Just call her “Incredible Ink“.
In a masterful comeback performance that had fans screaming in amazement, Indelible Ink won the first leg of the Philracom Triple Crown Championship series by a head this afternoon (May 18 ) at San Lazaro Leisure Park.
Proving that she’s not out of the game yet, the chestnut filly allowed stablemate Queen Elena and rival Don Enrico to battle it out for the lead. Indelible Ink paced them six lengths back, with Shining Fame just behind her, followed by the undefeated gray Hieroglyphics and Unopposed in last.
At the backstretch, Indelible Ink’s jockey Jeff Zarate made his move and took second position as Queen Elena faded, with Shining Fame creeping closer in third.
Neck and neck, Indelible Ink raced Don Enrico, getting an edge at the far turn and further lengthening her lead down the stretch. Don Enrico crumbled at the filly’s onslaught, allowing the tenacious Shining Fame to come in between them in the mad dash to wire, to close with Indelible Ink in an exciting photo-finish.
Indelible Ink, the top favorite, was declared the winner, clocking 1:39 for the mile journey, with quarters of 23′-23′-24′-27′. Shining Fame was second, Don Enrico third, Hieroglyphics fourth, followed by Unopposed and Queen Elena.
At the parade: Indelible Ink, JT Zarate up; Shining Fame, JB Guce aboard; Don Enrico, with JB Hernandez.
Indelible Ink’s victory in this prestigious race more than makes up for her defeat at the hooves of Don Enrico in the Philracom Chairman’s Cup and Aquamarine I stakes races held earlier this year.
In the Philracom Hopeful Stakes, held two races later, Love Story dominated a tough field, pulling away down the lane to win by five from Luna Rossa. Both were longshots; this led to hefty payoffs in the betting. The favorite Anonymous (stablemate of Indelible Ink and Queen Elena) came in third.
Philracom chairman Atty. Joy Rojas presents a trophy to Love Story’s winning jockey, Fernando M. Raquel Jr.
The two championship races are for local-bred 3YO and showcase not only racing talent but also breeding savvy, pointing towards a good future for the local breeding industry.
In related news, the Preakness Stakes, second jewel of the US Triple Crown, was won by Kentucky Derby champion Big Brown, preserving the big colt’s undefeated status and putting him in line for a sweep.
Photos: Roel Taripe