THW: California Chrome Shines in KY Derby

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 7 May 2014, Wednesday


California Chrome Shines in KY Derby

Top favorite California Chrome, steered by Victor Espinoza, broke cleanly from the gate to win the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby last May 3 at historic Churchill Downs.

A frontrunner, it was feared that the colt owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin would fade against the blistering pace that traditionally marks the race.

Surprisingly, everyone hung back and paced the initial stage of the 1-1/4 mile (2,000 meters) race. This gave California Chrome a chance to rest behind the leaders Uncle Sigh and Chitu and pull away from the rest of the fading pack in the homestretch.

However, his time of 2:03.66 is said to be the slowest Derby ever.

Untapable, who won the KY Oaks for fillies the day before, delivered a better performance. Guided by Rosie Napravnik, she won by 4-1/2 lengths and clocked 1:48.68 over 1-1/8 miles (1,800 meters), the second-best time in Oaks history.

Fans would love it if California Chrome and Untapable were to meet in the Preakness.

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Four horses will be competing in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race for 3YO on May 10 at Santa Ana Park.

The mile race will feature Paolo Mendoza’s filly Hello Kaetee, to be ridden by Christopher Garganta; Juan Miguel Yulo’s filly Thunder Cat, with John Alvin Guce; Wilbert Tan’s colt Kadayawan with Reynaldo Niu Jr.; and Mayor Benhur Abalos’s colt Fire Bull with Jonathan Hernandez.

Fillies will carry 53 kgs. and colts 54.5 kgs.

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The Manila Jockey Club is coming up with an interesting slate of shows for its San Lazaro Broadcasting Network that airs its live coverage of races and other content.

One of the shows is tentatively titled “Buhay Hinete”, with the 30-45 minute pilot episode to be broadcast sometime this month, before the start of their racing broadcast.

I was interviewed for the show, along with other racing people, about jockeys and riding and the beginnings of my involvement with the racing industry.

It’ll be a quarter of a century next year from the first time my heels sunk into the sand of a racetrack, and I was glad of the chance to put on record a little bit of the history and experiences in racing that have enriched my life to a great degree.

My thanks to the SLBN crew – Jeff Digma, Paolo Llige, Warren Tomaquin, PJ Soriano, Edward Ege, Domingo Fernandez, Benjie Yap, Marlon, Steve Domingo, Mark Baloy, and trainees Jireh Nissi Tamayo and Yai Ignacio from Far Eastern University.


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