Posts Tagged ‘philippine sportswriters association’

THW: Longshots Rule 3rd leg Triple Crown, PSA Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  20 July 2011, Wednesday

Longshots Rule 3rd leg Triple Crown, PSA Cup

Racing is full of surprises, and last weekend saw a couple of upsets in the big races that drew more than the usual number of fans to the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

Last Sunday, two interesting races were held, both sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission – the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown and the Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup.

The Triple Crown is the championship series for elite local-born 3YO – only the very best may join. The entries in the PSA Cup, in contrast, were drawn from the class-divisions and the race was a grab-bag of feisty veterans aged four to nine.

In the Triple Crown, all eyes were on the favorite Magna Carta, who triumphed in the second leg and placed second in the first. The colt owned by Michael Dragon Javier faced off against twelve other foes over 2,000 meters.

But when the dust cleared, it was far second choice Tensile Strength first at the wire. Ridden by star jockey Jeffril Zarate, the Manuel Vicente-trained filly bested the rest of the field, including ten colts, to win by three.

The Rock placed second, Cheese Mosa third, and Barkley fourth. Magna Carta did not feature among the placers.

The splits for the race were 24.4-23.4-25.4-25.8-27.6 for a total time of 2:06.6. Tensile Strength’s win was worth P1.8 million for her owner, former Philracom commissioner Felizardo “Jun” Sevilla Jr.

In the Philracom-Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup, second-to-that-last-favorite Ferrarione shocked the overflow crowd at Santa Ana Park by outlasting the frontrunner Barefoot Contessa, yet another longshot.

The 9YO veteran horse owned and trained by Tarlac congressman Jeci Lapus was the oldest entry among the ten-horse field. He came off a 209-day spell well-rested enough to come from behind and clobber his foes in the stretch.

Lapus Stable star jockey Red de Leon saw a gap by the rails and cleverly positioned Ferrarione inside, saving ground and overtaking eventual second-placer Barefoot Contessa before the wire.

Speedy McKie took third and heavy favourite Nine Dragon settled for fourth. Quarters for the 1,300-meter race were set at 7’-23-23-26’ for a total time of 1:19.8. S

Present at the awarding ceremony were PSA officers Teddyvic Melendres, sports editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer (president); Riera Mallari, sports editor of Manila Standard-Today (secretary); Joe Antonio, sports editor of People’s Journal (treasurer); and Aldrin Cardona, sports editor of Daily Tribune (Board member and past president).

With them representing the host club was racing manager and assistant vice-president Dan Valmonte, while I was there too as a member of PSA.

Last Saturday, the 2,000-meter Philracom Hopeful Stakes saw Prime Rate emerge victorious, followed by Thirdy Thirdy in second, Midnight Myth third, and Sir Ferdinand fourth.

 * * * * *

As I promised last week, here’s a little more on the planned Malvar-Tanauan, Batangas Metro Manila Turf Club racing facility of horseowner-businessman Norberto Quisumbing Jr., PhD. “Dr. NQ”, as he is fondly called, anticipates that in the next two years, the key facilities in the racing cluster shall be completed.

Around 250 workers will be employed in the first phase of construction in the third quarter of this year and increase to 500 in December 2011.  ***

Related stories:

KL: Dehado sa Triple Crown, PSA Cup!

KARERA LANG!   by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  19 July 2011, Tuesday

Dehado sa Triple Crown, PSA Cup!

Hindi talaga nawawalan ng sorpresa sa karera kahit kailan, at ito nga ang nangyari noong nakaraang weekend sa Santa Ana Park ng Philippine Racing Club sa Naic, Cavite.

Sa pinakaaabangan na pangatlong yugto ng Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown noong Linggo, ang segundo llamado lamang na Tensile Strength ang nanaig. Sakay ni hinete Jeffril Zarate, nagparemate ito sa may back stretch at nanalo pa ng tatlong kabayo, sa distansiyang 2,000 meters.

Sumegundo si The Rock, tercero si Cheese Mosa, at cuarto si Barkley. Wala sa placers ang llamadong Magna Carta.

Ang cuartos ng karera ay 24.4-23.4-25.4-25.8-27.6, para sa kabuuang oras na 2:06.6.

Nagpanhik ng P1.8 million pesos si Tensile Strength sa kanyang may-ari, dating Philracom commissioner Felizardo “Jun” Sevilla Jr. Ang trainer naman ni Tensile Strength ay si Manuel Vicente.

Sa Philracom-Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup noong Linggo rin, nagulat ang bayang karerista nang nauna sa meta si Ferrarione ni owner-trainer Tarlac congressman Jeci Lapus.

Ang siyam na taong beteranong kabayong ito ay pangalawa sa pinakadehado sa lahat.

Galing ito sa 209 araw na bakasyon, kaya di masyadong inaaasahan ng mananaya. Ngunit dinaan ito ng kanyang hineteng si Redentor de Leon sa balya noong nagparemate, at sa may meta natuka ang nagbabanderang Barefoot Contessa na napakadehado rin.

Ang oras ng 1,300 meter na karerang iyon ay 7’-23-23-26’, total time 1:19.8. Segundo si Barefoot Contessa, tercero si Speedy McKie, at cuarto ang llamadong Nine Dragon.

Naroon sa awarding ceremony ang ilang mga opisyal ng PSA, kabilang sina Teddyvic Melendres, sports editor ng Philippine Daily Inquirer (president), Riera Mallari, sports editor ng Manila Standard-Today (secretary), Joe Antonio, sports editor ng People’s Journal (treasurer), at Aldrin Cardona, sports editor ng Daily Tribune (Board member and past president).

Kasama nila ang racing manager at assistant vice-president ng PRC, si Dan Valmonte, at ang inyong lingkod bilang miyembro ng PSA.

Ang nanalo naman ng Hopeful Stakes noong nakaraang Sabado ay si Prime Rate, na sumegundo noong pangalawang yugto at nanalo pa ng dalawang kabayo sa huling yugtong ito.

Siya ay sinundan ni Thirdy Thirdy (segundo), Midnight Myth (tercero), at Sir Ferdinand (cuarto).  ***

Related stories:

KL: Triple Crown Bukas!

KARERA LANG!   by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  16 July 2011, Saturday

Triple Crown Bukas!

Bukas na gaganapin ang huling yugto ng seryeng Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown, pati na rin ang Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup.

Samantala, ngayong araw naman tatakbo ang Philracom Hopeful Stakes, seryeng idinadaos kasabay ng Triple Crown.

Ang mga karerang ito ay gaganapin sa Santa Ana Park, Naic, Cavite.

Sa huling kabanata ng 2,000-metrong Triple Crown, maraming mata ang nakatuon kay Magna Carta. Bagamat si Hari ng Yambo ang nanalo ng anim na kabayo ang layo sa sumegundong Magna Carta sa first leg, ito’y kabayong San Lazaro at may problema minsan sa aparato.

Nakaganti si Magna Carta sa second leg. Ngunit kalahating-kabayo lang ang panalo niya kay Lord of War; si Hari ng Yambo naman ay dumating ng bugaw noong karerang iyon.

Bigyang-pansin din natin dito ang coupled entries Arvindugo at Cheese Mosa. Si Cheese Mosa ang nanalo ng second leg ng Hopeful Stakes. Onseng kalaban ang tinalo niya ang apat na kabayo pa ang layo niya sa sumegundong Prime Rate.

Di lang iyon, mas maganda ang tiyempong naitala ni Cheese Mosa sa Hopeful kesa sa tiyempo ni Magna Carta sa second leg ng Triple Crown!

Si Arvindugo naman ay dumating ng cuarto noong second leg ng Triple Crown.

Sa Hopeful naman, tinitingnan ko si Prime Rate dahil siya nga ang sumegundo sa second leg ng seryeng ito.

Good luck sa inyong pananaya this weekend!

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

Related stories:

THW: 3rd leg Triple Crown and Hopeful Stakes

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

3rd leg Triple Crown and Hopeful Stakes

Coming soon, the culmination of the elite 3YO campaign known as the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown – the third leg, to be held  July 17 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

The declaration of entries was held last July 1, and it’s a full gate of runners:

Fillies (to carry 52 kgs each): Cheese Mosa, Constatic;

Colts (54 kgs): Arvindugo, Barkley, Finest Material, Hari ng Yambo, High Voltage, Just for Keeps, Lord of War, Magna Carta, Maker’s Mark, Smart Guru, Tensile Strength, The Rock.

The champion’s connections will receive P1.8 million, 2nd  place P675,000, 3rd, P375,000, 4th, P150,000, and there’s a breeder’s purse of P100,000.

The third leg of the Hopeful Stakes race, which attracts elite 3YO horses that for whatever reason are not entered in the Triple Crown itself, will be held the day before (July 16), with these 12 participants:

Fillies (52 kgs): Coal Harbor, Dimasalang, Gandang Pinay, Prime Rate;

Colts (54 kgs): Midnight Myth, My Keys, Sir Ferdinand, Thirdy Thirdy, Tony Pee, Top Connection, Tucker’s Diamond, Wonder Lev.

The first placer gets P600,000; 2nd place, P225,000; 3rd, P125,000, and 4th, P50,000. The breeder’s purse is P30,000.

Both races will be run over 2,000 meters, so look for stayers to do well. We’ll do a deeper analysis in this column the Thursday before that race weekend, but for now, I’m looking at Magna Carta and The Rock in the Triple Crown.

Hari ng Yambo, who won the first leg, is stabled at San Lazaro Leisure Park and tends to run better there. He’s also been said to have gate issues.

Magna Carta is a front runner; if things go his way, there’s no reason why he can’t rule the race from start to finish.

The Rock can put on some unexpected moves and the longer distance could give him room to maneuver.

In the Hopeful, I’m keeping an eye on Dimasalang and stayer Wonder Lev, who can stage a pretty mean rally given the right breaks.

Also on July 17 is the Philippine Sportwriters Association Cup. Handicapping is care of the host club PRC and sponsor Philracom, so watch this space for the official lineup.

* * * * *

Please tune in to my radio show “Kwentuhang Pinoy” on AFP Radio, DWDD 1134 khz AM every Saturday, 8-9am. It’s not a racing nor a sports program – it’s talk and opinion from a predominantly cultural perspective – but I will discuss racing one of these days. ***

Related stories:

THW: Longshot Wins KY Derby!

<THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 11 May 2011, Wednesday

<Longshot Wins KY Derby!

The first Saturday in May is like Christmas and Valentine’s Day and Easter all rolled into one for racing fans around the world. It’s when the Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs in Lexington, and where the finest 3YO Thoroughbreds show the world the speed and power at their command.

This year saw Animal Kingdom, a 20-1 longshot, win the 137th running of the KY Derby, the first leg of the US Triple Crown.

Animal Kingdom was hardly even mentioned in any of the morning-line tips; more attention was given to Dialed In, Nehro, even Pants on Fire, who won the Louisiana Derby with lady rider Rosie Napravnik.

But the feisty colt proved he wasn’t a nobody by racing in the middle of the field of 19 horses, pulling away in the stretch to win the 1-1/4 mile (2,000 meter) race by 2-3/4 lengths in 2:02.04. (Secretariat set the track record of 1:59.40 in 1973).

In comparison the Philippine record for that distance is 2:04.4, held jointly by island-born fillies Stowaway Lass and Wild Orchid, both clocking it in 2005.

Now why wasn’t Animal Kingdom on the radar? It was his first time to run on dirt; he had previously won a race on a synthetic surface at Turfway Park. His jockey, John Velasquez, was a replacement for regular riderRobby Albarado, who broke his nose in an accident just three days before Derby Day.

Why I should have seen it coming – suerte ang pulot-sakay, as they say here.

The Kentucky Oaks, held the previous day also at Churchill Downs, was also won by a longshot, Plum Pretty. Steered by Martin Garcia, the filly held off St. John’s River just enough to win by a neck.

The second leg of the US Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, will be held on May 21 at the Pimlico Racecourse in Maryland.

Meanwhile, we are gearing up for our own Triple Crown series, supported by the Philippine Racing Commission. The first leg happens on May 15 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, while the first leg of the Hopeful Stakes will take place on May 14.

I’m going with Magna Carta in the TC, despite recent losses. I think that colt has got what it takes to go the distance.

May 22 at Santa Ana Park, we’ll see if Yes Pogi still has what it takes to beat Go Army, Darleb, Righthererightnow, Thoti’s Best, and Shining Armour  over 2,000 meters. ***

Related stories:

THW: Yes Pogi, Magna Carta Rule Weekend Races

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 16 March 2011, Wednesday

Yes Pogi, Magna Carta Rule Weekend Races

Philippine Sportswriters’ Association 2010 Horse of the Year Yes Pogi trounced nine other foes to dominate the Philippine Racing Commission’s Commissioner’s Cup last Saturday at San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Sent off as the heavy favorite, the two-leg Triple Crown winner owned by Francis Lim unleashed his patented rally charge in the final stages of the race under the reinsmanship of regular rider Manolito Daquis to win by six lengths over spent second placer Righthererightnow. Wellwellwell was third and Thoti’s Best fourth.

The total time for the arduous 1,900-meter race was 2:02.

Yes Pogi’s impressive performance adds luster to his string of victories, which includes the 2010 Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup. Sired by Herma Farms and Stud in Lipa, Batangas, Yes Pogi is a stellar example of the the class and quality of Philippine-bred champions.

Present at the awarding ceremony was race honoree Governor Gerry Espina of Biliran, who was a former Philracom commissioner.

In Sunday’s Philracom Chairman’s Cup, island-born star Magna Carta clocked 1:34.4 to win the 1,500-meter race, part of the “Road to the Triple Crown” tuneup races for elite 3YO. 2010 MARHO Cup Juvenile Colts champion Barkley came in a length behind to grab second place. Bosbarawana placed third and Arvindugo fourth.

The Michael Dragon T. Javier-owned Magna Carta came off a victory in the PCSO Freedom Cup last February 27, also at SLLP. The speedy colt was steered both times by PSA 2010 Jockey of the Year Jesse Guce.

This year’s Chairman’s Cup was held in honor of the late former Philracom chairman Nicanor Jacinto. Sadly, no family representative was on hand for the awarding ceremony as the racing world has lost contact with his family.


PCSO’s Carlos Castillo, OIC-manager of the Draw and Races department, recently announced the names of the horses running in the March 27 PCSO Special Maiden Race to be held at SLLP. The trial race shall be held on March 15.

The 1,300-meter race for 3YO will feature Armando Santos’s Flag Bearer, to be ridden by Val Dilema; Eduardo Dimacuha’s Ooh La La’s Gold with Ernesto Reyes; Benhur Abalos’s Tiger Run with Kelvin Abobo; Honorato Neri’s Smart Guru with Antonio Alcasid Jr.; Jan Michael Santos’s Bright Jade with Rodeo Fernandez; and Joel Songsong’s Just For Keeps with John Alvin Guce.

The prizes are: 1st – P300,000; 2nd – P100,000; and 3rd – P50,000. The winner’s breeder shall receive P30,000.


Congress’ Games and Amusements Committee approved last Monday House Bill 224 authored by congressmen Amado Bagatsing (5th district Manila) and Jeci Aquino Lapus (3rd district Tarlac).

The bill shall create the Philippine Thoroughbred Horseracing Authority, which will take on all the functions and responsibilities of Philracom, as well as its present personnel and so forth. The law shall change the corporate nature of Philracom to make it more flexible and responsive to external and internal challenges.

The bill, having garnered the support of the industry, shall now be sent to the floor. It was last deliberated upon and also approved in 2009, during the 14th Congress. Let us hope that this time around it’ll go all the way into enactment.  ***

Related stories:

THW: It’s Time for Awards

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 26 January 2011, Wednesday

It’s Time for Awards

It’s that time of the year when sportswriters roll up their sleeves, down pots of coffee, squint at reams of statistics, and choose the recipients of “of the Year” awards.

In the US, the Eclipse Awards were given out last January 21 in Miami and to the acclaim of many supporters, supermare Zenyatta received the North American horse of the year award.

The Eclipse Awards are handed out by members of the National Turf Writers Association, employees of the Daily Racing Form, and racing secretaries representing tracks that are members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Zenyatta earned 128 votes over second placer Blame’s 102. Blame defeated Zenyatta in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, handing the highly-regarded racemare her only career loss, and was expected by some to cop top Eclipse honors.

The popular vote, however, was overwhelmingly with Zenyatta, who, at her age, has a shining career that Blame can only hope to duplicate. She won 19 races out of 20, her come-from-behind style keeping fans on the edge of their seats or cheering her on down the stretch to the wire.

She ran from dead last in the Breeders’ Cup and stride by stride mowed down the opposition, failing only to overtake Blame in the final few furlongs. But with that performance, she showed her supreme fighting heart that refused to give up.

The recipient of the third place award was three-time Breeders’ Cup mile winner Goldikova. The winner of the Eclipse Award in 2009 was another brave racemare, Rachel Alexandra. She was locked in a rivalry with the older Zenyatta in the early years of her career.

The blog Equine Ink ( carried this lyrical quote from Zenyatta’s owner Jerry Moss: “If you love Thoroughbred horses, you go through life hoping that you can just see one more in whose presence, the clouds fall away to reveal the mountain top. It can take a generation, or infinitely longer, for such a horse to arrive. A horse that is capable of carrying the human heart.

“For the last 100 years, we know them all by name. But Zenyatta brought to us a beauty that was a tonic for the soul. She allowed us to believe in the impossible. And it was the light in her being, as much as the thrill of her races, that got us dancing. Zenyatta was transformative.”

This was Zenyatta’s third straight Eclipse award as top older female.

In our neck of the woods, Yes Pogi has emerged as the Philippine Sportswriters Association Horse of the Year, while Jesse Guce is Jockey of the Year. This was announced recently by PSA treasurer Joe Antonio.

Meanwhile, folks are looking forward to the weekend of February 19-20 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite. That’s the date and venue for the coming Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored Amethyst II (3YO local fillies) and Amethyst III (3YO local colts), both mile races. ***

Related stories:

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.  ***

Related stories: