Archive of ‘World Racing’ category

THW: “Psychic” Breeders Already Have “Leroi” Horses

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  10 April 2013, Wednesday

“Psychic” Breeders Already Have “Leroi” Line Horses

Thanks to at least a couple of our industry’s breeders, the local Thoroughbred stock will be supercharged with Leroidesanimaux blood, now sure to be in demand worldwide after the impressive win of his son Animal Kingdom in the US$10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse last March 30.

In my last column, I wished our horseowners could import horses of the lineage of Animal Kingdom to get some of that speed and stamina on our tracks.

It turns out that a couple of them are way ahead of the pack on this one.

Horseowners Mayor Leonardo “Sandy” Javier Jr. and Nathaniel “Nel” Velasco make you wonder if they have psychic ability. Their unerring selection and purchase of horses from the Brazilian-bred “Leroi” lineage last year borders on the prescient.

Nel Velasco’s 4YO colt Poetic Justice was sired by Leroidesanimaux out of Lecturn, who’s something special – she’s by Pulpit out of Steel Maiden. Pulpit was Claiborne-bred, who won a couple of G2 races (one of them the Fountain of Youth); his sire was AP Indy, who at 3YO won the Santa Anita Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Breeders Cup Classic, all G1 races, and was named Eclipse Champion Three Year Old Male.

But excellent horse pedigrees are the kind of gifts that keep on giving, and AP Indy’s sire was the great Seattle Slew, who in 1977 became the only horse to win the Triple Crown undefeated. He was also the only Triple Crown winner to beat another Triple Crown winner – Affirmed – in the Marlboro Cup of 1978.

The Slew’s great-grandsire on the sire side was Bold Ruler, whose most illustrious son was the incomparable Secretariat.

On the other hand, Steel Maiden’s grandsire on the dam side was also Bold Ruler, giving Poetic Justice a double dose of that mojo.

Mayor Sandy Javier emailed to say, “RMR [his Royal Maverick Ranch in Batangas] has a colt on the ground by Leroidesanimaux, maganda siya.” He attached pedigrees of “two of the eight mares that we got from Keeneland last November. One, in foal to Big Brown, has since become a half-sister to Super Ninety Nine, a Kentucky Derby contender this year. The other has a foal at foot by Leroidesanimaux.”

His Boogie to Seattle (foaled 2008), the one in foal to Big Brown, is by Bluegrass Cat (Storm Cat x She’s A Winner), a stakes winner who earned over $1.7 million, out of Exogenetic (unraced), who had Super Ninety Nine, a colt by Pulpit. Let’s see how he performs on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.

Big Brown was the 2008 Eclipse Champion Three Year Old Male, having won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness that year, as well as the Florida Derby and Haskell Invitational, all G1 races, earning $3.6 million for eight starts.

Mayor Sandy’s Key Lime Secret (f. 2007) had the foal by “Leroi.” She’s by Limehouse (a stakes winner of over $1.1 million) out of Secretly, who was sired by Secretariat; she placed second in the G2 Monmouth Stakes and earned nearly $185,000.

All these coincidences – it’s downright uncanny. Either that, or it’s meant to be.

What it does tell us for sure is that these breeders have got the knowledge and the intuition for choosing good horses, and that’s a winning skill to be proud of.  ***

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KL: Humble Riches, Mas Matulin Kesa Lalaki!

KARERA LANG!  By Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  for 20 September 2011, Tuesday

Humble Riches, Mas Matulin Kesa Lalaki!

Pinatunayan noong Sabado ng babaeng kabayong si Humble Riches na siya ang number one contender para sa korona ng outstanding juvenile itong taon.

Malayong nanalo ito, sakay ni jockey Val Dilema, sa 4th leg Philippine Racing Commission Juvenile Stakes series sa San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Umoras ng 1:34.2 si Humble Riches sa cuartos na 17.8-24-24.8-27.6. Sumegundo si Mika Mika Mika, tersero si Spring Collection, at cuarto si Alpha Alleanza.

Samantala, sa katumbas sa Colts stakes, mahigit sa isang segundo ang bagal ng mga lalaking kabayo – napakalaking bagay sa mundo ng karera.

Tyempong 1:35.6 lamang ang naitala sa Colts stakes noong Linggo, na ipinanalo ni Golden  Empire ng banderang tapos na tatlong kabayo ang layo sa sumegundong Patron. Sinundan ito sa tersero ni Stolen Time, at si Yes Yes Yes ang pumang-apat.

Parehong 1,500 meters ang distansiya ng dalawang juvenile stakes races na ito.

Sa karerang ibayong dagat naman, naghahanda na ang mga kalahok para sa Breeders’ Cup sa Nob. 5 sa Churchill Downs, Kentucky, USA.

Pinag-uusapan ngayon kung magkikita sa $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic ang mga naghahari ngayon sa pista nila – sina Uncle Mo at Stay Thirsty.

Si Uncle Mo ay ang 2-year-old champion noong 2010. Tatakbo siya sa nalalapit na $200,000 Kelso Stakes (G2) na milya ang distansiya.

Si Stay Thirsty ang nanalo ng Jim Dandy at Travers stakes races, at lalahok sa $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup sa Belmont (New York) sa Okt. 1.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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THW: Gentle Irony, Best Import?

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 10 August 2011, Wednesday

Gentle Irony, Best Import?

Two Australian imports belonging to the same stable copped the first two places in the Philippine Racing Commission Peridot Stakes held last Sunday (August 7) at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Coupled entries Gentle Irony and Juggling Act were sent off as the favorites in the tough 1,900-meter race dubbed the 4th leg of the Imported/Local Challenge series.

With star jockey Jesse Guce aboard, , Gentle Irony came from behind to reach the wire ahead of his Fernando Raquel Jr.-ridden stable mate Juggling Act. Both are owned by longtime horseowner Atty. Narciso Morales and trained by Nelson Lorica.

Multiply placed third , Batang Tundo fourth. Quarters for the race were 6’-23’-26’-24’26, for a total time of 1:58.8.

A group of horseowners discussing industry issues the other night opined that Gentle Irony and Juggling Act are perhaps the best imports on the track this season. They’d be pretty hard to beat in any race they’re in. And it’s all to the good for the owner to have both these hot properties on his team.

* *  * *  *

These gentlemen also talked about the good performance put on by superfilly Tensile Strength in a condition race for mixed 3YO that same day. Steered by Jeffril Zarate, the Felizardo Sevilla Jr.-owned Tensile Strength soundly beat the favorite, bay colt Magna Carta. It’s no fluke, because the exact same thing happened in the third leg of the Triple Crown last July.

* *  * *  *

On Saturday (August 13) at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park, Alpha Alleanza, Fair Wind, Going West, Humble Riches, Kogarah Lass, Lohrkes Tower, and Pure Grace will do battle against each other in the Philracom 3rd leg Juvenile Fillies stakes.

Humble Riches won the 2nd leg, and she’s the one to beat here. Alpha Alleanza came in second to her, and she could do well again.

On Sunday (August 14) will be the counterpart Colts stakes featuring Art Attack, Bechot, Cinderella Kid, Foursome, Golden Empire, Jet Stream, Petronas, Sky Serpent, Steel Creation, Stolen Time, and Yes I’m The One.

I’m putting my shirt on Jet Stream to win this one the same way he did the 2nd leg – in blitzkrieg fashion.

Both races will be run over 1,200 meters, with set weight handicapping of 52 kgs for fillies and 54 kgs for colts.

* * * * *

Speedy colt Who Else burned up the track last August 2 at the trial for the August 21 Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race.

Held at SLLP over 1,300 meters, the Eduardo Gonzalez-owned colt steered by jockey Esmael Nahilat won by 1-1/2 lengths and clocked 7’-24’-24’-28 for 1:25’ over 1,300 meters.

Pleasantly Perfect (1:26) took second; Dancing Dolphin third and Carmelo fourth, both posting 1:26’.

* * * * *

In other racing news, local turfdom played host to visitors from abroad who came over to observe and share information.

Last July 24-25, Philracom took around four officials and a veterinarian from the Korean Racing Authority. They were the guests of honor at SLLP for the Philippines-Korea Friendship Race and the KRA Trophy Race.

Last August  1-2, C. Mano and Greg Manley of Hygain Feeds in Singapore paid a visit, along with Peter Lord and veterinarian Dr. Ross Teitzel.

Mano, Greg, and Peter – who’ve been here before – gave a seminar on equine health and nutrition under the sponsorship of Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos. In attendance at the Manila Polo Club were racehorse owners and riders and enthusiasts from the equestrian circuit.  Dr. Ross was here to attend to some clients’ horses at the Batangas thoroughbred ranches.   ***

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KL: Sakit ng Kabayo, Lumitaw sa EU!

KARERA LANG!   by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  7 June 2011, Tuesday

Sakit ng Kabayo, Lumitaw sa EU!

Nakaalarma ang balitang kumakalat ngayon sa Internet tungkol sa EHV-1 (equine herpes virus) na lumitaw kamakailan sa kanlurang bahagi ng Estados Unidos.

Ayon sa ulat ni Gale Holland sa pahayagang Los Angeles Times noong Mayo 24, pito na ang kabayong namatay sa sakit na ito na unang nagparamdam sa Ogden, Utah noong nakaraang Abril.

Sa pangambang baka kumalat ito, may nakansela nang mga horse events mula Tulsa, Oklahoma (gitnang bahagi ng bansa) hanggang San Diego County sa California (bandang kaliwa).

Ang “horse herpes” virus ay ubod na nakakahawa dahil ito ay dala sa hangin (airborne). Ang neurological system ng kabayo ang tinatamaan nito. Ang pagkalat ng sakit ay sanhi ng horse-to-horse contact. Nag-uumpisa ito bilang sipon, tuloy sa lagnat, kasunod ang panghihina ng likuran, kawalan ng coordination sa paggalaw, hanggang sa maging paralisado na ang kabayo o mamatay.

Sa mga buntis na inahen, maaring malaglag ang besiro sa sinapupunan o mamatay ito pagka-panganak. Ang ibang kabayo ay namamatay nalang bigla sa loob ng 24 oras. Walang bakuna at walang gamot para sa sa EHV-1, ngunit sa ibang kaso, nakakatulong raw ang anti-viral at anti-inflammatory drugs.

Hindi nakakaapekto sa mga tao ang EHV-1.

Siyam na estado ng Amerika ang apektado ng virus na ito, kabilang na ang California, New Mexico, Oregon, Colorado, at Washington. Ito na ang pinakamalaking outbreak ng sakit ng kabayo sa loob ng mga nakaraang taon, ayon kay Steve Lyle, public affairs director ng kanilang Department of Food and Agriculture.

Sa ngayon, ayon kay Dr. Jojo Cambay, beterinaryo  ng Philippine Racing Commission, wala pa raw siyang nababalitaang kaso ng EHV-1 sa Pilipinas. Tiyak na magiging alerto ang ating mga vet, may-ari, trainers, at iba pang kinauukulan tungkol dito lalo sa banda ng importation ng kabayong galing Amerika.

Natatandaan pa natin kung gaano kalaki ang pinsalang idinulot ng outbreak ng equine influenza noong 1997 na nagpatigil ng karera, at ng equine infectious anemia noong 2004 na nakaapekto ng higit 200 kabayo.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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THW: Triple Crown, PCSO Races on June 11

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  8 June 2011, Wednesday

Triple Crown, PCSO Races on June 11

There are times during the year when nothing out of the ordinary is planned apart from regular races, and there are days when the whole day explodes in a frenzy of top-rated speed and action.

Saturday, June 11, is one of those days, and I strongly urge true horseracing fans to mark it on their calendars.

That’s when the 1,750-meter second legs of the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown and Hopeful Stakes series for elite 3YO thoroughbreds will be run at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

Running in the Triple Crown are Arvindugo, Barkley, Constatic, Hari ng Yambo, Lord of War, Magna Carta, Maker’s Mark, Tensile Strength, and The Rock.

Having crushed his opponents easily in the first leg, Hari ng Yambo is expected to dominate once again, but will have to contend against challenges from Magna Carta, who came in second to him the last time.

Constatic, the lone filly here, won the first leg of the Hopeful and on that strong showing was entered in the more difficult Triple Crown. She is still expected to do well against the boys. Tensile Strength placed third to her in that Hopeful and will seek to avenge the loss.

Fourteen runners are in the Hopeful: Armoury, Cheeze Mosa, Coal Harbour, Dimasalang, Ooh La La’s Gold, Prime Rate, Wondrous Wind, Olajuwon, Dear John, Smart Guru, Thirdy Thirdy, Tucker’s Diamond, and Whistler.

Watch out for Cheeze Mosa and Smart Guru to do some damage, and keep options open on Whistler, who came in fourth in the Hopeful’s first leg (Cheeze Mosa placed second).

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is running its fourth Special Maiden race of the year also on June 11, over 1,300 meters. The May 24 trial race was won by Markees World by seven lengths. Also in are Classy Kitcat, Fair Wind, Huatulco, Pinay Beauty, Conqueror’s Magic, and Stolen Time.

This exciting lineup of races happening the day before Araw ng Kasarinlan is all the more reason to celebrate the freedom to race – what can be better for Thoroughbred racing enthusiasts!

* * * * *

 Alarming reports about an equine disease outbreak in the Western part of the United States are all over the Internet.

In a May 24 Los Angeles Times report by Gale Holland, seven horses have already died of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1) that first broke out in Ogden, Utah, last April.

Horse events from Tulsa to San Diego County have been cancelled on account of the outbreak, for fear of the disease spreading.

Horse herpes is highly contagious because it is airborne and spread by horse-to-horse contact. The disease hits the neurological system. It presents first as a cold, followed by fever, weakness of the hindquarters, and loss of motor coordination leading to paralysis and/or death. Some horses just drop dead within 24 hours of contracting the virus.

The virus may also cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares, or result in foals being born dead. There is no vaccine against EHV-1, nor is there a cure, although anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs have been helpful.

EHV-1 does not affect humans.

According to Steve Lyle, public affairs director of the US Department of Food and Agriculture, this is one of the biggest equine disease outbreaks in recent years.

At the moment, says veterinarian Jojo Cambay, head of the Philracom equine laboratory, he has not heard of any EHV-1 cases in the Philippines.

We are sure that the members of the racing industry will remain alert to such threats. We have not forgotten the huge losses the industry incurred in 1997 during the equine influenza outbreak that resulted in the temporary suspension of the races, nor the equine infectious anemia outbreak of 2004 that affected over 200 horses.  ***

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KL: Bandera Cup, Tuloy!

KARERA LANG! by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera, 14 May 2011, Saturday

Bandera Cup, Tuloy!

Aprubado na ng Philippine Racing Commission ang kanilang sponsorship ng Bandera Cup charity race, at ang schedule nalang nito ang inaayos pa.

Ayon kina Bandera—- at sports editor Frederick Nasiad, dalawa ang iniisip nilang gawing benepisyaryo ng charity race na ito – ang Newsboys Foundation at “Lapis at Papel” Foundation. Ang layunin ng huli ay ang mamahagi ng school supplies sa mga mag-aaral sa ilang paaralang pampubliko.

Matatandaan na mayroong annual charity race ang Tumbok, ang dating sister publication ng Bandera. Naka-apat na pakarera ito, at ang pinakahuling organisasyon na natulungan nila ay ang Bahay Maria foundation para sa mga abandoned children.

Dahil ito ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na magpapakarera ang Bandera, pinag-iisipan nila ng mabuti kung anu-anong mga pakulo at kabonggahan ang maari nilang i-arrange para sa ikasasaya ng mga manonood ng karera at pati na rin ang mga mambabasa ng Bandera.

Kaya antabayanan nalang sa kolum na ito ang schedule ng 1st Bandera Cup!

*****

Mga balitang karera: super-dehado ang nanalo ng 137th Kentucky Derby, first leg ng US Triple Crownna idinaos noong Mayo 7 sa Churchill Downs racetrack sa Lexington, Kentucky.

Galing sa gitna ng kumpol ang 20-1 longshot na si Animal Kingdom, sakay ni John Velasquez. Change-rider lamang siya; pinalitan niya ang regular rider na si Robby Albarado na nabasag ang ilong nang umalma ang sasakyang kabayo nito sa isang regular race tatlong araw bago mag-Derby Day.

Bakit hindi panguha si Animal Kingdom: bukod sa hindi niya regular rider si Velasquez, ito rin ang una niyang takbo sa buhangin. (“Turf horse” kasi ito, tumatakbo sa pistang damo). Bakit panguha: kadalasan ay suwerte ang pulot-sakay. Ganyan talaga ang karera, kahit ano, maaring mangyari.

Kalendaryo ng karera sa Mayo: 14, SLLP: 1st leg Philracom Hopeful Stakes; 15, SLLP: 1st leg Philracom Triple Crown; 21, Pimlico Racecourse sa Maryland, USA: Preakness Stakes, 2nd leg US Triple Crown; 22, PRC: PCSO 16th Silver Cup.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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THW: It’s Time for Awards

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 26 January 2011, Wednesday

It’s Time for Awards

It’s that time of the year when sportswriters roll up their sleeves, down pots of coffee, squint at reams of statistics, and choose the recipients of “of the Year” awards.

In the US, the Eclipse Awards were given out last January 21 in Miami and to the acclaim of many supporters, supermare Zenyatta received the North American horse of the year award.

The Eclipse Awards are handed out by members of the National Turf Writers Association, employees of the Daily Racing Form, and racing secretaries representing tracks that are members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Zenyatta earned 128 votes over second placer Blame’s 102. Blame defeated Zenyatta in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, handing the highly-regarded racemare her only career loss, and was expected by some to cop top Eclipse honors.

The popular vote, however, was overwhelmingly with Zenyatta, who, at her age, has a shining career that Blame can only hope to duplicate. She won 19 races out of 20, her come-from-behind style keeping fans on the edge of their seats or cheering her on down the stretch to the wire.

She ran from dead last in the Breeders’ Cup and stride by stride mowed down the opposition, failing only to overtake Blame in the final few furlongs. But with that performance, she showed her supreme fighting heart that refused to give up.

The recipient of the third place award was three-time Breeders’ Cup mile winner Goldikova. The winner of the Eclipse Award in 2009 was another brave racemare, Rachel Alexandra. She was locked in a rivalry with the older Zenyatta in the early years of her career.

The blog Equine Ink (equineink.com) carried this lyrical quote from Zenyatta’s owner Jerry Moss: “If you love Thoroughbred horses, you go through life hoping that you can just see one more in whose presence, the clouds fall away to reveal the mountain top. It can take a generation, or infinitely longer, for such a horse to arrive. A horse that is capable of carrying the human heart.

“For the last 100 years, we know them all by name. But Zenyatta brought to us a beauty that was a tonic for the soul. She allowed us to believe in the impossible. And it was the light in her being, as much as the thrill of her races, that got us dancing. Zenyatta was transformative.”

This was Zenyatta’s third straight Eclipse award as top older female.

In our neck of the woods, Yes Pogi has emerged as the Philippine Sportswriters Association Horse of the Year, while Jesse Guce is Jockey of the Year. This was announced recently by PSA treasurer Joe Antonio.

Meanwhile, folks are looking forward to the weekend of February 19-20 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite. That’s the date and venue for the coming Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored Amethyst II (3YO local fillies) and Amethyst III (3YO local colts), both mile races. ***

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THW: Zenyatta Retires, But Not Undefeated

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 10 November 2010, Wednesday

Zenyatta Retires, But Not Undefeated

Perhaps the most magnificent racemare of all time was forced to retire with one defeat, still with an enviable 19-1 record and a gallant final performance.

Zenyatta, acknowledged by racing experts as one of the classiest female runners in the history of the sport of horseracing, lost by a mere head to Blame in the recently held Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Yet, as racing writer Jeff Scott put it, writing for The Saratogian, “Zenyatta didn’t win…yet in falling inches short of catching Blame, she only added to her legend. Obviously, she already knew how to win. By losing in the most gallant way imaginable, she showed she was just as memorable in defeat.”

Held at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the Breeders’ Cup Classic is one of the most prestigious G1 races in the world. The 1-1/4 mile (2,000 meters) race this year had all eyes on Zenyatta, who had beat a field of male horses last year to win the $5 million Santa Anita Classic.

This time, she valiantly rallied from an estimated 25 lengths behind – from dead last – in her attempt to pluck off her ten male antagonists one by one.

She nearly succeeded.

The blame for her loss goes to the Garrett Gomez-ridden colt Blame, sent off as the favorite. Blame beat the Mike-Smith steered Zenyatta by a head in a heart-breaking photo finish. It was that close.

Zenyatta on the outside, Blame inside by the rail. Image from here.

Still, Zenyatta showed her class all the way, and ends her career still on a high note, by showing the world her brave heart and fleet legs in her final mad dash to the wire.

*****

In local racing, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office will hold five races on November 21 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite. The main race will be named for PCSO chairperson Margarita Juico and is the month’s Special Maiden race for juveniles. The other four races will be named for PCSO directors Atty. Maria Aleta Tolentino, Atty. Mabel Mamba, Atty. Francisco Joaquin III, and Betty Nantes.

Said PCSO general manager Atty. Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, “These five races help fulfill the part of PCSO’s mandate that requires the agency to support horseracing and uplift the quality of the sport.” The sport and the agency have a partnership that go back seventy-six years, when sweepstakes draws were held in conjunction with horse races.

Meanwhile, the PCSO’s flagship race, the Presidential Gold Cup, will be held on December 12 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.  Declaration of horses for this, the 38th running, is on November 12 at the PCSO’s new office at the Secretariat Bldg., PICC Complex, Pasay City (across Sofitel).   ***

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THW: Zenyatta: Above the Law

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 16 June 2010, Wednesday

Zenyatta: Above the Law

Racemare Zenyatta once more showed that ordinary rules don’t apply to her when she stretched her record to 17-for-17 after scoring a three-peat in the G1 Vanity Stakes at Hollywood Park last Saturday.

The 6YO Kentucky-bred campaigner broke several laws to achieve her statistic-defying feat, among them the Law of Averages, the Law of Gravity, and Murphy’s Law.

Trained by John Shirreffs, Zenyatta again proved to her owners Jerry and Anne Moss that she is one of their best investments, coming from behind under veteran jockey Mike Smith to win the 1-1/8 mile (1,800 meters) Vanity by a half-length over the plucky St. Trinians, clocking 1:49.01.

Zenyatta, with Mike Smith on top, edges past St. Trinians in the Vanity. Photo by benoitphoto.com found at Bloodhorse.com.

Extending her undefeated streak in defiance of the law of averages which states that the longer you play, the more chances you have of losing, Zenyatta raced wide at the home turn yet flew over the track to beat five other rivals in an amazing stretch run. Obviously she didn’t receive the memo on the law of gravity. Further, Zenyatta doesn’t seem to have heard of the saying “If something can go wrong – it will,” leaving the Philosopher Murphy no choice but to chalk her up as an exception to the rule.

The Bloodhorse.com’s Jack Shinar says this is Zenyatta’s “third straight win in the Vanity, and by far her most exciting.” Shiner says the victory boosts her career earnings to nearly $6.1 million, putting her close to overtaking the $6.33 million female earnings record held by Ouija Board, who retired in 2006.

By Street Cry out of Vertigineaux (Kris S.), Zenyatta trounced the boys in last year’s Breeders Cup Classic, proving that pedigree and performance, not gender, is what wins races. Or maybe the mojo comes from her fantastic name, taken from The Police’s ‘80s album “Zenyatta Mondatta”. It’s also the great training. Or could it be something in the water? Oh, yes, beer – her trainer has been known to add some to her bucket as a treat after workouts.

I’m grasping at straws here. I doubt if anyone can adequately explain the phenomenon that is Zenyatta. But do we have to? Analysis will only go so far. For the rest, the best thing we can do is allow ourselves to watch a superb equine athlete go the distance, cheering her on as she races her heart out, time and again.

What does this bode for Philippine racing? The first thing that comes to mind is, “Do we have that lineage here?” Philippine Racing Commission records for this year to date shows that we do have some Street Cry progeny already racing on our tracks. Three of them are imports – Raymund Puyat’s Fleet Street (out of Authoress), Tony de Ubago’s Pumatone (Armilla), and Tony Tan’s Street Song (What A Song) – while Mari Franco’s Street Vamp (Draculina) was island-born.

While these four haven’t made any big waves, they’ve made some large splashes that ought to send wider and wider ripples out into the local thoroughbred breeding and racing scene, as Street Cry’s offspring continue to surf their way to the top of the charts abroad.

Apart from Zenyatta and many other stakes winners in Australia and New Zealand, Street Cry (Ire) also sired Street Sense (out of Bedazzle), winner of the 2004 Breeders Cup Juvenile and the 2007 Breeders Cup Classic, with $4.38 million in earnings.

Street Cry (Machiavellian – Helen Street by Troy) stands at Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed al-Maktoum’s 4,000-acre Darley Stud in Kentucky. Unlike other stallions that were unraced or lightly-raced, Street Cry boasts of $5.15 million in race earnings, with purses from a 3rd-place in the 2000 Breeders Cup Juvenile and wins in Dubai.

Nice conformation shot of Street Cry.

His stud fee is $150,000, which is modest considering he has sired ten individual G1 winners. That’s too pricey for local breeders’ budgets, though I would love for someone to surprise me and shell out the bucks for a Street Cry mating. Our best bet is to continue securing his progenies via in-foal mares or indirectly through his sons who will stand at stud later on. When seeking to produce champions, it’s axiomatic to cover all the bases including pedigree.

But that’s for Philippine breeders to consider. I’ll volunteer to suggest names of power. You want more The Police albums? There’s Outlandos d’Amour, Regatta de Blanc, Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine…who knows, maybe we’ll come up with another horse like Zenyatta that’ll also break all natural laws en route to the finish line.   *** (Email: jennyo@live.com * Visit: http://jennyo.net)

The Police released “Zenyatta Mondatta”, their third album, in October 1980. Hits from this album include “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” and ”Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.

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THW: Triple Crown and Hopeful 2

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 2 June 2010, Wednesday

Triple Crown and Hopeful 2

“Let’s get ready to rrrumble…!”

Alright, so that’s Michael Buffer’s trademarked catchphrase for boxing. But after several weeks’ hiatus from major racing events, the excitement of racing fans has revved up to fever pitch for this weekend’s one-two punch of stakes matches.

In the Philippines, local-bred 3YO are gearing to get it on in the second legs of the Philippine Racing Commission’s Hopeful – June 5 – and Triple Crown – June 6 – at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

In the 1,800-meter Hopeful second leg are colts Chinoi with jockey Virgilio Camañero, King Bearhart (Jordan Cordova), Shining Armour (Kelvin Abobo), and Si Señor (Mark Alvarez). The fillies are Elusive Cat (Karvin Malapira), Gold Mine (Ronald Baldonido), Ice Storm (Red de Leon), Open Slew (Jesse Guce), Speed Spell (Jhemo Tinte), The Chairwoman (Fernando Raquel), and Thief In the Nite (Jonathan Hernandez). Lepanto and Milenyo, both nominated, were not declared.

In the Triple Crown second leg, also 1,800 meters, are colts Invincible with jockey Kelvin Abobo, Lakota Creek (Dominador Borbe), Righthererightnow (John Alvin Guce), Scotland Yard (Jeffril Zarate), Thotis Best (Patty Dilema), and first leg winner Yes Pogi (Fernando Raquel). The lone filly is Well Well Well (Jonathan Hernandez).

Since these are “set weight” races, all colts will carry 54 kgs., fillies 52 kgs.

In the Hopeful, I’m giving a big chance to Shining Armour, who ran in the first leg of the Triple Crown. He wore down Brother Barack, whom we won’t see this weekend. Speed Spell and The Chairwoman are fast; stayer Ice Storm could place.

In the Triple Crown, I’m expecting Yes Pogi to once more hang back at the back of the pack and execute a heart-stopping rally down the stretch to win in the nick of time. He did that in the Philracom Chairman’s Cup last March and again in the first leg of the Triple Crown last month. His running style may give supporters cardiac arrhythmia with the suspense, but I’m putting all my money on this gutsy gray colt.

Well Well Well, who copped second place in the first leg, is one to watch carefully here. Don’t ignore Righthererightnow who placed fourth. Lakota Creek came in third in the Chairman’s Cup and could do better this go-round. That’s my quartet bet right there.

In the American arena, the last leg of the US Triple Crown is on June 5. The Belmont Stakes is 1-1/2 miles long (2,400 meters) and is the toughest of the three legs. This year’s edition features Kentucky Derby contender Ice Box as the morning-line favorite, with neither Derby winner Super Saver nor Preakness victor Lookin’ at Lucky joining the race.

Completing the 12-horse field are First Dude, Make Music For Me, Stately Victor, Drosselmeyer, Dave in Dixie, Interactif, Fly Down, Game On Dude, Spangled Star, Stay Put, and Uptowncharleybrown.

Look forward to more Philracom stakes races in the coming weeks: The 1,200-meter first legs of the Juvenile Fillies and Juvenile Colts stakes on June 26 and 27 respectively at Santa Ana Park, and the killer 2,000-meter third legs of the Hopeful and Triple Crown, July 17 and 18 respectively, at San Lazaro Leisure Park. All are set-weight races.

With occasional rains already here, expect the track at Naic to get a bit harder and yield faster times this weekend. Will time records be broken? I doubt it, considering the scuffling that will go on down the stretch; runners will be too busy with their fancy footwork. Still, as with all horse races, ‘anything goes’ and a new fighter could emerge the victor in the upcoming battles. “Let’s get ready to rrrace…!” Okay, I trademark that! ***

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