CARMONA, Cavite—Kelvin Abobo had a good feel of the racetracks at the San Lazaro Leisure Park recently.
The 30-year-old veteran jockey used his familiarity of the tracks to steer three of five horses he rode to victories, including the Manila Jockey Club’s 1867 Founder’s Cup, the race of the richest Sunday racing extravaganza in history.
On top of Hitting Spree, Abobo and his four-year-old imported colt came charging from the middle of the pack in the final turn to rule the 1750-meter course.
In finishing with a time of one minute and 49.2 seconds, Hitting Spree went on to grab the top purse of P2.88-million.
Hitting Spree was four lengths ahead of his closest pursuers, Atomic Seventynine and Kanlaon.
“Kabisado ko ang course. Araw araw akong nag-eensayo dito,” said Abobo, who rode the day’s races, with his wife and three kids watching and cheering him from the stands.
For Abobo, it was his third win for the day. He earlier rode Brilliance (SC Stockfarm), a three-year-old filly to the 2017 Philracom Hopeful Stakes Race honors. Abobo was also on top off Atty. Narciso Morales’ If Your Honor Please when they won Resorts World Manila Cup.
With Selfie ruling Philracom’s 3YO Locally Bred Stakes Race, Brilliance topping the Hopeful Stakes Race and Sepfourteen winning the 1st leg of the Triple Crown Series, Hitting Spree made it four wins of the eight races at stake for the day for Oliver Velasquez’s SC Stockfarm.
It was an unusual finish for Hitting Spree. Skway, a favourite, was in front when the race started.
He was chased by Hitting Spree from the outside, with Lakan at the left side.
Before the final turn, John Alvin Guce, who was on top of Sakima, made a push to third. But he was overtaken by Val Dilema on board Kanlaon.
This kept Guce from claiming a second win for the day as he earlier took the Triple Stakes crown while on top of Sepfourteen.
The MJCI made Sunday’s festival celebrating MJC’s 150th anniversary at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite the richest ever in the history of PH racing.
Eight races, highlighted by the Founder’s Cup, which itself offered a record prize of P6 million, comprised the P14.5-million racing extravaganza, presented by the MJCI and supported by the Philippine Racing Commission.
“The success of these historic races on our 150th year wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the racing public, the participants and our backers, such as Philracom, Resorts World, City of Dreams and Fundador,” said MJCI President Atty. Alfonso Reyno III.
As the birthplace of Philippine horseracing, the Manila Jockey Club was established in 1867 by Gov. General Jose dela Gandara y Navarro and a group of around 100 founding partners, whose members come from prominent Spanish, American and Filipino families of Manila.
In the first leg of the Triple Crown, Sepfourteen, ridden by Guce, found an opportunity to pull away in the last 400-meters to win by a big margin.
The 30-year-old Guce prodded the three-year-old colt to move past two bets that were trying to outdo each other right from the get go– Smokin Saturday and Biglang Buhos. Sepfourteen responded and overtook the two, sprinting to the finish line some 20 meters ahead of the pack when it was over. He had a clocking of one minute and 49.2 seconds when Sepfourteen completed the 1,600-meter course.
In the Fundador Cup, Pinagtipunan (Jockey JB Hernandez) of owner Benjamin Abalos III, emerged triumphant, even as Palos (PJA Guce) of owner Atty. Morales, topped the PCSO Cup. Gee Prize (AP Navarosa) of Eduardo Gonzales, on the other hand, rounded out the day’s winners after topping the City of Dreams Cup.