A Kentucky-bred colt stamped its class in the 2019 Philippine Racing Commission 3YO Imported/Local Challenge Race at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite on Sunday.
What A Feeling, whose parents Flashback (sire) and Rougeole (dam) are also Kentucky, USA horses, pulled off a one-length victory under the masterful guidance of jockey Mark A. Alvarez in the 1,600-meter race offering a total purse of P1,500,000 and offering P900,000 to the champion.
“Pina-remate ko lang ang kabayo ko. Split second lang po ang pag-iisip natin, sabi ko susugalan ko na lang ito, dahil sa isip ko, ‘yun ang ika-papanalo namin,” said Alvarez.
The gamble paid off as What A Feeling fended off To It’s Si Bing’s charge in the final 300, before putting on the jets and sticking to pole position in the last straight for the victory achieved in 1:43, with quarter-times of 24.2/24.4/25.6/29.
Refuse To Lose (owner Antonio F. Coyco, jockey OP Cortez) burst out of the gates with the lead, but Mark of Excellence (Tecson, EP Nahilat) swiftly seized control. What A Feeling came from the outside to seize the lead in the final 500 meters and never let go of control, with To It’s Si Bing in close pursuit.
“Ang plano, either na mauna or susunod kami, pero ‘yung hindi namin plano ang natupad. Nagkaroon ng matulin na ere, so pinaremate ko ang kabayo ko. Sinabayan ko lang si To It’s Si Bing, alam ko siya ang matinding kalaban, sinabayan lang po ng remate. Sabi ko, tignan ko kung hanggang saan. Bago siya magkalahating kabayo sa akin, inunahan ko na siya,” revealed Alvarez, whose partnership with What A Feeling has never been defeated so far. “Pero ito ang pinakamalaki naming panalo. Abangan niyo kami. Simula pa lang ito.”
To It’s Si Bing of owner Bingson Tecson and jockey MM Gonzales took the runner-up purse of P337,500, while Will To Win of owner Wally B. Manalo and jockey CP Henson placed third, worth P187,500.
“It was a hard-fought victory for What A Feeling, a Kentucky-bred horse. Nakita niyo naman, we competed against very worthy opponents, lahat sila puweda manalo, pero maganda pagkadala ni ‘Black Superman’ Mark Alvarez. Talagang naka-adjust siya sa sitwasyon at nakaraos kami,” said owner Allan Keith Castro, who was on hand with his family to receive the What A Feeling’s trophy from Philracom Executive Director Andrew Rovie Buencamino, Manila Jockey Club manager Jose Magboo and deputy J-Fel Cuevas.
“To God be the glory, it’s a team effort. Buong team namin, from hinete, trainer, grooms lahat ‘yan, pinaghirapan namin lahat,” added Castro.
Other winners Sunday were Buckingham Palace (Race 1), Yes Kitty (Race 2), Amelia (Race 3), Genie Hello (Race 5), Ifyourhonorplease (Race 6), Daan Bantayan (Race 7), Native American (Race 8), Cost Less (Race 9), The Accountant (Race 10), Magtotobetsky (Race 11) and Hamlet (Race 12)
More big stakes races are still in the offing from Philracom in the coming months—such as the 2nd leg of the Juvenile Fillies and Colts Stakes Races on Nov. 3, the Ambassador Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. Cup on Nov. 17 and the 2nd leg of the 3YO Imported/Local Challenge on Nov. 24.
December proves to be the busiest horseracing month for big races with the Philracom’s holding of the 3rd leg of the Juvenile Fillies and Colts Stakes Races on the 1st, the Grand Sprint Championship on the 15th, 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.
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