THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 30 March 2011, Wednesday
Third Favorite Thrills in PCSO Race
Unpredictable – that’s what horse races often are, and the best-laid plans and thought-out scenarios may fail to ascertain in advance the winner.
That’s what transpired during the March 27 Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office-sponsored Special Maiden Race at San Lazaro Leisure Park. It is a PCSO racing rule that a trial race for all the declared entries be held before the actual race. Punters take note of who wins the trial, the placers, and their running forms. Their analysis serves to guide them in picking the winner when betting on the actual race.
But since all the entries have to do is pass the trial – it’s usually a matter of compliance – the horses’ connections prefer to not push their horses in an effort to minimize risks to their safety and preserve their condition as much as possible, so that they are not burned out or injured before the race.
That’s why when a precocious filly named Ooh La La’s Gold, owned by Eduardo Dimacuha, won the March 15 trial, bettors sent her off as the second favorite on raceday. Another filly, Mayor Benhur Abalos’ Tiger Run, was the favorite.
But it was third choice Smart Guru, a chestnut colt owned by Honorato Neri, that scored an upset in the PCSO race for 3YO beginning their career. Piloted by ace veteran Antonio Alcasid Jr., Smart Guru carried 54.5 kgs, 1.5 kgs more than the two fillies.
Sired by American stallion Conquistarose out of Australian mare Crazy Bout You, Philippine-bred Smart Guru clocked 1:23 for the 1,300-meter journey to win the P300,000 purse.
Tiger Run came in second, Just For Keeps (a Joel Songsong-owned colt) third, and Ooh La La’s Gold came in last.
The next PCSO event will be a 1,200-meter Open Maiden race for 3YO. Registered to run at Santa Ana Park on April 17 are Herminio Esguerra’s Aduana, Honorato Neri’s Beau Erin, Rosenda Ann Ocampo’s Gold Field, and Andre Angelo Santos’ Sunshine (fillies), and Augusto Benedicto Santos’ Sparkler and Tarlac congressman Jeci Aquino Lapus’ Wanna Change (colts).
The Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners recently announced the tentative schedule of their prestigious MARHO Cup championship races, the longest-running annual racing festival of its kind.
“This year’s MARHO Cup is the 16th edition and will be held from November 15 to 20 at Santa Ana Park,” said MARHO president Eric Tagle, “with the usual slate of championship races – the Classic, 3YO Colts, 3YO Fillies, Juvenile Colts, Juvenile Fillies, and Sprint.”
The event was initially conceived as an incentive for Thoroughbred owners and breeders to improve the bloodlines for local runners, a long-term policy that has paid off and shown results in terms of faster track times and better performances.
Tagle also announced that MARHO will be holding MARHO Trophy Races twice a month, one race at each track (SAP and SLLP). At stake are an added prize of P20,000 to the winner if a MARHO member in good standing and a commemorative trophy.
Are you a horseowner interested in acquiring American bloodlines for your stable or ranch? Are you a race aficionado dreaming to become a horseowner? MARHO chairman Mayor Leonardo “Sandy” Javier has tentatively set a horse auction at his legendary Royal Maverick Ranch in Lipa, Batangas, for late May.
He will be offering 26 yearlings and 28 2YO, some of them sired by Warrior Song and Art Moderne. The two stallions are former runners who have battled each other and clocked 1:33 for the mile. The Philippine track record for that distance is 1:38, held by an island-born filly, Jose Mari Franco’s Copper Dew. Watch this space for updates on the RMR auction. ***