By Jean Malanum

WINNER. Jaguar, ridden by Jeffril Zarate, rules the third leg of the PHP3.5-million Philracom Triple Crown Series at Metro Manila Turf Club in Malvar, Batangas on Sunday (July 16, 2023). The chestnut colt bagged PHP2.1 million. (Philracom photo)

MANILA – Top favorite Jaguar lived up to its billing to claim the third leg of the PHP3.5-million Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) Triple Crown Series at the Metro Manila Turf Club in Malvar, Batangas on Sunday.

The Dance City out of Delta Gold progeny, owned by former Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo and bred by Joseph Dyhengco, strolled to a seven-length win to pocket PHP2.1-million.

Jaguar also ruled the second leg.

Trained by former jockey Dante Salazar and masterfully ridden by Jeffril Zarate, the chestnut colt stayed in fourth at the start while Secretary, Istulen Ola, and Boat Buying tried to grab the lead.

In a statement on Monday, Philracom chair Reli de Leon expressed his gratitude for another great weekend of racing despite inclement weather.

“This is highlighted by the more than PHP86 million in sales over the last four racing days,” de Leon said.

Despite the effort of opening-leg winner La Trouppei (Brigand out of Betty H) under Kelvin Abobo to take the lead at the half-mile pole, Jaguar was unstoppable.

Early Boating finished second, followed by Istulen Ola and La Trouppei.

Nung naramdaman at narinig ko na si La Trouppei sa likuran ko sa medya-milya, dahan-dahan na rin ako nagpapalakas. Pero at that point, alam ko na lamang na ako kasi hindi naman niya laro ‘yun eh (When I felt and heard La Trouppei behind me at the half-mile mark, I slowly increased my strength. But at that point, I just knew it was me because it wasn’t his game),” Zarate said after the race.

Meanwhile, Prime Billing (Top Billing- Subprime) ruled the third installment of the PHP1.5-million 2023 Philracom Hopeful Stakes, also over the weekend.

Owned and bred by Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, Prime Billing clocking 2:06.8 over the 2000m distance with fractions of 24′-23′-25-25-27′. Chrome Bell placed second followed by Winner Parade and Glamour Girle.

John Oliver Gianan’s Sky Story (Charge Now-Hookkaida) topped the PHP1-million Philracom 3YO Locally-Bred Stakes. Light Bearer finished second, followed by Open Billing and Orange Bell. (PNA)