For Smart Candy, preparation is key.
The rising SC Stockfarm filly reaped the dividends of its back-to-back stakes race win early this year to claim its biggest victory yet, the 1st leg of the Philippine Racing Commission’s Triple Crown Series before an appreciative Mother’s Day crowd at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite Sunday.
The 3-year-old filly, who won the second and third legs of Philracom’s 3YO Stakes Race series in March and April this year, was tested to the hilt by Victorious Colt and Wonderland before her vaunted staying power in the 1,600-meter distance netted her the half-a-length win.
“Buti naman nakaraos, medyo nahirapan kasi siya sa harapan, nalusutan naman niya ‘yung pressure ng kalaban,” said jockey Kevin Abobo, referring to the pressure initially put on by Speedmatic.
Halfway through the race, Victorious Colt and Wonderland joined the party, with the former momentarily grabbing the lead before Smart Candy burst to the finish in the last 300 meters for the win, which was worth P1.8 million for SC Stockfarm owner Oliver Velasquez, whose horse Sepfourteen, scored a rare-3-speat during last “Naghintay na lang ako hanggang sa diretso sa last 300, doon kinuha ko na. At least naka-first leg na kami. Hopefully, ‘yung second and third legs, sana makuha namin,” hoped Abobo of the feat achieved by Sepfourteen, who last year became the 11th member of the elite Triple Crown club.
Prior to Sepfourteen’s achievement, 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.
Second placer Victorious Colt, with jockey OP Cortez on board, won P675,000 for owner Jose Antonio Zialcita, while coupled entries Wonderland (FM Racquel Jr.) and Speedmatic (Pat Dilema), placed third and fourth, worth P375,000 and P150,000 for a total of P525,000 for owner Hermie Esguerra.
In the P1-Million Hopeful Stakes Race, Goldsmith and jockey RG Fernandez overpowered the field with a masterful five-length triumph over Disyembreasais (jockey JB Cordova, owner Alfredo Santos) and Hamlet (JB Hernandez, Leonardo Javier Jr).
The win was worth P600,000 for Goldsmith owner Cipriano Sison.
Meanwhile, the opening P500,000 Philracom 3YO Locally Bred Stakes Race was topped by Jack Hammer (jockey JB Hernandez and owner Leandro Naval), followed by The Barrister (jockey EG Guerra and owner Daniel Tan) and Filipino Emperor (jockey JL Paano and owner Henedino F. Gianan Jr.).
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.
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