THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 23 September 2009, Wednesday
Azcarraga, Carriedo Top 2YO
It was another day of hauling trophies for prominent racehorse owner and breeder Herminio Esguerra last Sunday at the Philippine Racing Club’s New Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, when horses from his racing stable won in three Philippine Racing Commission -sponsored stakes races held that day.
Esguerra’s juvenile runners have dominated the 2YO ranks the past several years since he set up his Herma Farms and Stud breeding ranch in Lipa, Batangas. Names like Indelible Ink and Go Army come to mind. This year, it’s the turn of colt Carriedo and filly Azcarraga to shine.
Known for naming most, if not all, of the horses born in a year after a theme – this year it’s Manila street names – Esguerra fielded another 2YO contender, Lealtad, to support designated winner Carriedo’s bid for fame in last Sunday’s Juvenile Colts Stakes second leg.
The coupled entries expectedly ran as the heavy favourites, and local-bred Carriedo (Deputy Bodman – Astuce) did not disappoint by notching a wire-to-wire journey over 1,300 meters to win over surprise second-placer Just Awesome by three-quarters of a length.
Steered by Karvin Malapira and trained by Clarito Alvarez, Carriedo posted quarters of 7-21′-23′-28′ for a total time of 1:20.7, about a second better than his previous best time for that distance.
Malapira flourishes his whip after crossing the wire with Carriedo.
Second favourite Thotis Best settled for third, Quinn’s Quest for fourth. They were followed by Manchester, Yes Pogi, Lealtad, and Fuerte Materiale, in that order. Sutter’s Best was scratched before the race.
In the counterpart second leg of the Juvenile Fillies Stakes, Esguerra’s Azcarraga ran as the outstanding favourite. A come-from-behind stylist, Azcarraga, with jockey Val Dilema aboard, hung back in the middle of the ten-horse field to grab second place only at the far turn, and from there coolly galloped down the stretch to win by two from plucky gray Ice Storm.
Perfect Material came in third, and then far second choice Speed Spell. Sail Street, coupled entry of Perfect Material, came after, followed by Tiger Moon, spent frontrunner Top Dame, My Sweet Leonora, and Mt. Panamao.
Quarters for race were 7-22-24-28 for a total of 1:21, showing that the Clarito Alvarez-trained island-born Azcarraga (Untouchable-As Tears Go By) shaved off a second-and-a-half off her previous time over 1,300 meters.
In the Sapphire I Stakes, thirteen horses raced against each other over 1,800 meters to claim supremacy in the sixth leg of the Philracom Import/Local Challenge series. Once again, an Esguerra entry earned the victory. The Val Dilema-guided and Clarito Alvarez-trained Miss Abby Kat (Hold That Tiger – On and On), a 4YO filly of American lineage, showed off a wire-to-wire performance to trounce 4YO colt Lim Expensive Toys who came in one and a quarter-lengths behind in second. Batang Tundo took third, recent stakes winner Mooney Money fourth, while Fierce Fighter came in fifth.
Classy American import Miss Abby Kat struts her stuff with jockey Val Dilema.
At the awarding ceremony for Miss Abby Kat’s win: Philracom commissioner Dr. Eyo Fernando, chairman Atty. Joy Rojas, trainer Dave de la Cruz, jockey Val Dilema, trainer Clarito Alvarez representing owner Herminio Esguerra, and PRC executive vice-president and COO Atty. Ramon Ereneta.
Splits for the race were clocked at 13′-22′-26-25-29 for a total time of 1:54, a fraction of a second better than Miss Abby Kat’s last run over the same distance.
The victories of Esguerra’s runners add further luster to the growing reputation of his Herma Farms and Stud ranch, where he held a horse auction last week of yearlings bred on the ranch by his popular stallions Wind Blown and others.
Carriedo’s excellent performance this year should shed a bit of the limelight on the formerly lightly-regarded Herma sire Deputy Bodman (USA), who boasts having a classy pedigree – Deputy Minister-Buzz My Bell, by Drone. His lineage brings together the sturdy Canadian Northern Dancer bloodline on the sire side and European thoroughbred royalty via Princequillo on the dam side. ***
Photos by Ben Maniclang.