There were no surprises as overwhelming favorite Sky Shot, which came in with a body weight of 476 kgs.,(Juggling Act out of Lamborghini) took to the lead as the gates opened and never looked back to win the Sampaguita Stakes worth P1.2-million for owner Edward Vincent Diokno, trainer Ernesto Roxas and jockey Fernando “Dhunoy” Raquel last Sunday at the Philippine Racing Club in Naic, Cavite.
The Esguerra Farms-bred filly clocked 13′-24′-24′-23′-25′ for a total of 1:51.6 over the 1800-meter journey, which seemed like a mere exercise for Sky Shot. except for a slight challenge with around 600-meters left coming from Shanghai Grey but it was obvious that jockey Fernando Raquel was still with tight reins.
At that point, when FM Raquel asked his mount for a run, the chestnut filly responded by blowing away the closest rivals and beating two-time Sampaguita Stakes winner Princess Eowyn by around 7 lengths. Third went to Cam From Behind and fourth to Shanghai Grey. The runners-up pocketed P450k, P250k and P100k for their connections, respectively.
This became a fitting follow-up to Sky Shot’s recent win at the Philracom Classic at the same track.
This also became the first time in local horse-racing that one owner won the Sampaguita Stakes three years in a row as Princess Eowyn was formerly owned by Edward Vincent Diokno.
Gomezian (440 kgs.) didn’t disappoint her backers as the chestnut filly by Sakima out of Hot Yoga, also bred by Esguerra Farms of businessman/sportsman Hermie Esguerra, went wire-to-wire in the Philracom Two-Year-Old Stakes with a time of 1:18 (7′-21′-22′-26′) over the 1300 meter distance and bagging the top prize of P600,000 for her connections (Owner- Alfredo Santos, Trainer- DR de la Cruz and Jockey- OP Cortez.
The top pick didn’t mind the pressure coming from second choice Pharaoh’s Gift, but Gomezian was simply too much horse for the rest of the field.
Pharaoh’s Gift, Victorious Princess and Doña Chichay rounded out the finishers giving their connections P225k, P125k and P50k for coming in second, third and fourth, respectively.