<HORSEMAN’S DIGEST 4>
RACES IN REVIEW
The Philracom Two-Year-Old Stakes Series
This series for local-bred juveniles was sponsored by Philracom, which put up P1.2 million in total prizes for each leg of the series, with P720,000 going to the first placer, P270,000 for 2nd, P150,000 for 3rd, and P60,000 for 4th. There is also a prize of P70,000 for the breeder of the winning horse.
The Philracom Two-Year Old Stakes 1
May 13, San Lazaro Leisure Park
Like a thick dark plume of smoke, Tabako streaked past the failing frontrunners to win the 900-meter Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) Two-Year-Old Stakes 1 title.The second favorite along with stablemate and coupled entry Capretiosa, Tabako had clocked 1:03 for his 900-meter novato race, way off the times posted by others in the field. The favorite, Black Mamba, did 0.56; Capretiosa and Unopposed, 0.57; Treasure Hunter and Kate’s Princess, 0.57.5; and Euromax, 1:01.5.Black Mamba had won both his novato and a maiden race, and Capretiosa and Euromax came off spectacular wins (the latter with a longshot victory last April 15, PHF Day, at SLLP).
But when the race actually ran, only the coupled entries and Euromax were really in contention, with Capretiosa taking the lead for most of the race. Tabako rallied from third position and overcame his stablemate 30 meters from the wire to win by 3/4 length, posting a swift 0.53.5 – a huge improvement over his previous time and not too far off the national record of 0.51.8 set by sprintmeister Ariba King in 2004.
The Philracom Two-Year-Old Stakes 2
June 17, Santa Ana Park
The second leg of this series for juveniles was even more interesting. Tabako was out of the picture as a past leg winner, so fans looked to Black Mamba to be the one to beat, having won a regular race prior to this one.
But it turned out to be He’s The Man who trumped six other juveniles including stablemate Indelible Ink to win.
Sent off as the favorite in the betting, the bay colt by prolific stallion El Ragaas out of Hey Hi negotiated the 900-meter run with ease. Jockey Jesse B. Guce guided him smartly out of the gate and let his powerful mount take the lead. By the 3/8 mark He’s The Man was four lengths ahead of the pack, stretching his advantage in the final stages of the race to win by eight, with a time of 0.54 seconds and quarters of 07-21’-25’.
Black Mamba settled for second place, Indelible Ink was third, and Security Queen fourth.
He’s The Man’s record now stands at three wins out of four starts. His only loss was in a 900-meter sprint some weeks ago, when he came in third in the race won by Black Mamba.
Tabako (Mr. Sutter-Liberty at Last), He’s The Man (El Raggaas-Hey Hi), and Capretiosa (Account of Grace- Tumataginting) were bred by their owner Hermie Esguerra at his Herma Farms & Stud. Black Mamba, owned by Pierre Niles, is by Principality out of Spicy Tale and is also a Herma-bred, half-brother to the famed Real Spicy (Real Quiet-Spicy Tale).
The Philracom Two-Year-Old Stakes 3
July 15, Santa Ana Park
The longest leg of the series, this 1450-meter battle showcased the talents of Prying Eyes, Capretiosa, Treasure Hunter, He’s The Man coupled with Tabako, Black Mamba, Arithmetic, and Canon Rising.
Previous leg winners and coupled entries He’s The Man and Tabako were the heavy favorites in the betting. The far second choice was Arithmetic, followed by Black Mamba, with Capretiosa a mere fourth in the sales.
So it was a surprise to all when filly Capretiosa launched quick out of the gate under apprentice John Paul A. Guce and never looked back from there. Arithmetic, another filly, struggled to keep up, as did Tabako.
At the straight, Capretiosa’s rider gave his filly several strokes on her left flank to win wire-to-wire by three. Arithmetic came in second, with Tabako arriving third and Treasure Hunter fourth. The official time was 1:31 with splits of 15-23’-24’-28.
The favorite, He’s The Man, finished a disappointing sixth. According to the Stewards’ Report, He’s The Man’s jockey Jesse B. Guce explained that “his mount tended to race wide as it left the gate”. At the 3/8 mile mark, Guce started to put pressure on the horse to move up but “the horse tended to race away from the rail” as it reached the straight. Along the stretch lane, Guce “felt the horse was already spent”. ***
Photo: Capretiosa during the parade for the 1st leg of this series at SLLP. (Roel Taripe, 13 May 2007)