Day: February 21, 2009

It’s Easy Playing Politics

Subsidy achieves the Billion / Seven Card sharp again / First win for Chavez
Playing Politics confidently strode into the top tier of Korean racing at Seoul Race Park this afternoon, romping to a five length wire to wire win in his first class 1 outing. It was a race that was notable too for a horse at the other end of his career as Subsidy battled on to a valiant third place to take his lifetime earnings to over KRW 1 Billion.

With Kim Ok Sung replacing the suspended Choi Beom Hyun on board, Playing Politics leapt out of the gate and straight into the lead. In the back straight, Moon Se Young brought Subsidy from the back of the field to the front, and it was these two who headed the pack going into the home straight. Playing Politics had never gone 2000 metres before but any questions there may have been about the four year old’s staying power were quickly dismissed as he sprinted to the line for an easy win.

Behind him, just as he had on his last outing, Subsidy looked ready to tie up at the furlong pole but this time, Moon Se Young managed to coax a final effort from the nine year old and, although Yodongseong came past, he managed to hold off odds-on favourite Baekjeonmupae to take third and his place in Korean racing history.

Playing Politics now has six wins from seven starts, a fourth place in the YTN Cup the only blot on his record since his debut last May. He won’t have the luxury of his rivals giving five kilos to him again in a hurry but the manner of his victory suggests there is much more to come. It was perhaps fitting that Playing Politics as a half brother of Subsidy’s long time rival Bally Brae (through their dam, Political Bluff) should be involved as Subsidy finally achieved the Billion. Out of his thirty four starts, the now nine year old Subsidy has been in the money thirty one times and although he no longer goes off as favourite, is still more than capable of mixing it with the best.

One race earlier, another four year old, Seven Card, put in an impressive performance as he too went wire to wire to land his first win at class 2 beating Grandzif and Daehyo by four lengths on the line. Seven Card goes onto five wins from nine outings. Much earlier in the day, improving three year old filly Chowon Dream broke her maiden, landing race 3 by five lengths.

It was a good day for Santos Chavez, the American jockey finding himself in the Winner’s Circle for the first time in Korea as he guided third favourite Dongbang Baksa to victory in race 2. The 47 year old Chavez appears to have made a favourable impression on punters and with any luck, the win will get him some more rides.

Also on a day of milestones, Chun Chang Ki saddled his first runner as a trainer in race 6. The former jockey was granted a trainer’s license earlier this month after battling the cancer that forced him to quit race riding over a year ago. Crown Champ was sent off favourite but never figured in a race won by Mo Yang Seong, a 106.0 outsider.

Racing returns to Seoul tomorrow when it is Segye Ilbo Cup day. The first of eleven races goes to post at 11:10 and the big race is at 16:45. Both Busan and Jeju Race Parks go to post at 12:30.

Class 1 (Foreign bred) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Feb 21, 2009

1. Playing Politics (USA) [Outflanker – Political Bluff (Unaccounted For)] – Kim Ok Sung – 5.4
2. Yodongseong (USA) [Payne’s Bay – Copelan’s World (Copelan)] – Park Tae Jong – 6.8
3. Subsidy (USA) [Mr. Prospector – Foreign Aid (Danzig)] – Moon Se Young – 9.9
Distances: 5 lengths/0.5 lengths – 11 ran

FULL RESULTS FROM SEOUL