THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 22 December 2010, Wednesday
Longshot Wins Philracom Grand Derby
It was a spectacular fight – the favorite fighting neck-and-neck against the longshot in the Philippine Racing Commission’s year-ender, the Grand Derby, held last Sunday at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.
The winner of the 2,000-meter 3YO-locals only race was an upstart, Marlon Cunanan’s Shining Armour, steered by Patricio Dilema. He took the lead, lost it, and had to rally down the stretch against the favorite, Deemark International’s Righthererightnow, which placed second in the December 12 Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup.
They hit the wire almost in unison in a photo-finish that had fans tensed on the edge of their seats until Shining Armour was declared the winner of a trophy and P600,000, relegating the Deemark entry to second and P225,000.
Darleb took third and P125,000, Thoti’s Best fourth for P50,000. The total time for the race was 2:09.8. Cunanan also received the breeder’s prize of P30,000. Shining Armour’s lineage is American on both sides – Tempestuous Wind x Granddad’s Delight.
On December 26, the Philippine Racing Club showcases at its Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, the 11th edition of the Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization championship races.
Philtobo Juvenile Championship declared entries: Charming Santi, Dimasalang, Fargo, Gandang Pinay, Hari ng Yambao, Herran, Hi Money, Prince Isaiah, Pritil, Sha Na Na, and Sulong Pinoy.
Philtobo Classic: Bumble Bee, Go Army, Heaven Sent, Ididtmyway, and Oh Wacky.
Philtobo 3YO Colts: Air Of Distinction, Gastambide, Haz Halo, Henry Hill, Invincible, Tayuman, Thoti’s Best, and Yes Pogi.
Philtobo 3YO Fillies: Compelled To Lead, Happy Morning, Kristal’s Beauty, Money Queen, Perfect Material, Tiger Moon, Touch Of Gold, and Woodsy Ribbon.
Kicking off next year’s initial salvo of explosive races is the Philracom Garnet I, the opener of the traditional gemstone stakes series revived by Philracom chairman lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II in 2008. A mile race, it is the first leg of the popular Imported/Local Challenge series and will be held on January 9 at Santa Ana Park. Eligible to compete are imported and local 3YO.
The Philracom Garnet II is set for January 15 at SLLP in Carmona, Cavite, and is open to 3YO local fillies that have already participated in the regular race, while their counterpart colts will have their chance to show off their skills the next day in the Garnet III. Both are also mile races.
Slated for February are the Amethyst stakes for 3YO. The Amethyst I will be held at SLLP on February 13 as a pre-Valentine’s Day offering. It is the second leg of the Imported-Local Challenge and will test the abilities of competitors over 1,750 meters.
Both the Amethyst II (for fillies) and III (for colts) are mile races to be held at Santa Ana Park on February 19 and 20.
Philracom stakes races for juveniles aren’t scheduled until June, giving the trainers and other connections of 2YO horses a chance to toughen them up the first six months of this year before the big battles commence.
In addition to calendared races such as these, additional charity or special races may also be supported by Philracom to enliven the racing programs as need be. Philracom also supports the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup with an additional P1 million prize for the winner.
With so much racing action to look forward to, it’s a great time for enthusiasts of the sport. Happy holidays to all from The Hoarse Whisperer, and may you all receive your fix of speed, strength, and success via the races! ***