THE HOARSE WHISPERER
By Jenny Ortuoste for BusinessWorld
Friday, 8 June 2007
Suggested heading: Imported Stakes 3
Veteran champion Wild Orchid faces the challenge of ten other rivals on June 10 at San Lazaro Leisure Park (SLLP) in the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom)-sponsored Imported Stakes Series 3rd leg.
Wild Orchid, an import from Australia, holds several track records, in fact setting the one for 1400 meters just last May 27 at SLLP by clocking 1:25 flat in her comeback race in the class-division. She also holds the records for the 1500m (1:30.8) and the 2000m (2:04.4), both set in 2005 and the latter tied with Stowaway Lass.
Other contenders are fellow Australian imports Armidale, Fairy Queen, Golden Link, Hear Me (coupled entry of Wild Orchid), La Tienne, Leave No Doubt, Serious Susie, and Stop Talking, the winner of the second leg of the Imported Stakes series.
The sole USA import is Irene’s Fantasy, while the lone local-bred is Cool Town, who won a minor stakes race last April 15 also at SLLP, the phf.com.ph-Real Top Feeds Cup.
All 11 runners face a tough 1750-meter run. The record for the distance is held by Wild Orchid’s stablemate, island-born champion Real Spicy, who clocked 1:48 in June 2006 at SLLP. Up for grabs is a total of P800,000 in prizes, with P480,000 allotted to the first placer, P180,000 for second, P100,000 for third, and P40,000 for fourth.
SLLP’s twin tracks, located in Carmona, Cavite, are generally considered to be “fast” since most national records have been set there. This Sunday’s big event will certainly draw many racing fans to SLLP, some of whom anticipate another record-breaking performance from Wild Orchid, while others root for another entry to score an upset.
Also eagerly awaited by racing fans is the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown, set for June 24 at SLLP, to coincide with the Hopeful Stakes. Both races are sponsored by the Philracom. Tentatively scheduled for the same day is the 33rd Founders’s Cup of the MARHO (Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners), the first and oldest such organization in the country, established in 1974.
Ibarra (Yoneguska-Cherokee Run), touted as the country’s newest “superhorse”, won the Triple Crown’s 1st leg in crowd-pleasing come-from-behind fashion and is seen as the best bet to sweep the prestigious series for local-bred three-year-olds. Guided by newbie rider Kelvin Abobo in the 1st leg, veteran jockey Antonio “Oyet” B. Alcasid Jr., will be steering Ibarra in the 2nd leg.
Alcasid says he was to have ridden Ibarra in the 1st leg but had committed to ride another horse, Superamerica, as early as January, way before Ibarra was offered to him. With Alcasid responsible for much of Ibarra’s early training, Ibarra’s owner, Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos, and trainer Ruben Tupas have supreme confidence that Alcasid can pilot Ibarra to victory in his next challenge. Alcasid will still be partnered with Superamerica, but in the Hopeful Stakes where his connections have opted to run him.
The other official entries for the 2nd leg Triple Crown are Best Kept Secret, Es Twenty Six, Golden Sutter, In Excess, Lord Boni, Passing Through, and Treasured Ack. In the Hopeful, the other runners are Afternoon Delight, Bravely Bold, Cats on Fire, Flyboy, Ididitmyway, Legendary, Lovely Bid, Macho Man, Maglev, and Miguelito. ***
Photo: Jockey Oyet Alcasid