Three-year-old bay filly Rain Dancer (King Cugat-Timber Side) showed plenty of speed in the straight to win the last race on a windy Friday evening, July 6, at San Lazaro Leisure Park (SLLP).
The Manila Jockey Club (MJC) Special Race, run over 1400 meters, featured 11 runners. Grey Angel, the favorite, acted up in the gate and was slow to start. Flame of the Wind, a longshot, battled in the backstretch with the classy Nice Legs, who took the lead and seemed sure to win. Cable TV viewers could only see the frontrunners, which did not include Rain Dancer who was racing in fifth.
In-track fans saw an freakish rally at the home turn from Rain Dancer, whose jockey Dennis L. Camanero urged his filly on. An Australian import, Rain Dancer suddenly took off like a rocket and zoomed past her rivals around 50 meters from the wire to arrive at the finish line first by a length-and-a-half, clocking 1:28.7.
Rain Dancer’s sire, King Cugat, was a multiple stakes winner and hails from the family of proven sires Reviewer and Seeking The Gold. King Cugat’s sire, Kingmambo, was also a racing champion, as was his grandsire Mr. Prospector, who is also a sire of sires.
Trained by Ernesto S. Roxas, who also conditions track icon Empire King, and belonging to Victor C. Lee, brother of Empire King’s owner David C. Lee, Rain Dancer’s astonishing performance marks her as one to watch in the coming months.
In Race 6, Order of Merit (the second favorite) tripped by itself at the 3/8 mile mark, unseating rider Cesar E. Santos. According to the MJC Stewards’ Report, club vets found the horse had suffered a “complete compound fracture of the upper third cannon bone of the near forelimb” and had to be destroyed. Santos was rushed to the hospital in the Club ambulance with a suspected broken collarbone.
The favorite, Twist and Shout, collapsed and died right after the race upon reaching the saddling paddock. ***
Photo: King Cugat winning a race. By Kingmambo (Mr. Prospector) out of Tricky Game, this sire of Rain Dancer has passed to her the speed and strength that their lineage is renowned for.