CARMONA, Cavite – For jockey JB Hernandez, it was all in a day’s work.
The 40-year-old Hernandez rode in nine races last Sunday, winning two of them, including one while on board Dewey Boulevard, which outran rival Radio Active in the premier P1-million Centennial Classics’ race of the 8th Ramon Bagatsing Centennial Classique.
Dewey Boulevard, a three-year-old colt owned by Hermie Esguerra, reached the finish line of the 1,750-meter course in one minute, 50.2 seconds, finishing five meters ahead of Radio Active at the San Lazaro Leisure Park track.
The racing festival hosted by the Manila Jockey Club honored the memory of the late Manila Mayor Ramon Bagatsing, one of Philippine horseracing’s finest ambassadors.
Organizer Atty. Dondon Bagatsing, son of the former Manila Mayor, said they are pleased with the outcome of the festival.
“It was a success. There were long-shot winners and there were sure winners. There were favorites and there were underdogs in the lineup. We are grateful for the support of the racing public,” said Bagatsing.
It was Dewey Boulevard’s second victory in three encounters with Radio Active.
“I scored wins only later in the day. My competitors were very good early on,” said Hernandez, who ruled the last race of the day after riding Miss Dainty to victory in the Midas Hotel and Casino Cup race.
Dewey Boulevard was the early favorite during the 1st leg of the Triple Crown Series when Radio Active scored an upset early this year. In the second leg, Dewey Boulevard returned the favor by beating the first-leg winner in a duel while leading from start to finish.
A guaranteed purse of P600,000 went to Dewey Boulevard’s owner Esguerra, trainer Ruben Tupaz and Hernandez. Radio Active and its handlers took the second prize purse of P225,000.
Radio Active, ridden by jockey KB Abobo, took the lead from the starting gate. Hernandez had Dewey Boulevard stay behind the leaders until the halfway mark.
That’s when Dewey Boulevard made its move before eventually slipping ahead in the last 300-meters.
“We started moving up at the halfway mark. We didn’t want to be left behind,” said Hernandez.
In other races of the Bagatsing Festival, Atomic Seventynine, jockeyed by AP Asuncion, topped the 2016 Resorts World Manila-Challenge of Champions Cup; while Up and Away took the top honors of the Pacific Online/City of Dreams of the Bagatsing Cup, with his handlers, led by jockey Oneil Cortez winning the top purse of P300,000.