THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 23 March 2011, Wednesday
Ooh La La’s Gold in PCSO Maiden Trial
A filly with an outlandish name proved “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” by outrunning two other fillies and two colts in last March 15’s Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden trial race.
Eduardo Dimacuha’s Ooh La La’s Gold, partnered with jockey Ernesto Reyes, posted a time of 1:24.4 over 1,300 meters to prevail in the trial held at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.
Smart Guru with Antonio Alcasid Jr. came in second, followed by Tiger Run with Kelvin Abobo in third. The John Alvin Guce-piloted Just For Keeps placed fourth while Flag Bearer with Val Dilema came in last in the trial run.
The trial race is a requirement for entries to the PCSO Special Maiden race, which is open to Philippine-bred 3YO.
Ooh La La’s trial win now puts her ahead of the rest in punters’ minds, and she is likely to emerge as the top favorite come raceday, March 27 at SLLP.
Fillies Flag Bearer, Ooh La La’s Gold, and Tiger Run will be carrying 53 kgs.; colts Smart Guru and Just For Keeps, 54.5 kgs. The prizes are P300,000, P100,000, and P50,000 from first to third, while the breeder of the winning horse will receive P30,000.
It doesn’t necessarily follow, though, that the trial scenario is what will unfold during the actual race. Horses are not pushed during trials, and go through them as a matter of compliance. Racegoers are savvy enough to gauge the horse’s abilities from the trial and make their choices accordingly. The trial runs are always aired before the actual race over the cable television race broadcast and in all off-track betting stations.
The Philippine Racing Commission celebrated its 37th anniversary last Monday at its offices in Makati City.
From the time that horseowner and breeder Ambassador Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. founded Philracom in 1974 and served as its first chairman, and under the guidance of the chairmen that followed him through the years, the industry has made substantial gains and improvements.
Through the partnership of Philracom and other racing and breeding industry sectors, horses have improved in quality, the conduct of races is smoother and more streamlined, and industry sales are higher than what they were less than a decade ago.
Even crises such as the global recession were met head on. Though the industry suffered a decline in sales three years running, 2010 sales showed a slight uptick, putting gross sales at a healthy P8 billion.
The racing industry contributes an average of P1 billion to the national government each year in the form of direct taxes, and contributes to the economy by way of jobs generation, business opportunities for goods and services, and agricultural and sports development. ***