Longshot Skyway stuns in PCSO Silver Cup


That’s what the entire racing tribe were in the aftermath of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Silver Cup, won by Skyway last June 21 at the Metroturf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas.

Sent off as the last choice out of eight runners—dehado sa lahat—selling only a little over P5,400 out of the total daily double pool of around P920,000, 4YO filly Skyway outlasted the heavy favorites in the 2,000 meter ordeal.

The top choices were coupled entries Hagdang Bato and Malaya; the former won the Silver Cup in 2013. The winner last year was Pugad Lawin, also entered in this race and sent off as third choice. The second favorites were coupled entries Dixie Gold and Hot and Spicy.

Hagdang Bato, a noted frontrunner, took the lead for most of the race, followed off-the-pace by Skyway under jockey Virgilio M. Camañero Jr., the tandem dropping to third in the backstretch.

They moved up at the far turn and steadily ate ground, Hagdang Bato fading to second and Low Profile persistently clinging to third.

Skyway gained even more down the stretch, seeming to fly the  final hundred meters to win by four lengths under the whip.

This is quite an achievement, considering two things: she is filly, and she is a grey. The rule of thumb is, things more or less being equal, to choose a colt over a filly and a dark horse (bay or black) over a light-colored horse (roan or gray).

Skyway earned P2.5 million for her victory; second placer Low Profile took home P700,000, third placer Dixie Gold P350,000, and fourth placer Kaiserslautern P250,000. The upset outcome resulted in a carryover of the winner-take-all pool.

The time for the race was 2:05.4 (24’-24-24’-24’-28).

Sired by Bertrando out of Maria’s Tale, Skyway was bred by Joseph C. Dyhengco is trained by Anthony Francisco and owned by Deemark International.

The race proceeds were donated by PCSO to the President Elpidio Quirino Foundation, represented at the event by celebrity Cory Quirino and family members Poncy, Justin, and Migui Quirino, and Paul and Connie Quirino Cuneta.

Also present at the awarding ceremony were, from PCSO, General Manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II and Assistant General Manager—Gaming Sector Conrado C. Zabella, as well as other members of the Committee on Races.

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Skyway’s masterful performance makes me wonder if this is going to turn into a longshot fillies’ year, what with 3YO fillies Superv and Court of Honor scoring upset wins in the first (May 17) and second legs (June 14) of the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown series respectively.

These two races and the PCSO Silver Cup are among the major ones on the calendar, and the exploits of these talented fillies so far remind me of the legendary racemare Sun Dancer, who swept the Triple Crown back in ‘80s and was undefeated in all her starts.

Will either of these two, or perhaps another filly, win the third leg on July 12?

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In its June 10 Board meeting, Philracom approved the following raceday start times: beginning June 15, all weekday races shall start at 6:15 pm, and beginning June 13, all weekend races start at 2:30 pm.

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