THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 17 July 2013, Wednesday
PCSO prepping for National Grand Derby
Preparations are underway for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office National Grand Derby on August 18 at San Lazaro Leisure Park, according to PCSO Committee on Races Chairman lawyer Jose T. Malang.
“PCSO’s racing program makes it a point to showcase and encourage Philippine-bred runners,” said Malang, “so this year’s PCSO Grand Derby will be open to locals 3YO and older who have participated in PCSO maiden [formerly called “Sweepstakes”] races.”
This rule renders racetrack star Hagdang Bato ineligible to participate because he was not entered in any of the PCSO sweepstakes races.
The PCSO Grand Derby will be held on the same day at the 5th Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing Memorial Cup racing festival in honor of the late mayor of Manila who was also a horseowner and breeder.
The day’s racecard will also feature 12 or 13 additional sponsored races, said lawyer Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., son of the festival honoree.
“We thank our major sponsors,” said Bagatsing, “among them PCSO, which will back two PCSO-Bagatsing Cup races, division one and division two, and the Philippine Racing Commission, which is also supporting two similar races.”
The exact titles, handicapping, distance, and qualifications of these four races are still being finalized.
Meanwhile, PCSO invites sports fans to witness the PCSO Special Maiden Race on July 20 at Metro Turf, Malvar, Batangas. Here’s the final lineup, as of yesterday:
Felizardo Sevilla Jr.’s filly Chancery Lane, to be ridden by RO Niu Jr.; JRS Farm’s Tumauini with LT Cuadra Jr.; Jun Almeda’s Move On with Fernando Raquel Jr.; Ruben Dimacuha’s Up and Away with Mark Alvarez; Antonio David Jr.’s Willingandable with Antonio Alcasid Jr.; Jeci Lapus’s Young Turk with Jonathan Hernandez; Roman Santos’s Asikaso with John Alvin Guce; and SC Stockfarm’s Mona’s Art with Val Dilema.
The only colts are Young Turk, who won the July 5 trial, and Asikaso, who came in third. They will carry 54 kgs. handicap weight, while the rest – fillies – will carry 52 kgs.
For this race, I’m considering Young Turk and Mona’s Art (the trial first and second placers), while my longshot pick is Willingandable.
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A planeload of 28 or so Thoroughbred horses from Australia arrived at Subic yesterday. Purchases from the Magic Millions June sale, as well as private sales, they were a mixed bag of yearlings, 2YOs, broodmares, and runners.
Expect the of-age runners to see action later this year, after their acclimatization and re-training here. The younger horses, being Southern-hemisphere-bred, are half-a-year or so younger than their Northern-hemisphere-bred counterparts and will still have to grow up.
It’s always exciting to know that new bloodstock has come into the country. What sort of genes will the mares and stallions pass on to their Philippine-born offspring? Will the runners do well? Can we look forward to more hotly-contested import-only races?
The “pagsundo ng kabayo” from Subic is itself is an interesting event, and almost a ritual among racetrack folk. More on that and other tales of racing culture next time – perhaps even in a forthcoming book. ***