It’s a Longshot Lady in the Classic!
8th Philtobo Grand Championships
by Jenny Ortuoste
Grande dame of the track Paramount proved she still had the style and the stamina to come out on top when she scored a longshot victory in the 8th Philtobo Grand Championship Classic held last December 2 at Santa Ana Park.
The Classic, a lung-busting 2,050 meter ordeal, was among the five Championship races held that day. The others were the Philracom-Mitra Cup Juvenile Fillies, the Philracom-Mitra Cup Juvenile Colts, the Viva Prime-Philtobo Hot Race Three-Year-Old Colts, and the Viva Prime-Philtobo Hot Race Three-Year-Old Fillies. The eight other races on the card had added prizes and trophies for the winning owners. For all races, the winning groom received a cash award.
Among those present at the Santa Ana Park VIP Room that day were directors of Philtobo, among them Francisco “Coco” Cayco (VP-Administration), Manny Santos (VP-Racing), Jess Cantos (Treasurer), Kerby Chua, David Lee, Johnny Tionloc, Rene Villoria, Manny Viray, and Albert Yam.
Also there were horseowners Aristeo “Putch” Puyat, Victor “VG” Martinez, Jun Almeda, Nur Nordin, Robert Francisco, Angie Niles, Pierre and Stephanie Niles, and Sonny and Maricor Abella.
Apart from the races, Philtobo went the extra mile by having a raffle draw for the racing fans in-track, giving away gift packs and caps from Herma Farm and Stud.
The event was made extra-special by the participation of Viva Hot Babes models Maui Taylor, Jennifer Lee, Jaycee Parker, and Hazel Cabrera. They were on hand for all the awarding ceremonies and for the raffle draws, and even rendered a dance number to the delight of racing fans and television viewers.
Bienvenido C. Niles, Philtobo (Philippine Thoroughbred Owners’ and Breeders’ Organization) president, said that the annual event’s objective is to promote horseracing and breeding in the country. He thanked the host Philippine Racing Club (PRC), Viva Prime Channel (for the cable network coverage), fellow Philtobo members, race participants, friends, and racing fans for their support.
8th Philtobo Grand Championship Classic – 2,050 meters
Winner: Paramount / Owner: Bienvenido C. Niles Jr. / Trainer: Joel L. Mijares / Jockey: Val R. Dilema
Four competent runners faced off in the Classic, with Special Edition sent off as the outstanding favorite. She and the other mares – Ocean Deep and Paramount – carried 54 kilos, while the lone male runner, Don Paolo, had an impost of 56 kilos. Don Paolo was tagged as the second favorite, Ocean Deep third pick, while Paramount had the least support in the sales.
The contenders broke smartly, with Don Paolo snatching the lead. Special Edition raced two lengths behind in second, with Paramount a length off her, and Ocean Deep eight lengths off the leader.
First time around the track, Don Paolo was still sprinting in front, with all the other just biding their time. At the backstretch, the lead was stretched to four, then six lengths by the time the pack hit the far turn.
At that point the stayers made their move. Ocean Deep whittled Don Paolo’s lead down to three, with Paramount’s jockey Val Dilema urging his mount on. At the home turn, Don Paolo was still in front but the other three runners were fighting it out behind him. Coming down the lane, Don Paolo showed signs of faltering as Special Edition and Paramount started to close.
Racing fans roared wildly as the six-year-old mare Paramount ran bravely head to head against Don Paolo, finally flashing past the fading sprinter close to wire with a length to spare. The journey on a good track took 2:12, with splits of 18-24-26-25-25.
Don Paolo came in second for P150,000, Special Edition third for P60,000, and Ocean Deep last for P30,000.
Paramount’s owner, Philtobo president Bienvenido “Nonoy” C. Niles Jr. and his family (wife Angie, son Pierre, and daughter-in-law Stephanie) cheered as their longshot contender earned for them the top prize of P350,000 and their first Classic win.
“This is really unexpected,” said the visibly moved Mr. Niles, “since we thought Special Edition really had a good chance to win. We are very pleased with Paramount’s performance today.”
Philracom-Mitra Cup Juvenile Fillies – 1,500 meters
Winner: Indelible Ink / Owner: Herminio S. Esguerra / Trainer: Ruben B. Clor / Jockey: Jeffril T. Zarate
Once again, Indelible Ink emerged unerasable among the two-year-old fillies who contested for the victory in this race. Indelible Ink jumped well out of the gate and utterly dominated the field composed of her stablemate Anonymous, Luna Rossa, Tempest and coupled entry La Diva, and Twin Turbo, winning wire-to-wire by seven lengths.
She clocked quarters of 19-23’-24-25 for a total time of 1:32 to snag the P300,000 purse for first.
Philracom-Mitra Cup Juvenile Colts – 1,500 meters
Winner: Don Enrico / Owner: Lee Uy Wi / Trainer: AC Sordan Jr. / Jockey: John B. Cordero
Don Enrico showed class in the four-horse Juvenile Colts race with a banderang tapos victory, eight lengths ahead of Unopposed, who came in second. The son of champion Wind Blown by Kayumanggi, Don Enrico posted 1:33 (19-23-25-26) for the journey, earning P300,000.
Viva Prime-Philtobo Hot Race 3YO Colts Championship – 1,600 meters
Winner: Macho Man / Owner: Ruben B. Dimacuha / Trainer: Pedro C. Sanchez Jr. / Jockey: Jonathan B. Hernandez
This three-way fight between favorite Superamerica, second pick Macho Man, and third choice Afternoon Delight saw the latter leading the way two lengths ahead of Macho Man and Superamerica. At the first bend, Macho Man dropped back to third while Superamerica took second, pacing just behind Afternoon Delight, who kept shifting out from the rail.
It wasn’t until the home turn that Macho Man seriously began rallying to catch up to the frontrunners, eventually grabbing the lead from Afternoon Delight to win by two lengths, earning the top prize of P300,000 with Afternoon Delight coming in second for P125,000 and Superamerica third for P50,000. The time for the race was 1:40, split into 25-24’-23’-27.
Viva Prime-Philtobo Hot Race 3YO Fillies Championship- 1,600 meters
Winner: Landed Visa / Owner: Herminio S. Esguerra / Trainer: Ruben B. Clor / Jockey: Jeffril T. Zarate
It was outstanding favorite Landed Visa in this race, but she had to work hard against Minsk City who almost scored an upset with crafty moves to come in second.
The four-horse field also included Western City and Royal Academy. Minsk City, the second favorite, led for most of the race with Western City racing in second and Landed Visa in third. At the home turn, Minsk City raced wide, taking with her Landed Visa who was coming up on the outside.
They fought fiercely down the stretch, but fifty meters from the wire Landed Visa passed the faltering Minsk City to win by half-a-length and earn the champion’s trophy and first prize of P300,000. Total time was 1:41.6 with quarters of 24’-24-24’-28’.
Photo: Victorious tandem jockey Val Dilema and Paramount after their history-making run.