THW: Of Upsets and Carryovers

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  24 February 2010, Wednesday

Of Upsets and Carryovers

Sports fans were treated to a fantastic weekend of racing at Santa Ana Park last February 20 and 21 with the staging of the Philippine Racing Commission’s Amethyst trio of stakes races. The mile Amethyst II was run on Saturday, with eight runners. Open to 3YO fillies, this and Sunday’s Amethyst IV for 3YO colts are considered tune-ups going into the Philracom Triple Crown series for local-bred horses this summer. The Amethyst III on Sunday was the second leg of the Imported/Local Challenge Series and showcased a clash between track rivals Don Enrico and Ibarra.

In the Amethyst II, Well Well Well, who had campaigned hard as a juvenile, was the heavy favorite, with two recent consecutive wins. She also had the best time for the distance at 1:45.5. Second choice was the feisty Ice Storm, the veteran of them all in number of races run. The Chairwoman, Echikatsu, Westerly Wind, and Kristal’s Beauty had stellar past performances. Dark horses Mayor Bulaklakin and Andalucia could not be ignored.

Down the stretch, fans stared in amazement at the frisky chestnut romping seven lengths in front of the pack to score the race. It was far fourth favorite Kristal’s Beauty, steered by young rider Mark Alvarez and trained by Antonio Bersalona. With quarters of 26-24′-25′-28 for a total 1:44, she clearly creamed her opponents and tossed her hat into the Triple Crown ring as one to watch.

Owner Rodelio Engle, new to racing, says this is the first trophy he’s received. Bred by businessman Jose Mari Franco, Kristal’s Beauty is by Van Nistelrooy out of Bella Noelle. She’s another feather in Franco’s cap, who also bred last season’s top money earner Heaven Sent.

In the mile Amethyst IV, Carriedo, who was valedictorian of his juvenile class, was sent off as the outstanding pick, with Yes Pogi as far second choice. There were eleven runners in all, including three sets of coupled entries. This was a more closely-contested fight, with far third favorite Scotland Yard beating Yes Pogi to the wire by a head. Righthererightnow managed third, while a spent Carriedo came in fourth.

Owned by Josephy Dyhengco, Scotland Yard (Minsk – Zip Queen) was ridden by Jeffril Zarate and is trained by Clarito Alvarez.  The time was 26-24′-25′-28 for a total 1:44.6.

But the biggest surprise came in the 1,700 meter Amethyst III. It was considered a match race between local-bred Don Enrico, crowned the Philippine Sportswriters’ Association’s pick for Horse of the Year, and island-born champion Ibarra. Imports Weder Weder Lang, Botbo, Fierce Fighter, and Tiwi Magic were thought to be battling for places only.

As expected, Ibarra took the lead, with Don Enrico hard at his flank. Running off the pace six lengths away was Tiwi Magic, followed by Botbo, Weder Weder Lang, and Fierce Fighter. At the home turn, the two pacesetters ran neck and neck only to fade and be nipped by half a length at the finish by Tiwi Magic, the longest shot of all who carried only P5,116 in daily double wagers.

Guided by Virgilio Camañero Jr. and trained by Nestor Manalang, Australian import Tiwi Magic (Hemingway [Ire] – Dreamtime [Aus]) is owned by Antonio Tan, who also owns champions Shining Fame and Native Land.

Other shockers that weekend were more carryovers in the Winner-Take-All events. With the barrage of longshots, no one won both WTA sets on Saturday nor the first and second sets on Sunday. That’s a quadruple carryover amounting to P7 million for the next Santa Ana Park raceweek beginning March 2.

Upset wins and huge carryovers – that’s racing for you, pure and undiluted excitement. *** (Web: http://jennyo.net)

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