Sport

Union Bell ready for Triple Crown

Union Bell ready for Triple Crown

MANILA, Philippines — Union Bell delivered an impressive finishing kick to an undefeated season, winning the 2019 Philippine Racing Commission’s Juvenile Championship recently at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite by five lengths and declaring itself ready for the bigger challenge of the new year – the Triple Crown series.

The Jonathan B. Hernandez-steered Union Bell (sire Union Rags, USA; dam Tocqueville, ARG) notched its fourth straight win in the Juvenile series for two-year-old horses while grabbing the rich championship purse of P1.5 million for owner Elmer de Leon.

The two-year-old colt started its amazing streak with an emphatic five-length win in the first leg of the Juvenile Fillies and Colts Stakes Race at the Saddle and Clubs Leisure Park in Naic, Cavite last October before making it two in a row in the second leg at the Metro Manila Turf Club in Malvar, Batangas the following month.

Proving that it is one of the country’s fastest-rising young horses, Union Bell completed a hat trick of sorts by winning the Juvenile Colts Stakes Race at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in December, before capturing the overall Juvenile crown during Philracom’s last offering for the year.

“Ready na ito sa Triple Crown. Mas magaling ito next year,” said Hernandez.

After Party set the tone of the race a third of the way, before Union Bell made its move at the 700-meter mark. Exponential turned it into a three-way battle for the lead from there, but Union Bell began pulling away in the final 600 meters, bolting to the finish for a five-length victory that affirmed its status as one of the best horses to watch in the new racing season.

Union Bell submitted a clocking of 1:42.8 with quartertimes of 24, 25, 26 and 27 seconds.

“Ang instruction sa akin, bahala na lang ako, so ang desisyon ko, inuna ko na noong magkaroon ng pagkakataon, para at least, kapag gumigil siya, nasa harapan ko siya,” said Hernandez.

Exponential (jockey PM Cabalejo, owner Raymund Puyat), which was expected to give Union Bell a run for his money, placed a far second and received P562,500 while third placer Lucky Savings (jockey JA Guce, owner Antonio Coyco) got P312,000.