THW: Yes Pogi Shows Style in Amethyst I

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  16 February 2011, Wednesday

Yes Pogi Shows Style in Amethyst I

“Oops! I did it again.”

That’s Britney Spears’s lyric, but if horses could sing, champion horse Yes Pogi could have belted it out with feeling and withkarapatan last Sunday after winning the Amethyst I stakes at San Lazaro Leisure Park by a nose.

The 4YO roan colt by Rum Tum Tiger out of Belle Epoque trounced ten opponents, eschewing his typical style of running in dead last to gallop just off the pace in fifth or sixth. With veteran rider Manolito Daquis aboard, the tandem swung into rally gear by the far turn, but had to contend with fierce opposition from Juggling Act.

The Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored event is the second leg of the Import/Local Challenge Series and was run over a stamina-testing 1,750 meters.

Juggling Act won the first leg of the series, the Philracom Garnet I stakes held at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, last January 9. A 4YO import from Australia owned by Edna Sanchez,  Juggling Act was sired by American stallion Giant’s Causeway out of Australian mare Picadilly Circus.

What’s so amazing about Yes Pogi’s winning over Juggling Act by a mere nose?

The latter comes off a stakes win. Yes Pogi, on the other hand, according to jockey Daquis, comes off a long spell at the ranch – since after his victory in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup held last December 12 at Santa Ana Park. He has not raced at all since then, and came “cold” into the Amethyst I.

Daquis added that they prepared Yes Pogi for this stakes race with only the usual morning workouts at the track.

The usual practice in training recommends a tuneup race or two before the actual big event. For a local-bred horse to compete in a stakes race against imports without tuning-up and coming fresh off a spell and dusting off the cobwebs with just several weeks ofensayo would seem foolhardy to a lot of racing aficionados.

But that’s Yes Pogi for you – contrary to the max. This is a horse who prefers to run in dead last, loping along like a lazy donkey before firing up close to the far turn to blaze a trail down the track in the stretch to win, and win again.

“I think I did it again. I made you believe…”

Move over, Britney. Yes Pogi owns that song now.

******

More racing action is coming your way this weekend at Santa Ana Park with the running of the Philracom’s Amethyst II for fillies on Saturday and the Amethyst III for colts on Sunday. Both races will be run over 1,600 meters and are exclusive to 3YO Philippine-breds as part of this racing season’s Road to the Triple Crown. Each race has total prize money of P500,000, to be allocated among the first four placers. ***

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