THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 1 October 2014, Wednesday
Hagdang Bato vs Pugad Lawin in PCSO Anniversary race
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office will be holding two races this month, this weekend and the next, and both promise to be exciting for different reasons.
This Saturday (Oct. 4), Santa Ana Park will showcase a PCSO Special Maiden race for 2YO over 1,200 meters.
In the official lineup are Raymund Puyat’s colt Valley Ridge, to be ridden by Fernando Raquel Jr.; Narciso Morales’s colt Talilibanana with Mark Alvarez; Marissa Sordan’s filly Corragioso with Pat Dilema;
Paolo Crisostomo’s filly Pangkaraniwan with MV Pilapil; Oliver Velasquez’s colt Showtime with John Alvin Guce; Pierre Niles’s filly Enchanted with Kelvin Abobo; SC Stock Farm’s colt Jebel Ali with John Paul Guce; Joseph Dyhengco’s colt Sky Hook with Jeffril Zarate; and Joel Songsong’s colt Jens Slasher with RM Telles.
The race handicapping is set weight, with colts to carry 54 kgs. and fillies 52 kgs.
The winner of the trial race held last Sep. 19 was Showtime, clocking 1:16.8 (24’-23’-28). Enchanted came in second at 1:17.2, Jebel Ali third at 1:176, and Corragioso fourth at 1:17.8.
The other finishers were, in order: Sky Hook, Valley Ridge, Money Talks (scratched from the actual race), Talilibanana, Pangkaraniwan, and Jens Slasher last.
The other PCSO race to be held this month is the Anniversary Race on Oct. 12, Sunday, at Metro Turf. The event commemorates the agency’s 80th founding year.
To be run over a mile, the event pits arch-rivals Hagdang Bato and Pugad Lawin against each other and versus upstarts Sky Dragon, Furniture King, El Libertador, and That Is Mine (the lone filly in this race).
Looking at the lineup, it seems to be a grudge match between Pugad Lawin’s owner Tony Tan, who is also fielding Furniture King, and Hagdang Bato’s owner, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, who is coupling his champion with El Libertador.
The coupled entries will likely serve as rabbits to wear down the competition and allow the icons of the Tan and Abalos stables to either run unimpeded in front or stage come-from-behind rallies, depending on the strategies executed.
Honorato Neri’s Sky Dragon and Rafael Abacan’s That Is Mine will be pressured to weave their way between and around the four others.
Pugad Lawin beat Hagdang Bato for the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup in December last year and the PCSO Silver Cup in June this year. I don’t think Hagdang Bato’s connections will want a third loss to Pugad Lawin, and they’ll do all they can to ensure a victory this time around.
Racing fans are eagerly awaiting this rematch, so kudos to the owners for gamely entering their prize champions in the PCSO 80th Anniversary Race, for the enjoyment of fans and for another shot at fortune and glory.
The first prize is P800,000, with hefty purses up to fourth place.