THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 12 February 2014, Wednesday
Santa Ana Park hosts first PCSO race for 2014
The Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park will host to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s Special Maiden Race on Saturday, Feb. 15.
The 1,200-meters race pits eight colts and two fillies, all 3YO, against each other in the first event of the charity agency’s racing calendar for the year.
Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Kanlaon won the trial race last Jan. 30, clocking 1:16.6. Wild Talk, Black Town, and Real Lady were the placers from second to fourth out of a field of 11.
Racing fans should also take into consideration the possibility of an upset coming from Tan Goal (who came in fifth in the trial) and Royal Reign.
The PCSO’s first major race of the year is the Freedom Cup, to be held Feb. 23 at Metro Turf over 1,600 meters.
Tony Tan’s Pugad Lawin, the surprise victor of the 2013 PCSO Presidential Gold Cup, is among the ten entries. Also trying their luck are Boss Jaden, coupled entries Arriba Amor and Captain Ball, Basic Instinct, Hot and Spicy, Golden Empire, Hari ng Yambo, Leonor, and Stand in Awe.
All are stake race contenders or winners. This is going to be an interesting battle, with Pugad Lawin out to convince spectators that his Gold Cup win was not a fluke, Hari ng Yambo that at 5YO he’s not too old to go up against the best, and 3YO like Boss Jaden and Captain Ball that they can go up against veterans.
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Philippine Racing Commission Executive Director Jesus Cantos announced the lineup for two Philracom-sponsored stakes races this weekend also at Santa Ana Park.
On Feb. 15, in the 3YO Local Fillies: Winter’s Tale, Love Na Love, The Lady Wins, Up and Away, and coupled entries Director’s Play and Bahay Toro.
On Feb. 16, in the 3YO Local Colts: Castle Cat, Dixie Gold, Asikaso, River Mist, King Bull, and Wo Wo Duck.
Both are mile races. That’s tough, considering we’re barely six weeks into the year. But then again, these 3YO are possible contenders for the mid-year Triple Crown series and need the practice and training to go longer distances.
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Ruben Tadina asks, “What about a report on the controversial loss of Tensile Strength to Classy and Swift, Ms. Jenny? TS’s loss to C&S was not given media [coverage] even if the winning time of the winning horse was two seconds or so slower than the time posted by the heavily-favored TS over the same distance (1,600 meters) and race track in Naic.”
I have not seen the race myself, but I asked around, and was told by the jockeys that Tensile Strength, ridden by DH Borbe Jr., misstepped and threw a shoe (natanggalan ng spikes).
My jockey informants were surprised to hear that “controversy” was being attached to the race. “These things happen,” they said. Tensile Strength won the following week with the same rider.
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Jockey Jonathan Hernandez is banned from riding at San Lazaro Leisure Park. These things happen. ***