Archive of ‘Phil. Charity Sweepstakes Office’ category

THW: Longshot Wins KY Derby!

<THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 11 May 2011, Wednesday

<Longshot Wins KY Derby!

The first Saturday in May is like Christmas and Valentine’s Day and Easter all rolled into one for racing fans around the world. It’s when the Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs in Lexington, and where the finest 3YO Thoroughbreds show the world the speed and power at their command.

This year saw Animal Kingdom, a 20-1 longshot, win the 137th running of the KY Derby, the first leg of the US Triple Crown.

Animal Kingdom was hardly even mentioned in any of the morning-line tips; more attention was given to Dialed In, Nehro, even Pants on Fire, who won the Louisiana Derby with lady rider Rosie Napravnik.

But the feisty colt proved he wasn’t a nobody by racing in the middle of the field of 19 horses, pulling away in the stretch to win the 1-1/4 mile (2,000 meter) race by 2-3/4 lengths in 2:02.04. (Secretariat set the track record of 1:59.40 in 1973).

In comparison the Philippine record for that distance is 2:04.4, held jointly by island-born fillies Stowaway Lass and Wild Orchid, both clocking it in 2005.

Now why wasn’t Animal Kingdom on the radar? It was his first time to run on dirt; he had previously won a race on a synthetic surface at Turfway Park. His jockey, John Velasquez, was a replacement for regular riderRobby Albarado, who broke his nose in an accident just three days before Derby Day.

Why I should have seen it coming – suerte ang pulot-sakay, as they say here.

The Kentucky Oaks, held the previous day also at Churchill Downs, was also won by a longshot, Plum Pretty. Steered by Martin Garcia, the filly held off St. John’s River just enough to win by a neck.

The second leg of the US Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, will be held on May 21 at the Pimlico Racecourse in Maryland.

Meanwhile, we are gearing up for our own Triple Crown series, supported by the Philippine Racing Commission. The first leg happens on May 15 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, while the first leg of the Hopeful Stakes will take place on May 14.

I’m going with Magna Carta in the TC, despite recent losses. I think that colt has got what it takes to go the distance.

May 22 at Santa Ana Park, we’ll see if Yes Pogi still has what it takes to beat Go Army, Darleb, Righthererightnow, Thoti’s Best, and Shining Armour  over 2,000 meters. ***

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KL: PCSO 2011 Silver Cup

KARERA LANG! by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera, 30 April 2011, Saturday

PCSO 2011 Silver Cup

Malapit nang itanghal ang isa sa pinaka-prestihiyosong karera ng taon – ang Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Silver Cup.

Ito ay ang ika-16 edisyon ng karera na ganapin sa Mayo 22 sa Santa Ana Park, Naic, Cavite, sa distansiyang 2,000 meters.

Ayon kay PCSO Draw and Races Dept. manager Carlos Castillo, ang mga deklaradong kalahok ay sina:

Post Position #1 -  Thoti’s Best ni Wilbert Tan, hinete Christopher B. Tamano, 55 kgs;

#2 – Go Army ni Herminio Esguerra, hinete Fernando M. Raquel Jr., 55.5 kgs.;

#3 – Shining Armour ni Mario Gerald Cunanan, hinete Patricio R. Dilema, 55 kgs.;

#4 – Yes Pogi ni Francis Lim, hinete Manolito F. Daquis, 55 kgs.;

#5 – Darleb ni Josephy Dyhengco, hinete Jeffril T. Zarate, 55 kgs.;

#6 – Righthererightnow ng Deemark Trading, hinete Jonathan B. Hernandez, 55 kgs.

Lahat ng kalahok ay lalaking kabayo na 4 taong gulang, maliban kay Go Army na sa edad na limang taon ay ang pinakamatanda sa karerang ito.

Tungkol naman sa Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown na kampeonato para sa mga 3YO local-born, ang first leg nito ay Mayo 15 sa San Lazaro Leisure Park, Carmona, Cavite.

Ayon kay Philracom handicapper Rolando Lansangan, siyam ang nominadong kalahok – Arvindugo, Barkley, Bosbarawana, Hari ng Yambo, Lord of War, Magna Carta, Maker’s Mark, Super Charge, at The Rock.

Maari pang magbago ang lineup na ito sa araw ng deklarasyon. Ang mangyayari ay baka may umurong, ngunit siguradong wala nang puede pang humabol sa lineup dahil sarado na ang pagpapalista.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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THW: PCSO Silver Cup, Triple Crown 1

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 27 April 2011, Wednesday

PCSO Silver Cup, Triple Crown 1

You’re reading it here first – the lineup of one of the most prestigious races of the year, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Silver Cup!

Registration for the 2,000 meter race at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park on May 22 closed yesterday at 4pm, said sponsoring agency PCSO’s Desoto Tupaz of the Draw and Races Department.

Seven horses are entered, all older horses: Herminio Esguerra’s Go Army and Carriedo, Deemark Trading’s Righthererightnow, Josephy Dyhengco’s Darleb, Wilbert Tan’s Thoti’s Best, Marlon Cunanan’s Shining Armour, and Francis Lim’s Yes Pogi.

Yes Pogi is the one to beat, being a stayer with a patented come-from-behind strategy that works best over longer distances. He comes off a recent win in the class-division, showing that his condition, while not at peak, can still improve over the coming weeks.

Go Army and Carriedo could still pull off good performances, but railbirds I’ve asked are eyeing Righthererightnow and Thoti’s Best to make their mark.

The PCSO Silver Cup is traditionally held in honor of the sitting president’s spouse, but given that President Benigno Aquino III is a bachelor, the trophy will instead be sculpted with the faces of himself and his four sisters, along with other symbolic elements representing PCSO.


Sports fans are also looking forward to summer’s hottest race series, the Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored Triple Crown for local-born 3YO Thoroughbreds.

Nomination for the mile-long first leg, set for May 15 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, was still on-going as of presstime, said sports and games officer Rolando Lansangan of the Philracom.

And no, he told me, I couldn’t get advance word of the nominees because the names were being dropped into a sealed box which could not be opened before 5pm, which is the deadline for submission of this column.

I tried my best but time wasn’t on my side. I’ll let you know the lineup for the Triple Crown first leg next week.

Meanwhile, we can speculate on who’s likely to join. Magna Carta is on top of the list, and no surprise – the island-born speedster of mayor Leonardo “Sandy” Javier Jr. has been making waves lately despite losing to Arvindugo by a head in the April 17  Philracom Diamond III stakes at Santa Ana Park.

Prior to that, Magna Carta creamed a tough field in the February 27 PCSO Freedom Cup, winning by ten lengths. After that he held off a hard-charging Barkley to win by a head in the Philracom Chairman’s Cup last March.

Deemed to be burned out from successive races, Magna Carta could use a rest till Triple Crown day. It’s likely that a short spell will help the son of American stallion Woodman out of Pledge the Fifth recover in time for this test.

He’s also considered to better at San Lazaro rather than Santa Ana, and he’ll be having that advantage during the first leg.

Philracom’s Triple Crown races are open to 3YO local-born Thoroughbreds and usually feature runners from the elite groups. Hefty prizes are meant to encourage local breeders to produce top-class champions for the track, with an eye to exportation in the future, once local compliance with international quarantine rules has been met.

The races are held in conjunction with the Hopeful Stakes race, also for elite 3YO that for some reason are not entered in the Triple Crown itself.

All in all, this summer is going to be an exciting one for racing fans! *** Email: / Web: / Facebook: Gogirl Racing

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THW: Wanna Change Wins PCSO Maiden Race

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 20 April 2011, Wednesday

Wanna Change Wins PCSO Maiden Race

After a strong showing in the trial race, speedy colt Wanna Change did not disappoint its backers by charging hard down the stretch to victory in last Sunday’s Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Maiden Race.

Held at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, the 1,200-meter race pit Wanna Change, the favorite, against a tough field of 3YO. With jockey Jonathan on top, the tandem hung back just behind frontrunner Gold Field, the second pick, which was also second-placer to Wanna Change in the trial held a couple of weeks earlier.

Hernandez put Wanna Change into higher gear at the far turn, leaving Rosenda Ann Ocampo’s Gold Field five lengths behind to eat his dust, as he stopped the clock at 1:17.5. Andre Angelo Santos’ Sunshine came in third.

The breeder’s prize went to Luis Chuidian, whose ranch produced Wanna Change from American stallion Heza Gone West out of Kiwi mare Regal Kingdom.

PCSO’s next race will be the Silver Cup, slated for May 22 also at Santa Ana Park. The race is traditionally held in honor of the sitting president’s spouse. Since President Benigno S. Aquino III is still a bachelor, the race honorees are the president’s sisters -Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Viel Aquino-Dy, Pinky Aquino-Abelleda, and Kris Aquino.


The Philippine Racing Commission held two stakes races at Santa Ana Park over the weekend. The Diamond II mile for 3YO fillies was run on Saturday, with the favorite, lawyer Sixto Esquivias IV’s Cheese Mosa winning by half-a-length over Prime Rate, Constatic, and Rhea’s Angel in that order. The time for the race was 1:42.4.

The counterpart 3YO colts’ race happened on Sunday, with Ralph Javier’s Arvindugo clocking 1:41.4 for the mile and winning by a head over the heavy favorite Magna Carta. The Rock placed third and Dear John fourth.


I can’t wait for the first leg of the Triple Crown on May 15 at San Lazaro Leisure Park. The mile race sponsored by Philracom has a total purse of P3 million, allocated from first to fourth. Handicapping is set weight, with colts carrying 54 kgs and fillies 52 kgs.

Apparent from the outcomes of the recent 3YO races is the lack of a clear stand-out among the local-bred 3YO this racing season. This tells us that the Triple Crown campaignthis summer is up in the air for anyone to catch. That makes it more exciting and shows that the elite 3YO trilogy will be hard-fought and tough to conquer.

I will go so far as to predict a longshot surprise in at least one of the legs.

In short, I don’t think there will be a sweep of the Triple Crown this year and that the Philracom’s bonus prize of P500,000 for the slam will go unclaimed yet once more.

But that’s just me. And this is horseracing, where anything can happen.

And that is what makes it fun! If you haven’t watched a horse race yet, you’re missing out on a different kind of speed/skill/sport combination. Give it a try. Races happen Tuesdays to Sundays year-round, and are broadcast live over cable television.***  (Email:; Web:; Facebook: Gogirl Racing; Twitter: @gogirlracing)


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KL: Wanna Change, Panalo!

KARERA LANG! by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera, 19 April 2011, Tuesday

Wanna Change, Panalo!

Makaraan ng kanyang magandang ipinakita sa trial, bumulusok muli si Wanna Change sa Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Maiden Race at nilampaso ang mga kalaban sa distansiyang 1,200 meters.

Idinaos ang karera para sa mga 3YO noong nakaraang Linggo sa Santa Ana Park ng Philippine Racing Clubsa Naic, Cavite. Lulan ni jockey Jonathan B. Hernandez, nag-pacing lamang si Wanna Change sa likod ng bumabanderang segundo-llamadong Gold Field, na siya rin sumegundo kay Wanna Change sa trial.

Nagparemate si Hernandez malapit sa huling kurbada, at nanalong malayo, mga limang kabayo pa, sa oras na 1:17.5. Sumegundo si Gold Field at tersero si Sunshine.

Ang susunod na pakarera ng PCSO ay ang Silver Cup, sa May 22 sa Santa Ana Park. Kasalukuyang inuukit ng iskultor ang malaking tropeo. Isa sa elemento nito ang mga magkakadikit na mukha nina Presidente Benigno Aquino III at ng kanyang mga kapatid –Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Viel Aquino-Dy, Pinky Aquino-Abelleda, at Kris Aquino.

Ang Silver Cup ay dating tinaguriang “First Spouse Cup”, ngunit dahil wala pa namang asawa ang ating Presidente, minabuting gawing in honor of the First Family – ang mga magkakapatid – ang karera.

Ang Philippine Racing Commission naman ay nagpakarera din noong weekend. Sa Diamond II stakes noong Sabado para sa 3YO fillies, nanalo ng kalahating kabayo ang llamadong si Cheese Mosa, sinundan nina Prime Rate, Constatic, at Rhea’s Angel. Ang oras ay 1:42.4 sa milya.

Noong Linggo naman, nanaig si Arvindugo sa Diamond III stakes para sa 3YO colts, sa oras na 1:41.4 sa milya rin. Isang ulo lamang ang lamang niya sa llamadong Magna Carta na sumegundo, sinundan nina The Rock at Dear John.   ***

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THW: PCSO Special Maiden Race

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 13 April 2011, Wednesday

PCSO Special Maiden Race

Can Wanna Change change the 3YO game?

Tarlac congressman Jeci Aquino Lapus’ colt won the March 29 trial race of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Open Maiden race for 3YO.

The son of prolific sire Heza Gone West out of Regal Kingdom, Wanna Change posted 1:18 under Rey-ann Camanero. Rosenda Ann Ocampo’s Gold Field came in second, Honorato Neri’s Beau Erin third, Augusto Benedicto Santos’s Sparkler fourth, Andre Angelo Santos’s Sunshine fifth, and Herminio Esguerra’s Aduana came in last.

The actual race runs on April 17, Sunday, over 1,200 meters at Santa Ana Park.


Contrary to some kibitzers’ perception that the racing and breeding industry is moribund, there are outsiders who have expressed interest in participating in the scene. One such potential new player is entrepreneur Romy Sia, of Healthy Options and Wine Story fame.

An intense visionary, who brings focused energy to everything he does, from business to hobbies, he sees much potential growth in the industry.

Sia used to bet on horses decades ago, using a Dividendazo racing program, but since then the thought of racing had not crossed his mind until recently, when he saw the movie “Secretariat”.

He has also observed how the racing industry works in the United Kingdom, where he resided for several years. Romy has many terrific ideas on how to market and promote the sport as a sport, downplaying the betting aspect.

I’ve put him in touch with horseowner and breeder Mandaluyong mayor Benhur Abalos, who kindly accommodated my request for an opportunity to introduce them to each other.

Let’s hope that we will one day welcome Romy Sia into the industry as a participant or partner, in whatever role he chooses to take.


Which bring me to a point I’ve made several times before. The betting aspect is both essential and incidental to the sport. One may enjoy racing for itself as a sport, reveling in the performance of horses, those most magnificent of animals. Seeing their powerful legs pumping, the muscles under their hide rippling from shoulder to flank, one is transported to a world where speed and power and strategy determine victory.

The vibrant colors of jockeys’ silks, the snorting and neighing of horses as they take to the track, the flick of a whip and a jockey’s smile as he parades on his mount in the paddock – racing is a feast for the eyes, a cacophony of sound, an experience like no other that takes down, lifts up, and transports and transforms, each and every time the starting gate opens.

Should the industry’s movers and shakers take more effective steps towards showing this aspect of racing to the mainstream public, I believe that we will see more interest in the sport from sectors that as of now have not even heard of racing.  ***

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