THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 18 March 2009, Wednesday
Ibarra, This Season’s Track Star
It was a stunning performance he gave last Sunday. First out of the gate, then running in front all the way over 1,900 meters of the dirt track at San Lazaro Leisure Park, Ibarra made his mark once and for all in horseracing with his victory in the 2009 Philippine Racing Commission Commissioner’s Cup.
Screenshot of Ibarra at the parade. Upload courtesy of Jazelle Rae, thewinnersleague.com.
The race, in honor of former Philracom commissioner Rogelio A. Tandiama, was touted as a rematch between Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos’ Ibarra (Yonaguska-Fire Down Under) and Lorraine Uy Wi’s Don Enrico (Wind Blown-Kayumanggi). They are considered to be among the best male horses running today. Ibarra had lost to Don Enrico in the Philracom Garnet Stakes last January also at SLLP, and the racing community was eagerly anticipating the outcome of the race.
Other opponents included the stakes runners Hieroglyphics (owned by Raymund Puyat), Hermie Esguerra’s Anonymous, Hooven Marketing’s Gypsy Grey, Joseph Dyhengco’s Ididitmyway, and Dom Francisco’s Will of Destiny.
Screenshot of Hieroglyphics at the parade.
Posting an easy wire-to-wire win, clocking a relaxed 18′-23′-26-25-28 for a total time of 2:01, the 5YO Ibarra showed off his excellent condition under the care of trainer Ruben Tupas. Ridden for the first time by Jesse B. Guce, Ibarra partnered well with his new rider, auguring a bright future for the tandem.
Ibarra comes in a length ahead of Hieroglyphics.
Mayor Benhur Abalos was ecstatic over his prized horse’s win, and may opt to run Ibarra in the PCSO First Gentleman’s Silver Cup later this summer.
Mayor Abalos (center, back) holds his trophy aloft. Beside him are jockey Jesse Guce and trainer Ruben Tupas. In front are, from Philracom, commissioner Gerry Espina, chairman Atty. Joy Rojas, former commissioner and race honoree Rogelio Tandiama, and commissioner Boboc Domingo. Photo by Mina Zulueta-Pates (Manila Jockey Club).
The second placer in the Commissioner’s Cup was the gray galloper Hieroglyphics, who came in just one length behind Ibarra, after sneaking by the inner rail to nip Don Enrico who came in third after running in second for most of the journey. Hieroglyphics is another one to watch in upcoming stakes, as the 4YO showed good form and a plucky tenacity to come from five lengths off the leader at the far turn.
Will of Destiny came in fourth, followed by Anonymous, Ididitmyway, and Gypsy Grey.
Meanwhile, racing fans look forward to the Philracom Aquamarine I stakes this Sunday at the new Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite. The third leg of the Imported/Local Challenge, it pits Leave No Doubt, Lim Expensive Toys, Traditional, and Ziraz over a mile.
Roland Lim’s Lim Expensive Toys (Aus, Giant’s Causeway-Prophet’s Kiss) has a string of formidable past runs and an impressive lineage to bolster his status as the morning-line favorite. But SC Stockfarm’s Ziraz (Aus, Aberet-Zariz) has been known to pull off upsets, and neither should the chances of other two be discounted.
In other racing news, Bahay Maria, an orphanage for young girls, received a donation from Philracom last Monday, representing the proceeds of the 4th Tumbok Cup charity race held October last year for the benefit of the Makati-based home.
Bahay Maria’s Sr. Carmela Borres received the check from Philracom chairman Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II at the turnover ceremony. Sr. Carmela brought along nearly all of the 44 children who reside at Bahay Maria to sing hymns to the Philracom staff, who were teary-eyed at the moving sight.
Sr. Carmela receives the charity race check from Philracom chairman Atty. Joy Rojas. With them are Inquirer Publications Inc. vice-president for operations Imee Alcantara (representing the now-defunct Tumbok tabloid) and the children of Bahay Maria.
Bahay Maria children sing for Philracom personnel.
Philracom chairman Rojas holds Bahay Maria foundling Jonathan on his lap, while surrounded by the other children and Philracom staffers (in blue).
Said Rojas, “Philracom is glad to sponsor institutions like Bahay Maria. If not for this organization, these young girls would probably have a dismal life on the streets. The amount we gave today is sufficient for two months’ of their expenses. But apart from this financial aid, Philracom personnel also plan to visit and spend time with the kids in activities like games and story-telling. Because racing is here not only to entertain, but also to reach out and help those in need.”
The children, mostly female, range in age from babies to teenagers. Many of them were abandoned. At Bahay Maria, they receive basic necessities, spiritual formation, and an education at nearby public schools. The orphanage runs entirely on donations – call 890-4569 to help and share. *** (Web: http://jennyo.net)