The weather has turned cooler in the past couple of weeks, and equine and human athletes heaved a sigh of relief at the drop in temperature especially at San Lazaro Leisure Park (SLLP) in Carmona, Cavite.
The eight-race card for Tuesday, June 19, was a mixed bag of favorites and longshots, making for an exciting evening of racing.
- The Winner-Take-All (WTA) pool grossed a hefty P3.71 million; the Pick-6, P1.78 million.
- Master Professor, only the fifth pick out of seven in the class 4-division 7B Race 3, surprised everyone by upsetting the favorites All Class and St. Emilion. The sturdy 7-year-old chestnut won by a jaw-dropping 3-1/2 lengths, clocking 1:42.5 for the 1500 meters. The WTA pool dropped to 23,000+ after Master Professor’s victory.
- Gold and Diamond was the next longshot winner, in C4-D3B Race 5. The mere sixth choice out of 8, the 3-yo bay colt trounced the likes of Ocean Cookie, Virgin Island, House of Riches, and Bloodline to score by 1-1/2 lengths. The WTA pool plummeted to only 558.
- Both Master Professor and Gold and Diamond were trained by Pochek Vicente. The longshot wins of his charges resulted in fat exotic payoffs: The WTA paid P126,802.60; the P6, P165,332. to 7 winners.
- An exhaustive search of the SLLP Turf Club was conducted for Mr. Vicente (so his picture could be snapped for this blog). Instead, it was discovered that most of the trainers and jockeys who hang out at the SLLP Turf Club were not to be found at their usual spots. They were in the parking lot, celebrating apprentice rider Karvin Malapira’s birthday. They feasted on pulutan and overflowing beer.
Wednesday, June 20 was a llamado day, though a couple of unregarded veterans shone.
- Race 3 was won by third choice Astimegoesby, despite carrying the heaviest handicap of 57 kg among the eight runners.
- Mere fourth favorite Makati Haven won by one in R6, executing an eye-popping lightning rally from seventh position to foil the chances of longer shots Sweet Talk and BMI Baby, who checked in second and third. The trio of underdogs stuck their tongues out at the rest of the 11-horse field, which included Guardian, Jigsaw Star, and Bundok Peninsula.
- Race 6 yielded a juicy crop of dividends: TRI-P2717. / QT-P58,252. / PF-P118,537.
- The starting gate’s #6 stall was under repair from Races 4 to 7; all horses from position 6 on down had to move one stall over.
Photo: Horses warm up behind the gate at SLLP. (7 June 2oo7)