THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 18 January 2012, Wednesday
Garnet Races Results
The horseracing year is traditionally studded with “gemstone” races every month that are sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission.
The Garnet I stakes, held at San Lazaro Leisure Park last January 8, was the first leg of the Philracom’s Import/Local Challenge Series.
Battling against four other horses over a mile, Gentle Irony notched another impressive win, further cementing his status as the current star import.
Gentle Irony, owned by lawyer Narciso Morales, is by Australian stallion Exceed and Excel out of New Zealand mare Gentle Call.
Indy Hay came in second in the Garnet I, and Juggling Act third.
The Garnet II and Garnet III were staged also over a mile at Santa Ana Park. The Garnet II, for 3YO local-bred fillies, ran last January 14 and was won by lawyer Sixto Esquivias IV’s Cheese Blanca (Real Top-Sincere), which posted 1:42.6. She was followed in second by Etcetera, in third by Dajorca, and in fourth by Storm Last.
The Garnet III for 3YO local colts was held on January 15 and was won by Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Hagdang Bato (Quaker Ridge-Fire Down Under).
The big bay colt was the champion of the Philracom-MARHO Juvenile Colts championship last November 20 at the same track and the Philracom Juvenile Championship on December 11 at SLLP. He looks on the way to having an impressive 3YO season and is counted among the top contenders for the Philracom Triple Crown series.
Hagdang Bato clocked an eyebrow-raising 1:38.4, besting Tribal King which came in second, and Ikel, third. There were only three runners in the race, with businessman Herminio Esguerra having withdrawn his Purple Ribbon prior to the event.
With so few entries, betting did not take place for this particular race; but since this was a stakes races and the horses were already declared, the race went on as scheduled with those left.
However, a new racing rule provides that should there be fewer entries than the minimum prescribed “to run”, the race shall be cancelled, unless the racing program has already been released. In that case, the race will proceed.
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Stakes races and events to look forward to next month: Philracom Amethyst I, 2nd leg Import/Local Challenge series, 1,700 meters, February 12 at Santa Ana Park; Amethyst II (3YO local fillies) and Amethyst III (3YO local colts), February 18 and 19 respectively, both 1,600 meters at SLLP.
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office reminds horseowners of the January 24 nomination date for the February 25 Freedom Cup, 1,600 meters at Santa Ana Park.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners (MARHO) invites its members to the “MARHO: Enter the Dragon” annual fellowship gathering and Chinese New Year party to be held on February 10, Friday, venue to be announced. There will be give-aways and prizes to members in good standing. ***