THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 26 November 2014, Wednesday
Hagdang Bato vs. Crucis in ECJ Cup
Racing fans will be treated to a spectacular event when track icons Hagdang Bato and Crucis battle each other over 2,000 meters in what many are calling the “race of the year,” the Amb. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. (ECJ) Cup.
The race will be run over 2,000 meters at San Lazaro Leisure Park on Nov. 30, the 19th San Miguel Corp.- Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners (MARHO) Ruby Championship Day.
Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Hagdang Bato, a local-bred horse, and Marlon Cunanan’s Crucis, an imported mare, are considered the best in their categories and a match between them is a clash not only between individual horses but also between breeders and lineages.
These runners will both be carrying 55 kgs. and facing imports King Samer (Aus), 56 kgs., and Lady Pegasus (Aus), 55 kgs., both owned by Antonio F. Lagdameo Jr.; and locals My Champ, owned by Hideaway Farms, and Strong Champion of Divina Y. Dy (both entries to carry 54 kgs.).
The race is one of seven stakes races on Sunday, the others six the MARHO Ruby championships – the Classic, Colt Mile, Filly Mile, Juvenile Colts, Juvenile Fillies, and Sprint.
San Miguel Corporation renews its sponsorship of the MARHO’s flagship event, an unbroken partnership since 1995. SMC Chairman Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. was the founder of MARHO, which was established in 1974 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
This is the first time the event will be held at the Manila Jockey Club’s SLLP.
Other constant sponsors are the Philippine Racing Commission, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Andok’s Corp., Esicor, Ciara Marie Foundation, Transprint Corp., and Hygain Feeds.
Joining this year are Manila Jockey Club, Enchanted Kingdom, Uratex, Fiberfill Manufacturing, Jade Bros. Freight International Inc., and Manila Horsepower.
Individuals have also generously provided support, including MARHO President Emeritus Aristeo Puyat, MARHO Director lawyer Sixto Esquivias IV, and MARHO member Joseph Dyhengco.
Adding glitz and glamor to MARHO weekend, Nov. 29-30 at SLLP, is the painting exhibit of famed equine and gamefowl artist Salvador “Dodong” Arellano.
The California-based Arellano has painted the horses of Filipino horse owners and MARHO officials/members Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr., Aristeo G. Puyat, and Herminio S. Esguerra, among others.
His other clients include The Sultan of Brunei, Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, Sylvester Stallone, and other celebrities and horse lovers.
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The Philippine Racing Commission staged two stakes races at Santa Ana Park last weekend, and here are the results:
In the Juvenile Fillies last Nov. 15, longshot Hook Shot, owned by Joseph Dyhengco and guided by EP Nahilat, earned P900,000 for her win, with a time of 1:44 (25.8-25.4-25.2-27.6) for the mile. The placers were Princess Meili, Bungangera, and Leona Lolita in that order.
The Juvenile Colts last Nov. 16, was won by another Dyhengco horse, Sky Hook, steered by Jordan Cordova. The tandem bagged P900,000 and stopped the clock at 1:43 (26.2-25-24-27.8) also for the mile. The Scheduler was second, followed by Icon in third and Jebel Ali fourth.
In the Philracom Grand Sprint Championship held Nov. 23 at Metro Turf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas, veteran campaigner Pugad Lawin, owned by Antonio V. Tan Jr. and ridden by Patricio R. Dilema, bested the other entries to win P600,000.
Malaya came in second, Don Albertini third, and Spring Collection fourth.
Total time for the race was 1:10.4 (23.4-22.2-24.8) for 1,200 meters. ***