TAKING charge off a searing backstretch run under crack rider Jeff Zarate, top pick Crucis pulled off a masterful win Saturday in the P500,000 Jockey Elias Ordiales race over a wet MetroTurf track in Malvar, Batangas.
The five-year-old mare easily swept past sprinter Close to Hallie and proved to good for Juggling Act in the run for home, clocking an impressive two minutes for the 2,000-meter race serving as the fifth leg of the Philracom Local-Imported series.
“My mount is in good form of late,” Zarate said in Filipino after partnering the progeny of Southern Image out of Dixie Parade to a sixth straight win.
“Crucis is showing so much versatility, having the ability to set the pace or come from behind, like what he did today.”
Juggling Act, the former imported champion, was second, with Sliotar checking in third. Crucis turned in sizzling quarter times of 24’-24-23’-25.
Crucis’ big victory now has racing fans salivating for a dream race with reigning Horse of the Year winner and Triple Crown champion Hagdang Bato.
That race could happen on Nov. 17, when the Ambassador Danding Cojuangco Cup, to be held in honor of the first Philracom chair, is held.
“That would be a very interesting race, if it happens,” Zarate said. “Hagdang Bato is a champion and they basically mirror each other’s achievements in the track.”
The victory was worth P300,000 for the connections of Crucis, trained by the veteran Dave dela Cruz, with Juggling Act and Jonathan Hernandez settling for the P112,000 runner-up’s purse.