There will be no Triple Crown winner this season, the potential champion ambushed along the way to a projected sweep of Philippine horse racing’s bejeweled spectacle.
Radio Bell stole the thunder from Triple Crown sweep contender Basheirrou by emerging dominant in the third leg of the Philracom Triple Crown at the Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite Sunday.
Businessman/sportsman Elmer de Leon's Bell Racing Stable flagbearer basked in the glow of triumph by the far second choice who was expertly ridden by star jockey Jonathan Hernandez.
Stopping the clock at an imposing 2:07.6 (with quarters of 24-23'-25-26'-28') over the 2000 meter distance, Radio Bell by Sakima out of Radioactive Love bided his time before making a dramatic move to thwart the odds.
From the gate, Gomezian and history-seeking Basheirrou moved to tow the field, engaging in a one-on-one duel to dictate the pace early with coupled runners Brother Son and Charm Campaign in third and fourth, respectively.
Just a blip in the radar, Radio Bell was tucked well within striking distance in fifth.
It was at the half-mile pole that Hernandez stirred things up, passing the stablemates to take third spot behind the two front-runners who continued the blinding pace going to the home stretch.
With 400 meters left, the chestnut filly pulled abreast and then grabbed the lead, eventually blowing the competition away for a coasting five length victory over Jungkook, Enigma Uno and Gomezian which came in second, third and fourth, respectively.
Top favorite Basheirrou was gobbled up by the onrushing pack at the finish, becoming the latest victim of the Triple Crown’s back-breaking third leg after Yes Pogi who won the first two legs in 2010 but was nipped at the wire by Carriedo in the clinching third leg.
Heneral Kalentong remains the last Triple Crown champion in 2020.
"After our impressive showing in the second leg, my team and I were confident that Radio Bell would have a better performance in the third leg. And true enough, paglampas ng medya-milya it was quite clear na amin na yung panalo," De Leon said.
"Salamat sa bumubuo ng Bell Racing Stable team for the win. My trainer Donnie Sordan, our jockeys, the sotas, mga excercise riders and the rest who comprise the team. I am beside myself with joy for winning my first triple crown leg," the Bell Racing top honcho added.
The win was worth P2.1 million to the winning connections along with the Ramon Orlina trophy.
Jungkook's posse took home P787,500 while Enigma Uno and Gomezian brought home P437,500 and P175,000, respectively.
Rancho Santa Rosa did not leave the day empty-handed as their grey colt Cupid Song (Cupid-Beautiful Song) ridden by Kelvin Abobo grabbed the spotlight by coming from last to first in the Hopeful Stakes with a time of 2:13.2 in the 2000 meter journey worth P900,000.
Runners-up finish went to Pharaoh's Fairy, Eazacky and Bocaue Rivertown receiving P337,500, P187,500 and P75,000 in that order.
Former jockey Renato "Egoy" Hipolito, Cupid Song's trainer said after the race: "Yung naging instructions ko ay itakbo nyo yung karera niyo. Kung papalarin tayo at manalo, thank you. Kung hindi naman, thank you din. Basta ginawa natin ang best natin."
Bell Racing Stable emerged as the day's big winner when Sakima, out of Colony Crossing progeny Colony Bell, snatched the 3YO Locally Bred Stakes in the process adding another P600,000 to her earnings.
The 2:10 over 2000 meters (25-24'-25-28') was too much for the rest of the field with Queen Louise snatching second (P200,000), Thermodynamics third (P100,000) and Victoriousprincess fourth (P50,000)."Sa last 600 meters nakita ko na malaki na tsansa namin at nung pagsungaw ng rekta alam ko na na amin na yung panalo," Colony Bell jockey Mark Alvarez said.
"Congratulations to all the winners, especially to the Bell Racing Stable for taking two out of the three high stakes events. I'd also like to thank the bayang karerista for their support in today's exciting races," Philracom top honcho Reli de Leon said.