THW: Mega Red Wins PSA Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 7 July 2010, Wednesday

Mega Red Wins PSA Cup

He’s the 3YO son of the highest-earning Philippine champion racehorse of all time, and is as red as a roasted chestnut all over. Named Mega Red, this emerging star is one to watch in the days to come after winning last Sunday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup.

Trophies for winning owner, trainer, and jockey at the awarding area at SLLP

Held at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, the 1,500-meter condition race for local-bred 3YO of both genders was the revival of a venerable tradition, spearheaded by the present leadership of the PSA with the support of the Philippine Racing Commission.

Ridden by jockey Jesse Guce, Mega Red beat ten other runners and clocked quarters of 18-24′-25′-28′ for a total time of 1:36.6 to win by four lengths over Rene See’s Winner’s Lane. Tierra Sagrada de Maria’s Skyline Pigeon came in third and Don Antonio Floirendo Sr.’s Indy’s Gift fourth.

Mega Red, with Jesse Guce aboard, wins by four.

According to Philracom chairman lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, the Commission “is pleased to bring back this race for the enjoyment of racing fans and to support the PSA which is a valued partner of the racing industry.”

As in previous occasions of the PSA Cup, the proceeds of the race will fund the organization’s various projects and activities, among them the annual PSA Awards Night, the only recognition program in Philippine sports.

On hand to present the trophies at the awarding ceremony were PSA president Teddyvic Melendres (sports editor, Philippine Daily Inquirer) and treasurer Joe Antonio (sports editor, People’s Journal). Winning trainer Dave de la Cruz accepted the owner’s trophy in behalf of Mega Red’s owner Herminio Esguerra, who was in Canada at the time but sent his best wishes to the PSA officers and members.

Joe Antonio, Teddyvic Melendres, and Philracom’s Dr Romy Buencamino watch the races from the SLLP Turf Club balcony.

With them were Chairman Rojas, Philracom racing consultant veterinarian Romeo Buencamino, MJC racing manager Jose Ramon C. Magboo, and guest Michael Milbier.

Melendres presents a trophy to Dave de la Cruz. With them are Dr Buencamino, Magboo, Milbier, Chairman Rojas, and Antonio.

Bred by Esguerra’s Herma Farms & Stud, Mega Red was sired by Philippine champion Wind Blown out of broodmare Excel Prime (by Al Bashaama).

Upon discussion with Melendres and Antonio, Chairman Rojas says plans may go forward for another Philracom-sponsored PSA Cup in late December, to be tentatively held on the same day as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup.

The PCSO Gold Cup is regarded as the most prestigious on the racing calendar. Holding both events on the same day would afford PSA members – editors, sportswriters, and photographers – the rare chance to witness two top-drawing races in one visit.

Melendres and Antonio thanked Chairman Rojas, the Commission, MJC, and the participants and racing fans for their support of the PSA Cup. In an interview aired over the live racing show on cable TV, Melendres added that he looks forward to increased press coverage of racing events from now on.

Antonio, Melendres, Milbier, Chairman Rojas, Magboo, and Dr Buencamino at the Gold Box of the SLLP Turf Club

It’s great that this yearly tradition has been resurrected. In former days, when sports editors and kareristas Rudy Navarro and Jimmy Cantor were among the PSA officers, racing news was given more space in the dailies. Nowadays only a handful of sportswriters who also happen to be staunch karera fans write about track happenings, among them Joe Antonio.

Let’s hope that with more exposure to the sport, the current crop of PSA officers and members will get wrapped up in the mega-action, mega-speed, and mega-power that only a field of thoroughbreds thundering around a track can deliver. Mega Red would approve.  ***

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