by Jenny Ortuoste
Horseman’s Digest #3, April-May 2007
Once again, a match between the two most famous horses in the land – Real Spicy and Empire King – is shaping up in the 2050-meter First Gentleman’s Silver Cup race slated for May 20 at Santa Ana Park.
Coinciding with the first leg of the Triple Crown championship series, this year’s edition of the Silver Cup, sponsored by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), is in honor of the country’s “First Gentleman”, Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo.
The field: (horse-sex-age-handicap weight-owner-jockey)
1- Don Exequiel- M- 4yo- 55kg- Herma Farms- JB Hernandez
2 Don Paolo- M- 6yo- 56.5kg- Paolo Mendoza- PR Dilema
3- Native Land- M- 6yo- 56.5kg- Tony Tan- MF Daquis
4- Empire King- M- 6yo- 56.5kg- David Lee- JM Ladiana
5- Real Spicy- M- 5yo- 59- Hermie Esguerra- LD Balboa
6- Jet Sutter- F- 4yo- 54kg- Raymund Puyat- JB Guce
Real Spicy and Empire King have clashed twice previously this year. Real Spicy lost to Empire King in the Commissioners’ Cup held last March 18 at SLLP, and both of them bowed to Stop Talking in the Philracom Imported Stakes Series II last April 22 at Santa Ana Park.
The highly-regarded Real Spicy was sent off as the favorite both times, but failed to conquer. He is looking for revenge, and this could be the occasion for it; however, the heavy handicap weight is a distinct disadvantage.
Don Paolo has the proven performance, and could pull off an upset if Real Spicy and Empire King repeat their follies from their most recent match. Native Land and Don Exequiel may perform miracles but their best chance to earn is to strategize for a place.
Jet Sutter, the lone filly, is carrying the lightest weight and could quite possibly act brilliantly if the breaks of the game go her way.
PCSO has set aside a generous amount for the winner and placers of the Silver Cup: P1.1 million for first place, P350,000 for second, P175,000 for third, P85,000 for fourth, and even a breeder’s prize of P40,000, for a total of P1.75 million in prizes.
The Silver Cup is always held in tribute of the current president’s spouse. The PCSO also puts on every December a race called the Presidential Gold Cup, in tribute to the current president. The 2007 Gold Cup, the premiere racing event of the year, will be held December 9 at the San Lazaro Leisure Park (SLLP). ***
Photo: Empire King and Real Spicy in the final stages of the March 18 Philracom Commissioner’s Cup at SLLP