THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 28 May 2014, Wednesday
19th PCSO Silver Cup on Sunday
Will it be Hagdang Bato in this year’s Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Silver Cup?
Or, just like in last year’s PCSO Presidential Gold Cup, will Pugad Lawin swoop down and steal the honors?
The two top-ranked contenders meet again on Sunday, June 1, at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, to compete in one of PCSO’s two major flagship races.
Hagdang Bato is actually the defending champion of the PCSO Silver Cup, having won the 2013 edition in stellar fashion at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite. He also won the 2012 PCSO Presidential Gold Cup and the 2013 PCSO Freedom Cup.
However, although considered a shoo-in for back-to-back honors, he lost the 2013 PCSO Gold Cup to Pugad Lawin in a race that smacked of bad breaks.
For his efforts, Hagdang Bato cracked a hoof but made a spectacular recovery, winning this year’s Philippine Racing Commission Commissioner’s Cup last Mar. 30 also at Santa Ana Park. Pugad Lawin, his nemesis, placed third in that race.
They will meet again on Sunday to slug it out over 2,000 meters along with Sulong Pinoy, Tensile Strength Spinning Ridge, Steel Creation, and Captain Ball.
The winner’s purse is P2.5 million, with prizes up to fourth place.
I’m going with Hagdang Bato to win another Silver Cup, with Spinning Ridge and Tensile Strength as my backup bets.
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Originally named the PCSO First Lady Silver Cup and staged in honor of the wife of the country’s sitting president, the event began as a restricted maiden race for fillies and mares and was made part of the regular Sweepstakes race schedule.
The first PCSO Silver Cup was run on 23 April 1995 over 1,500 meters at Santa Ana Park in Makati City. The winner was the big bay filly Pay D’ Clay, an island-born sprinter by New Zealand-based stallion Clay Hero (Aus) out of Sound Susie (NZ).
Owned by Augusto Benedicto Santos, Pay D’Clay won wire-to-wire under jockey Joe Noel D. Camu.
Seven other maiden fillies competed in that race that had a total purse of P1 million, with P700,000 guaranteed to the winner, making it the richest maiden race ever held at the time.
The Mamons’ Fair Native placed second, Valuebred Farms’ My Romance third, and Rudy Mendoza’s American Dancer fourth.
This first running of the Silver Cup was tied in with the PCSO Sweepstakes draws and the race’s results were used to determine the actual draw winners.
By the time the third Silver Cup rolled around, it took a different format when the conduct of the PCSO Mega Draws, to which the Sweepstakes race was tied, was discontinued.
To preserve the tradition of the PCSO Silver Cup, the PCSO Board of Directors at the time approved a sponsorship for the race, and made it an open championship for local-bred runners.
From a race for only fillies and mares, it became the wide-open contest for elite Philippine thoroughbreds that it is today.