THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 2 September 2009, Wednesday
Longshot Rules Peridot I
Once again the axiom “Anything can happen in a horse race” was proved last Sunday when John Michael Santos’s lightly-regarded Weder Weder Lang won the Philippine Racing Commission Peridot I stakes at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.
The 4YO island-born mare by Changeintheweather out of Offensive Threat, sent off as a longshot, outran nine other opponents in an impressive show of stamina over 1,900 meters to win the first place purse of P300,000. Also dubbed the fifth leg of the import/local-bred challenge series, the race saw veteran stakes campaigners Traditional (Westbridge-Barawana) place second and Ziraz (Aberet-Zariz) third, while newcomer Indy’s (Bite the Bullet-Corrofin) came in fourth for a share of the P500,000 pot.
Weder Weder Lang is trained by Mark Tupas and was ridden by Rodeo Fernandez. The latter has been gaining prominence in the racing scene lately with a string of dramatic victories. The most recent before this was his win with Heaven Sent in the Philracom Lakambini stakes last August 23 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
Bred by owner/breeder Jose Mari Franco, Heaven Sent also won the first and third legs of this year’s Triple Crown campaign for 3YO Philippine-breds. Being a gray filly, she has defied many of racing’s rules-of-thumb, among them that bay or other dark-colored horses are better than grays and roans, and that colts are better than fillies.
Meanwhile, the success of imported horses and island-born horses such as Weder Weder Lang have spurred other horseowners and thoroughbred breeders to acquire more bloodstock to improve local lines. Interest is high for American lineages that are proven for quality performance on dirt.
Coming up soon is an opportunity to purchase horses in Maryland. The Philracom is in touch with the United States Department of Agriculture which supports horse auctions all over the country. According to USDA representative Teresa Brophy, Fasig-Tipton will be holding their Eastern Fall Yearling Sales in Timonium on 5-6 October. The entire catalogue is available online at http://www.fasigtipton.com.
However, many new horseowners are looking to purchase broodmares rather than yearlings, hoping to come up with their own Heaven Sents. ***