NINE colts and two fillies will pit guts and skills in the first leg of the most prestigious racing extravaganza for three-year-old horses—Philippine Racing Commission-backed Triple Crown series on May 21 at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.
Fighting for the crown are Batang Poblacion of Ferdinand Eusebio, Biglang Buhos of Stony Road Horse Farm, Breaking News of Aristeo Puyat, Doshermanos Island (filly) and Pangalusian Island of Wilbert Tan, Hiway One of Joseph Dyhengco, Golden Kingdom of Lamberto Almeda Jr., Manda of Benjamin Abalos Jr., Metamorphosis of Herminio Esguerra, Sepfourteen of SC Stockfarm and Smokin Saturday of Roberto Inigo.
A total of P3 million in prizes will be up for grabs in the race over a distance of 1,600 meters, with P1.8 million going to the champion horse and P675,000 allocated for the runner-up. Third and fourth placers get P375,000 and P150,000, respectively.
Different winners ruled last year’s Triple Crown, with the first leg being won by longshot Radio Active, which beat early favorite Dewey Boulevard for the honor.
In the second leg, Dewey Boulevard returned the favor by beating the first-leg winner in a duel from start to finish, setting up a battle royale in the third leg. But another longshot in Underwood crashed the party and dashed past Dewey Boulevard down the stretch to win the third leg by three lengths.
The last time one horse won it all in one year was in 2014 when Emmanuel Santos’s colt Kid Molave (Into Mischief x Unsaid) scored the rare 3-peat, earning a P500,000 bonus from Philracom for the rare feat.
The three-leg series is patterned after the United States’ Triple Crown, with its three legs comprised of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, also with progressively longer distances.
The series was launched in 1978, with Native Gift winning the first two legs and Majority Rule denying him the sweep. There have been only ten Triple Crown champions since then: Fair and Square in 1981, Skywalker (1983), Time Master (1987), Magic Showtime (1988), Sun Dancer (1989), Strong Material (1996), Real Top (1998), Silver Story (2001), Hagdang Bato (2012), and Kid Molave (2014).
“We expect some solid competition with the good field of horses not just for the Triple Crown but for the other races as well ” Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez said. “Participating horseowners and their families will be there, and so are the fans cheering for their favorite horses and jockeys.”
Also on tap on Sunday is the Philracom Hopeful Stakes Race offering P1 million in total prizes and the Philracom 3YO Locally Bred Stakes Race, with P500,000 at stake.
April’s Song, Brilliance, Caloocan Zap, Flawless Diamond, Flintridge, Gintong Lawin, Greatwall, Lemonada, Mount Pulag, Rochelle, Temecula and Time on Target will be dueling in the Hopeful Stakes Race, while Caloocan Zap, Cerveza Rosas, Creme Brule, Flawless Diamond, Gintong Lawin, Himig, Indian Warrior, Kingship, Magic Carpet Ride, Mr. Bourbon, Pagkakataon, Power Hook, Puerto Princesa, Selfie, Sikat and Time on Target comprise the 3YO Locally Bred Stakes.