THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 21 October 2009, Wednesday
Treasured Ack Wins Sampaguita
Last Sunday at the Philippine Racing Club’s New Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, was a day of longshots. To be precise, the rain of dark horses began last Friday, resulting in a Winner-Take-All carryover to Saturday, when 16 winning tickets paid off P724,000 each for the first set which was kicked off with a win by the unfancied Geronimo.
Sunday proceeded matter-of-factly enough at first for the first two WTA sets. The third set started with a win by the outstanding favourite Lady Line. The next race was the 2009 Philippine Racing Commission Sampaguita Stakes for fillies and mares. It was a grueling 1800-meter challenge for five hardy runners – 3YO fillies Heaven Sent and Nuclear Power, 4YO filly Anonymous, and 5YO racemares Es Twenty Six and Treasured Ack.
Heaven Sent, winner of the first and third legs of the Triple Crown this year, was sent off as outstanding favorite in the sales. Nuclear Power, who came in second to Heaven Sent in the third leg of the Triple Crown, was second favorite.
Jockey Rodeo Fernandez used Heaven Sent’s much-vaunted gate speed to good advantage to take the lead and cruise along there while Val Dilema on Nuclear Power opted to pace just behind her on his speedster. Champion Es Twenty Six, who won the third leg of the 2007 Triple Crown, coasted in third, while fourth choice Treasured Ack and Anonymous ran just behind them.
Heaven Sent ran strongly all the way to the home turn, despite efforts from Nuclear Power and Es Twenty Six to catch up. It looked like it was in the bag once more for the cloud-gray galloper, but about a hundred fifty meters from the wire, to the surprise of racing fans, Heaven Sent faded and refused to respond to Fernandez’s frantic whipping and urging.
This gave rider John Cordero on board Treasured Ack, rallying strongly on the outside, a chance to pass the gray under heavy hand riding and a show of the whip to win by a head. Splits for the race were 13′-22′-24′-25-31 for a total time of 1:57.
Owned by Jamaya Stables and trained by Buboy Jacob, Treasured Ack (Treasure Cay – Belle of Ack) was bred by businessman Nathaniel Velasco on his Red N Ranch in Batangas, home of stallion Perfect Cut (AP Indy – Crystal Shard).
Velasco’s stable has a knack for coming up with surprise winners. His colt Dream Supreme won the second leg of this year’s Triple Crown, marring Heaven Sent’s hopes for a sweep. The quick-stepping colt is a half-brother to Treasured Ack, being out of Belle of Ack by Baseball Champion, now standing at stud at Tito de Jesus’s Rolling Green Farms.
Other longshots for the night included Aristeo Puyat’s Dancing Tight, sired by his champion Key Apo out of Agapanthus Tango; GV Rojas’s Mr. Kawaisou (Hill Street – Princess Bride), the darkest horse in a field of eight; Eric Tagle’s Animal Instinct (Mr. Sutter – Regimental Lass), and Chito Borromeo’s Just Like It (Rindo Indy – Like a Jewel).
This turn of events led to more carryovers – over P1 million in the WTA, P735,000 in the Pick Five, P287,000 in the Santa Ana Park Pick 6, and P79,000 in the Super Six. All these will be applied to the next racing day at PRC – October 26, Monday. (Races will not be held on November 1, a public holiday.)
More big races are in the offing. Owners wishing to enter their horses in the November 24-29 Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners Jade Anniversary Championships, the declaration date has been moved to November 6 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Handicapping Department. The five major races and their prizes are: Juvenile Fillies, Juvenile Colts, P1 million each; Filly Mile, Colt Mile, P1 million each; and the Classic, 2000m, P1.2 million. Breeder’s prize is P100,000. Only local-bred horses nominated to the MARHO program are eligible to enter. ***