THW: Longshots Rule 3rd leg Triple Crown, PSA Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  20 July 2011, Wednesday

Longshots Rule 3rd leg Triple Crown, PSA Cup

Racing is full of surprises, and last weekend saw a couple of upsets in the big races that drew more than the usual number of fans to the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

Last Sunday, two interesting races were held, both sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission – the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown and the Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup.

The Triple Crown is the championship series for elite local-born 3YO – only the very best may join. The entries in the PSA Cup, in contrast, were drawn from the class-divisions and the race was a grab-bag of feisty veterans aged four to nine.

In the Triple Crown, all eyes were on the favorite Magna Carta, who triumphed in the second leg and placed second in the first. The colt owned by Michael Dragon Javier faced off against twelve other foes over 2,000 meters.

But when the dust cleared, it was far second choice Tensile Strength first at the wire. Ridden by star jockey Jeffril Zarate, the Manuel Vicente-trained filly bested the rest of the field, including ten colts, to win by three.

The Rock placed second, Cheese Mosa third, and Barkley fourth. Magna Carta did not feature among the placers.

The splits for the race were 24.4-23.4-25.4-25.8-27.6 for a total time of 2:06.6. Tensile Strength’s win was worth P1.8 million for her owner, former Philracom commissioner Felizardo “Jun” Sevilla Jr.

In the Philracom-Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup, second-to-that-last-favorite Ferrarione shocked the overflow crowd at Santa Ana Park by outlasting the frontrunner Barefoot Contessa, yet another longshot.

The 9YO veteran horse owned and trained by Tarlac congressman Jeci Lapus was the oldest entry among the ten-horse field. He came off a 209-day spell well-rested enough to come from behind and clobber his foes in the stretch.

Lapus Stable star jockey Red de Leon saw a gap by the rails and cleverly positioned Ferrarione inside, saving ground and overtaking eventual second-placer Barefoot Contessa before the wire.

Speedy McKie took third and heavy favourite Nine Dragon settled for fourth. Quarters for the 1,300-meter race were set at 7’-23-23-26’ for a total time of 1:19.8. S

Present at the awarding ceremony were PSA officers Teddyvic Melendres, sports editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer (president); Riera Mallari, sports editor of Manila Standard-Today (secretary); Joe Antonio, sports editor of People’s Journal (treasurer); and Aldrin Cardona, sports editor of Daily Tribune (Board member and past president).

With them representing the host club was racing manager and assistant vice-president Dan Valmonte, while I was there too as a member of PSA.

Last Saturday, the 2,000-meter Philracom Hopeful Stakes saw Prime Rate emerge victorious, followed by Thirdy Thirdy in second, Midnight Myth third, and Sir Ferdinand fourth.

 * * * * *

As I promised last week, here’s a little more on the planned Malvar-Tanauan, Batangas Metro Manila Turf Club racing facility of horseowner-businessman Norberto Quisumbing Jr., PhD. “Dr. NQ”, as he is fondly called, anticipates that in the next two years, the key facilities in the racing cluster shall be completed.

Around 250 workers will be employed in the first phase of construction in the third quarter of this year and increase to 500 in December 2011.  ***

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