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triple crown

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

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

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.  ***

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KL: Dehado sa Triple Crown, PSA Cup!

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

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).  ***

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KL: Triple Crown Bukas!

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

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! ***

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THW: 3rd leg Triple Crown, Third Racetrack

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  13 July 2011, Wednesday

3rd leg Triple Crown, Third Racetrack

We’re heading down the stretch and close to the wire for the elite championship series for local-born 3YO, the Triple Crown.

Sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission, the series tests the strength, speed, and stamina of the worthiest crop of young chargers for this season.

Declared to run at Santa Ana Park on Sunday are a full gate of entries – 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.

Hari ng Yambo won the first leg as a longshot, hitting the wire six lengths ahead of Magna Carta, who was sent off as the favorite that time.  It was a humbling loss for the much-touted son of Woodman (USA) out of Pledge the Fifth (USA). He struck back, however, in the second leg, winning by half-a-length over Lord of War. Hari ng Yambo finished last in the nine-horse field.

This time around, I’m seeing another good performance by Magna Carta. Despite the short win in the second leg, the energetic colt owned by Michael Dragon Javier is in fine form and should do well against the rest of the field, although it will be hard going, given the high quality of the competition.

Coupled entries Arvindugo and Cheese Mosa will also go on my ruta (bet combination). As racing punters will tell you, ‘bet one, take one’ is always an advantage. Cheese Mosa won the second leg of the Hopeful Stakes, also for elite 3YO, beating eleven others and winning by four lengths ahead of Prime Rate (who is entered in the third leg of the Hopeful Stakes on Saturday).

Not only that, Cheese Mosa notched a time for that race that was a few fractions of a second better than the time posted by Magna Carta in the second leg of the Triple Crown!

Meanwhile, her coupled entry Arvindugo placed fourth in the Triple Crown’s second leg.

Speaking of the third leg of the Philracom Hopeful Stakes, there are 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.

I’m looking at Prime Rate here (he came in second in the last leg), Dimasalang, and stayer Wonder Lev.

Philracom is also sponsoring the Philippine Sportwriters Association Cup, to be held Sunday along with the Triple Crown third leg.

* * * * *

Horseowners and businessmen Norberto Quisumbing Jr. and lawyer J. Alexander R. Carandang recently announced that construction of another racetrack will start soon in Batangas, once all necessary permits have been obtained. Their Metro Manila Turf Club complex will be located inside the Dolores Industrial Park Complex which straddles Malvar and Tanauan cities.

The facility will occupy 24 hectares and shall comprise a “state-of-the-art grandstand and clubhouse, food stalls and restaurants, jockeys’ and grooms’ quarters, offices, saddling paddocks, horse stables clusters, and veterinary clinics.

Dr. Quisumbing was quoted in the article as saying that the project shall provide “an estimated 1,500 direct jobs” in the area – and that’s good news. More on this project in my next column. ***

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THW: 3rd leg Triple Crown and Hopeful Stakes

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

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. ***

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KL: 3rd leg Triple Crown at Hopeful Stakes

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

KARERA LANG! by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  2 July 2011, Tuesday

Philracom 3rd leg Triple Crown at Hopeful Stakes    

Kahapon hanggang 5pm ang deklarasyon para sa ikatlo at huling yugto ng Triple Crown at Hopeful Stakes ng Philippine Racing Commission. Ngunit inabot tayo ng presstime kaya hindi ko pa maibibigay ang listahan; sa Martes nalang po, sa susunod kong kolum.

Ang dalawang karerang ito ay ang pinakatanyag na serye para sa mga tatlong-taong gulang na kabayong palahi ng mga local breeders. Ang distansiya ay parehong 2,000 meters at ang handicapping ay set weight, 52 kgs para sa fillies at 54 kgs para sa colts.

Ang nominasyon ng mga kalahok ay ginanap noong Hunyo 28. Maaring magbago ang mga talaang ito depende sa nangyayari sa deklarasyon kahapon.

Eto ang mga nominado para sa Hopeful stakes na gaganapin sa Hulyo 16 sa Santa Ana Park, Naic, Cavite.:

Fillies: Coal Harbor, Dimasalang, Gandang Pinay, Prime Rate;

Colts: Finest Material, High Voltage, Midnight Myth, My Keys, Sir Ferdinand, Thirdy Thirdy, Tony Pee, Top Connection, Tucker’s Diamond, Whistler, Wonder Lev.

Nominado para sa 3rd leg Triple Crown, Hulyo 17, Santa Ana Park din:

Fillies: Cheese Mosa, Constatic;

Colts: 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.

Tingin ko sa lineup ng nominasyon pa lang, magiging magandang labanan na naman ito.

Sa Hulyo 17 rin gaganapin ang Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup. Wala pa itong lineup, pero tiyak na magiging interesante rin ito.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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KL: 2nd Leg Triple Crown at Hopeful

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

KARERA LANG!   by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  14 June 2011, Tuesday

2nd leg Philracom Triple Crown at Hopeful

Pinatunayan ni Magna Carta ang kanyang kakayahan noong nakaraang Sabado (Hunyo 11) sa San Lazaro Leisure Park kung saan siya ang nanaig sa ikalawang yugto ng Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown.

Segundo llamado lamang siya dahil segundo siyang dumating noong unang yugto ng naturang serye para sa mga de-kalidad na 3YO na local-born na mananakbo. Paborito sa benta si Hari ng Yambo, na pinanalo ng malayo ang unang yugto.

Ngunit sa pagkakataong ito, maayos ang pagkakadala kay Magna Carta; si Hari ng Yambo naman ay dumating na huli.

Umoras si Magna Carta ng 1:50.6 sa cuartos na 10’-22’-24’-25’-27’. Segundo si Lord of War, tersero si Tensile Strength, at kuwarto si Arvindugo.

Mas matulin ang oras na ginawa ni Cheeze Mosa, ang nanalo ng second leg ng Philracom Hopeful Stakes noong Linggo din. Gumawa siya ng kuartos na 10-23’-25-25’-26’ para sa tiyempo na 1:50.2, bahagyang mas maganda pa ng naitala ng mga tumakbo sa Triple Crown mismo.

Ang distansiya ng dalawang stakes races na ito ay 1,750 meters. Ang record na tiyempo sa distansiyang iyan ay 1:48, na ginawa nina Real Spicy (2006) at Ibarra (2007).

Samantala, si Markees World ang naging kampeon ng 1,300 meters Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race sa araw din na iyon. Malayong nanalo ito sa sumegundong Stolen Time; tersero si Fair Wind.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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THW: Magna Carta Lays Down the Law

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  15 June 2011, Wednesday

Magna Carta Lays Down the Law

 

After suffering a humiliating defeat at the hooves of Hari ng Yambo in the first leg of the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown series last May 15, Magna Carta exacted revenge by winning the second leg last June 11.

The 1,750-meter race was one of a power-packed trio of stakes races held that day at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

Because of his previous loss, Magna Carta was sent off as only the second choice in the sales. As expected, Hari ng Yambo was the favorite.

But jockey Jesse Guce did a magnificent handling job, salvaging a half-length win over Lord of War, with splits of 10’-22’-24’-25’-27’, total time 1:50.6.

Tensile Strength came in third, Arvindugo fourth. Hari ng Yambo finished last in the nine-horse field.

Magna Carta won the first place purse of P1.8 million for owner Michael Dragon Javier; Rey Henson is the trainer.

A 3YO colt by Woodman (USA) x Pledge the Fifth (USA), Magna Carta is an island-born thoroughbred from the Royal Maverick Ranch of renowned breeder Leonardo “Sandy” Javier Jr., who now divides his time between the ranch and other occupations and his public service as the mayor of Javier, Leyte.

The second race of the terrible trio of stakes events was the second leg of the 1,750 meter-Philracom Hopeful Stakes. Favorite Cheese Mosa won over 11 other runners (Coal Harbour was scratched).

Guided by Patricio Dilema, the local-bred 3YO filly owned by lawyer Sixto Esquivias IV and trained by Renato Yamco reached the wire four lengths ahead of second-pick Prime Rate, clocking 10-23’-25-25’-26’ for a total 1:50.2, a few fractions better than the Triple Crown time.

In comparison, the official Philracom record for the distance stands at 1:48, held jointly by Real Spicy (2006) and Ibarra (2007).

Cheese Mosa is by Philippine stallion Shooting Star out of American mare Magic Find.

In the third of the terrific trifecta of June 11 races, Renato Virata’s Markees World, steered by Rodeo Fernandez, emerged the champion of the 1,300 meter-Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race. The Johnny Sordan-trained 2YO filly is by Australian stakes winner Key Apo out of Ribbon Grain, bred here by racing industry elder stateman Aristeo “Putch” Puyat on his Paris Match Farm.

Congratulations to the winning connections of these new champions!

In the US version of the Triple Crown, which ended also last June 11 with the staging of the Belmont Stakes, three different horses won each leg – Animal Kingdom in the Kentucky Derby, Shackleford in the Preakness, and longshot Ruler on Ice in the Belmont.

With Magna Carta having denied Hari ng Yambo the Triple Crown sweep, who’s going to triumph in the 2,000 meter third leg on July 17 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite? Will it be either of them, or another horse entirely, mirroring the US Triple Crown? The third leg is a month away, giving us plenty of time to make our choices and place our bets.

July 17 is also when the next Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office 2YO Special Maiden Race will be held. Reminder to owners and trainers, declaration is on June 16, trial race is on June 28, P300,000 for the winner with prizes up to third place.

Meanwhile, we can look forward to this weekend at Santa Ana Park and the running of the first legs of the Philracom Juvenile Championship series, both 1,000 meter sprint runs – the Fillies Stakes on June 18, Saturday, and the Colts on June 19, Sunday.   ***

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KL: Malaking Karera Ngayon

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

KARERA LANG!   by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  11 June 2011, Saturday

Malaking Karera Ngayon

Tatlong malalaking karera ang pasasabugin ngayong araw sa San Lazaro Leisure Park sa Carmona, Cavite – kanino kayo kakampi?

Dalawa ang alok ng Philippine Racing Commission, ang ikalawang yugto ng Triple Crown stakes at ng Hopeful stakes na mga serye.

Kalahok sa Triple Crown sina Arvindugo, Barkley, Constatic, Hari ng Yambo, Lord of War, Magna Carta, Maker’s Mark, Tensile Strength, at The Rock.

Si Hari ng Yambo ang nanalo ng first leg at malamang umulit muli, sa ganda ng kondisyon at pinakita nitong nakaraan. Sumegundo sa kanya noon si Magna Carta na sisikap na gumanti sa huling pagkatalo. SiConstatic ang kaisa-isang babaeng kabayo dito; siya ang nanalo ng first leg ng Hopeful at sisikapin niyang magpakitang-gilas dito.

Puno ang aparato para sa Hopeful, at ang mga kalahok ay sina Armoury, Cheeze Mosa, Coal Harbour, Dimasalang, Ooh La La’s Gold, Prime Rate, Wondrous Wind, Olajuwon, Dear John, Smart Guru, Thirdy Thirdy, Tucker’s Diamond, at Whistler.

Sina Smart Guru at  Cheeze Mosa ang dapat abangan dito, pati na rin si Whistler na dumating ng cuarto noong unang yugto.

Parehong 1,750 meters ang distansiya nitong matitinding karera na bukas sa lahat ng mga local-born na 3YO, ngunit ang karaniwang na isinasali rito ay ang mga de-kalidad na kabayo na may lakas at tulin, dahil napakahirap ng mga karerang ito. Kadalasan kasi, ang mga karera para sa 3YO ay 1,600 meters lamang.

Ang pangatlong malaking karera ngayong araw sa SLLP ay ang ikaapat na Special Maiden Race para sa taong ito ng Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Ang distansiya ay 1,300 meters at kabilang rito sina Classy Kitcat, Fair Wind, Huatulco, Pinay Beauty, Conqueror’s Magic, Stolen Time, at Markees World. Si Markees World ang nanalo ng trial noong May 24, at malamang siya rin ang aasahan pag dating sa tayaan.

Maligayang Araw ng Kasarinlan! Ipagdiwang natin ang kalayaan ng ating bansa, at pati na rin ang ating kalayaan na mangarera!  ***

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THW: Triple Crown, PCSO Races on June 11

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  8 June 2011, Wednesday

Triple Crown, PCSO Races on June 11

There are times during the year when nothing out of the ordinary is planned apart from regular races, and there are days when the whole day explodes in a frenzy of top-rated speed and action.

Saturday, June 11, is one of those days, and I strongly urge true horseracing fans to mark it on their calendars.

That’s when the 1,750-meter second legs of the Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown and Hopeful Stakes series for elite 3YO thoroughbreds will be run at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

Running in the Triple Crown are Arvindugo, Barkley, Constatic, Hari ng Yambo, Lord of War, Magna Carta, Maker’s Mark, Tensile Strength, and The Rock.

Having crushed his opponents easily in the first leg, Hari ng Yambo is expected to dominate once again, but will have to contend against challenges from Magna Carta, who came in second to him the last time.

Constatic, the lone filly here, won the first leg of the Hopeful and on that strong showing was entered in the more difficult Triple Crown. She is still expected to do well against the boys. Tensile Strength placed third to her in that Hopeful and will seek to avenge the loss.

Fourteen runners are in the Hopeful: Armoury, Cheeze Mosa, Coal Harbour, Dimasalang, Ooh La La’s Gold, Prime Rate, Wondrous Wind, Olajuwon, Dear John, Smart Guru, Thirdy Thirdy, Tucker’s Diamond, and Whistler.

Watch out for Cheeze Mosa and Smart Guru to do some damage, and keep options open on Whistler, who came in fourth in the Hopeful’s first leg (Cheeze Mosa placed second).

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is running its fourth Special Maiden race of the year also on June 11, over 1,300 meters. The May 24 trial race was won by Markees World by seven lengths. Also in are Classy Kitcat, Fair Wind, Huatulco, Pinay Beauty, Conqueror’s Magic, and Stolen Time.

This exciting lineup of races happening the day before Araw ng Kasarinlan is all the more reason to celebrate the freedom to race – what can be better for Thoroughbred racing enthusiasts!

* * * * *

 Alarming reports about an equine disease outbreak in the Western part of the United States are all over the Internet.

In a May 24 Los Angeles Times report by Gale Holland, seven horses have already died of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1) that first broke out in Ogden, Utah, last April.

Horse events from Tulsa to San Diego County have been cancelled on account of the outbreak, for fear of the disease spreading.

Horse herpes is highly contagious because it is airborne and spread by horse-to-horse contact. The disease hits the neurological system. It presents first as a cold, followed by fever, weakness of the hindquarters, and loss of motor coordination leading to paralysis and/or death. Some horses just drop dead within 24 hours of contracting the virus.

The virus may also cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares, or result in foals being born dead. There is no vaccine against EHV-1, nor is there a cure, although anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs have been helpful.

EHV-1 does not affect humans.

According to Steve Lyle, public affairs director of the US Department of Food and Agriculture, this is one of the biggest equine disease outbreaks in recent years.

At the moment, says veterinarian Jojo Cambay, head of the Philracom equine laboratory, he has not heard of any EHV-1 cases in the Philippines.

We are sure that the members of the racing industry will remain alert to such threats. We have not forgotten the huge losses the industry incurred in 1997 during the equine influenza outbreak that resulted in the temporary suspension of the races, nor the equine infectious anemia outbreak of 2004 that affected over 200 horses.  ***

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