A sprinter not given much of a chance against a tested, multititled stayer, Boss Emong broke away past the half-mile mark on Sunday to rule the P2.5 million Philracom (Philippine Racing Commission) Chairman’s Cup under Jeffril Zarate as outstanding pick Super Swerte didn’t have any luck in the lung-busting 2,000-meter race and finished dead last.
Sent off as the far second choice, the six-year-old grey charger by Dance City out of Unica Hija was pulled into a neck-and-neck race by Super Swerte early before coming up with a brilliant burst nearing the far turn that held off the hard-finishing field, clocking two minutes and 4.6 seconds broken down in 25, 23’, 23’, 23’ and 28 over a firm Metro Turf Club track in Malvar, Batangas.
The stifling heat claimed Super Swerte’s chances as rider Jessie Guce couldn’t do much after his mount sprayed blood from the nose (epistaxis) and struggled to finish, with longshot Big Lagoon checking in second about two lengths behind despite Boss Emong racing wide the entire distance.
“I deliberately raced my mount wide to avoid traffic the entire race,” Zarate said in Filipino after Boss Emong’s connections went home with the P1.5 million top prize. “We just wanted to run a clean race, devoid of any controversies that a stacked run to the finish could create.”
It wasn’t exactly the way the race was expected to finish as the two colorful chargers sought to break a 1-1 tie in this rich series with neither seen to finish second at worst—all things being equal.
So unexpected was the order of finish that the forecast of Boss Emong-Big Lagoon paid a handsome P369 for every P5 wager.
Isla Puting Bato finished third, with former Presidential Gold Cup winner Pangalusian Island arriving fourth.
Boss Emong took the lead out of the gates as expected, with Super Swerte immediately applying pressure on the inside as Guce tried to make the distance favor his mount knowing that it has the best finishing kick in the five-horse field.
But Super Swerte, after taking the lead slightly after rounding the second turn, faded out of the fight just as quick and never got back into it, with veteran trainer Ruben Tupas later confirming the unfortunate incident that doomed his entry. INQ
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