THW: Racing Roundup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 15 August 2012, Wednesday

Racing Roundup

I apologize to my regular readers for skipping my column twice – August 1 and 8 – and will make it up with a brief roundup of recent and coming events.

On August 5, an unlikely contender ridden by a substitute jockey scored an upset over well-regarded entries in the Philippine Racing Commission Peridot Stakes at Santa Ana Park.

The 1,900-meter race, the 4th leg of the Import/Local Challenge series, featured seven runners, but only two were really in serious contention – Born Tycoon and Striding Ahead.

Ridden by jockey Antonio Alcasid Jr., Born Tycoon was the longest shot in the field and won by a neck over the Striding Ahead who placed second.

Botbo, the favorite, took third and Rain Shower fourth. The time for the race was 1:59.4 on a firm track.

Alcasid said: “Jockey Jesse Guce was to have ridden Born Tycoon, but he opted to ride Juggling Act instead, which was later scratched. I was approached by Born Tycoon’s owner, Ferdinand Dimaisip, and given the chance to ride her in the Peridot. Mr. Dimaisip put her under a new training scheme that worked very well. Born Tycoon did good. I thank boss Ferdie for the chance and for a job well done on her training.”

The following week saw the assault of the fierce habagat monsoon that inundated half the metropolis and resulted in the cancellation of races at Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park on August 7 and 8.

The suspension of races are at the discretion of the racing clubs, and are imposed after a careful assessment of the weather and how it may impact racing conditions. Safety is paramount and the races never proceed if the well-being of horses and riders are in the slightest doubt.

Races at MJC resumed on the ninth, and the weekend made up for the lost couple of racedays thanks to major events sponsored by Philracom and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

On August 11, the favorite Pantukan and second choice Sky Dragon battled neck-and-neck for the win in the 1,400-meter PCSO Special Maiden race.

Alcasid, Sky Dragon’s rider, is known for his come-from-behind tactical skill and used this to good advantage in the race. However, crowding at the far turn caused him to lose ground and allow the front-running Pantukan to maintain a slight edge until the finish line.

Although a photo-finish was declared, the outcome was inevitable and the Floirendo family’s Pantukan was declared the winner by the MJC Board of Stewards. Time for the race was 1:28.6 with quarters of 12’-24-24’-27. Leonor placed third, Divine Eagle fourth.

This race was followed by the Philracom 2nd leg Juvenile Fillies stakes, taken by Joseph Dyhengco’s Eurasian under jockey Jeffril Zarate. Grand Strikes Girl was second, Ballet Flats third.

On August 12, lawyer Sixto Esquivias IV’s Boss  Jaden shone over 1,300 meters in the Philracom 2nd leg Juvenile Colts. Steered by Jeffrey Bacaycay, it was sent off as second pick but managed to beat top choice Spinning Ridge owned by SC Stockfarm.

But wait, there’s more, as they say, and the action doesn’t let up this weekend with the running of the 4th Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing (RDB) Memorial Cup at Santa Ana Park on August 19, Sunday.

The major sponsors of the event are the PHilracom and PCSO, between them  backing five highlight races: Philracom-RDB Cup Division I and Division II, two PCSO-RDB Cup races, and the PCSO National Grand Derby. Other support races will be held on that day as well as on Saturday, the 18th.

Running in the mile PCSO Derby is track darling Hagdang Bato, who swept all three legs of the summer’s Philracom Triple Crown series with ease. Owned by Mandaluyong mayor Benhur Abalos, the plucky colt will be coupled in this race with stablemate Barkley.

Running against the Abalos entries are Francis Lim’s Yes Yes Yes, Joseph Dyhengco’s Darleb, and Herminio Esguerra’s High Voltage and Purple Ribbon.

The RDB Cup was set up in 2009 by the late Mayor Bagatsing’s sons, horseowners and breeders Amado S. Bagatsing (congressman, 5th district of Manila) and lawyer Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., (himself a former congressman of the same city).

Atty. Bagatsing said, “We conceived this event as a homage to our father who loved racing and breeding and contributed a lot to the sport during his time. He is most known for reviving the Gran Copa races at MJC during the 70s.

“The establishment of the Bagatsing Memorial Cup was made possible with the generous and steadfast support of the Philracom under then-chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, now general manager of PCSO.  The support is continued to the present time under Philracom chairman Angel L. Castaño Jr.

“We thank all our sponsors, especially Philracom and PCSO, and all participants, invite the public to witness this truly exciting event that has broken sales records and become an annual tradition in the sport.”

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