The most prestigious racing extravaganza for three-year-old horses, the Philippine Racing Commission-backed Triple Crown series returns today at the Saddle & Clubs Leisure Park, Naic Cavite
Fighting for the crown are Dewey Boulevard of multi-titled owner Hermie Esguerra, Indianpana of Deemark International Trading Corp.; Kid Benjie of Benjamin Virata, Radio Active of SC Stockfarm Inc., Sky Dancer of Joseph Dyhengco, Space Needle (filly) and Underwood of Stony Horse Farm Inc., Spectrum of Narciso Morales and Subterranean River Filly (filly) of Wilbert Tan.
A total of P3 million in prizes will be up for grabs in the race over a distance of 1,600 meters, with P1.8 million going to the champion horse and P675,000 allocated for the runner-up. Third and fourth placers get P375,000 and P150,000, respectively.
The three-leg series is patterned after 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.
Different winners ruled last year’s Triple Crown, all longshots, with the first leg being ruled by filly Superv. Court of Honor, another filly, denied Superv of a second-leg win, before the second-to-the-longest shot of all, Miss Brulay, surged past six foes to claim the third leg.
Prior to last year’s Triple Crown staging in 2014, all three legs were won by Emmanuel Santos’s colt Kid Molave (Into Mischief x Unsaid), earning a P500,000 bonus from Philracom for the rare feat.
The series was launched in 1978, with Native Gift winning the first two legs and Majority Rule denying him the sweep. There have been only 10 Triple Crown champions since then: Fair and Square in 1981, Skywalker (1983), Time Master (1987), Magic Showtime (1988), Sun Dancer (1989), Strong Material (1996), Real Top (1998), Silver Story (2001), Hagdang Bato (2012), and Kid Molave (2014).
“Like in past stagings of the Triple Crown, we expect this year’s event to be another well-attended edition,” Philracom chairman Andrew Sanchez said. “Participating horseowners and their families will be there, and so are the fans cheering for their favorite horses and jockeys.”