That’s what victory was like for the connections of Dewey Boulevard, lightly-regarded in the sales but who stormed to the wire to win the year’s most prestigious race.
The 45th Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup was held last Sunday (Dec. 10) at the Metro Manila Turf Club in Malvar, Batangas.
Owned by Herminio S. Esguerra and trained by Ruben Tupas, Dewey Boulevard was sent off as third favorite in a nine-horse field behind Sepfourteen and Bite My Dust, the latter also Tupas-trained.
Dewey Boulevard, guided by jockey Patricio Dilema, broke well and took the lead, followed by Tap Dance, Lakan, and Pinagtipunan by the rail. Past the judges’ stand, the favorite Sepfourteen was in fourth and paced by Bite My Dust.
In the backstretch, Dewey Boulevard maintained a slight length’s lead over Lakan and the rallying Sepfourteen. In the homestretch, Dewey Boulevard pulled away from a hurrying Bite My Dust to win by an amazing three lengths.
The Esguerra stable took home the P4 million purse—P3 million from PCSO and P1 million from the Philippine Racing Commission.
2nd Bite My Dust (P1 million), 3rd Messi (P500,000), 4th Sepfourteen (P300,000), 5th Lakan. Total time: 2:05 (25’-24’-24’-24-26’) for 2,000 meters.
The day’s sales reached a healthy P37.35 million from about 303 terminals operational throughout the raceday.
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The victory with Dewey Boulevard is a memorable one for jockey Patricio Dilema, who has won the Gold Cup four times now.
He won previously in 2001 on Wind Blown (also owned by Esguerra), 2013 on Pugad Lawin (owned by Tony Tan), and 2015 on Dixie Gold (a Joseph Dyhengco horse).
“Patty” is known for grandstanding before crossing the finish line at major stakes races, and this time was no different, the Metro Turf Board of Stewards duly fining him P1,000 for violating PR 76 L.
I recall he did the same thing when he won the Gold Cup with Dixie Gold. Well, what’s a thousand-peso fine when his share of the purse will be something like P480,000?
Still the winningest jockey in the PCSO Gold Cup is Jesus Guce, who won six times over 22 years. The first was on Fiorella in 1976, followed by Red Annie in 1980, Fair and Square back-to-back in 1981 and 1982, Strong Material in 1995, and Real Top in 1998. It’s no wonder that Guce’s monicker was “El Maestro.”
Given that Patty’s skills and strategy have gotten better since his debut in the late ‘90s or thereabouts, there’s every chance that he can equal or even surpass this particular record of Guce’s.
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Dr. Ortuoste is a California-based writer and researcher. Facebook: Gogirl Racing and Jenny Ortuoste, Twitter: @gogirlracing and @jennyortuoste