THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 15 January 2014, Wednesday
Philracom releases racing calendar
The Philippine Racing Commission has revealed an interesting racing calendar for the year, kicking off with stakes races for 3YO local-bred colts and for fillies stakes on Jan. 18 at San Lazaro Leisure Park.
Each race will be run over 1,500 meters and offers total prizes of P500,000 each.
Santa Ana Park gets to host the next bevy of races – on Jan. 26, the first leg of the Imported/Local Challenge; on Feb. 15, a race for 3YO local-bred fillies; and on Feb. 16, one for 3YO local-bred colts. These three races will be run over a mile.
Philracom made sure to fill each month except April with many exciting stakes races that racing fans will be sure to enjoy. For those who like to plan their visits to the track well in advance, the first leg of the Triple Crown will be held May 18 at MetroTurf, the second leg June 22 at Santa Ana Park, and the third leg July 27 at SLLP. You’re welcome.
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The start of the year also means the launch of the breeding season, and horseowners are asking who’s got what stallions and where.
Among the sires standing at Herminio Esguerra’s Herma Farms and Stud in Batangas is Esguerra’s champion Real Spicy (Real Quiet x Spicy Tale), who won the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup and the PCSO Silver Cup (twice). He sired Boss Jaden, a champion in his juvenile season, and stakes winner Hot and Spicy.
To stand his first season at Herma in 2014 is Juggling Act (Giant’s Causeway x Picadilly Circus by Royal Academy), a champion import from Australia who had a successful racing career in the Philippines with 27 wins, earning over P7 million.
Local Thoroughbred breeders could also consider Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos’s slate of stallions – his champion Ibarra, Sailaway, and Bwana Bull.
Bwana Bull is a graded stakes winner and is looking attractive to breeders because of his pedigree – Holy Bull x Shahalo out of Halo.
Holy Bull is an American Hall of Fame champion, who was unbeaten as a 2YO. At 3YO, he won 8 out of 10 starts, among them the Florida Derby, Hutcheson Stakes, and Blue Grass Stakes. He was sent off as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby that year, the first leg of the American Triple Crown, but came in a dismal 12th.
That poor showing sidelined him for the other two legs of the mighty trilogy, but upon his return he won several important stakes races and finished the 1994 season as the US champion 3YO male and Horse of the Year.
Halo did not distinguish himself as a racehorse though he ran till he was 4YO. He made his mark as a “sire of sires”. Among his offspring are Sunday Silence and Sunny’s Halo; both won the KY Derby and a slew of other stakes races. One of his grandsons is Japanese Triple Crown winner and influential sire Deep Impact, who has achieved near-legendary status in that country.