THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 2 December 2009, Wednesday
Successful PCSO and MARHO Races
Put together speed plus the best horses plus talented jockeys plus well-balanced handicapping and you’ve got the recipe for a successful racing event – and that’s what was served last raceweek at the Philippine Racing Club’s New Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
The Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners celebrated its 35th anniversary with the staging of the week-long 14th MARHO Breeders’ Cup championships. Now an annual tradition among racing fans and participants since it was launched by MARHO’s Aristeo Puyat and Sandy Javier in 1996, the six championships run last Sunday showcased a scintillating cast of the best among the elite thoroughbred runners in the country today.
The MBC Sprint (1,000 meters) was won by defending champion EJ’s Magic (Self Feeder – Heir Apparent). Owned by CT Castro, trained by Ernesto Roxas, and ridden by jockey Fernando Raquel Jr., the 5YO veteran blasted past opponents Tiger Song, Minsk City, Sutter’s Royal, and Eternal Flame to cop the P200,000 first prize. Million Dollar, a previous winner of the event, was scratch the day before the race.
The Philracom-MBC Juvenile Fillies (1,300 m) was hotly contested, but at the end, MP Sanchez’s Tiger Moon (Rum Tum Tiger-Last Snip) prevailed, guided by promising youngster John Paul Guce and conditioned by long-time trainer Johnny Sordan.
Honors in the Philracom-MBC Juvenile Colts went to the favorite, Herminio Esguerra’s Carriedo (Deputy Bodman – Astuce). Steered by Jesse Guce and trained by Dave de la Cruz, the feisty bay colt easily undermined his rivals.
The MBC Filly Mile was a revelation, with top favorite Heaven Sent fading in the stretch to allow the John Cordero-piloted Nuclear Power (Wind Blown – My Sweet Girl) to come from behind. This was another win for the Esguerra racing stable and for trainer de la Cruz.
John Cordero on Nuclear Power winning the MBC Filly Mile.
Dream Supreme (Baseball Champion – Belle of Ack) reigned in the Santa Ana Park – MBC Colt Mile. Another John Cordero-ridden mount, this one owned and bred by Nathaniel Velasco and trained by Jose Mario Jacob, the brave bay colt charged past seven other rivals to claim the P500,000 first prize.
In the 2,000-meter San Miguel Beer-MBC Classic, the victory and P1 million first prize went to the favorite, Lorraine Uy Wi’s Don Enrico (Wind Blown-Kayumanggi), ridden by Raquel and trained by Arturo Sordan Jr. The son of track icon Wind Blown (Hazm- Windinmyhair), the winningest horse in local racing, Don Enrico plainly showed he carries his father’s genes in his astounding wire-to-wire run that saw him pulling away in the stretch to win by over ten lengths.
Esguerra’s Batangas-based Herma Farms and Stud claimed five of the six breeders’ trophies, save only for the Colt Mile. The awards were accepted by the foreman, studmaster, and other ranch hands – Dante, Ariel, Edwin, Simo, Wendell, and Eddie.
Last Saturday, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Diamond Anniversary races were graced by PCSO chairman Sergio Valencia himself, who witnessed Australian import Fond Embrace (Belong To Me – Custodial) win the PCSO 75th Anniversary race. Owned by Joy Raymundo, trained by Mark Tupas, and steered by Christopher Garganta, the 6YO bay mare came from seventh position in a field of 13 to win by four lengths.
CV Garganta on Fond Embrace enters the winner’s circle.
Grand Homer won the PCSO EZ2 Lotto race; Grey Magic, the 6/45 Lotto race; Action Sailor, the 6/49 Lotto race; while Angel Dugo overcame in the STL race and Phil’s Game in the Traditional Sweepstakes race.
With the success of the PCSO Diamond races, chairman Valencia and the PCSO Committee on Races chaired by Atty. Jose Malang are considering staging the event again next year, billing it as the “Anniversary Racing Festival”. This will bring to three the annual PCSO events, along with the First Spouse Silver Cup and the Presidential Gold Cup (this year’s edition will run on Sunday, December 6, at San Lazaro Leisure Park). ***