THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 14 May 2014, Wednesday
Fire Bull sizzles in PCSO race
Up-and-coming Fire Bull sizzled in the May 10 Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO) race for 3YO at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
The colt, owned by Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos and ridden by Jonathan Hernandez, was sent off as the outstanding favorite in the mile race.
Fire Bull jumped well out off the gate, and ran off the pace to Hello Kaetee, burning up the track at the far turn to win easily by many lengths.
Hello Kaetee placed second. The other two entries, Thunder Kat and Kadayawan, came in third and fourth respectively, but were hardly in contention at all.
The clock stopped at 1:44.8 (26’-25’-25’-27).
Mayor Abalos is also the breeder of Fire Bull (Bwana Bull x Fire Down Under), who is a half-brother to champion Hagdang Bato on the dam side.
Fire Bull’s trainer Ruben Tupas was frank in describing Fire Bull as having less than desirable physical conformation. “He’s shorter than Hagdang Bato,” he said, “and there are problems with his knees, and he’s got a wobble to his hips. That’s why I raced him late [at 3YO].”
Veteran rider Antonio “Oyet” Alcasid Jr., while agreeing with Tupas’s physical assessment of the colt, said, “But Fire Bull’s got heart.”
I’ve heard it said and seen it happen, time and again, that it’s heart that wins races. The racing annals are full of champions who overcame physical challenges: Cover Girl had knock knees, Wind Blown was described as looking like a “tadpole” when he was young, and Res Judicata had a shrunken chest and crooked legs.
But heart, that intangible factor that can’t be bought or taught, can spell the difference between mediocrity and superiority, defeat and victory, also-rans and champions.
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The weekend of May 10 and 11 at Santa Ana Park was also the annual Jockeys’ Day racing festival of the New Philippine Jockeys Association (NPJA) that raises funds for disabled jockeys.
The main beneficiary this year is Ramil V. Leona, who fell in a race at the Metro Manila Turf Club (MMTC) in October 2013 and injured his 6th and 7th vertebrae. He has a limited range of motion and is confined to a wheelchair. The good news is that he is recovering steadily, but doctors say he needs another year of physical therapy.
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Also last May 10, the NPJA held three races sponsored by PCSO, all over 1,300 meters and titled “6th NPJA-PCSO Cup, but for different groups.
The first one was won by second choice Princess Rock, owned by VC Yu, trained by Gil Pansoy, and ridden by John Alvin Guce.
The second NPJA-PCSO Cup was won by another second pick, lawyer Sixto Esquivias IV’s Jaden Apopapato, with AP Asuncion in the saddle and conditioned by Renato Yamco.
It was Jade Avenue in the third one. Owned by Jade Bros Farm, it is trained by DJ Logarta Jr. and was steered by JB Guerra.
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Racing fans are looking forward to the first leg of the Triple Crown and Hopeful stakes series this weekend at MMTC in Malvar, Batangas.
According to Philippine Racing Commission executive director Jesus B. Cantos, there are 15 declared entries for the P1 million Hopeful on May 17: coupled entries Castle Cat and Marinx, and Hello Patrick and The Lady Wins; Heart of Bull, Hermosa Street, Hidden Moment, Jazz Again, Love Na Love, Lucky Leonor, Malaya, Misty Blue, Up and Away, Wild Talk, and Wowoduck.
The drawing of post positions will be on May 16. Since the starting gate can accommodate only 14 entries, it expected that one of the 15 declared runners will be withdrawn or dropped.
Nominated for the P3 million Triple Crown first leg are: coupled entries Kaiserslautern and Tapdance, Dixie Gold, Kanlaon, Kid Molave, Low Profile, Matang Tubig, River Mist, and Winter’s Tale. The final declaration is on May 16.
Both races will be run over 1,600 meters.