THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 11 July 2012, Wednesday
Super Whaaa Wins PCSO Trial
After the term “whaa” was made popular by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago during the impeachment trial of former chief justice Renato Corona, it shows up again, this time as part of a racehorse’s name.
The aptly-named Super Whaaa astonished spectators with a good performance in the trial race for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office 2YO Open held last July 3 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park.
The juvenile owned by Herminio Esguerra and ridden by JB Guerra (replacing declared rider Jonathan Hernandez) bested seven others and clocked splits of 25’-24’-27 for a total time of 1:17 in the 1,200 meter qualifier.
Tarlac lawmaker Jeci Aquino Lapus’s Minotaur came in second, Herma Farms & Stud’s If Your Honor Please third (this one perhaps named during the impeachment trial too), and Don Morales’s Don’t Fool Your Wife fourth.
The other finishers were, in order of arrival: Wilbert Tan’s Grand Strikes Girl, Santa Clara Stockfarm’s Boss Jay, lawyer Sixto Esquivias IV’s Boss Jaden, and Jocelyn Modomo’s Best Boss last.
The actual race will be an interesting look into the performance and condition of this latest batch of juveniles to hit the dirt.
Meanwhile, the declaration for the next PCSO 2YO Open on August 11 at Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park will be held tomorrow at the PCSO’s Draw and Races department at the PCSO main office in Pasay City. The race distance is 1,300 meters.
* * * * *
Preparations for the 4th Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing (RDB) Memorial Cup continue, with a handicapping and mechanics meeting set for Friday, according to lawyer and former Manila congressman Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr.
Atty. Bagatsing and his brother Manila congressman Amado S. Bagatsing, sons of the late mayor, will be meeting with representatives from the event’s major sponsors – the Philippine Racing Commission and PCSO – and the host club, PRC.
The event takes place annually on the late mayor’s birth anniversary, August 19, which this year falls on a Santa Ana Park raceweek.
Aside from two PCSO-backed RDB stakes races, also on the card that day are the PCSO National Grand Derby, Philracom’s Mayor RDB Cup Division I and Division II stakes, and the annual Philippine-Japan Friendship race.
* * * * *
In other racing news, the Philracom under chairman Angel L. Castaño Jr. is studying the attrition rate of horses, which is a factor in the decline of the racehorse population.
According to Philracom executive director Jesus Cantos, they analyzed historical data and they found that the average number of 3YO thoroughbreds running every year is 420.
After three years, when these 3YO become 6YO, there are only around 200 of them still active; in other words, the attrition rate is around 50%.
The Philracom is now crafting strategies to address this situation. Among these moves, Commissioner Cantos says, is the reduction of interval between runs. Racehorses are allowed to run twice in a week, with a two-day interval. This interval will be increased to three days to allow horses time to rest.
Shorter distances will also be set during summer, to reduce risk of equine epistaxis (nosebleed) and heatstroke. The Commission will also reprimand recidivist trainers whose records show a high incidence of lameness and injury among their horses.
A multi-sectoral Soundness of Horses Committee under the Philracom was recently formed, tasked with monitoring the health of runners and ensuring that they are truly fit to run.
As a racing journalist, animal lover, and a former stable manager once directly involved with the health and welfare of over 20 horses, I welcome this move of the Commission, which is working in close cooperation with other industry sectors to find the best solutions to the challenges facing the sport today. ***