THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 9 September 2009, Wednesday
Mooney Money in Philracom Invitational
Sources for imported racehorses are few – the most popular is Australia, for the generally affordable price points of horses and shipping; New Zealand for the same; and the United States for the best lineages for dirt track performance, among many other factors that drive purchase of bloodstock.
Thoroughbred auctions abound in the US, with the most visited by Filipino buyers being the Kentucky sales at Keeneland and, lately, the Maryland sales at Fasig-Tipton. Interest in and attendance at the latter has increased in recent years due to the active coordination and assistance by the US Department of Agriculture, which is promoting Maryland as a source for racehorses, broodmares, and stallions.
Quite a number of horses from Maryland are now racing on Philippine tracks, enough for a race to be created to showcase the talents of a number of them. The Philippine Racing Commission sponsored the Maryland Invitational mile race last Sunday at the Philippine Racing Club’s New Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, starring five imports from the US – Trinity Moon, Fierce Fighter, Mooney Money, Tennis Player, and Irene’s Fantasy – and a lone local-bred, Anonymous.
As expected, speedster Trinity Moon grabbed front right out of the gate, with Irene’s Fantasy clinging to her flank. She dropped to fourth before the 5/8 marker when Mooney Money took second, running off the pace. Past the 5/8, Tennis Player was running in second, Irene’s Fantasy in third, and Mooney Money holding on to fourth position.
At the backstretch, Mooney Money moved up again, taking second place at the far turn to challenge Trinity Moon down the lane in an energetic stretch run to win the P180,00 purse for first place.
Trinity Moon settled for second place and P67,500; Fierce Fighter, third for P37,500; and Irene’s Fantasy, fourth for P15,000.
Taking a leaf from last month’s Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing racefest book, PRC assistant vice-president and racing manager Dan Valmonte gave one sack of rice each to the winning trainer and groom. Trophies to the owner, trainer, and jockey were also handed out.
Mooney Money (Mojave Moon-Monochrome), a 3YO bay filly, is owned by former Batangas governor Armand Sanchez, trained by Emilio Basco, and was ridden by John Paul Guce.
The trio fared well last Sunday, also winning a special class division race with Australian import Don Barak Oh (Fastnet Rock-Sorrento), and a maiden race with local-bred Lady Sutter (Mr. Sutter-Plate Lady).
The next salvo of stakes races will be unleashed on September 20 at NSAP, which is when Philracom has set the 1,800 meter Sapphire I and the second legs of the Juvenile Colts and Juvenile Fillies, both at 1,500 meters. ***