The Hoarse Whisperer
by Jenny Ortuoste
for 9 May 2007, Wednesday, BusinessWorld
It was one of those great, spectacular moments in racing – twenty runners breaking out of the starting gate in a ponderous but fleet rush, tons of well-trained muscle straining at the bit in the 133rd “Run for the Roses” last May 5 at Churchill Downs.
The favorite, Street Sense, launched late and by the time the field hit the backstretch, was running in 19th position. At that point, there would be a solid mass of horseflesh in front of him with practically no place to go. An ordinary horse and his rider would have surrendered in humiliating defeat.
But Street Sense proved that he is not ordinary. Nor is his jockey, Calvin Borel. Together they carved a path towards the lead, hugging the inner rail, and at the ¼ mile (400 meter) mark, they exploded with a ferocious rush to win the Kentucky Derby, the prestigious first leg of the US Triple Crown, clocking 2:02.17 for the punishing 1-1/4 mile (2000 meters). (In comparison, the local national record for that distance is held jointly by imports Wild Orchid and Stowaway Lass with a time of 2:04.4, both set in 2005.)
Borel called his mount’s performance “effortless”. Street Sense is considered to be the only colt in the world with the chance to be the next, and only the 12th, US Triple Crown champion (the last one to sweep the series was Affirmed, in 1978).
Sired by Street Cry out of Bedazzle (by Dixieland Band), Street Sense won last year’s US Breeders’ Cup Juvenile championship and is the first two-year-old champion to win the Roses since Spectacular Bid way back in 1979. He will be seeing action again on May 19 at Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Victories like these make local breeders look intently at the lineage with the aim to acquire a little bit of the same magic for their farms. Street Sense’s sire, Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street), was the winner of the 2002 Dubai World Cup, raced under the banner of Sheikh Muhammad al Maktoum of Dubai’s Godolphin Stable, and won or placed all 12 of his starts. He stands at the Sheikh’s Darley Stud in Kentucky, and commands a hefty stud fee of US$30,000.
For those who can’t afford to have their mares covered by Street Cry, the next best thing is to buy his offspring. There are already several Street Cry progenies in the Philippines.
One is a colt out of Armilla (from the Glorious Song family). Named Pumatone, he was acquired by publisher Ramon Balatbat at last year’s William Inglis & Son Ltd. Classic Yearling Sale in Sydney, and is expected to begin his racing career sometime this year.
Banker Raymund Puyat has a Street Cry yearling filly out of Authoress by Singspiel, while businessmen Aristeo “Putch” Puyat and Jose Mari Franco own a Street Cry weanling out of Tale of the Cat mare Draculina. Horseowner Eric Tagle has a Street Cry filly out of Magical Path, a juvenile named Magical Street.
An outstanding source of Street Cry produce is William Inglis & Son Ltd., which will be having their Great Southern Sale on June 24 in Melbourne. Inglis Business Development Director Arthur Inglis was in Manila last May 7 to personally invite local horsebuyers to attend, emphasizing that the sale will feature horses under Aus$20,000, the preferred price range of local horseowners.
To be auctioned off are top-class broodmares, runners, and weanlings, including the first crop of the G2-winning Danehill (USA) stallion Danbird, plus others by Bel Esprit, Niello, Testa Rossa and Iglesia. ***
Photo: Borel and Street Sense win the 133rd Kentucky Derby