THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 20 February 2013, Wednesday
Hagdang Bato Wins PCSO Freedom Cup
Outstanding favorite Hagdang Bato (Quaker Ridge x Fire Down Under) extended his winning ways by scoring in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Freedom Cup held last Sunday at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.
Once again, the high-achieving colt of Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos faced off against the sport’s best import, Javier, Leyte Mayor Sandy Javier’s Magna Carta.
The last time they battled was also at a PCSO race – the Presidential Gold Cup held December 9 last year at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park.
Hagdang Bato won that 2,000-meter race, but then he carried only 54.5 kgs. while Magna Carta bore 58 kgs.
This time around, the scenario was similar – Magna Carta carried a heavier impost of 58.5 kgs. while Hagdang Bato was handed 55.
Magna Carta ran in front for most of the mile Freedom Cup with Hagdang Bato clinging to his flank, until the far turn when jockey Jonathan Hernandez urged Hagdang Bato.
They shot past the erstwhile frontrunner and steadily burned up the remaining distance to win by four lengths, posting 1:41 (25-23’-25-27’).
Magna Carta came in second, followed by Hagdang Bato stablemate Barkley, Maker’s Mark, High Voltage, and Chevrome, in that order.
On hand to present the awards from PCSO were: vice-chairman and general manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, and from the Committee on Races, lawyer Jose T. Malang (chairman), Carlos Castillo and Desoto Tupas (vice-chairmen), and Betsy Paruginog and Orlando Malaca (members). They were accompanied by MJC racing manager Jose Ramon Magboo.
In the Philracom-MJC Sorteo Cup held the same day, second favorite State Witness proved herself the best sprinter in a field of twelve, clocking 1:02.4 (13-23-26’) for 1,000 meters.
The Alvin Ferreras-owned veteran racemare, partnered by jockey Patricio Dilema, came from fourth position to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Chinoi. Jade and Diamond placed third, Dragon May fourth.
The awarding ceremony was graced by MJC Chairman lawyer Alfonso R. Reyno Jr., Philracom Executive Director Jesus B. Cantos, and Cavite congressman Roy Loyola, whose birthday it was that day.
Meanwhile, the PCSO Special Maiden race for 3YO held the previous day also at SLLP was a shocker, with longshot Azimuth (Winemaster x Fuzzy Wit) scoring an upset over the super-hyper-mega-ultra outstanding favorite Appointment.
Eduardo E. Gonzalez’s Appointment carried the bulk of the sales, mainly because it won the trial for the race some weeks prior to the actual run. Azimuth was second-to-the-last choice.
Said Azimuth’s owner-trainer, Tarlac congressman Jeci A. Lapus: “My colt stumbled slightly when it jumped out of the gate during the trial and made a poor showing that time, but we were confident it would do well and we pinned our hopes on it.”
Paired with rider Patricio Dilema, Azimuth ran off the pace with second pick Skydrifter in the lead until claiming front spot in the stretch to pull away from the pack and win by five lengths.
Appointment came in second, Skydrifter third, and Magical Boy fourth. Queen Quaker was scratched at the gate when it broke free during loading.
The time for the 1,300 –meter race was 1:22.8 (6’-24-25-27).
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Horseowner/breeder Antonio V. Tan’s stallion Reenact is now standing at his Native Land Ranch for only P10,000 per live foal. Interested persons can email me for more information. Taga-karera can also go through the usual channels.