THW: Railbird Chatter

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

Railbird Chatter

Once again, a carryover in the first Winner-Take-All event last Saturday at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park made several sharp racing fans millionaires at the end of Sunday’s raceday.

On Saturday, longshots Risk Taker (seventh choice in the sales in a field of nine) and Emergency Call (sixth out of ten), as well as lightly-regarded third picks Gallant Prince (out of five) and Jupiter Thunder (out of eight) reduced the live tickets in the first WTA set to zero after the fourth leg of the seven-race event. The carryover amount was P1.26 million.

Lucky “one winners” took home the entire pools in the second WTA (P1.2 million) and the Pick Six (P290,000).

Sunday’s pool for the first WTA exceeded P6.71 million, not counting the carryover amount. That event saw upsets delivered by fifth pick Dream Tower, fourth choice Street Vamp, sixth choice Westerly Wind, and third favorites Leica in Manila and Katmae.

Despite the difficulty in handicapping the event, four tickets bore the winning combination and were worth P1.4 million each.

The second WTA on Sunday paid over P781,000 on one remaining ticket, while the third set gave almost P136,000 on eight tickets.

Hefty payoffs on the quartet, pentafecta, and super-six events also studded the weekend’s races.

With the improvement in handicapping policies and lineups, sales have surged since January of this year compared to last year. The potential of big-money wins have increased bettors’ enthusiasm for PRC races.

Apart from fat dividends, railbirds are also chatting about the coming first leg of the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown series on May 9 at Santa Ana Park. “Who’s it going to be?” is the question.

This was answered in part after the tuneup races participated in by likely contestants over the past several weeks. The Triple Crown series is the most significant competition for elite Philippine-bred 3YO and a trophy from any leg is the one of the most coveted by the few thoroughbred breeders in the country.

Among those being considered to star in the series are gray colt Yes Pogi, who raced from dead last to win the Philracom Chairman’s Cup held two weeks ago at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Pinched at the jump-out, Yes Pogi came last out of the gate, and raced behind eleven other horses until his jockey Fernando Raquel Jr. decided to swing him wide at the far turn. A desperate rally at that point saw the tandem hit the wire half a length ahead of favorites Righthererightnow and Lakota Creek. Owned by Francis Lim, Yes Pogi (Rum Tum Tiger – Belle Epoque) is trained by Felix Lauron.

Others performers to consider as Triple Crown contenders based on their wins last weekend are Westerly Wind (longshot winner, a colt sired by Philippine champion West Bound), Pinakamagaling (outstanding favorite, an Account of Grace colt), Taste of Paradise (third pick, a solid Sailaway filly), Emergency Call (colt by Philippine champion Real Top), Gallant Prince (colt by the prolific legendary stud Conquistarose), and Fool’s Gold (another Sailaway filly).

Railbirds say the 2010 Triple Crown series is well-balanced and wide-open. More hefty dividends may be in the offing should this prediction become true.  In any case, this season will showcase some stellar performances among the 3YO. ***

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