A SHOWDOWN for the ages looms when 13 of the country’s finest horses, led by 2020 Triple Crown champion Heneral Kalentong, clash in the 48th staging of the Philippine Racing Commission’s Presidential Gold Cup on Sunday at the San Lazaro Leisure Park (SLLP) in Carmona, Cavite.
To be ridden again by star jockey JB Hernandez, the Benjamin Abalos Sr.-owned Heneral Kalentong leads a stellar cast that also includes Real Gold (jockey JPA Guce, owner C&H Enterprise), Boss Emong (jockey MM Gonzales, owner Edward Vincent Diokno), Shanghai Grey (jockey KB Abobo, owner Melanie Habla), Princess Eowyn (jockey FM Racquel, owner Laiza Eje) and Victorious Colt (jockey OP Cortez, owner Maria Felizita Mangaliman).
Defending champion Super Sonic (jockey JA Guce, owner Leonardo M. Javier Jr.) will try to match the record of Benhur Abalos’ Hagdang Bato, the latest in history to win two Presidential Gold Cup titles, achieved in 2012 and 2014.
Also joining the fray in the 2,000-meter race are Electric Truth (AP Asuncion, Andok’s Litson Corp.), Super Swerte (JB Guce, RMR Equine Inc.), Pangalusian Island (MA Alvarez, Wilbert Tan), Toy For The BigBoy (PM Caballejo and Alberto Santos) and Wonderland (PR Dilema) and Patong Patong (JD Flores), which are both owned by Ken Logistics Forwarding.
The locally bred runners will compete for the total purse of P3 million from the Philracom, with a whopping P1.8 million going to the winner. Second to sixth placers get P675,000, P375,000, P150,000, P90,000, P60,000, respectively, including a P100,000 cash incentive to the winning breeder.
Newly appointed Philracom Chairman Reli de Leon and his commissioners will be on hand to oversee the prestigious running of the Presidential Gold Cup, the country’s longest-running continuously-held sporting event that was conceived on October 7, 1973, through the efforts of the late PCSO Chairman and General Manager Nereo C. Andolong.
The first edition was held at the famed San Lazaro Hippodrome in Santa Cruz, Manila, with Sun God, owned by Don Pedro Cojuangco and ridden by Jockey Elias Ordiales, mastering the field.
The legendary Fair and Square was the first horse to score a back-to-back win, claiming his second title on December 12, 1982 at San Lazaro Hippodrome. The colt was owned by Cesar and Herminia Mamon and was ridden by Jockey Jesus Guce. This prestigious double-win was then followed by horses Sun Dancer, Bulldozer and Wind Blown, with Hagdang Bato the latest to pull off the feat.