At about this same time last year, Low Profile disappointed, coming home a badly-beaten fourth as outstanding favorite in the Presidential Gold Cup.
Yesterday, the handsome horse made amends, handily winning the 44th edition against one of the toughest fields ever assembled for the biggest, richest event in the racing calendar.
With the veteran Mark Alvarez handling him fabulously, Low Profile caught the brave, fast-starting Skyway with about 75 meters remaining in the 2,000-meter race and hit the payoff wire in the fading light of a Sunday afternoon a very clear winner.
The win was worth P4 million—including a P1-million bonus from the racing commission—for Low Profile who will most likely emerge as the Horse of the Year following his conquest of this highly-coveted event that drew 13 of the finest horses in the land.
The race was too close to call as at least 10 of the participants were given a chance for the title by the betting public, with defending champion Dixie Gold, Kanlaon, Dewey Boulevard and Low Profile setting out as first, second, third and fourth favorites, respectively.
In the end, it was Low Profile having the last laugh.
A son of imported parents Tribal Rule and Lacquaria (both from the United States), Low Profile timed 2 minutes and 07.4 seconds, finishing two lengths in front of Skyway, who gave the favorites a whale of a fight before fading in the drive for home under Apoy Asuncion.
Kanlaon, handled by Val Dilema, came in third after rallying from as far back as ninth place, Court of Honor (John Alvin Guce), checked home fourth and Dixie Gold arrived fifth under apprentice jockey Oneal Cortez.
Alvarez raised his whip shortly after easing past Skyway with about 10 meters still remaining, never mind if it’s a no-no among jockeys and later basked in the glow of his biggest moment as a pro jockey.
“Ang ganda po ng itinakbo. Sinunod-sunod ko lang. Nang hingan ko, sumunod,” Alvarez told a television reporter.
So Low Profile would likely emerge the top horse in the season about to end. Earlier this year, the horse of Ruben Dimacuha emerged triumphant in the Freedom Cup, Commissioner’s Cup and Silver Cup, all under Alvarez.
And one of the good reasons he didn’t start as either the first or second choice is because he was a failure in his last race before the Gold Cup.
Low Profile finished only fourth in the PCSO Anniversary Race won by Kanlaon in October at the MetroTurf, coming home some 15 meters behind the winner.
With that debacle still fresh from the minds of fans, Low Profile got only a little more than P100,000 in the popular double betting and set out as only the fourth favorite.
Next time he’ll grace the track, Low Profile will start as heavy choice once more.