Smokin Saturday was smoking hot and furiously fast at the 2019 Philippine Racing Commission’s Grand Sprint Championship as it pulled off a one-length win at the MetroTurf Racing Complex in Malvar, Batangas on Sunday.
With veteran Pat R. Dilema’s masterful riding, Smokin Saturday (sired by Any Given Saturday out of Smokin) crowned itself as the country’s best sprinter in the short 1,200-meter race following the five-year-old filly’s clocking of 1:10.4, with quartertimes of 22, 21 and 26.
Smokin Saturday burst out of the gates and immediately took command, with Son Also Rises behind by one and a half length and Lakan closely trailing at third spot. The filly increased its lead to three lengths halfway through, with Son Also Rises making a last-ditch effort in the last 500, but could only close in to within a length when the short race was over as Smokin Saturday firmly stood its ground all the way to the finish.
“Ang instruction sa akin, diskartehan ko na lang daw dahil matulin naman ang kabayo ko,” said Dilema, who in the process, frustrated Son Also Rises’ jockey Jonathan B. Hernandez’s aim of stretching his own winning streak. “Hayun, paglarga bandera kaagad. Hindi ko na binitawan. Mauna manalo eh. Nagpapasalamat ako nakaraos kami ng maayos.”
With the win, Smokin Saturday gave its owner Bobby Inigo the first-place paycheck of P600,000 from the total guaranteed purse of P1 million allotted by the sponsoring Philracom.
Son Also Rises took the runner-up prize of P225,000 for its owner by Benhur Abalos Jr. Its jockey JB Hernandez, earlier in the month, had swept both the Juvenile Colts and Fillies Stakes Races aboard Union Bell and Exponential, respectively.
Pinagtipunan, owned by Benhur Abalos III and ridden by jockey Kevin B. Abobo, settled for third place worth P125,000, while Lakan placed fourth, good for P50,000.
Other winners of Sunday’s races in celebration of the 20th staging of the Philtobo Grand Championship were Union Bell in Race 1 (Philtobo Juvenile Championship), Nabighani in Race 2 (Pagcor Trophy Race), Wiling Willie in Race 4 (DLTB Trophy Race), Pretty Meador in Race 5 (Eduardo Duay Calixto Trophy Race), Redhead Dancer in Race 6 (Philtobo Juvenile), Du Pont Circle in Race 7 (Edong Diokno Trophy Race), Makaarem in Race 8 (Omniversal Assurance), Ack in Race 9 (SC Stockfarm Trophy Race), Rockstar Show in Race 10 (Herma Farms and Stud), Certain to Win in Race 11 (Sevilla Industrial) and Kaka and Bachi Race 12 (Rabano Construction Trophy Race).
More high-octane races are in store this December such as the Chairman’s Cup and the 3rd leg of the 3YO Imported/Local Challenge Series on the 29th and the Juvenile Championship on the 31st.