THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 8 May 2013, Wednesday
Successful Jockeys, Trainers Days
For racing fans the world over, the first Saturday in May is one of the biggest days in the sport – it’s when the legendary Kentucky Derby is run.
But with the Philippines ahead of KY by twelve hours, most of Saturday is spent in nail-chewing suspense and speculation until reports and videos of the race are uploaded on the Internet.
However, racing fans still got to watch an interesting racecard that day at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, for the New Philippine Jockeys Association annual Jockeys Day Racing Festival.
NPJA President Antonio Alcasid Jr. thanked the sponsors who backed all 13 races on the card that day – Philippine Racing Commission and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (sponsor of two major races), Philippine Racing Club, Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners, the Bagatsing family, horseowners Nathaniel G. Velasco, Patrick Uy, and Ric Aquino, physician Pinky Isaac, insurance man Dannny Nicdao, former jockey Miguel Recosana, Nick Atienza, Paolo Crisostomo, fans group Manila Horsepower, Jose Miguel Chuidian, Sunlife Grepa, and several anonymous donors to the NPJA’s Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Alcasid also thanked Resorts World Manila, which through their assistant sales manager Eve Tarlit sponsored a race for the jockeys the following day, Sunday, at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.
The NPJA holds the annual event to raise funds to care for its disabled and injured members.
The Philippine Race Horse Trainers Association also held a raceday on Sunday at SLLP, with 13 sponsored races.
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The 139th Kentucky Derby, the world’s premiere race for 3YO Thoroughbreds, saw the ascendance of the favorite, Orb (Malibu Moon – Lady Liberty). His race record now stands at 8 starts, 5-0-1.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Joel Rosario, Orb ran off the pace over a sloppy track to give his owner and jockey their first Derby win.
Longshot Golden Soul placed second, Revolutionary third, and Normandy Invasion fourth. Total time for the 1-1/4 mile race was 2:02:89.
Orb’s win denied other competitors the chance to post their own accomplishments. Comebacking veteran rider Gary Stevens was trying for a fourth Derby win at age 50 on longshot Oxbow. Kevin Krigger wanted to be the first African-American rider to win the Derby since 1902. Rosie Napravnik tried to be the first female rider to score in the world’s most important race. (She came in fifth with Mylute for the highest finish by a woman jockey.)
Orb has a stellar pedigree – his grandsire was AP Indy who was a son of the great Seattle Slew, while his damsire was Unbridled. He also has Secretariat and Cox’s Ridge blood in his mix.
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I was glad to see horseowner/breeder/media man Ramoncito “Chito” Arceo (the producer of iconic ‘80s sitcom “Chicks to Chicks”) today; I hadn’t seen him in maybe fifteen years. He owned Bulldozer, who won the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup back-to-back in 1995 and 1996, a rare feat.
He had his picture taken beside the Gold Cup mother trophy, a photo that I’ll be sure to include in forthcoming racing magazines that I’ll produce. It’s always great to see the legends of the track; such moments are precious. ***