THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 28 October 2009, Wednesday
8th Don Juan Derby
Despite the hard times that have rocked the world economy and hit our country recently, prominent horseowners’ group Klub Don Juan de Manila made good on their promise to stage their annual Don Juan Derby this year.
Held last Sunday at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, the eighth edition of the racing festival was a much-awaited event on the calendar and provided entertainment for hundreds of racing fans who flocked to the venue and the thousands more who saw the event on the live cable television coverage.
Said KDJM president Lamberto Almeda Jr., “We are not only bringing back the glory days of the Derby races of long ago, we are persevering with this as part of our unwavering quest for a more progressive and developed racing industry.”
The PTS National Grand Derby races were held from 1947 to 1990. The mile-long Senior Derby of 1947 was won by Breathless with a time of 1:56 1/5 while carrying 117 pounds or 53.18 kg; the 1990 edition was won by undefeated filly Sun Dancer, who clocked 1:44 bearing an impost of 57 kg.
Other Senior Derby winners of note were Don Juan (1950), after whom the organization and festival are named; Imus Emperor (1954); Top Soldier (1966); Sun God (1973); Fiorella (1975); Gypsy Grey (1977); Fair and Square (1981), who posted 1:42 4/5 carrying 57.4 kg; and Time Master (1987).
This year’s 2,000-meter Don Juan Derby was won wire-to-wire by My Hope (Aus), a 3YO imported filly by Manner Hill out of Cathy’s Joy. Owned by Ruben Dimacuha, it was ridden by promising youngster Mark Alvarez and trained by Conrado Vicente.
My Hope came in five lengths ahead of second placer Botbo; Oh Wacky was third and Red Carpet fourth. Clockings for the race were 26-24′-27-25′-26, total time of 2:08.8.
To no one’s surprise, speedy filly Azcarraga, an island-born by Untouchable out of As Tears Go By, won the 1,400-meter KDJM Juvenile Fillies race under Valentino Dilema. The tandem bested Ice Storm by four lengths, My Heart’s Delight, and Ready to Rumble in that order. Quarters for the race were 12′-24′-24′-27′, total of 1:29.
In the 1,400-meter KDJM Juvenile Colts, plucky chestnut Gastambide (Enjoyment – Seaquin) ruled by half-a-length over Lakota Creek, San Francisco, and Bertong Balutan in that order in a hotly-contested fight that saw Gastambide come home under heavy whipping by jockey Jesse B. Guce.
Both Azcarraga and Gastambide are owned by businessman Herminio S. Esguerra and trained by Dave de la Cruz.
The Golden Girls’ Stakes for older female horses was won by import Weder Weder Lang (USA), by Changeintheweather – Offensive Threat. Owned by Jan Michael Santos, it is trained by Mark Tupas and talented rider Rodeo Fernandez, who’s lately been booting quite a few winners.
Congratulations on a successful event to the members and officers of the KDJM – president Jun Almeda, vice Tonyboy Eleazar, treasurer VG Martinez, directors Robert Francisco, Roland Lim, Greg Rupisan Sr., Jun Paman, Rafael Borromeo, immediate past president Rodolfo Pamintuan, and its other officers. ***