Boss Emong poured his whole fighting heart down the stretch to stave off the late charging Big Lagoon to grab the 2022 Philracom Gran Copa de Manila last Friday at the San Lazaro Business and Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

The whole 1600-meter journey was not a bed of roses for the grey champion by Dance City out of Chica Una owned by Kennedy Morales and bred by Tony Tan as the challengers to the title stepped on the gas early on to try to break the pace of the race with King Tiger holding the lead for most of the journey.

With roughly 600-meters left, premier jockey Jeffril T. Zarate said, “let’s go boy” and took the lead and further spread this lead to three lengths while Big Lagoon was making headway.

It was evident with 250-meters to go that Big Lagoon with Genius Rider Kelvin Abobo was a threat for the win and the P600 thousand top prize so Zarate egged on his mount which eventually had just enough steam to eke out the victory. Time of the race was 1:40.8 with quarters of 23′-24-26′-26′.

Third and fouth place went to stablemates Robin Hood and Magtotobetsky in that order.

“Kinailangan ko pang tulungan yung sakay ko sa alisan para maipwesto ng maganda si Emong dahil alam ko na susubukan sirain ng mga kalaban yung pace ng karera. Di katulad nung mga ibang akbo niya dati na kusa lang yung lundag. Siguro pumasok na din yung experience ko at hindi ako nataranta sa ganung sitwasyon,” Zarate said after the race.

Boss Emong is now the most dominant horse in local racing after his recent back to back wins in both the Philracom Chairman’s Cup and the Gran Copa de Manila.

In the Philracom Gran Copa de Manila Division 2 John Ericson Avelino’s Full Combat Order romped away with the win taking home the winners prize of P300 thousand for his connections.

The Top Billing-Prima Donna Pirate chestnut progeny trained by Julius Natividad and riden by “Onyok” Garcia was in contention all the way. Garcia said, ” Nung nauna na kami sa derecho at lumayo na, alam ko na na amin na ito.”

Music Lover and Palauig completed the order of finish.

Peter Limjoco’s My Prancealot (Sir Prancealot-Tricolore), masterfully riden by Noel Lunar, pulled the rug from under his opponents in taking the Philracom National Press Club Cup. A virtual longshot, My Prancealot showed the bayang karerista what he’s capable of by blowing by all comers and winning with a five-length margin with clips of 25-24′-25-26′ for a total time of 1:41.

Second place went to Shanghai Noon, third to Declare For Flare, fourth to Work Bell and fifth was Sudden Impact.

Trainer Richard “Boy” Gutierrez said, “My instructions was not to push the horse for the lead early on. Simply put yourself in contention and strike at the proper time.”

“It was only when he passed the opposition at the homestretch that I saw that he was about to win. But of course I was still wary of any others who might suddenly catch up,” owner Limjoco said in the post-race interview.

Living up to the Araw ng Maynila’s flair for upsets, Felizrdo “Jun” Sevilla Jr.’s Time For Glory pulled off a monumental one in the Philracom Philippine Sportswiters Association Cup.

Sent off as the longest shot on the seven horse field, Time For Glory (by Not This Time out of Glorified) was neatly placed in fourth for most of the journey and made a bead for the win at around the 3/8-mile pole and won the race by six lengths ahead of the nearest rival registering a time of 1:39.4 (24-23′-25-27) for the mile journey.

Shastaloo, after a breathtaking battle through most of the race for the lead with top choice Super Ninja, managed to salvage second with Super Ninja third and Truly Ponti fourth.

“With the overwhelming success of today’s races, we will make every effort to hold this race meet every year. Congratulations to all the winners,” Philracom Chairman Reli de Leon said.