THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 15 December 2010, Wednesday
Yes Pogi Wins 38th PCSO Gold Cup
Imagine you are watching a horse race. Eight horses are in the gate. Some paw the ground; others shake their heads, and their riders in rainbow-colored silks tighten their grip on the reins. A bell rings and the stall gates fly open, releasing the horses like so many arrows. The lead is taken by a shiny bay horse, his mane flying in the breeze. But your eyes are fastened on a roan, who hangs in back. Way back.
The bay – Ibarra – runs in front for most of the way, followed by a swift-stepping colt, Righthererightnow. Others pace themselves just behind the frontrunners. Still the roan, Yes Pogi, is running in dead last, twenty lengths off the leader. This elicits a groan from spectators – he was sent off as favorite in the sales.
Ibarra maintains his position at the top of the stretch, looking like he can’t be beat. But wait – what is this streak of white on the outside? It comes from the back and flashes past Ibarra, pulling away to win by four. Yes! It is a pogi horse, made even more handsome crowned with the laurels of victory in the most prestigious race of the year – the 38th PCSO Presidential Gold Cup, held last Sunday at Santa Ana Park.
It was a fantastic race, with Yes Pogi’s running gambit proving to be decisive over the 2,000-meter journey. Over shorter distances – say, 1,800 – Yes Pogi’s slow-to-fire style might leave him lacking in the last few hundred meters. But this particular length proved ideal for him, as the frontrunners ran out of steam and allowed him to stage his victorious rally.
Yes Pogi won two races of this summer’s Triple Crown and was denied a sweep only by another 3YO stalwart, Carriedo, who did not join this PCSO Gold Cup. Steered by Fernando Raquel Jr., Yes Pogi also failed to grab the 2,000-meter San Miguel Beer-MARHO Classic last November, losing to Gastambide. Yet he redeemed himself with this glittering golden win under the guidance of Manolito Daquis, clocking 24’-23-26’-28’ for a total time of 2:08.8.
Trained by Felix Lauron, Yes Pogi’s win brings the P2.5 million first prize home to owner Francis Guan Lim, with P1.5 million coming from PCSO and P1 million from the Philippine Racing Commission.
Deemark International’s Righthererightnow came in second to win P500,000; Herminio Esguerra’s Go Army third for P250,000; and Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Ibarra fourth for P125,000.
There was a breeder’s purse of P50,000 which was claimed by Esguerra’s Batangas-based Herma Farms and Stud, represented at the awarding ceremony by head veterinarian Merci Porsuelo, the ranch foreman, studmaster, and other ranch hands. The colt’s lineage is Rum Tum Tiger out of Belle Epoque.
Last Sunday was a blockbuster day of racing at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite. The Philippine Racing Club-owned and –operated track played host to several hundred people who gathered to watch three very special races. Apart from the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup, also staged were the Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored Juvenile championship and Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup.
Longshot Chief Joesan, owned by Antonio de Ubago and ridden by Jordan Cordova, won the Juvenile Championship, besting favorites Barkley, Bosbarawana, Lord of War, and Charming Santi and clocking 1:43.7 for the mile race.
Second place was taken by another longshot, Olive Ibaviosa’s Whistler, followed by Ralph Javier’s Arvin Dugo and Abalos’ Barkley.
In the PSA Cup, eleven 3YO runners battled for the P180,000 first prize, but it was fifth choice Headline Chaser who dealt the others defeat with his upset win. Owned by Marc Gino Yoro and steered by Fernando Raquel Jr., Headline Chaser posted a come-from-behind rally to win by two. The splits were 27-24’-24’-28’ or 1:44.5 over 1,600 meters.
Juan Molina Jr.’s Ma’am Mika placed second. Francisco Maristela’s May Bukas Pa took third and Emmanuel King Jr.’s Money Queen settled for fourth.
On hand at the awarding ceremony were PSA president Teddyvic Melendres, secretary Riera Mallari, treasurer Joe Antonio, and board member Aldrin Cardona. They thanked Philracom chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II for staging the PSA Cup once more, after a hiatus the past several years. ***