THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 30 May 2012, Wednesday
Jockeys Racefest and More
Star jockey Jeffril Zarate featured prominently in several important races last raceweek at the New Philippine Jockeys Association’s annual Jockeys Day racefest held at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
To call it “Jockeys Day” is a misnomer because the event now spans several racedays. This year, 33 sponsored races were formed with the help of PRC racing manager and assistant vice-president Dan Valmonte and generous donors who supported the NPJA’s mission to raise money for their Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Last Sunday was the culminating day when the highlight races were held, backed by two major sponsors – the Philippine Racing Commission and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Jockey Patricio Dilema booted Australian import Salute to Heaven (Snippetson-Bugle Calls), to the win in the 6th NPJA-Philracom Cup. Owned by Kenneth Causon, the 3YO colt is trained by Ruben Clor.
The placers in order were Kissable Toys, Don Eduardo’s Best, and Turf Moor.
Present to hand out trophies were Philracom chairman Angel L. Castaño Jr. and commissioner and executive director Jesus Cantos, as well as beneficiaries of the Disabled Jockeys Fund, among them Jesus “The Maestro” Guce, CH Bernabe, EJ Tijam, and LM Salvador, all of whom have been injured in races.
PCSO’s half-a-million sponsorship was split into two races, both called the 4th NPJA-PCSO Cup. Both were won by jockey Jeffril Zarate – the first on Jun Ferrer’s Mr. Environment, the second on Manny Santos’s Street Star by only a neck.
Placers to Mr. Environment were Tabelle, King Eagle, and Peter’s Denial; to Street Star, Ms. Bling Bling, Oroquieta, and Señor Bon.
PCSO general manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II presented the trophies to the connections of Street Star, including trainer Pat Logarta. With Atty. Rojas were PCSO Draw & Races department manager Carlos Castillo and division chief veterinarian Gabriel de Leon.
NPJA president Antonio Alcasid Jr. thanked their sponsors: PCSO, Philracom, PRC, MARHO, Philtobo, Klub Don Juan de Manila, Manila Horsepower Organization, Philippine Race Horse Trainers Organization, and Gran Matador.
The individual donors were congresspersons Sandy Ocampo and Jeci Lapus; Mayor Sandy Javier, Councilor Ferdie Eusebio, Dr. Norberto Quisumbing, Mr. Luis Quisumbing, Mr. Manny Santos, Mr. Bienvenido Niles Jr., Engr. Simon Crisostomo, Mr. Ferdie Dimaisip, Ms. Ruth O. Lucas, SC Stockfarm, Dr. Pinky Isaac, Ms. Richelle Collantes, Mr. Miguel Recosana, Mr. Danny Nicdao, at Mr. Napoleon Magno.
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Long-time horseowner Luis Chuidian’s filly Statuesque crossed the wire ahead of six other local-bred 3YO to come in first in the Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office special maiden trial race last May 29 at Santa Ana Park.
The actual race is set for June 9.
Steered by Jeffril Zarate, Statuesque came in ahead of Herminio Esguerra’s colt Blank Check. Divina Dy’s Batangas Fighter came in third, Felizardo Sevilla Jr.’s Power Factor fourth.
The other finishers were, in order: Esprit de Corps, McIlroy, and Classy Jeune.
Entries are not pushed to break records during trial runs. It is merely a qualifier because these are new horses. All a horse has to do is clock within a certain set time.
The order of arrival in trials is still important because it gives racing fans some basis for their choices come the day of the actual race, since “maiden” signifies that these horses have not won or even raced before. It may be considered a debut for elite runners. ***