Nuclear Bomb (Oh Oh Seven out of Hayley Rebecca) owned by Gabriel Gaerlan and trained by Conrado “Dodek” Vicente exploded in the last 250 meters to grab the first leg of the Philippine Triple Crown last Sunday at the San Lazaro Business and Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

Expertly ridden by first time Triple Crown rider Pabs Cabalejo, Nuclear Bomb was settled nicely a little bit off the mid pack while known speedster Liquid Gold led the march to greatness. At around the half mile pole, another speed horse, War Cannon, took the cudgels of setting the pace from the tiring Liquid Gold and went on to lead until Nuclear Bomb started to make his charge with 500 meters left in the race.

At the 200 meter mark, it was clear that the fast-approaching Nuclear Bomb was not to be denied the win.

“Naramdaman ko po na abot kamay ko na yung panalo noong pagka pantay ko po kay War Cannon nung magrekta tapos clear na po yung dadaanan ng kabayo ko nung mag diretso. At yun nga po nakaraos!,” Pabs Cabalejo said.

He added, “Sobrang tuwa po yung naramdaman ko, hangang ngayon di ko mapaliwanag yung nararamdaman ko.”

This was a virtual repeat of Nuclear Bomb’s performance during the Road to the Triple Crown event held a month ago where he simply sped by War Cannon at the stretch.

Clocking 1:40.4(24′-24-24′-27′) for the 1600 meter distance on a rain-drenched but firm and fast track which normally favors front-runners (thus the fast clips), Nuclear Bomb gave his connections the top prize of P2.1-million while War Cannon hung on to bring home P700-thousand for his effort.

Late-charging Kevlar came in third (P350-thousand) and Kaparkan Falls managed to salvage fourth (P175-thousand). Rounding out the money-earners were Stayinthemoment (P105-thousand) and Hook On D Run (P70-thousand) which came in fifth and sixth, respectively.

The prize of the day for the Triple Crown race was donated to the Alay Sa Atleta, an organization supporting the country’s para-athletes.

In the undercard, the Melaine Habla owned and Ruben Tupas-trained Gusto Mucho (Brigand out of Deceptive Attitude) just had enough to stave off the fast charging Moment Of Truth to snatch the Philracom Hopeful Stakes by half-a-length with a registered time of 1:40.8(23′-24-25-28). With the win, Gusto Mucho gave his connections P900-thousand.

In the other big event of the day, the Philracom Three-Year-Old Locally-Bred Stakes, longshot La Vie D’Or(Havana-Footsnips) owned by Rancho Sta. Rosa and trained by Ray Henson pulled the rug from under his opponents, pocketing the P600-thousand top prize for the effort.

Will Nuclear Bomb be two-thirds of the way to history? Find out on August 29 at the Metro Manila Turf Club when the second leg of the Triple Crown series unfolds.