THW: Hagdang Bato trumps Crucis in RDB Challenge

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 20 August 2014, Wednesday


Hagdang Bato trumps Crucis in RDB Challenge

Plucky local-bred Hagdang Bato trounced import Crucis in a much-awaited match last Sunday to proclaim himself, finally and decisively, the current king of the track.

Racing fans had long wanted to see a race between the two stalwarts, but the usual race qualifications separate the two groups.

It took the vision and willpower of the Bagatsing brothers – Manila congressman Amado and lawyer Ramon Jr. – to finally bring this fantasy race to reality during the Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing (RDB) racing festival last weekend at San Lazaro Leisure park.

The Bagatsings convinced Hagdang Bato’s owner, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, and Crucis’s owner, Marlon Cunanan, to give in to the clamor of racing fans, thus staging the RDB Challenge to Champions presented by Resorts World Manila.

Crucis, steered by Jeffril Zarate, led the initial stages of the race, later giving way to Hagdang Bato in the backstretch and running along his flank.

The Jonathan Hernandez-guided Hagdang Bato pulled away at the far turn, overpowering Crucis who came in last of a field of four.

Pinespun snagged second place eight lengths behind the winner, and Boss Jaden third place.

The total time for the 1,750-meter race was 1:51.6 (11-22.8-24-25.8-28).

Why did Crucis suffer such a dismal loss? Was he injured? According to the stewards’ report, when the jockey was “questioned about his ride,” as they term it, Zarate said that his “mount was totally spent” in the final stages of the race so he no longer put pressure on his horse.

The club veterinarian who inspected Crucis after the race “found no physical abnormalities.”

Youtube channel owner “Dravi Rahul,” who posted a video of this race, called it “A very historic and momentous…race,” the “greatest modern horserace rivalry between thoroughbred champions Hagdang Bato and Crucis in a challenging grudge match of epic proportions resulting [in] ultimate victory and regretful heartbreak.”

That’s quite a mouthful. Coming from a fan, it shows just how important this race was in the minds and hearts of racegoers.

Kudos to the Bagatsing family for pulling off this once-in-a-lifetime event!

* * * * *

Philippine Racing Commission Executive Director Jesus B. Cantos sent us the list of declared entries for the first leg of the Philracom Juvenile Fillies and Colts stakes race at Santa Ana Park on Aug. 24.

The 1,000-meter sprint race features local-breds Cat Express, Princess Ella, Viva La Vida, Jazz Asia, Karangalan, Super Spray, Leona Lolita, and Hook Shot.

Because these are 2YO running over a very short distance, anything can happen. I’m going with Princess Ella and Hook Shot.

For races like this, railbirds say, “Walang magaling na mananaya,” or, your bet is as good as mine.

* * * * *

Fifteen juveniles were entered in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race for 2YO set for Sept. 20 at Metro Turf in Malvar, Batangas.

These are Zenaida de Guzman’s Alakdan, Ferdinand Dimaisip’s All Too Well, Paolo Mendoza’s Batangas Chrome, Conrado Ong’s Dauntless, Raymund Puyat’s Dolce Ballerina, Juancho Ferrariza’s Epic, Ferdinand Eusebio’s Hurricane Ridge and Rochelle’s Gift,

Running Rich Racing’s Miss Brulay, Wilbert Tan’s Pagsanjan Falls, Bingson Tecson’s Princess Meili, George Raquidan’s Real Talk, SC STockfarm’s Rockmyworld, Manuel Alvarez’s Silent Moment, and Gaudencio Pamaos’s S I Rookie.

The trial race will take place on Sept. 5.


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