THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 22 May 2013, Wednesday
PHL, US Triple Crown Results
Two major races were run last Saturday in the Philippines and one in the United States, sparking a frenzy among fans here who were awaiting the results of all three.
It turned out that all were won by longshots.
The Philippine Racing Commission-backed first legs of the Triple Crown and Hopeful series were staged at Metro Turf’s racetrack in Malvar, Batangas.
In the Hopeful, Big Leb broke well out of the gate but settled to run off the pace by a length, allowing frontrunner Sharpshooter to dictate the tempo. The favorite, Cat’s Silver, was five lengths away in third.
With Cat’s Silver hot on his heels, Big Leb made his move by the far turn and urged past the fading Sharpshooter, managing to keep a length ahead of the rest of the formidable pack coming down the stretch.
At the wire, Big Leb won by three-quarters of a length over the rallying Daragang Magayon, followed by Jazz Connection and Mrs. Teapot.
Time was 1:37.6 for the mile (24’-22’-23’-27).
In the Triple Crown, Divine Eagle (Tempestuous Wind – Rosebud) executed a play just like Big Leb’s, letting Hot and Spicy take the lead while hanging off the pace by two lengths.
The action heated up down the stretch, with the two battling neck-and-neck till the Mark Alvarez-steered Divine Eagle pulled slightly away to win by a head.
Hot and Spicy settled for second, Haring Benedict third, Burj Khalifa fourth. The time for the mile race was 1:36.6 (24’-23-22’-26’).
That fast 22’ quarters in both races are typical for the hard track at Malvar.
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Meanwhile, Oxbow denied Orb, 2013 Kentucky Derby winner, his chance at US Triple Crown greatness by winning the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse, Maryland.
With comebacking veteran rider Gary Stevens aboard, Oxbow grabbed the lead early on and didn’t let go till the wire, clocking 1:57.54 for the 1-3/16 mile (about 1,900 meters) race and winning by 1-3/4 length over second placer Itsmyluckyday.
This is the 50-year-old Hall of Fame jockey’s third Preakness victory. Stevens came off a long hiatus from racing, having retired from the track to take up a career as an actor (he played “George Woolf” in the movie “Seabiscuit,” and had a role in the cancelled HBO series “Luck”).
The 1-1/2 mile (2,400 meters) Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the US Triple Crown, will be even more challenging for the contenders, and there is no certainty that either Oxbow or Orb can pull it off again, considering the interesting performances posted by the Rosie Napravnik-guided Mylute, who finished fifth in the KY Derby and third in the Preakness.
Oxbow (Awesome Again – Tizamazing) has a solid pedigree. His sire is a son of Deputy Minister who was a master of the 1-1/4 mile distance, winning several stakes races including the 1998 Breeder’s Cup Classic.
His dam was unraced but is a full sister to Tiznow, who won the Breeder’s Cup Classic twice, and to Tizdubai and Budroyale, both G2 winners.
Tizamazing’s three foals to race are winners, one of them being 2011 Alydar Stakes winner Awesome Patriot, full brother to Oxbow. ***