Wonderland in 2ndleg PH Triple Crown; Justify wins in US

The Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, played host to three important 1,800-meter races last Sunday (June 10), resulting in gross sales of P28 million.T

The day’s major race was the Philippine Racing Commission’s second leg of the Triple Crown series. Out of seven horses participating, the winner was Wonderland with a time of 1:54.4 (13’-23’-24’-26-27). 2nd: Smart Candy, 3rd: Victorious Colt, 4th: Box Office, 5th: Goldsmith.  

The Hopeful Stakes boasted a nine-horse field.  Disyembreasais was the winner, clocking 1:55.4 (13-23-25-25’-29). 2nd: The Best Ever, 3rd:

Tapster, 4th: Jack Hammer, 5th: Foolish Heart.

Eight runners vied for top honors in the 3YO Local Horses Stakes. Aphrodisiac emerged victorious, with a time of 1:56.4 (13’-23’-25’-25’-28’). 2nd: The Barrister, 3rd: Princess Eowyn, 4th: Courageous, 5th: Barrett Browning.          

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Justify made racing history by grabbing all three legs of the U.S. Triple Crown following his recent victory in the 150thBelmont Stakes held last Saturday (June 9) at Belmont Park, New York.

The Belmont Stakes is run over a grueling mile-and-a-half (2,400 meters) and is the longest race in the TC. 

This year’s edition was run over a fast track, with Justify in post position one. He broke well and grabbed the early lead. Vino Rosso tried to stage a rally with Gronkowski and Hofburg fighting to move up from the back of the pack. 

Justify, under jockey Mike Smith, drifted slightly out in the stretch, but recovered to win by 1-3/4 lengths with a time of 2:28.18 and become the 13thTriple Crown champion. 

2nd: Gronkowski, 3rd: Hofburg, 4th: Vino Rosso.

Justify earned $800,000 of the $1.5 million purse for owners China Horse Club, WinStar Farms, and Starlight Racing. Justify ran with WinStar colors in the KY Derby and with China Horse Club silks in the Belmont.

The partnership has already won $1.24 million from the Kentucky Derby and $900,000 from the Preakness Stakes. Justify’s earnings from all three legs of the Triple Crown amount to $2.94 million.

Smith will receive ten percent from the owners’ purse, and from that amount, will give 30 percent to his agent and valet (what we call helper here). 

We have a similar system in the Philippines, where jockeys receive 12 percent and give 1.5 percent to their valet and further amounts to their other helpers. By custom, they also extend a certain sum to the starting gate helpers who assist them during races. There are no agents in our racing industry.

Here’s some trivia: The last Triple Crown winner was American Pharoah in 2015. He ended decades of TC drought from Affirmed in 1978. 

American Pharoah’s trainer was Bob Baffert, who is also the trainer of Justify. He and Jim Fitzsimmons are the only two trainers to have two horses win the TC, with Fitzsimmons saddling Gallant Fox in 1930 and Omaha in 1935. 

Mike Smith at 52 is the oldest jockey to win the TC. The youngest was Steve Cauthen, who, at 18, steered Affirmed to TC fame in 1978.

The mighty Secretariat still holds the stakes record for each of the Triple Crown races: the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5), the Preakness Stakes (1:53), and the Belmont Stakes (2:24).

According to Wikipedia, “Justify is only the second horse to win the Triple Crown with an undefeated record, following Seattle Slew. Justify is descended from Gallant Fox, Omaha, Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Count Fleet, and War Admiral, all of whom also won the Triple Crown. Of the 13 Triple Crown winners, Justify is the first who did not race as a two-year-old.”


Dr. Ortuoste is a writer and communications consultant. Facebook: Gogirl Racing and  @DrJennyO, Twitter: @hoarsewhsprr and @jennyortuoste

Topics: Philippine Racing Club , Philippine Racing Commission , U.S. Triple Crown , Justify
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