THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 15 May 2013, Wednesday
Of Champions and Bloodlines
Trainer Shug McGaughey has his Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, deep in preparation for the 138th Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Excitement is building in Maryland, with ticket sales up 9.5 percent for the May 18 event at Pimlico Racecourse, with fans eager to watch Orb perform.
There have only been eleven Triple Crown winners since 1919. The last to complete a sweep was Affirmed in 1978. There have been many contenders since then who won the first and second legs but failed to cop the final episode of the trilogy, the Belmont Stakes.
It would take an exceptional horse indeed to claim victory in three classic races in a span of five weeks, and with the quality of horses being what it is nowadays, the competition is fierce and the fighting for the win furious.
Jockey Joel Rosario will again be partnered with Orb in the Preakness, and coming off two major wins – the KY Derby and the Dubai Cup with Animal Kingdom – he has the moves and the confidence to make history happen.
We shouldn’t discount the chances of jockey Kevin Krigger with Goldencents and Rosie Napravnik with Mylute, both of whom are taking their own shots at glory – Krigger to become the third African-American rider to win the Preakness, and Napravnik, the first female.
Meanwhile, racing and breeding expert John Turner sent a short note from California on the Orb (Malibu Moon x Lady Liberty) bloodline:
“Hi Jenny O. In 2007 at the Keeneland sale one mare named Mesabi Maiden was purchased by Sandy Javier and one mare named Lecturn by Nel Velasco. The two mares are half-sisters to each other as both are daughters of a mare named Steel Maiden.
“Mesabi Maiden’s daughter Lady Liberty is the dam of Orb, the Kentucky
Derby winner last Saturday.
“This is another example of the great strides that your breeders are taking to improve the quality of the Thoroughbreds in the Philippines.”
Regular readers of this column will recall that in a previous piece I cited both horseowner/breeders – Mayor Javier and Mr. Velasco – for their “psychic” abilities in choosing horses after finding out they bought horses with Leroidesanimaux lineage long before that stallion’s progeny, Animal Kingdom, won the Dubai Cup at Meydan last March.
Looks like they did it again. Congratulations to both, and our thanks to Mr. Turner for the updates. I guess it does pay to buy in the US.
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Fans of Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Hagdang Bato will agree that this season’s champion colt has a strong shot at victory in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Silver Cup, set for June 9 at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
The 2,000-meter race for older horses is an all-colt event this year. Also declared to run are Abalos’s Barkley, likewise a champion, running with Hagdang Bato as coupled entries; Wilbert Tan’s Sulong Pinoy, Jade Bros. Farm’s Big Daddy’s Dream, Herminio Esguerra’s High Voltage, Sandy Javier’s Patron, and Antonio de Ubago’s Chief Joesan.