THW: Longshot Rules 1st Leg Triple Crown!

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 18 May 2011, Wednesday

Longshot Rules 1st leg Triple Crown!

Like I’ve said before, anything can happen in a horse race.

And when you’re talking elite thoroughbreds, it’s all the more likely that any event they figure in will be an even-steven race, with no quarter given to the favorite.

That’s what a longshot did in last Sunday’s 1st leg Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown series held at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Seven horses were declared, and one was scratched – Bosbarawana, who also had a chance of winning. Of the remaining six horses, classy colt Magna Carta emerged as the favorite in the sales.

But when the gates flew back, the aptly-named jockey Rodeo Fernandez was quick at the jumpout, grabbing the lead and never giving it up till the wire, reaching it six lengths ahead of Magna Carta. Coming a very close third in a photo-finish was The Rock, while Barkley took fourth.

Hari ng Yambo, an island-born bay colt, nearly shattered the 1:38 record for the mile distance set in 2007 by another island-born, Copper Dew, by posting 1:39 with impressive quarters of 24’-23-25-26’. I believe he could have broken the record, but since he had pulled way ahead of the pack in the stretch, his jockey may have eased up a bit to spare the horse the risk of injury, especially since he is almost sure to run in the second leg of the Triple Crown series.

Hari ng Yambo, by Chapel Royal (USA) x Daulide (ARG), is owned by Manny Santos and trained by Mark Tupas. Their stable receives the first prize of P1.8 milllion.

I think we know who’s going into the second leg of the Triple Crown on June 11, also at SLLP, as the heavy favorite. And if there’s a horse that could make a sweep of all three legs, it’s this one.

Meanwhile, the winner of the 1st leg of the Philracom 1st leg Hopeful Stakes held at the same track last Saturday was another longshot, Constatic, who also beat the race favorite, Cheese Mosa, who also came in second.  Tensile Strength came in third, Whistler fourth.

Local-bred Constatic, by Ecstatic (USA) x Consa (PHI), was to have been ridden by its regular jockey, Antonio Alcasid Jr. But he was declared to ride another likely candidate, Smart Guru, which was scratched before the race, allowing replacement rider Louie Balboa to grab top honors here.

Like I’ve also said before, suwerte ang pulot-sakay.

Constatic, owned by Ronaldo Tan and trained by Joel Mijares, clocked 25’-24-25’-26’ for a  total of1:41.4, about the average time for the mile. They won P600,000 first place purse for the efforts of their team.

On Sunday, all eyes will be glued to the action at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park for the 16th running of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Silver Cup. The arduous 2,000 meter race pits wily veterans Thoti’s Best, Shining Armour, Go Army, Yes Pogi, Darleb, and Righthererightnow against each other in a fight for P1.1 million in first-place prize money.

Yes Pogi shone last year as a 3YO in two legs of the Triple Crown, and won a slew of stakes races after that. Though not undefeated, he’s still my best pick for this race, one of the most prestigious and exciting on the racing calendar.

Good times for racing? You can bet on it.   ***

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