MANILA, Philippines – Eight of the country's finest thoroughbreds, led by undefeated Obra Maestra, clash in the first leg of the prestigious racing extravaganza for 3-year-old horses – the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom)-backed Triple Crown series.
The first leg is on Sunday at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.
This was announced by Philracom chairman Andrew A. Sanchez and his commissioners Bienvenido Niles Jr. and Dante Lantin during their appearance at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Malate, Manila Tuesday.
"The Triple Crown is one of the most prestigious races in our racing calendar," said Sanchez. "Only the best horses get to run here."
Leading the Triple Crown's powerhouse cast is Leonardo Javier Jr.'s Obra Maestra, which was crowned Horse of the Year and Champion 2YO of the Year by the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners after earning P3.48 million in prizes in 2018.
"Obra Maestra is the favorite, but the seven other horses are capable of delivering a win also mainly because of the rating-based handicapping system the Philracom adopted to even out the playing field," said Sanchez, referring to the commission's membership in the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
Out to give Obra Maestra a run for its money are Boss Emong (jockey JT Zarate, owner Edward Vincent M. Diokno); JAYZ (Ja Guce, SC Stockfarm, Inc.); My Jopay (RD Raquel Jr., Moises B. Villasenor); My Shelltex (JB Hernandez, Antonio V. Tan, Jr.); Real Gold (JP A Guce, C&H Enterprises, Inc.); Toy for the Bigboy (JB Cardova, Alfredo Santos) and Westeros (AR Villegas, Juan Miguel D. Yulo).
"The Triple Crown is patterned after the the United States' Triple Crown, with its three legs comprised of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, also with progressively longer distances," said Niles.
"The first leg is run in 1,600 meters, while the second and third legs are at 1,800 and 2,000 meters, respectively, so a prospective winner must be versatile who can handle all distances," he added.
The last horse to win all three legs was Sepfourteen of SC Stockfarm in 2017.
Prior to Sepfourteen's Triple Crown achievement two years ago, the last time one horse won it all in one year was in 2014 when Emmanuel Santos's colt Kid Molave (Into Mischief x Unsaid) scored the rare three-peat.
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