Crucis put on a dazzling burst of speed going into the final straight yesterday to rule the Atty. Rodrigo L. Salud race, the fourth leg of the Philracom’s Imported-Local Challenge series, at the MetroTurf track in Malvar, Batangas.
Handled by the veteran Jeffyl Zarate, the five-year-old son of Southern Image out of Dixie Parade gobbled up the tiring Gentle Irony before holding off the fancied Juggling Act in the stretch.
In winning the P300,000 top prize, Crucis clocked an impressive 1-minute and 47 seconds for the 1,800 journey (13-23-23-22’).
Salud, who was also a former PBA commissioner, was an influential figure in horseracing. He was a former executive director of the Philracom and was involved in running the old Manila Jockey Club as the legal counsel of the late Leopoldo Prieto.
“I had to hold off my mount as early as the backstretch,” Zarate said. “He wanted to make a move there. He responded when I asked for more going into the homestretch.”
Juggling Act, who carried the heaviest handicap of 57 kilograms, settled for second worth P112,500 with Tritanic checking in third for P62,500.
Oh Oh Seven, Juggling Act’s couple, lay fourth worth P25,000.
Philracom chair Angel Lopez Castano Jr. and other Philracom commissioners presented the trophies to the winners together with MetroTurf SVP Rudy Prado.
The series ends with the holding of the Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. Cup in November.