Posts Tagged ‘kentucky derby’

KL: Bandera Cup, Tuloy!

KARERA LANG! by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera, 14 May 2011, Saturday

Bandera Cup, Tuloy!

Aprubado na ng Philippine Racing Commission ang kanilang sponsorship ng Bandera Cup charity race, at ang schedule nalang nito ang inaayos pa.

Ayon kina Bandera—- at sports editor Frederick Nasiad, dalawa ang iniisip nilang gawing benepisyaryo ng charity race na ito – ang Newsboys Foundation at “Lapis at Papel” Foundation. Ang layunin ng huli ay ang mamahagi ng school supplies sa mga mag-aaral sa ilang paaralang pampubliko.

Matatandaan na mayroong annual charity race ang Tumbok, ang dating sister publication ng Bandera. Naka-apat na pakarera ito, at ang pinakahuling organisasyon na natulungan nila ay ang Bahay Maria foundation para sa mga abandoned children.

Dahil ito ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na magpapakarera ang Bandera, pinag-iisipan nila ng mabuti kung anu-anong mga pakulo at kabonggahan ang maari nilang i-arrange para sa ikasasaya ng mga manonood ng karera at pati na rin ang mga mambabasa ng Bandera.

Kaya antabayanan nalang sa kolum na ito ang schedule ng 1st Bandera Cup!

*****

Mga balitang karera: super-dehado ang nanalo ng 137th Kentucky Derby, first leg ng US Triple Crownna idinaos noong Mayo 7 sa Churchill Downs racetrack sa Lexington, Kentucky.

Galing sa gitna ng kumpol ang 20-1 longshot na si Animal Kingdom, sakay ni John Velasquez. Change-rider lamang siya; pinalitan niya ang regular rider na si Robby Albarado na nabasag ang ilong nang umalma ang sasakyang kabayo nito sa isang regular race tatlong araw bago mag-Derby Day.

Bakit hindi panguha si Animal Kingdom: bukod sa hindi niya regular rider si Velasquez, ito rin ang una niyang takbo sa buhangin. (“Turf horse” kasi ito, tumatakbo sa pistang damo). Bakit panguha: kadalasan ay suwerte ang pulot-sakay. Ganyan talaga ang karera, kahit ano, maaring mangyari.

Kalendaryo ng karera sa Mayo: 14, SLLP: 1st leg Philracom Hopeful Stakes; 15, SLLP: 1st leg Philracom Triple Crown; 21, Pimlico Racecourse sa Maryland, USA: Preakness Stakes, 2nd leg US Triple Crown; 22, PRC: PCSO 16th Silver Cup.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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THW: Born To Ride

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  5 May 2010, Wednesday

Born to Ride

“I was born to ride, baby.”

In such simple terms did jockey Calvin Borel describe to a TV interviewer how he guided Super Saver to victory in this year’s Kentucky Derby, held last Saturday at Churchill Downs in front of 155,804 spectators.

Borel’s achievements in the Derby so far are among the most momentous in the sport. He won the race twice before – with Street Sense in 2007 and Mine that Bird last year. This makes his present victory his third Derby win in only four years.

Mine That Bird was sent off as a 50-1 longshot and ran in last position for most of the race on a muddy track, in conditions similar to this year. Just as he did with Street Sense, Borel guided Mine That Bird along the rail to win pulling away by several lengths.

However, this year’s edition of the Derby, first leg of the US Triple Crown, was marred by rain. The track was sloppy, though still firm underneath the mud. In the morning line, Super Saver was a longshot, but by the time the race ran, was second favorite to Lookin at Lucky. Fans reckoned on Super Saver’s familiarity with the track, reputation as a “mudder” (ability to run on a wet or sloppy track), and Borel’s near-magical skills.

He had won a race in the undercard the same day as the Derby, steering Zimmer beside the rail, despite four other horses winning by going along the center or outside of the track on the stretch, leading many to assume a track bias.

Again, “Bo-rail” waved his magic whip, guided Super Saver fence-side under heavy whipping in the final stages of the one-and-a-half mile race (about 2,400 meters), and beat Ice Box to the finish line by a length and a half, relegating Paddy O’Prado to third.

Borel guides Super Saver along the rail. (AP)

Make Music For Me came in fourth. Lookin at Lucky, the favorite, hampered by a poor post position, placed sixth. Another early favorite, Sidney’s Candy, came in fourth to last in a field of twenty. Total time for the race was 2:04.45.

It was trainer Todd Pletcher’s first Derby win in 28 starts. The trainer praised his jockey, saying, “Calvin Borel is a great rider anywhere he goes, but at Churchill Downs he’s even five lengths better.” Another entry of Pletcher’s, Eskendereya, was expected to be the race’s heavy favorite but was scratched before the race due to injury.

It’s three Derbies in four years for Calvin “Bo-rail”. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Asked about his penchant for running by the rail, Borel shrugged. “I was just taught it’s the shortest way around.”

Winstar Farms, owner of Super Saver, have decided to run their talented colt in the May 15 Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

In the Kentucky Oaks for fillies, which ran last Friday, Rafael Bejarano steered favorite Blind Luck to a photo finish over Evening Jewel. Blind Luck’s trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer had opted not to run his filly in the more competitive Derby – a wise choice for his filly, who won by a slim nostril. She covered the mile-and-an-eighth (1,800 meters) race in 1:50.70.

It’s Rafael Bejerano and Blind Luck at the Oaks! (Matt Slocum/AP)

These results excite local racing fans even as the sport here enters its own Triple Crown season. The first leg, sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission, is set for Sunday, May 9, at Santa Ana Park.

Nine entries are entered in the mile race for elite 3YO – colts Brother Barack, Consolidator, Righthererightnow, Scotland Yard, Shining Armour, Thoti’s Best, and Yes Pogi, all carrying 54 kgs.; and fillies Kristal’s Beauty and Well Well Well, to carry 52 kgs.

The race is considered wide-open, with Consolidator having an edge after winning a magnificent tuneup run two weeks ago by 13 lengths. Watch out for Yes Pogi and Well Well Well to shine. Righthererightnow and Scotland Yard may place.

Just like their American counterparts, Philippine jockeys are born to ride. But who among them will emerge a victor like Calvin Borel? We’ll be finding out the answer to that in just a few more days. *** (Twitter: @gogirlracing)

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THW: Triple Crown Sweep Unlikely

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  28 April 2010, Wednesday

Triple Crown Sweep Unlikely

It’s a sign that Philippine breeding is improving and racing becoming more competitive, with the lack of a sure contender for three-year-old honors in the summer’s Triple Crown competition.

The Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored trilogy of races showcases elite 3YO local-breds. In years past, there would always be one or two runners who clearly outclassed the rest – Fair and Square, Sun Dancer, and Real Top, to name a few. But since Silver Story did it in 2001, no horse has swept all three legs of the event.

A sweep is now considered rare enough for the Philracom to offer a P500,000 bonus prize to whoever achieves it. This year, it seems like the purse will go unclaimed once again.

Over the past few weeks, horses nominated for the Triple Crown and its auxiliary race, the Hopeful Stakes, have been running in prep races. Among those who won their preps and are emerging as likely favorites are Consolidator and Yes Pogi in the Triple Crown on May 9, and Lakota Creek, Thief in the Nite, Hot, and Queen of Class in the Hopeful on May 8, both at Santa Ana Park.

In mile races last weekend at Santa Ana Park, Eric Tagle’s Thief in the Nite ran wire-to-wire to win by five lengths, Sandy Javier’s Hot came from behind in an easy win, and Jun Almeda’s Consolidator destroyed the field to win by 13 lengths.

The latter’s impressive run tagged it as a likely favorite for the Triple Crown, yet Consolidator ran against a lesser field of Hopeful wannabes. It’ll be a different scenario come the actual race.

Gray filly Heaven Sent won the 2009 Triple Crown first leg.

Mirroring the openness of the local Triple Crown is the US version. Eskendereya, early favorite for the Kentucky Derby on May 1, was scratched the other day after incurring an injury. The “Run for the Roses”, first jewel of the US Triple Crown, is now anybody’s race.

An annual event since 1875, held on the first Saturday in May, the KY Derby attracts horseracing fans from all over the world, some dressed in their best outfits, others in their wackiest hats.

(Image from hairstyle-blog.com)

They come to savor the mint juleps, engage in horse racing betting, and watch the finest horses in the country race for honors in one of the most historic and prestigious events in the world.

The field for this year’s edition includes: American Lion, Awesome Act, Conveyance, Dean’s Kitten, Devil May Care,   Discreetly Mine, Dublin, Endorsement, Homeboykris, Ice Box, Interactif, Jackson Bend, Line of David, Lookin at Lucky, Make Music For me, Mission Impazible, Noble’s Promise, Paddy O’Prado, Setsuko, Sidney’s Candy, Stately Victor, and Super Saver. (The scratches were Eskendereya, Rule, and Endorsement.)

Last year’s KY Derby was won by Mine that Bird with Calvin Borel on top. Rallying from last place, the tandem sneaked unnoticed by the rail, a tactic the jockey is known for, hence his nickname “Bo-rail”. Even the race announcer did not mention his name until he was three lengths in front and less than a hundred meters from the wire. The “monumental upset” was the second biggest in Derby history. This led to a surge in interest in Kentucky Derby betting.

This year, Bo-rail is riding Super Saver. However, it is the Bob Baffert-trained Lookin at Lucky that may be the likeliest contender, along with Sidney’s Candy who has beaten him before.

Lookin at Lucky, 2Y0 champion in 2009, started his 2010 season by winning the Rebel Stakes. He later placed third in the Santa Anita Derby. (Image from bobbaffert.com)

Both here and in the US, the Triple Crown is up for grabs by the best – and the luckiest. Given a good break from the gate, a gap in the wall of horses, and a clear path to the wire, any of the competitors may gain the gold and the glory.

A sweep? Not likely, but it would be fantastic if it happens. In any case, going by the excellent quality of thoroughbreds nowadays, horseracing as a sport is the clear winner. And that’s as good as a sweep. ***

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