THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 4 February 2009, Wednesday
Amethyst I on Sunday
The Philippine Racing Commission starts February off with the Amethyst I stakes, running over a mile on Sunday, February 8, at the new Santa Ana Park racetrack at Saddle and Clubs, Naic, Cavite.
Dubbed the second leg of the Imported-Local challenge, the starting gate will be crammed to capacity with fourteen entries: Ascendant of Ascendant Ranch and Stable Farms, to be ridden by jockey VM Camanero, with a handicap weight of 55kg; Daitoryosan of Raymund B. Puyat (CB Tamano, 55); Fairy Queen of David C. Lee (LC Lunar, 56); Fond Embrace of Joy S. Santos (JB Cordero, 55); Irene’s Fantasy of Ruben B. Laureano (VR Dilema, 54); Leave No Doubt of Bienvenido C. Niles Jr. (JT Zarate, 57);
Lim Expensive Toys of Roland T.Lim (JA Guce, 55); Manhattan of Edgardo M. Mailom (LD Balboa, 56); Miss Elliott of David B. Puyat(MF Daquis, 55); Miss Fantastic of Herminio S. Esguerra (JB Hernandez, 55); Tiwi Magic of Antonio V. Tan Jr. (JB Guce, 54); Traditional of Don Antonio O. Floirendo Sr. (FM Raquel Jr., 54); Weder Weder Lang of Jan Michael Santos (KE Malapira, 53); and Ziraz of SC Stockfarm (RK Hipolito, 55).
Among those that track pundits are watching are Fairy Queen, who won the Philracom Garnet I stakes last January 11; Daitoryosan, victor of the January 18 Mowelfund Cup; Ascendant, who’s been performing well lately; and Traditional, who has a strong catch-up rally that could serve her will in this 1,600-meter race.
However, none of the others can be discounted as they are all talented runners. And with these many runners, there’s going to be a lot of traffic and jockeying for position en route to the finish line.
In addition, the new Santa Ana Park’s long stretch lane will give plenty of opportunities for stayers to come from behind.
Meanwhile, Philracom has released the list of horses for mandatory retirement on their foaling dates this year. Imported horses retire at 7YO while local horses at 12YO.
Imported runners that we won’t be seeing anymore include Anahita, Dalcross, Dancing Polly, Dream Cross, Great Emma, Heroics, La Tienne, Simply Angie, Snowdipped, and Zoe’s Lass.
Also barred from further competition is Wild Orchid, the champion racemare from Australia who still holds several track records. So far unbeaten are her times of 1:25 for 1,400 meters; 1:30.8 for 1,500 meters; and 2:04.4 in the 2,000 meters (tied with import Stowaway Lass).
Among the local runners, Gemstone, Letshaveaparty, Premiere Act, Something Silver, and “iron horse” Vinfa’s Pride are some of those who are no longer allowed to run.
Speaking of retirement, island-born track star Real Spicy has been retired to stud at his owner Herminio S. Esguerra’s Herma Farms breeding ranch in Batangas.
There, the son of American champion Real Quiet out of Spicy Tale will join Philippine champion Wind Blown in the stallion barn, among the other quality sires there.
Another track icon who’s been retired to the breeding shed is Esguerra’s champion racemare Indelible Ink (Best of Luck-Seaquin), also an island-born. Juvenile champion of her batch, she went on to win many other stakes races as a 3YO. ***