Posts Tagged ‘hermie esguerra’

THW: Triple Crown Hopes Dashed

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. ***

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THW: Mega Red Wins PSA Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 7 July 2010, Wednesday

Mega Red Wins PSA Cup

He’s the 3YO son of the highest-earning Philippine champion racehorse of all time, and is as red as a roasted chestnut all over. Named Mega Red, this emerging star is one to watch in the days to come after winning last Sunday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup.

Trophies for winning owner, trainer, and jockey at the awarding area at SLLP

Held at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, the 1,500-meter condition race for local-bred 3YO of both genders was the revival of a venerable tradition, spearheaded by the present leadership of the PSA with the support of the Philippine Racing Commission.

Ridden by jockey Jesse Guce, Mega Red beat ten other runners and clocked quarters of 18-24′-25′-28′ for a total time of 1:36.6 to win by four lengths over Rene See’s Winner’s Lane. Tierra Sagrada de Maria’s Skyline Pigeon came in third and Don Antonio Floirendo Sr.’s Indy’s Gift fourth.

Mega Red, with Jesse Guce aboard, wins by four.

According to Philracom chairman lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, the Commission “is pleased to bring back this race for the enjoyment of racing fans and to support the PSA which is a valued partner of the racing industry.”

As in previous occasions of the PSA Cup, the proceeds of the race will fund the organization’s various projects and activities, among them the annual PSA Awards Night, the only recognition program in Philippine sports.

On hand to present the trophies at the awarding ceremony were PSA president Teddyvic Melendres (sports editor, Philippine Daily Inquirer) and treasurer Joe Antonio (sports editor, People’s Journal). Winning trainer Dave de la Cruz accepted the owner’s trophy in behalf of Mega Red’s owner Herminio Esguerra, who was in Canada at the time but sent his best wishes to the PSA officers and members.

Joe Antonio, Teddyvic Melendres, and Philracom’s Dr Romy Buencamino watch the races from the SLLP Turf Club balcony.

With them were Chairman Rojas, Philracom racing consultant veterinarian Romeo Buencamino, MJC racing manager Jose Ramon C. Magboo, and guest Michael Milbier.

Melendres presents a trophy to Dave de la Cruz. With them are Dr Buencamino, Magboo, Milbier, Chairman Rojas, and Antonio.

Bred by Esguerra’s Herma Farms & Stud, Mega Red was sired by Philippine champion Wind Blown out of broodmare Excel Prime (by Al Bashaama).

Upon discussion with Melendres and Antonio, Chairman Rojas says plans may go forward for another Philracom-sponsored PSA Cup in late December, to be tentatively held on the same day as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup.

The PCSO Gold Cup is regarded as the most prestigious on the racing calendar. Holding both events on the same day would afford PSA members – editors, sportswriters, and photographers – the rare chance to witness two top-drawing races in one visit.

Melendres and Antonio thanked Chairman Rojas, the Commission, MJC, and the participants and racing fans for their support of the PSA Cup. In an interview aired over the live racing show on cable TV, Melendres added that he looks forward to increased press coverage of racing events from now on.

Antonio, Melendres, Milbier, Chairman Rojas, Magboo, and Dr Buencamino at the Gold Box of the SLLP Turf Club

It’s great that this yearly tradition has been resurrected. In former days, when sports editors and kareristas Rudy Navarro and Jimmy Cantor were among the PSA officers, racing news was given more space in the dailies. Nowadays only a handful of sportswriters who also happen to be staunch karera fans write about track happenings, among them Joe Antonio.

Let’s hope that with more exposure to the sport, the current crop of PSA officers and members will get wrapped up in the mega-action, mega-speed, and mega-power that only a field of thoroughbreds thundering around a track can deliver. Mega Red would approve.  ***

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THW: Yes Pogi – Racing’s Vacuum Cleaner?

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 9 June 2010, Wednesday

Yes Pogi – Racing’s Vacuum Cleaner?

For the first time in nine years, Philippine thoroughbred racing has a strong chance of seeing its Triple Crown sweep champion drought come to an end.

With 3YO roan colt Yes Pogi’s crowd-pleasing victory in the second leg of the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown series last Sunday at Santa Ana Park, sweep hopes surged high on the part of the horse’s connections and supporters.

Yes Pogi won the first leg last month in dramatic fashion, coming from the tail end of the pack to forge a blazing rally down the lane to win by nearly two lengths. With jockey Fernando Raquel Jr. aboard, he humiliated the other eight other runners, flashing past them as if they were standing still.

After that race, railbirds speculated on the gray’s chances in the second leg. Many said the outcome might have been different in the first leg if jockey Jeffril Zarate had not fallen off third favorite Scotland Yard, seen as the best bet to nip Yes Pogi’s chances.

Sure enough, last Sunday, Scotland Yard and coupled entry Lakota Creek emerged as second favorites after Yes Pogi. First leg second placer Well Well Well was third pick.

Out of the gate, Yes Pogi hung back in third to the last position in the seven-entry field. Scotland Yard had a bad start and was forced to catch up a bit, galloping off the pace behind frontrunner Thotis Best, while Righthererightnow ran in third.

At the back stretch, Yes Pogi maneuvered into fourth position until the home turn. As in the first leg, faced by a wall of horseflesh, he was forced to race very wide as rider Raquel scrambled to find a good position. With the Jeffril Zarate-piloted Scotland Yard in the lead and Thotis Best in second,  veteran jockey Raquel took a calculated risk and swung Yes Pogi in between Thotis Best on the outside and Righthererightnow by the rail.

It was an intuitive move that brought Yes Pogi closer to Scotland Yard. Matching his bay nemesis stride for stride, the gallant gray found extra reserves to go a couple better and catch Scotland Yard at the wire in a drama-filled photo-finish ending that brought fans at the Naic track surging to their feet, screaming in hoarse abandon.

Yes Pogi was declared the winner by a nose. The splits were 13’-24-24-24’-27’ for the killer 1,800-meter race, with a total time of 1:53.4 on a fast track.

Bred by businessman Herminio Esguerra’s Herma Farms and Stud out of prolific broodmare Belle Epoque (With Approval-Seaholme) by Kentucky-bred stallion Rum Tum Tiger (Storm Cat-Aly Tigress), Yes Pogi was acquired as a yearling by owner Francis Lim at a Herma Farms auction. Under careful training from low-profile conditioner Felix Lauron, Yes Pogi has evolved from a gangling stayer into a formidable contender for a Triple Crown sweep.

Patrick Uy’s Silver Story in 2001 was the last to win all three races of the Triple Crown series for local-bred 3YO. Will Yes Pogi be the next to claim the crown? He might, with the incentive of added riches making a sweep sweeter. In an on-air interview on the cable TV live racing coverage, Philracom chairman lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II reminded everyone of the Commission’s P500,000 bonus prize to whoever sweeps the legendary series, on top of the P1.8 million for first place.

But the third leg on July 18 at San Lazaro Leisure Park will be a punishing 2,000 meters. Again, a longer distance would favor super stayers like Yes Pogi. However, he might have to contend with Hopeful Stakes leg two winner Thief in the Nite, Eric Tagle’s freakishly fast filly who won her 1,800 last Saturday by three wire-to-wire under jockey Jonathan Hernandez. Jun Almeda’s It’s June Again, who copped the Hopeful first leg, might compete also, in addition to the usual gang.

The way Yes Pogi has been performing under Fernando Raquel’s superb handling, he’s been power-vacuuming up foes and spitting them out like so many dust bunnies. And all things staying the same, he’s going to do it all over again next month. A sweep? No problem. Plug it in and bring ‘em on.   ***

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