THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 2 June 2010, Wednesday
Triple Crown and Hopeful 2
“Let’s get ready to rrrumble…!”
Alright, so that’s Michael Buffer’s trademarked catchphrase for boxing. But after several weeks’ hiatus from major racing events, the excitement of racing fans has revved up to fever pitch for this weekend’s one-two punch of stakes matches.
In the Philippines, local-bred 3YO are gearing to get it on in the second legs of the Philippine Racing Commission’s Hopeful – June 5 – and Triple Crown – June 6 – at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
In the 1,800-meter Hopeful second leg are colts Chinoi with jockey Virgilio Camañero, King Bearhart (Jordan Cordova), Shining Armour (Kelvin Abobo), and Si Señor (Mark Alvarez). The fillies are Elusive Cat (Karvin Malapira), Gold Mine (Ronald Baldonido), Ice Storm (Red de Leon), Open Slew (Jesse Guce), Speed Spell (Jhemo Tinte), The Chairwoman (Fernando Raquel), and Thief In the Nite (Jonathan Hernandez). Lepanto and Milenyo, both nominated, were not declared.
In the Triple Crown second leg, also 1,800 meters, are colts Invincible with jockey Kelvin Abobo, Lakota Creek (Dominador Borbe), Righthererightnow (John Alvin Guce), Scotland Yard (Jeffril Zarate), Thotis Best (Patty Dilema), and first leg winner Yes Pogi (Fernando Raquel). The lone filly is Well Well Well (Jonathan Hernandez).
Since these are “set weight” races, all colts will carry 54 kgs., fillies 52 kgs.
In the Hopeful, I’m giving a big chance to Shining Armour, who ran in the first leg of the Triple Crown. He wore down Brother Barack, whom we won’t see this weekend. Speed Spell and The Chairwoman are fast; stayer Ice Storm could place.
In the Triple Crown, I’m expecting Yes Pogi to once more hang back at the back of the pack and execute a heart-stopping rally down the stretch to win in the nick of time. He did that in the Philracom Chairman’s Cup last March and again in the first leg of the Triple Crown last month. His running style may give supporters cardiac arrhythmia with the suspense, but I’m putting all my money on this gutsy gray colt.
Well Well Well, who copped second place in the first leg, is one to watch carefully here. Don’t ignore Righthererightnow who placed fourth. Lakota Creek came in third in the Chairman’s Cup and could do better this go-round. That’s my quartet bet right there.
In the American arena, the last leg of the US Triple Crown is on June 5. The Belmont Stakes is 1-1/2 miles long (2,400 meters) and is the toughest of the three legs. This year’s edition features Kentucky Derby contender Ice Box as the morning-line favorite, with neither Derby winner Super Saver nor Preakness victor Lookin’ at Lucky joining the race.
Completing the 12-horse field are First Dude, Make Music For Me, Stately Victor, Drosselmeyer, Dave in Dixie, Interactif, Fly Down, Game On Dude, Spangled Star, Stay Put, and Uptowncharleybrown.
Look forward to more Philracom stakes races in the coming weeks: The 1,200-meter first legs of the Juvenile Fillies and Juvenile Colts stakes on June 26 and 27 respectively at Santa Ana Park, and the killer 2,000-meter third legs of the Hopeful and Triple Crown, July 17 and 18 respectively, at San Lazaro Leisure Park. All are set-weight races.
With occasional rains already here, expect the track at Naic to get a bit harder and yield faster times this weekend. Will time records be broken? I doubt it, considering the scuffling that will go on down the stretch; runners will be too busy with their fancy footwork. Still, as with all horse races, ‘anything goes’ and a new fighter could emerge the victor in the upcoming battles. “Let’s get ready to rrrace…!” Okay, I trademark that! ***