Wowing the throng assembled at Santa Ana Park this afternoon, Copper Dew dove for the Philippine Racing Commission Pearl I Stakes and surfaced with a jewel of a win, negotiating the 1800-meter distance wire-to-wire.
Such a feat, from a known sprinter, is considered exceptional, since common wisdom assumes that sprinters tend to fade over long distances, allowing stayers to come from behind.
But the Kentucky-bred mare turned in a freakishly fast performance that awed even the most jaded of race spectators, all the more since she is perceived to run better over shorter distances. An attempt to conquer a 2,000-meter journey, the 2007 Don Juan Derby, yielded her only a third-place finish.
Her story in the Pearl I is simple – when the eleven-horse field was released from the gate, the Jonathan Hernandez-guided Copper Dew took the lead and never let go till the wire.
Breaking smoothly from the two-stall, Copper Dew took the front by four lengths, paced by the stablemates Regal Boom and Ziraz. Right behind them were Sweet Xarah, Traditional, and Dancing Polly, with the rest trying to catch up.
Passing the stands, Copper Dew led unchallenged, followed by Sweet Xarah who was being hounded by Ziraz. Into the backstretch, the same scenario prevailed, with Regal Boom taking fourth. Dancing Polly, in fifth, was followed by Manhattan, Fierce Fighter, Traditional, La Tienne, and Mr. Victory, while Miss Fantastic brought up the rear.
Copper Dew took the far turn still ahead by four, but at the homestretch her lead had narrowed to two. Sweet Xarah was hot on her heels, as the rallying Traditional and Fierce Fighter pounded down the lane.
At the wire, it was still Copper Dew by one, with Traditional second, Fierce Fighter third, Sweet Xarah fourth, and Mr. Victory in fifth.
Copper Dew’s win in this race, which is also tagged the 3rd leg of the Philracom Imported-Local Challenge series, is her fourth banderang tapos run this season. The Ruben Clor-trained racemare brings home the P300,000 first prize to owner Jose Mari Franco.