THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 21 July 2010, Wednesday
Triple Crown Hopes Dashed
A magnificent performance by a comebacking colt crushed the Triple Crown sweep hopes of another via a heart-breaking photo-finish – and denied him a P500,000 bonus on top of the first prize of P1.8 million.
Yes Pogi, Francis Lim’s come-from-behind gray, failed to prevail against Herminio Esguerra’s Carriedo in the third leg of the Philippine Racing Commision-sponsored championship series for elite 3YOv local-breds last Sunday at San Lazaro Leisure Park.
Carriedo, who had a successful juvenile campaign, was sidelined by injury for much of his 3YO season and was unable to compete in the first and second legs of the Triple Crown. They were won by Yes Pogi, who endeared himself to fans with his laid-back running style of loping along in last for most of the race, only to surge in the later stages and win via close finishes.
Railbirds had expected that the 2,000-meter Triple Crown third leg would prove to be an easy run for the Rum Tum Tiger-sired gray, since longer distances favor stayers. But when the news broke that Carriedo was back in harness, the odds quickly rearranged themselves to give the plucky bay a good chance to reassert his domination over foes he had beat before.
All the contenders broke well from the gate, their hooves trying to gain traction on a sloppy track. Thief in the Nite, the lone filly, took the lead, followed by Consolidator. Carriedo ran off the pace in fourth while Yes Pogi, galloping towards the back of the back, moved up along the rail.
At the backstretch, it was still Thief in the Nite by two ahead of Consolidator, Scotland Yard in third, Carriedo still in fourth, while Yes Pogi had moved up to fifth. Jesse Guce, on board Carriedo, saw a hole and started moving up, while Yes Pogi, hugging the rail, was still looking for a place to go through.
At the far turn, Yes Pogi went through a gap between horses, swinging a bit wide off his course, while Carriedo saved ground and made a tight sweet turn into the homestretch.
Down the lane, it was Carriedo in front by ¾ length, as Yes Pogi tried to catch up under heavy whipping by jockey Fernando Raquel Jr. All Jesse Guce had to do was ‘show the whip’ to Carriedo, who struggled to keep the gap even as Yes Pogi lengthened his strides. They hit the wire at practically the same time in a photo-finish ending.
When the dust cleared, Carriedo was declared the winner by less than a nose, clocking a total time of 2:07. Yes Pogi came in second, Righthererightnow third, and Thoti’s Best fourth.
A bit of trivia – both Yes Pogi (out of Belle Epoque) and Carriedo (Deputy Bodman – Astuce) were bred at Esguerra’s Herma Farm and Stud in Batangas.
The Triple Crown wasn’t the only battle for elite 3YO last weekend. On Saturday, in the Philracom’s Hopeful Stakes, auxiliary to the Triple Crown, it was the Manolito Daquis-guided Si Señor (The Cliff Edge – She’s No Princess) that prevailed by 3-1/2 lengths over Westerly Wind. Redemption settled for third, Unequalled fourth. The 2,000-meter run tested the capabilities of a larger field than the Triple Crown over a hard track, resulting in the victory of a longshot with a total time of 2:10.
Now, another favorite pasttime of racing fans – running races in hindsight. What if Carriedo had been entered in the first two legs – would the entire outcome of this series have been different? It’s one of those questions that can only be answered with, “We’ll never know.”
What we are sure of is that we still have no Triple Crown champion. The P500,000 bonus prize put up by Philracom for a sweep champion remains unclaimed.While a sweep would have been quite an accomplishment for Yes Pogi, the fact that it is now going on ten years since the last one (Patrick Uy’s Silver Story in 2001), it is proof that the quality of Philippine thoroughbreds are so well-matched that there isn’t one that stands head and withers above the rest. ***