IN a performance that showed he could be a good contender in the next Triple Crown series, second favorite Stravinsky handily beat two others to capture the Philracom Juvenile Colts stakes race last Sunday at the Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
Handled by regular partner Jonathan Hernandez, Stravinsky engaged top choice Batang Lapaz in a one-on-one duel for almost 900 meters before pulling away in the final quarter of the 1300-meter event to clinch his second big win as a 2-year-old.
The chestnut bay colt by Dream Romance out of Ultimate Goal debuted in grand style in July, winning a rich Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Maiden stakes race in July only to bomb out as outstanding favourite in his next big stakes race a few weeks later.
“Yes, the horse (Stravinsky) is back in shape. Hopefully, he stays healthy. He’ll be running (in the 2017 Triple Crown),” said his owner businessman Narciso O. Morales, the runaway leader in number of wins and money winnings 11 months into the horse racing season.
Stravinsky clocked a respectable time of 1 minute and 20.2 seconds, with clips of 7-1/2, 22, 23-1/2 and 27 seconds as he finished some 10 lengths in front of the Jeff Zarate-ridden Changes and 12 ahead of the Jesse Guce-handled Batang Lapaz.
For more than two quarters, Stravinsky and Batang Lapaz figured in a neck-and-neck duel that started once they got out of the starting gate.
But Stravinsky proved he was made of sterner stuff, slowly but steadily pulling away from Batang Lapaz as they left the backstretch. By the time he turned for home, Stravinsky had already built a 5-length lead which he upped to eight with 75 meters left and finally to 10 at the wire.
“Maganda ang itinakbo. Pwedeng-pwede sa TC (Triple Crown),” said Hernandez.
“The team prepared the horse too well for this event and the jockey had a great time handling him,” said Morales, one of the most respected owners in the industry.
The other big winners in the program that highlighted the 21st Marho Racing Festival were Smoking Saturday (Hernandez) in the 4th leg of the Juvenile Fillies stakes; Showtime (Kevin Abobo) in the Grand Sprint; Kanlaon (Val Dilema) in the San Miguel Corp. Classic; Underwood (Jesse Guce) in the 3-Year-Old Colt Mile; and Real Flames (Rodeo Fernandez) in the PCSO 3-Year-Old Filly Mile.