THW: Don Enrico, a Shoo-in?

THE HOARSE WHISPERER

By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  30 July 2008, Wednesday

Don Enrico, A Shoo-In?

Fans are already talking about the possible outcomes of the third legs of the Triple Crown and Hopeful stakes for Philippine-bred 3YO, running on Sunday, August 3, at the Santa Ana Park.

“Superfilly” Indelible Ink won the first leg of the Triple Crown. Indefatigable colt Don Enrico , the second. Who’s it going to be for the third?

Track pundits say, almost unanimously, that Don Enrico is a shoo-in to capture the prestigious series’ last leg. “It’s going to be a replay of the second leg,” a respected tipster says. “The last time out, Don Enrico won by six lengths over Indelible Ink. I believe we’ll see more power, more speed, and an overall easier win from Don Enrico on Sunday.”

Railbirds who watch the morning workouts say that Indelible Ink’s condition seems to be declining from before, hence her disappointing performance in the second leg. On the other hand, Don Enrico, they say, seems to be getting even better. “Lalong gumagaling si Don Enrico,” says railbirds in admiration. “Even his workouts are impressive.”

The talented bay colt clocked 1:52.6 for the 1800-meter second leg, just one second off the record for that distance. Back with regular rider John Alvin Guce, the dynamic duo is expected to repeat their impressive showing in the second leg.

Indelible Ink’s chance for success in the third leg is perceived to be diminished by the change of rider effected by her connections. From regular jockey Jeff Zarate, the reins have been turned over to Jonathan Hernandez, who as a replacement rider failed to guide Don Enrico to victory in the first leg.

The third leg of the Triple Crown, a 2,050-meter race, also features colts Hieroglyphics, Shining Fame, Tabako, and Champion of Show, the only other filly in the race besides Indelible Ink.

Tabako, running under the Herma Farms banner of Herminio S. Esguerra, also the owner of Indelible Ink, possibly could act as a “rabbit” but is expected to run his own race. Having shown good performances as a juvenile, he could redeem himself with a place here.

Shining Fame, who came a very close second to indelible Ink in the first leg, and third in the second leg, will put up a good fight in his last chance to gain a place in history as a Triple Crown leg winner.

Champion of Show, fourth placer in the second leg, could place again. Hieroglyphics, joining the Triple Crown series for the first time, comes off a come-from-behind win in the Hopeful Stakes second leg to vie for ultimate 3YO honors.

The third leg of the Hopeful Stakes features fillies Anonymous, Arithmetic, Luck to Win, and Luna Rossa, as well as colts Bohemian Dave, Sauvignon, and Speed Almighty.

With thorn-in-the-side Hieroglyphics out of the picture, multiple-stakes winner Anonymous is expected to score big. Sauvignon won its last race in the class-division, while Bohemian Dave, who came in second in the Hopeful second leg, has a good chance of winning.

Sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission, hefty purses are in store for the winners and placers up to fourth. For the Triple Crown, there’s a total of P3 million pesos, with P1.8 million for first; and for the Hopeful, a total of P1 million, with P600,000 for first. There are also prizes for the breeders of the winning horses, to encourage the development of thoroughbred breeding. ***

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