THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 29 December 2010, Wednesday
The Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization staged an interesting event last Sunday at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park – the 11th running of the Philtobo Grand Championships.
The Santa Ana Park-Philtobo 3YO Colts championship was taken by second pick Thoti’s Best. The Wilbert Tan-owned colt steered by Daniel Camañero nudged out favorite Gastambide to claim the P240,000 first prize. Its counterpart PGA Cars-Philtobo 3YO Fillies race was won by Narciso Morales’ Tiger Moon.
Ralph Javier’s Arvin Dugo shone in the Papiroman Farms-Philtobo 2YO Colts race, while Aida and Joe Arceo’s Restless Heart proved her dominance in the Herma Farms & Stud-Philtobo 2YO Fillies stakes.
The top honor in the Philippine Racing Commission-Philtobo Juvenile championship was claimed by Herminio Esguerra’s Pritil, guided by ace rider Jonathan Hernandez and trained by Bogie Fernandez. The trio repeated their winning ways in the 2,000-meter Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office-Philtobo Classic championship with the pride of their stable, Go Army.
Fans looking forward to coming races must watch a special year-ender on December 31 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, when retiring local-bred horses will have their last hurrah during the Philracom Farewell Stakes race. The 2,000-meter battle will have total prizes of P500,000 allocated from first to fourth places.
Horses are allowed to race until they are 12YO. Since all local-born horses are considered to be Northern Hemisphere-bred, meaning they all turn a year older on January 1, all horses that will turn 13 on the first day of the 2011 will be allowed to participate in this final event of the year.
Also at SLLP on January 9 will be the first Philracom stakes race of the new year – the Garnet I, first leg of the Imported/Local Challenge series. To be run over a mile, the nominated entries are Fierce Fighter, For Bond Only, Mr. Diamond, Multiply, The Next Big Thing, and coupled entries Indy Hay and Juggling Act.
Overall, 2010 has been kind to racing, with sales being on the upside compared to last year. I can’t give exact figures yet since they won’t be available till after the year-end – but thanks are due to the racing fans who have staunchly supported the sport come what may.
For its part, the governing body of the sport, Philracom, looks forward to more vibrant and dynamic racing in 2011, and wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – a sentiment that I echo with all my heart. ***