handed the owner’s trophy to trainer Chito Santos.

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American Pharoah ended racing’s 37-year Triple Crown drought last June 6 when he won the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the US Triple Crown.

Affirmed was the last to sweep all three legs in 1978.

American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile x Littleprincessemma) blazed the last quarter of the mile and a half (2,400 meters) race .68 of a second faster than Secretariat’s 25-second time in the 1973 Belmont.

Acceleration in the last quarter is rare; what usually happens is that horses get tired in the stretch and their last quarter is the slowest.

American Pharoah clocked a total time of 2:26.65, the second-fastest time to Secretariat’s still-standing record of 2:24 among the 12 Triple Crown champions.

His trainer Bob Baffert called the run “ridiculously insane,” adding “he flew home the last quarter. I’ve never had a horse like that.”

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