Archive of ‘Manila Standard-Today: The Hoarse Whisperer’ category

THW: An update on a fallen jockey

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 21 January 2015, Wednesday

An update on a fallen jockey

Jockey Leonardo “Boy” T. Cuadra Jr., who suffered a severe accident last Nov. 2, 2014 at the Metro Manila Turf Club racecourse, is improving, after a long medical ordeal where his life hung in the balance.

Cuadra fell off a horse and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He underwent two major operations, one to remove part of his skull to relieve pressure on the brain from hematomas.

Thanks to youth, clean living, and plenty of exercise, Cuadra pulled through. His physicians call his remarkable recovery a miracle.

However, his medical care does not come cheap. Hence the continued appeals of Cuadra’s family and his fellow jockeys for donations. A few horseowners questioned whether this was appropriate, given that three percent is deducted from horseowners’ prizes for the jockeys’ fund, which is supposed to handle these types of concerns.

The New Philippine Jockeys Association led by Gilbert Francisco readily gave a breakdown of Cuadra’s expenses. From Nov. 2, 2014 to Jan. 15, 2015, Cuadra’s medical bills have reached nearly P2.3 million. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office contributed P400,000. Assorted benefits (jockeys’ fund, funds raised during the annual jockeys’ day, accident insurance, and others) were good for P800,000. Donations from sponsors, around P300,000.

There is still an unpaid balance of P795,000 to date as of Jan. 15.

Among the generous sponsors who gave varying amounts are Manila Rep. Amado S. Bagatsing, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur C. Abalos, horseowners Joseph Dyhengco, Ruben Dimacuha, and Honorato Neri, race coverage announcer Macky Maceda, Manila Horsepower Organization’s Ferdie Eusebio (Makati City councilor), trainer Dodeck Vicente and his group, the Philippine Race Horse Trainers Association, and Metro Manila Turf Club.

Also among the contributors of certain percentages from their prizes were jockeys who won and placed up to third in the races from Nov. 24 to Dec. 7, 2014.

The jockeys’ association says that they have complete records of all funds received and can account for all of them. In the spirit of transparency, they can provide the information, should anyone require it for legitimate purposes.

* * * * *

The Philippine Racing Commission successfully staged two stakes races for 3YO last weekend at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park, the horseracing agency’s first salvo for the 2015 season.

In the 3YO Local Fillies Stakes last Saturday (Jan. 17), Princess Ella won by a neck, followed by Princess Meili, Hurricane Ridge, and Burbank in that order, with a time of 1:18.8.

The 3YO Colts stakes on Sunday (Jan. 18), was won by Showtime, who put two lengths between himself and second placer Thunder Maxx. Jebel Ali was third, and Super Spicy fourth.

Their time was slower than the fillies, at 1:19.6.

The 1,800-meter Philracom Commissioner’s Cup is set for Sunday (Jan. 25) at Metro Turf racecourse. Declaration was ongoing as of press-time, so the final line-up was unavailable.

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THW: Hagdang Bato is Gintong Lahi Horse of the Year

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 18 February 2015, Wednesday

Hagdang Bato is Gintong Lahi Horse of the Year 

The rising star of Philippine Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding is Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos, whose team reaped major awards at the 17th Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders (Philtobo) Gintong Lahi Awards (GLA) held last Sunday (Feb. 15).

Another big winner at the GLA was longtime horseowner Joseph Y. Dyhengco.

The awarding ceremony, which recognized 2014’s top performers, was held at at the Metro Turf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas.

Abalos was named breeder of the year and horseowner of the year. His champion Hagdang Bato, which won 2014’s Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) Amb. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. Cup (Nov. 30) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Presidential Gold Cup (Dec. 21), was crowned horse of the year.

Abalos’s team members also harvested awards – Ruben S. Tupas for trainer of the year, and regular rider Jonathan B. Hernandez for jockey of the year.

Malaya, Abalos’s 3YO filly that won the Feb. 8 PCSO Freedom Cup this year, received the GLA for champion 3YO filly.  Fire Down Under, Hagdang Bato’s dam also owned by Abalos, was named broodmare of the year in a tie with Dyhengco’s My Gal’s Gold, dam of Driven and other up-and-coming performers.

Abalos thanked Philtobo for the awards and said that the GLA “gives encouragement to all the participants, from the owner to the trainer, jockey, and groom.”

Dyhengco’s Hook and Ladder won the award for leading freshman sire for 2014, and its progenies Sky Hook and Hook Shot, which he also owns, won for champion 2YO colt and 2YO filly respectively.

The stallion of the year is Herminio Esguerra’s Quaker Ridge, sire of Hagdang Bato and other current runners.

Emmanuel Santos’s Kid Molave, that slammed all three legs of the Philracom Triple Crown series last year, won for champion 3YO colt.

The champion sprinter was Antonio Tan’s Pugad Lawin, a past winner of the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup, and the champion import was Henedino Gianan’s Silver Sword.

The top five horseowners of the year were also recognized – Abalos, Dyhengco, Santos, SC Stockfarm, Inc., and Tan, in that order.

The GLA is the industry’s only recognition program. Awards are given according to a points-based system (points are awarded for races won and placed).

Among those present at the GLA ceremony were outgoing Philtobo President and now Philracom Commissioner Bienvenido C. Niles Jr., Philtobo Chairman Antonio Lagdameo, and PCSO Vice-Chairman and General Manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II.

Also there were newly-appointed Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez and

commissioners lawyers Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., Victor V. Tantoco, Wilfredo de Ungria, and Jose Santillan, Jr., and Lyndon Guce, who were introduced to the assembled industry members and guests.                                                            * * * * *

Strong Champion lived up to her name by winning the first leg of the Philippine Racing Commission Import/Local Challenge stakes series also last Sunday at Metro Turf.

The 6YO racemare from Australia came in half a length ahead of countrymate Divine Zazu. Macho Machine, a local-bred, placed third and Star Belle fourth, with Spinning Light last.

The total time for the 1,400-meter race was 1:23.2 (13-22.4-22.6-25.2).

Owned by Divina Dy, Strong Champion (Stromberg Carlson x Mine Counter) was ridden by veteran jockey Jesse B. Guce and is trained by Rudy Mendoza.  * * *

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THW: It’s breeding season

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 14 January 2015, Wednesday

It’s breeding season

Down in the breeding sheds of Batangas and elsewhere in Luzon, studly sires and well-pedigreed mares are getting it on to produce the next crop of Thoroughbreds for the racetracks.

One busy breeder is former Tarlac representative Jeci A. Lapus, whose Stormbred Farm in Lipa is home to stallion Retap, who carries the precious bloodline of Tapit, Bloodhorse magazine’s champion sire for 2014.

Tapit sired 2104 Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable, who posted a time of 1:46.68, the second fastest in the race’s history. Among his other champion offspring are Tonalist and Tapiture, both multiple graded stakes winners.

Tapit now holds the record for 2014 North American single-season stallion earnings. He has an impeccable pedigree, being by A. P. Indy’s best sire Pulpit out of stakes winner Tap Your Heels by Unbridled, from the family of Relaunch.

Retap, out of Free Spin, has Nasrullah and Buckpasser blood on his dam’s side, the mix I think bringing “balance to the Force.”

Going by the X-factor theory of racehorse breeding, a large heart is correlated with success on the track. The most successful runner of all time, Secretariat, had a heart that weighed 22 pounds, and his rival Sham’s was 18 pounds (both had large-hearted Princequillo in their pedigrees).

The large-hearted sires in Retap’s bloodline – Secretariat, Buckpasser, and A. P. Indy – passed the gene on to their daughters, and let’s hope Free Spin got some of that mojo and passes it to Retap, and from there to his offsprings.

Retap already has foals and 2YO at Stormbred – of the latter, there’s one by Serious Susie and another by Gotham City Girl who are undergoing light training in preparation for this year’s races.

Just recently Retap serviced Security Star, a former runner owned by Tonyboy Eleazar, and is open for booking to other broodmares.

We look forward to the exploits of Retap’s produce on Philippine tracks in the near future.

* * * * *

Congratulations to horseowner Joseph Dyhengco, whose Cool Summer Farm Racing Festival last Sunday (Jan. 11) at Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park attracted many good entries, put on a good show for racing fans, and grossed healthy sales.

According to MJC racing manager Jose Ramon “Ding” Magboo, the total turnover for the event’s 13 races was P36.4 million, an auspicious and abundant start to the year.

* * * * *

Stakes race season kicks off with the Philippine Racing Commission’s two offerings this weekend at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park.

On Saturday (Jan, 17), the 3YO Local Fillies Stakes has seven declared entries: Bungangera, Burbank, Dauntless, Hurricane Ridge, One-Eyed Jane, Princess Ella, and Princess Meili.

On Sunday (Jan. 18), the counterpart 3YO Local Colts Stakes has five: Breaking Bad, Jebel Ali, Showtime, Super Spicy, and Thunder Maxx.

Both are 1,300-meter races, and each has a total prize of P500,000. * * *

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THW: Year-end racing round-up

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 31 December 2014, Wednesday

Year-end racing round-up

The year 2014 was in general a good one for racing, one that saw collaborations and cooperation bring about exciting events and satisfactory outcomes for both fans and industry insiders.

Perhaps the biggest event of the year was the 6th Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing Racing Festival held at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

The festival founders, Manila Rep. Amado S. Bagatsing and lawyer Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., convinced local-bred Hagdang Bato’s owner, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, and import Crucis’s owner, Marlon Cunanan, to give in to the clamor of racing fans for a race featuring the two track icons.

The eager cooperation of Abalos and Cunanan paved the way for the staging the RDB Challenge to Champions presented by Resorts World Manila last August.

This was no small feat on the part of the organizers, because it is seldom that local and imports are raced against each other.

Hagdang Bato won that one, but the real winner was the racing industry. Sales that day reached P43.4 million, the highest at SLLP this year, showing that it giving the fans what they really want results in big gains for the sport.

The year also saw the emergence of Kid Molave as a force to be reckoned with. The 3YO owned by Emmanuel A. Santos swept all three legs of the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown series. He was also the valedictorian of his juvenile batch and won the 2013 Philracom Juvenile (2YO) Championship.

The industry galloped through a rough patch in November when jockeys refused to ride for several race meetings at Metro Manila Turf Club, following a severe accident suffered there by rider LT Cuadra Jr.

After the New Philippine Jockeys Association led by veteran jockey Gilbert Francisco reiterated their request to MMTC management for more cushioning sand on the track, MMTC performed the requested repair and races resumed, showing clearly the need for constant dialogue and cooperation between all sectors to promote the smooth operations of the sport.

Without a doubt the best-performing racehorse of the year was Hagdang Bato. The champion of the Abalos Stable took the chance to bounce back from previous losses by pulverizing his opponents in two major races late in the year.

Having suffered a bad quarter crack in the third quarter of 2014, Hagdang Bato amazingly regained his form to cruise to victory in both the Nov. 30 Philracom Amb. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. Cup and in the Dec. 21 Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup, both held at SLLP.

On this New Year’s Eve, as we write the last page in the 2014 racing annals, we also turn our faces to the future, which always holds hope for bigger, brighter, and better things.

My sincere wish for you and your families is for peace, joy, and abundance to gallop their way into your lives, and stay. Happy New Year! * * *

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THW: Hagdang Bato exacts sweet revenge

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 24 December 2014, Wednesday

Hagdang Bato exacts sweet revenge

It’s got my vote for “Race of the Year” honors, because it featured a comebacking legend, a brave and steady fighter, and a cast of hopefuls – human and equine – all of whom who took as their motto, ‘never give up.’

The 42nd Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Presidential Gold Cup was touted as the rematch between Hagdang Bato and Pugad Lawin. The latter was the defending champion, and had beat the former in another PCSO race in 2014, the PCSO Silver Cup held in June.

However, Hagdang Bato fans saw their idol’s triumph in the Nov. 30 Philippine Racing Commission Amb. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. Cup as a mark of his return to form, and eagerly awaited the showdown last Dec. 21 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

I could string this all out and build up the suspense, but whom am I kidding – it was a total rout by Hagdang Bato. Under regular jockey Jonathan B. Hernandez, the 5YO veteran made a clean jump out of the gate, and never looked back from there until the wire.

Pugad Lawin ran off the pace, followed by Hagdang Bato’s coupled-entry El Libertador, Kaiserslautern, My Champ, and Mr. Bond, in that order. All the riders conserved energy till the far turn, when the runners at the back of the pack started their rallies.

Hagdang Bato, despite carrying 58.5 kilos (same as Pugad Lawin), needed no whipping. He galloped steadily, like a machine, eating up yards of dirt and spitting them out at his rivals who could see only his flashing heels.

So stellar was his condition that Hagdang Bato received only urging with the reins on his neck from Hernandez, who flashed a smile at the crowd upon reaching the wire six lengths ahead of Kaiserslautern, who earned P1 million for her efforts.

Pugad Lawin managed third and P500,000, while My Champ, last year’s second placer, came in fourth for P300,000. The time for the 2,000-meter race was 2:06 (25-24’-26-25-26) over a heavy track.

Hagdang Bato (Quaker Ridge x Fire Down Under), trained by Ruben S. Tupas, earned both the P4 million first prize (P3 million from PCSO and P1 million from Philracom) and the winning breeder’s prize of P200,000 for his owner, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur C. Abalos.

Abalos, who is in Europe with his family, was represented at the awarding ceremony by city councilors and the city engineer and an entire barangay of well-wishers – ‘Team Hagdang Bato’.

The replica Gold Cup and the facsimile checks were handed over by PCSO Vice-Chairman and General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II and Philracom Chairman Angel L. Castaño.

Also with them at the loud and vibrant ceremony were other officials from PCSO, Philracom, the host Manila Jockey Club, and hundreds of racing fans who crammed the stands at SLLP.

For more on the PCSO Gold Cup – its history, champions, and stories – and the PCSO races in 2014, please read the event’s souvenir program, free to view at (find the link on my racing Facebook page, ‘Gogirl Racing’).

* * * * *

The Abalos Stable scored again later that day on the card’s other major race, the Philracom Derby. Just like her stablemate Hagdang Bato, fleet filly Malaya ran wire-to-wire under Hernandez again to win by 2.5 lengths over Dixie Gold, Kanlaon (Malaya’s coupled entry), and Messi.

The time for the 2,000-meter race was 2:08.6 (25-24’-26’-26-26’).

The rest of the card was filled with charity races for the benefit of Mowelfund (Movie Workers’ Welfare Fund) and the Pink Ladies National Foundation.

* * * * *

On Christmas Eve, as we celebrate the holiday with our families and loved ones, let’s give thanks for the blessings of this past year. Challenges are but handicap weights in the race of life; what matters is that we all have the opportunity to reach the finish line of accomplishment with hard work and a determined will.

My sincere wish for you: may love and happiness be ever stabled in the paddocks of your hearts. Happy holidays! * * *

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THW: PCSO Presidential Gold Cup on Sunday

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 17 December 2014, Wednesday

PCSO Presidential Gold Cup on Sunday

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office presents with pride the 42nd running of the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup race on Sunday, Dec. 21, at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

The sport’s most prestigious race is held each December in honor of the incumbent president, and features the season’s accomplished local-bred Thoroughbreds.

This year’s Gold Cup is considered a rematch between archrivals Hagdang Bato and Pugad Lawin. The former was the defending champion in the 2013 edition, but lost when he made a bad jumpout after some trouble with his stall gate. Pugad Lawin won that round decisively.

In 2014, they met again in the June 1 PCSO Silver Cup. Pugad Lawin ran off the pace to Hagdang Bato, who looked in good condition at the start but inexplicably lost steam in the final stages, allowing Pugad Lawin to rally and win by four lengths.

Pugad Lawin lost the Feb. 23 PCSO Freedom Cup to Hari ng Yambo, but redeemed himself in the Oct. 12 PCSO Anniversary race, for which Hagdang Bato was declared but withdrawn after suffering a quarter crack.

Hagdang Bato recovered and crushed the opposition in the Nov. 30 Philracom Amb. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. Cup, winning by many lengths.

As the tandem meet once again in the biggest race of the year, they face formidable foes – Mr. Bond, El Libertador, My Champ, and Kaiserslautern, whose jockeys will give no quarter in their quest for the P4 million top prize (P3 million from PCSO and P1 million from the Philippine Racing Commission).

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been posting photos of past PCSO Gold Cup winners on my Facebook racing page, Gogirl Racing. Please check it out and learn more Gold Cup trivia and other racing news. The comments on the posts made by racing fans are informative and interesting.

On Sunday morning, I’ll be posting on that page a link to this year’s PCSO Gold Cup souvenir program.

* * * * *

The last PCSO Special Maiden Race of the year, held Dec. 13 at Metro Turf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas, was won by a longshot who staged a late rally to grab victory.

In the field of eight entries, trial race winner Song of Songs was launched as the favorite, and it led for most of the race. In a surprising twist, far third choice Thunder Maxx, who was running in third, put on a burst of speed to win by 1.5 lengths over Song of Songs.

Valenzuela came in third, Princess Jem fourth. The time for the 1,400 meter race was 1:24.6 (12.6-22.4-23-26.6).

Thunder Maxx, a 2YO bay colt by Cat Brulay out of Gold Bug, was bred by Emmanuel A. Santos, owner of Jade Bros. Farm, who earned the P50,000 breeder’s purse.

Present at the awarding ceremony were the winning owner Manuel de Asis, trainer Donato Sordan, and jockey Christopher Garganta, and, from PCSO, Vice-Chairman and General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, Committee on Races Chairman Jose T. Malang, Vice-Chairmen Carlos Castillo and Desoto Tupaz, as well as other committee members and PCSO personnel.   * * * 

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THW: Philtobo stages exciting Championships

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 10 December 2014, Wednesday

Philtobo stages exciting Championships

Despite tripping at the jumpout, Tap Dance managed to sashay his way to a victory in the Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization (Philtobo) 3YO Championship Cup held Dec. 7 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

The mile race, which was held in honor of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Vice-Chairman and General Manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, featured four runners.

Tap Dance and Matang Tubig raced each other for the lead in the early stages, with Tap Dance settling in as the frontrunner and going on to win by half a length over Manalig Ka. Matang Tubig settled for fourth and Fire Gypsy ran in last all the way.

Tap Dance, ridden by Patricio Dilema, is owned and trained by Mayor Leonardo “Sandy” M. Javier Jr. The time for the race was 1:41.8 (26’-24’-23’-27).

On hand at the awarding ceremony were Atty. Rojas and his wife, lawyer Patricia Bunye; from Philtobo, Chairman Antonio Lagdameo (former ambassador to the UK), President Bienvenido “Nonoy” C. Niles Jr., and other directors; from PRC, Chairman Santiago Cua Jr., EVP-COO Allan V. Abesamis, and Racing Manager Juan Eric Salido.

That day was the 15th Philtobo Grand Championship Day, featuring four championship races and ten sponsored trophy races.

The Philracom-Philtobo Juvenile Fillies Championship Cup was won by Raymund Puyat’s Dolce Ballerina, with Christopher Garganta aboard. Placers were, in order: Rockmyworld, Corragioso, and One Eyed Jane, with the clock stopped at 1:43.6 (26-25’-24’-27) for the mile.

The PCSO-Philtobo Classic, a grueling 2,000 meters, was won by Manuel Alvarez’s Basic Instint, with Dominador Borbe Jr. in the irons. Trained by Manuel Vicente, the 4YO colt brushed against opponent Captain Ball, ridden by by Fernando Raquel Jr., at the top of the final straight, but both riders “admitted their mounts were shifting ground,” according to the stewards’ report, “causing them to brush each other from time to time.

The stewards “were in consensus that there was no evidence of interference, and that it was a good race.” Both jockeys were admonished to be more careful in the future.

Captain Ball placed second, Penrith third, and Steel Creation fourth.

The mile Philtobo Juvenile Championship Cup saw Puyat’s Valley Ridge dominate the field of seven. The second placer was Princess Meili, followed by Jebel Ali and Driven with the time for the race at 1:42.4 (25’-24’-24’-28).

Overall, it was a successful day of racing, and congratulations to Philtobo for bringing racing fans another memorable spectacle!

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THW: MARHO Ruby event a success

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 3 December 2014, Wednesday

MARHO Ruby event a success

Hagdang Bato showed magnificent style last Sunday (Nov. 30) when he outran Australian imports Crucis, Strong Champion, Lady Pegasus, and King Samer and fellow local-bred My Champ in the Philippine Racing Commission-Amb. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. (ECJ) Cup.

The 2,000-meter race held at San Lazaro Leisure Park during the MARHO Ruby-San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Racing Festival saw jockey Jonathan B. Hernandez execute a flawless front-running strategy to win by many lengths. Hagdang Bato ran his heart out, Hernandez only showing the whip in the final meters of the stretch.

The dynamic duo clocked 2:04.6 (15-23-25’-25’-25’) and missed breaking by a heartbeat the 2:04.4 record held by three horses: local Yes Pogi and imports Wild Orchid and Stowaway Las

Hagdang Bato’s owner and breeder, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur C. Abalos, was the picture of pride when his horse, dubbed “The People’s Champ,” won one of the biggest races of the year.

Also held that day were the six Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners (MARHO) championship races. Joseph Dyhengco and his Cool Summer Farm stable won twice – with his 4YO colt Hot and Spicy in the 2,000-meter MARHO Ruby-SMC Classic, and with Sky Hook in the 1,500-meter MARHO Ruby-Philracom Juvenile Colts.

Mayor Leonardo “Sandy” M. Javier Jr.’s Marinx triumphed in the MARHO Ruby-Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Filly Mile, Abalos’s Kanlaon in the MARHO Ruby-Philracom Colt Mile, Felipe Vergara’s Driven in the 1,500-meter MARHO Ruby-Philracom Juvenile Fillies, and SC Stockfarm’s Nemesis in the 1,000-meter MARHO Ruby-Manila Jockey Club Sprint.

Gross sales for the day, at P39.1 million, were the second-highest for the year at SLLP. The organization is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and looks forward to the 20th running of the MARHO Cup next year.

Congratulations to MARHO Chairman Sandy Javier, President Tony de Ubago, President Emeritus Aristeo “Putch” G. Puyat, Vice-Presidents Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., Jesus Ramon O. Mamon, Tony Tan, and Manny Santos, and directors Vic Go Bon, Jun Ferrer, Maca Asistio, Sixto S. Esquivias IV, Nel Velasco, Eric Tagle, Amado Bagatsing, and Robert Ramirez, as well as the MARHO members, on yet another successful racing event!

* * * * *

PCSO’s last special maiden race of the year is set for Dec. 13 at Metro Turf race course. The 1,400-meter trial race was held Nov. 28, with Song of Songs hitting the wire first with a time of 1:27.2 (13-23’-24’-26’).

Cat’s Dream came in second with 1:27.8, followed in order by May Day, Superv, Princess Jem, Thunder Maxx, Oh Neng, Valenzuela, and Boy Harabas last.  ***

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THW: Hagdang Bato vs. Crucis in ECJ Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 26 November 2014, Wednesday

Hagdang Bato vs. Crucis in ECJ Cup

Racing fans will be treated to a spectacular event when track icons Hagdang Bato and  Crucis battle each other over 2,000 meters in what many are calling the “race of the year,” the Amb. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. (ECJ) Cup.

The race will be run over 2,000 meters at San Lazaro Leisure Park on Nov. 30, the 19th San Miguel Corp.- Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners (MARHO) Ruby Championship Day.

Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Hagdang Bato, a local-bred horse, and Marlon Cunanan’s Crucis, an imported mare, are considered the best in their categories and a match between them is a clash not only between individual horses but also between breeders and lineages.

These runners will both be carrying 55 kgs. and facing imports King Samer (Aus), 56 kgs., and Lady Pegasus (Aus), 55 kgs., both owned  by Antonio F. Lagdameo Jr.; and locals My Champ, owned by Hideaway Farms, and Strong Champion of Divina Y. Dy (both entries to carry 54 kgs.).

The race is one of seven stakes races on Sunday, the others six the MARHO Ruby championships – the Classic, Colt Mile, Filly Mile, Juvenile Colts, Juvenile Fillies, and Sprint.

San Miguel Corporation renews its sponsorship of the MARHO’s flagship event, an unbroken partnership since 1995. SMC Chairman Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. was the founder of MARHO, which was established in 1974 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

This is the first time the event will be held at the Manila Jockey Club’s SLLP.

Other constant sponsors are the Philippine Racing Commission, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Andok’s Corp., Esicor, Ciara Marie Foundation, Transprint Corp., and Hygain Feeds.

Joining this year are Manila Jockey Club, Enchanted Kingdom, Uratex, Fiberfill Manufacturing, Jade Bros. Freight International Inc., and Manila Horsepower.

Individuals have also generously provided support, including MARHO President Emeritus Aristeo Puyat, MARHO Director lawyer Sixto Esquivias IV, and MARHO member Joseph Dyhengco.

Adding glitz and glamor to MARHO weekend, Nov. 29-30 at SLLP, is the painting exhibit of famed equine and gamefowl artist Salvador “Dodong” Arellano.

The California-based Arellano has painted the horses of Filipino horse owners and MARHO officials/members Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr., Aristeo G. Puyat, and Herminio S. Esguerra, among others.

His other clients include The Sultan of Brunei, Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, Sylvester Stallone, and other celebrities and horse lovers.

* * * * *

The Philippine Racing Commission staged two stakes races at Santa Ana Park last weekend, and here are the results:

In the Juvenile Fillies last Nov. 15, longshot Hook Shot, owned by Joseph Dyhengco and guided by EP Nahilat, earned P900,000 for her win, with a time of 1:44 (25.8-25.4-25.2-27.6) for the mile. The placers were Princess Meili, Bungangera, and Leona Lolita in that order.

The Juvenile Colts last Nov. 16, was won by another Dyhengco horse, Sky Hook, steered by Jordan Cordova. The tandem bagged P900,000 and stopped the clock at 1:43 (26.2-25-24-27.8) also for the mile. The Scheduler was second, followed by Icon in third and Jebel Ali fourth.

In the Philracom Grand Sprint Championship held Nov. 23 at Metro Turf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas, veteran campaigner Pugad Lawin, owned by Antonio V. Tan Jr. and ridden by Patricio R. Dilema, bested the other entries to win P600,000.

Malaya came in second, Don Albertini third, and Spring Collection fourth.

Total time for the race was 1:10.4 (23.4-22.2-24.8) for 1,200 meters. ***

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THW: Driven zooms to upset win in PCSO maiden race

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 19 November 2014, Wednesday

Driven zooms to upset win in PCSO maiden race

A longshot won the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office 2YO Special Maiden Race last Nov. 8 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

With the field reduced to five entries after the scratching of Red Lakota, Takeitorleaveit, which won the trial race, was sent off as the favorite.

Mayweather took the lead, followed a length away by Pamulinawen. Driven and Takeitorleaveit followed behind, with Lady of Diamonds running last. It looked like a wire-to-wire shoo-in for the leader, but to everyone’s surprise, Driven, only the fourth favorite, was steered by jockey Kelvin Abobo on a rally down the stretch to win by a length.

The time for the 1,300-meter race was 1:23.2 (7-23’-24’-28’). Mayweather took second, followed by Takeitorleaveit, Lady of Diamonds, and Pamulinawen last.

Joey Sevilla received the winning owner’s and breeder’s trophies in behalf of registered owner Felipe O. Vergara, and Aga Matias represented trainer Googie Catajan.

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PCSO will be holding its last Special Maiden race for the year on Dec. 13 at Metro Turf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas.

The open event for 2YO attracted 11 entries: Edward Tan’s filly Superv, to be ridden by CS Pare Jr.; Bayani Coching’s colt Kharbyne (CB Tamano); MF Farms’s filly Mayday (RG Fernandez); Manuel de Asis’s colt Thunder Maxx (CV Garganta); Antonio Callejas’s filly Princess Jem (JB Bacaycay); Ferdinand Eusebio’s filly Valenzuela (JT Zarate);

Benhur Abalos’s filly Song of Songs (JB Hernandez); Jab Fer Farms’s colt Boy Harabas (JL Paano); Juancho Ferariza’s colt Right as Rain (FM Raquel Jr.); Jose Villanueva’s filly Oh Neng (JB Cordova); and SC Stockfarm’s colt Cat’s Dream (JA Guce).

Handicapping is set-weight, with fillies to carry 52 kgs. and colts 54 kgs.

The trial race will be held on Nov. 28.

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The 4th leg of the Philracom Juvenile Colts race last Nov. 16 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park, in honor of PRC Chairman Emeritus Santiago Cua Sr., saw Sky Hook take top honors in a hotly-contested race.

For his contributions to the development of the racing industry, Chairman Emeritus Cua received a plaque of recognition from Philracom at the awarding ceremony for the race. His son, PRC Chairman Santiago Cua Jr., acting in his father’s behalf, accepted the plaque from Philracom Chairman Angel L. Castaño Jr.

Also present at the awarding were Sky Hook’s connections – former jockey Dante Salazar representing owner Joseph Dyhengco, trainer Anthony Francisco, and jockey Jordan Cordova.

Sky Hook is entered in the MARHO Ruby Racing Festival Juvenile Colts stakes race, to be run Nov. 30 at SLLP over 1,500 meters. He faces almost the same slate of foes he overcame in the Nov. 16 Philracom juvenile race.

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Track rivals Hagdang Bato and Pugad Lawin are preparing for separate races this month. Pugad Lawin is getting ready for the 1,200-meter Philracom Grand Sprint championship on Nov. 23 at Metro Turf, and Hagdang Bato for the 2,000-meter Amb. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. Cup on Nov. 30 at SLLP. ***

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