Posts Tagged ‘manila standard’

THW: 10th Don Juan Derby

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  14 September 2011, Wednesday

10th Don Juan Derby

With the ‘ber’ months now upon us, the three horseowners’ organizations are gearing up for their trademark racing festivals in the last three months of the year.

As has become tradition over the past decade or so, the Klub Don Juan de Manila is first to kick off the holiday racing season with its 10th Klub Don Juan de Manila Derby on October 2 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

KDJM president Ferdinand Dimaisip and his fellow officers recently released the official lineup for the KDJM slate of stakes races.

The highlight KDJM Derby, a 2,000  meter race, is for 3YO, open to locals and imports  but only horses nominated to the KDJM may join. Total prize money is P1,500,000.00 guaranteed, allocated as follows: first place P900,000, second 300,000, third 150,000, and fourth 60,000. Fifth to 13th placers receive P10,000  each.

The entries are: High Voltage, Markers Mark, Magna Carta, Naugh Naugh, Kitte’s Champ, Lord of War, Hari ng Yambo, Born Tycoon, Doña Nenita, Senyora Nenita, Boss Gee, Thirdy Thirdy, and Cheese Mosa.

The 1,900-meter Don Antonio Floirendo Sr. Golden Girl Stakes is for 4YO and older fillies and mares, locals and imports. The prize is PP500,000, split as follows: first place P300,000, second P112,500, third P62,500, and fourth P25,000.

The entries are Denise Song, Dancing Gisele, Wings Beneath, Rain Shower, Lucky Find, Heaven Sent, Santeria, Botbo, and My Hope.

The 1,400-meter KDJM Juvenile Colts Stakes and KDJM Juvenile Fillies Stakes are for 2YO locals and imports, nominated horses. The prize money structure for each of these two races is the same as that for the Golden Girls Stakes.

Competing in the Juvenile Colts are Purple Ribbon, Remind Me, Steel Creation, Patron, Kidlat, Pleasantly Perfect, Yonamizmo, Hamaheat, Isa Pa Isa Pa, Who Else, and Golden Empire.

In the counterpart Fillies race are Sea Princess, Lavish Love, Time To Shine Dad, Humble Riches, Spring Collection, Alpha Alleanza, and Fair Wind.

From November 15-20 is the 16th Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners Championships at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite. In connection with this, MARHO is now accepting nominations for yearlings (2010 foals) until September 30.

December will see the running of the Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization Juvenile Championship Races also at Santa Ana Park. Total prize money for the entire event has reached P4 million, with P3 million for the Juvenile Open Championship and

P1 million for the Juvenile Fillies Championship. Philtobo is also accepting nominations for yearlings up to November 30.

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Racing consultant for the Philippine Racing Commission, veterinarian Romy Buencamino, got in touch recently to correct my mention in my column last week that Philracom chairman Angel Castaño Jr. used to be chairman of the board of stewards of the Manila Jockey Club.

Chairman Castaño was not a chairman of stewards at MJC, but he was a racing steward of the Philracom, when stewards used to be under that body. Our apologies for the mistake.

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A longshot – third-to-the-last choice in a ten-horse field – won the 1st Inquirer Bandera Cup held last Sunday at Santa Ana Park.

Benissimo, owned by John Joseph Lagasca and guided by Kelvin Abobo, sped to the front when the gates opened and held the lead till the home turn, when top choice Ice Storm made its move followed by Windbeneathmywings.

Racing fans were surprised when the Jose Florentino Jr.-trained Benissimo tapped into hidden reserves and regained the lead down the stretch close to the wire to win by ¾ length over Windbeneathmywings, while another longshot, Yes Joey, placed third. The time for the 1,300-meter race was 7-22’-23’-26’= 1:19.6.

Sponsored by the Philracom, the charity race benefits the Inquirer Newsboy Foundation and the Bandera Lapis at Papel Campaign that distributes school supplies at selected public schools to encourage literacy.   ***

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THW: New Philracom Board

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  7 September 2011, Wednesday

New Philracom Board 

President Benigno S. Aquino III recently appointed a new chairman and commissioners for the government agency supervising the sport of horseracing, the Philippine Racing Commission.

Named as new chairman last August 10 was Angel Lopez Castaño Jr., while this administration’s slate of commissioners comprises lawyer Victor Tantoco, veterinarian Reynaldo Fernando, engineer Jesus Cantos, jockey Lyndon Guce, and Franco Loyola.

Chairman Castaño, while he has been away from the industry for quite some time, was a former chairman of the board of stewards of Manila Jockey Club, when it was still owned by the Prieto family and other shareholders and still based at the San Lazaro Hippodrome in Tayuman, Manila.

He was on the panel that, in the ‘70s, decided to allow night racing, upon the advancement of track lighting technology and that created the disqualification rule and many other rules and regulations that guide the sport today.

As for the commissioners, Atty. Tantoco and Dr. Fernando are re-appointees from the previous term; Guce had served previously but resigned; while the other two are first-time commissioners. Engr. Cantos is a horseowner; Mr. Loyola is not from the racing industry.

A simple turnover ceremony was held last August 26 at the Philracom office in Makati. Immediate past chairman lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II administered the oath of office to the new Philracom board.

In his farewell speech, outgoing chairman Rojas asked the Philracom personnel to give Chairman Castaño the same, if not greater, support that they extended him during his own three-year tour of duty.

We thank Atty. Rojas for his dedication and service, steering the racing industry through crisis times caused by the global recession. Under his watch, racing in the Philippines remained profitable and vibrant even as racetracks in the US closed down, among them the historic Bay Meadows racecourse in San Mateo, California, that shut down in 2008.

We wish Chairman Castaño and his commissioners the best of luck as they carry on the work of supervising the sport of Thoroughbred horseracing and its allied industry, breeding.

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Among those who extended their welcome wishes to the new Philracom board were the officers and members of the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners. The oldest horseowners’ group in the country, founded the same time as the Philracom, in 1974, MARHO counts as one of its 15 founding members Angel N. Castaño Sr., the late father of the current Philracom chairman.

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In other news, Constatic proved to be the fleetest mare on the track after winning the Philracom Lakambini Stakes last August 28 at Santa Ana Park.

The Christopher Garganta-guided racemare won the 1,800-meter race running wire-to-wire, setting splits of 13.8-24.2-23.6-23.6-26.4 for a total time of 1:51.6.

Prime Rate came in second, followed by Cheese Mosa in third and Coal Harbor fourth.

Constatic was sired by Ecstatic (USA) out of Consa (PHI) and is owned by Ronaldo Tan.

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Thanks to all who congratulated me for winning first prize in this year’s Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in the category Essay (English). The title of my piece is “The Turn for Home: Memories of Santa Ana Park”. It will be published this December by the University of the Philippines College of Arts and Letters in their literary journal, Likhaan.

Here’s an excerpt, about my days as the country’s first female apprentice rider:

“The day I stopped feeling gonzo was when Alamat’s colt shied at a piece of paper on the track and galloped at top speed. I had not learned to gallop yet and could not control my mount. Jockeys and grooms yelled for others to clear the track – “Kaskas! Runaway!” as I hung on to the reins, the wind whipping my shirt against my chest.

“The colt spied a gap in the rails that led to our stables. He swerved to go through it, threw me off-balance, and I spun in mid-air, landing flat on my back on the sand.

“I felt no fear. There was no pain. The sky was very blue and the clouds were very white. The sand was gritty under my fingers, and I thought, this is not Santa Ana sand, there are no beaches here, only the Pasig River. The sand was alien to the place, trucked there from some shoreline in northern Luzon. But it had been trodden by people and horses and that made it part of the town. There I was, lying in several inches of dirt, embedded in Santa Ana in a way few people ever experienced.”

The essay will also appear online on the Carlos Palanca Memorial Foundation website. ***

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THW: 3rd Bagatsing Racefest at MJC Breaks Record

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 24 August 2011, Wednesday

3rd Bagatsing Racefest at MJC Breaks Record

Lovely lawmakers, a handsome actor, distinguished congressmen, foreign embassy officials, and racehorses – it could have been a scene from a prewar movie.

Instead, it was the happy reality last Friday, August 19, at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, during the 3rd Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing Memorial Cup.

The late mayor of Manila was a supporter of racing and breeding, as are his sons, Manila congressman Amado Bagatsing and former congressman lawyer Ramon “Dondon” Bagatsing Jr. Both have been horseowners and breeders since their twenties and are members of the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners.

The sons and other family members – among them Cong. Amado’s daughter Belinda and Atty. Dondon’s sons, Sampaloc councillor DJ and TV presenter Havy – conceived of a racing festival as a tribute to the late clan patriarch, whose idea of relaxation was to clap a cowboy hat on his head and hie off to his Batangas ranch for a few hours in the company of his thoroughbreds.

On the third racefest in his honor, a vibrant party ensued at the SLLP Turf Club Gold Box, hosted by the Bagatsing family and MJC chairman lawyer Alfonso R. Reyno Jr. Among the guests were former senator Nikki Coseteng; congresspersons Lucy Torres (Ormoc) and her husband, actor Richard Gomez (who is her chief-of-staff), Jeci Lapus (Tarlac), also a horseowner/breeder/trainer, and Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro); a couple of officials from the United States Embassy (they declined to be named) and their wives; the elder statesman of racing, Aristeo “Putch” Puyat; and many other horseowners, press people, and other guests.

There were nine races held that evening. Three were main races of the RDB Cup, reminiscent of the Gran Copa de Manila races revived by the late mayor at MJC, when the club was still based at the now-defunct San Lazaro Hippodrome in Tayuman. Six were sponsored trophy races backed by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, SMART Communications, horseowner Mr. Eddie Gonzalez, PAGCOR, Resorts World, and Cong. Albee Benitez.

Thanks to the skilful handicapping led by Philippine Racing Commission’s sports and games officer Rolando “Bitoy” Lansangan and MJC handicapper Nitoy Gonda, longshots dominated the day.

In the Herma Farms-ICTSI-Bing Tecson sponsored RDB Cup III, Kenneth Causon’s Cramps won under the reins of Val Dilema while trained by Francis Clor. Rain Shower came in second and Doña Nenita third (coupled entries ni Don Antonio Floirendo Sr.), while RMR Equine’s Tritanic checked in fourth. Splits and time for the 1,500-meter race were 17’-24-25-27’ = 1:34.

In the Philracom-backed RDB Cup II, Marvin Louie Villasenor’s Gastambide ruled, steered by Rodeo Fernandez and trained by Dave de la Cruz. Tarlac congressman Jeci Lapus’s Carriedo placed second, ER King’s Money Queen third, and Joseph Dyhengco’s Darleb fourth. For 1,900 meters the time was 19-24-26-25’-27 = 2:01’.

The highlight Philracom-RDB Cup I was won by Felizardo Sevilla Jr.’s  hot property Tensile Strength guided by jockey Jeffril Zarate. Trained by Manuel Vicente, the filly beat four other colts including Michael Dragon Javier’s Magna Carta that settled for second, followed by Atty. Sixto Esquivias IV’s Arvindugo and Santa Clara Stockfarm’s Lord of War. Emmanuel Santos’s Hari ng Yambo, erstwhile top contender in the 3YO wars this season, straggled in last. The time for the 1,900-meter race was 19-23-25’-25’-27 = 2:00.

According to MJC racing manager Jose Ramon Magboo, sales for the day reached P29.5 million, breaching the previous MJC Friday record of almost P28 million. Atty. Bagatsing ascribed the event’s success to the support of the industry, sponsors, and especially racing fans. “The love of Mayor Bagatsing for horseracing was reciprocated by the fans – it’s a love-love relationship,” he said.

He also referred to older racing fans’ nostalgia for the Gran Copa races held every Araw ng Maynila, that were always the most well-attended at the Hippodrome from the ‘70s to the ‘90s.

“For young people who don’t know what the Gran Copa was about,” Bagatsing said, “this [Bagatsing Cup] was a reliving of those colorful glory days of the sport of kings. From the intensity of the support shown the event these past three years, it’s obvious that people are yearning for the old Gran Copa.”   *** (Email:, Web:, Facebook: Gogirl Racing, Twitter: @gogirlracing)

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THW: Juggling Act Rips Yes Pogi

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 6 April 2011, Wednesday

Juggling Act Rips Yes Pogi

Yes, you read that headline right. 5YO veteran import Juggling Act scored an upset over top favorite Yes Pogi in last Sunday’s Diamond I stakes race held at Santa Ana Park.

It’s always a surprise when that happens, not only for the owners of the top pick, but also the bettors, the majority of whom expected the favorite to win. But that’s racing for you – anything can happen.

The Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored Diamond I was the third leg of the Import/Local Challenge series. Juggling Act was sent off as second favorite in the sales against Philippine-bred Yes Pogi, who came fresh off a win in the March 13 Philracom Commissioners Cup at San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Mooney Money took the lead while Yes Pogi ran off-the-pace with regular rider Manolito Daquis aboard. Juggling Act with Fernando Raquel Jr. galloped just behind them; the duo bided their time until the far turn and flashed past the frontrunners to win by nearly five lengths.

Juggling Act (Giant’s Causeway – Piccadilly Circus) earned P300,000 for his owner lawyer Narciso Morales, who also took the third place purse for coupled entry Indy Hay. Yes Pogi settled for second place, while Mooney Money copped fourth, followed by Botbo and Fierce Fighter last.

The total time for the race was 1:52.8 for 1,800 meters, with splits of 13’-23’-24’-25-26.

Post-race kibitzing was pretty much unanimous that Yes Pogi was burned out from successive battles. The two weeks between his most recent races are, in the opinion of most owners and trainers, not enough time to recover, especially for racehorses of this caliber. Abroad, horses go months in between races.

Yes Pogi would benefit greatly from a longish spell at the ranch now, more so with summer coming in. A few weeks galloping about in a nice grassy paddock is what this horse doctor orders.

Meanwhile, there is much rejoicing over at the Narciso Stables. It is now the top-ranked racing operation this year with P2.55 million in gross earnings for the period January 1 to February 28, according to Philracom records.


Something to look forward to next weekend at Santa Ana Park is the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Open Maiden race for 3YO on April 17. The winner of the trial race held last March 29 was colt Wanna Change, owned by Tarlac congressman Jeci Aquino Lapus.

Guided by Rey-ann Camañero, Wanna Change (Heza Gone West – Regal Kingdom) clocked 1:18 and is the one to watch come raceday.

Rosenda Ann Ocampo’s Gold Field placed second, Honorato Neri’s Beau Erin third, and Augusto Benedicto Santos’s Sparkler fourth. Andre Angelo Santos’s Sunshine was fifth while Herminio Esguerra’s Aduana came in last.

Both the trial and the actual race are an easy 1,200 meters.   ***

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THW: Magna Carta, Magnifico!

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 2 March 2011, Wednesday

Magna Carta, Magnifico!

A 3YO island-born colt demolished the field to win in last Sunday’s Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Freedom Cup at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Outstanding favorite Magna Carta, owned by Michael Dragon T. Javier, negotiated the the 1,500-meter race with ease, running wire-to-wire and winning by ten lengths.

Steered by Philippine Sportswriters Association 2010 jockey of the year Jesse Guce, Magna Carta clocked a brisk 1:34’ and stamped himself as the one to watch in this year’s forthcoming 3YO stakes races.

Emmanuel King’s Hi Money came in second, followed by Ralph Javier’s Arvindugo in third and RMR Equine, Inc.’s Yellow Citizen in fourth.

Present to witness the race at SLLP were, from PCSO, chairperson Margarita Juico along with her husband Dr. Philip Ella Juico, general manager Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, assistant general managers Betsy Paruginog, Julieta Aseo, and Benigno Aguas, department managers Atty. Jose Malang and Reynaldo Empremiado (chairman and vice-chairman of the Committee on Races, respectively), and Josefina Sarsonas, as well as assistant department manager Orlando Malaca and division chief Desoto Tupaz (also vice-chairman of the Committee on races) both of the Draw and Races department.

They were also on hand to award the trophies to the winning connections.

Magna Carta is trained by Ray Henson and is from the Royal Maverick Ranch of Javier, Leyte mayor Leonardo “Sandy”Javier Jr., who accepted the award as winning breeder. He is the father of Magna Carta’s owner and is a long-time horseowner and breeder, well-respected in the industry with many contributions to the sport.

Mayor Javier has bred a great many Thoroughbred champions. His farm produced Wind Blown, the winningest racehorse of all time, who retired in 2004 with over P19 million in money earned, a record unequaled to date.

As chairman of the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners for many years now, Mayor Javier, along with then-president of MARHO Aristeo G. Puyat, instituted the MARHO Cup races held every last racing weekend in November at Santa Ana Park. The racing festival is the richest annual week-long event, eagerly awaited by race aficionados.

Magna Carta has an impressive lineage – Woodman out of Pledge the Fifth by Danzig – which tends towards the speedy side resulting in a sprinter of this caliber. Time will show if Magna Carta will pick up the flexibility that will allow him to perform as a stayer when he gets older, since races for older horses are usually held over longer distances.

PCSO is in the process of reviewing its 2011 Schedule of Races, which traditionally includes several PCSO Special Maiden Races for juveniles, the Silver Cup, and the Presidential Gold Cup, the most prestigious annual event of the sport.  ***

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THW: Yes Pogi Wins 38th PCSO Gold Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 15 December 2010, Wednesday

Yes Pogi Wins 38th PCSO Gold Cup

Imagine you are watching a horse race. Eight horses are in the gate. Some paw the ground; others shake their heads, and their riders in rainbow-colored silks tighten their grip on the reins. A bell rings and the stall gates fly open, releasing the horses like so many arrows. The lead is taken by a shiny bay horse, his mane flying in the breeze. But your eyes are fastened on a roan, who hangs in back. Way back.

The bay – Ibarra – runs in front for most of the way, followed by a swift-stepping colt, Righthererightnow. Others pace themselves just behind the frontrunners. Still the roan, Yes Pogi, is running in dead last, twenty lengths off the leader. This elicits a groan from spectators – he was sent off as favorite in the sales.

Ibarra maintains his position at the top of the stretch, looking like he can’t be beat. But wait – what is this streak of white on the outside? It comes from the back and flashes past Ibarra, pulling away to win by four. Yes! It is a pogi horse, made even more handsome crowned with the laurels of victory in the most prestigious race of the year – the 38th PCSO Presidential Gold Cup, held last Sunday at Santa Ana Park.

It was a fantastic race, with Yes Pogi’s running gambit proving to be decisive over the 2,000-meter journey. Over shorter distances – say, 1,800 – Yes Pogi’s slow-to-fire style might leave him lacking in the last few hundred meters. But this particular length proved ideal for him, as the frontrunners ran out of steam and allowed him to stage his victorious rally.

Yes Pogi won two races of this summer’s Triple Crown and was denied a sweep only by another 3YO stalwart, Carriedo, who did not join this PCSO Gold Cup. Steered by Fernando Raquel Jr., Yes Pogi also failed to grab the 2,000-meter San Miguel Beer-MARHO Classic last November, losing to Gastambide. Yet he redeemed himself with this glittering golden win under the guidance of Manolito Daquis, clocking 24’-23-26’-28’ for a total time of 2:08.8.

Trained by Felix Lauron, Yes Pogi’s win brings the P2.5 million first prize home to owner Francis Guan Lim, with P1.5 million coming from PCSO and P1 million from the Philippine Racing Commission.

Deemark International’s Righthererightnow came in second to win P500,000; Herminio Esguerra’s Go Army third for P250,000; and Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Ibarra fourth for P125,000.

There was a breeder’s purse of P50,000 which was claimed by Esguerra’s Batangas-based Herma Farms and Stud, represented at the awarding ceremony by head veterinarian Merci Porsuelo, the ranch foreman, studmaster, and other ranch hands. The colt’s lineage is Rum Tum Tiger out of Belle Epoque.

Last Sunday was a blockbuster day of racing at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite. The Philippine Racing Club-owned and –operated track played host to several hundred people who gathered to watch three very special races. Apart from the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup, also staged were the Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored Juvenile championship and Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup.

Longshot Chief Joesan, owned by Antonio de Ubago and ridden by Jordan Cordova, won the Juvenile Championship, besting favorites Barkley, Bosbarawana, Lord of War, and Charming Santi and clocking 1:43.7 for the mile race.

Second place was taken by another longshot, Olive Ibaviosa’s Whistler, followed by Ralph Javier’s Arvin Dugo and Abalos’ Barkley.

In the PSA Cup, eleven 3YO runners battled for the P180,000 first prize, but it was fifth choice Headline Chaser who dealt the others defeat with his upset win. Owned by Marc Gino Yoro and steered by Fernando Raquel Jr., Headline Chaser posted a come-from-behind rally to win by two. The splits were 27-24’-24’-28’ or 1:44.5 over 1,600 meters.

Juan Molina Jr.’s Ma’am Mika placed second. Francisco Maristela’s May Bukas Pa took third and Emmanuel King Jr.’s Money Queen settled for fourth.

On hand at the awarding ceremony were PSA president Teddyvic Melendres, secretary Riera Mallari, treasurer Joe Antonio, and board member Aldrin Cardona. They thanked Philracom chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II for staging the PSA Cup once more, after a hiatus the past several years.  ***

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