THW: Triple Crown, PCSO Races on June 11

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  8 June 2011, Wednesday

Triple Crown, PCSO Races on June 11

There are times during the year when nothing out of the ordinary is planned apart from regular races, and there are days when the whole day explodes in a frenzy of top-rated speed and action.

Saturday, June 11, is one of those days, and I strongly urge true horseracing fans to mark it on their calendars.

That’s when the 1,750-meter second legs of the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown and Hopeful Stakes series for elite 3YO thoroughbreds will be run at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

Running in the Triple Crown are Arvindugo, Barkley, Constatic, Hari ng Yambo, Lord of War, Magna Carta, Maker’s Mark, Tensile Strength, and The Rock.

Having crushed his opponents easily in the first leg, Hari ng Yambo is expected to dominate once again, but will have to contend against challenges from Magna Carta, who came in second to him the last time.

Constatic, the lone filly here, won the first leg of the Hopeful and on that strong showing was entered in the more difficult Triple Crown. She is still expected to do well against the boys. Tensile Strength placed third to her in that Hopeful and will seek to avenge the loss.

Fourteen runners are in the Hopeful: Armoury, Cheeze Mosa, Coal Harbour, Dimasalang, Ooh La La’s Gold, Prime Rate, Wondrous Wind, Olajuwon, Dear John, Smart Guru, Thirdy Thirdy, Tucker’s Diamond, and Whistler.

Watch out for Cheeze Mosa and Smart Guru to do some damage, and keep options open on Whistler, who came in fourth in the Hopeful’s first leg (Cheeze Mosa placed second).

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is running its fourth Special Maiden race of the year also on June 11, over 1,300 meters. The May 24 trial race was won by Markees World by seven lengths. Also in are Classy Kitcat, Fair Wind, Huatulco, Pinay Beauty, Conqueror’s Magic, and Stolen Time.

This exciting lineup of races happening the day before Araw ng Kasarinlan is all the more reason to celebrate the freedom to race – what can be better for Thoroughbred racing enthusiasts!

* * * * *

 Alarming reports about an equine disease outbreak in the Western part of the United States are all over the Internet.

In a May 24 Los Angeles Times report by Gale Holland, seven horses have already died of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1) that first broke out in Ogden, Utah, last April.

Horse events from Tulsa to San Diego County have been cancelled on account of the outbreak, for fear of the disease spreading.

Horse herpes is highly contagious because it is airborne and spread by horse-to-horse contact. The disease hits the neurological system. It presents first as a cold, followed by fever, weakness of the hindquarters, and loss of motor coordination leading to paralysis and/or death. Some horses just drop dead within 24 hours of contracting the virus.

The virus may also cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares, or result in foals being born dead. There is no vaccine against EHV-1, nor is there a cure, although anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs have been helpful.

EHV-1 does not affect humans.

According to Steve Lyle, public affairs director of the US Department of Food and Agriculture, this is one of the biggest equine disease outbreaks in recent years.

At the moment, says veterinarian Jojo Cambay, head of the Philracom equine laboratory, he has not heard of any EHV-1 cases in the Philippines.

We are sure that the members of the racing industry will remain alert to such threats. We have not forgotten the huge losses the industry incurred in 1997 during the equine influenza outbreak that resulted in the temporary suspension of the races, nor the equine infectious anemia outbreak of 2004 that affected over 200 horses.  ***

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