TWH: Summer prize bonanza

 THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 8 April 2015, Wednesday

Summer prize bonanza

            The Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) launched an incentivized Summer Racing Festival program as a strategy to maintain or increase the number of entries in regular races.

“We have observed,” said Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez, “that during the summer months, sales are reduced due to fewer horses participating in racemeets.”
Summer is when horses are regularly spelled (generally, this means being sent to the ranches for vacation); this reduces the available horse population for racing.

In addition, high temperatures may cause epistaxis (nosebleeds) in horses. To reduce the incidence of this, horseowners and trainers opt to run their horses in fewer races or spell them for the entirety or part of the summer.

However, fewer entries may mean fewer races on the card and smaller field sizes, making races less interesting for aficionados.

“To entice owners to run their horses,” said Sanchez, “Philracom will be providing an added prize of P20,000 to the winners of races under this program.”

In Philracom’s Resolution No. 11-15 dated 25 March 2015, included in the Summer Racing Festival, which will run from April 7 to May 15, are class-division races, three each day from Tuesday to Friday, and four each Saturday and Sunday, for a total of twenty races each week.

Races picked for the Summer Racing Festival will no longer be placed under Philracom’s regular incentive program, which provides an added prize of P5,000 to the winner of class-division races.

Under the regular incentive program are four class-division races each weekday from Tuesday to Friday and five each Saturday and Sunday.

Also as part of its Summer Racing Festival, Philracom is sponsoring a 1,300-meter 3YO Condition Race on April 12 at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, with a prize of P300,000 allocated from first to fourth places.

Philippine Racing Club, Inc. (PRCI), owner and operator of Santa Ana Park, in support of Philracom’s initiative, will be providing an additional prize of P15,000 to the winner of races held at its track that are not included in the Philracom Summer Racing Festival program.

PRCI Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Allan V. Abesamis, in a letter to Philracom, said that they will place 73 Santa Ana Park races from April 11 to May 13 under their incentive program, and release a total of nearly P1.1 million in added prize money from for this purpose.

For this program, priority will be given to free handicapped races.

With these generous offers from Philracom and PRCI, will the other two tracks – Manila Jockey Club and Metro Turf Racecourse – follow suit and come up with their own summer incentive schemes?

Even with just the added prizes from Philracom and PRCI, race participants are already looking at a prize bonanza this summer – will this be enough enticement for them to run their horses?

Concerns as to the health of horses and jockeys may be partially addressed by the usual practice of moving the races to an hour or two later on weekend afternoons, avoiding the worst heat of day.  * * *

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THW: RB Guce marks 1,000th US win

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 4 March 2015, Wednesday

RB Guce marks 1,000th US win

Congratulations to Los Angeles-based Filipino jockey Ramon “Monching” B. Guce for posting his 1,000th North American career win!

He reached this personal milestone last Valentine’s Day at Los Alamitos after winning on 4YO California-bred filly A B C Me Awesome.

Monching reckons he racked up 2,500 wins in Manila before migrating in the late ‘90s to ride Thoroughbreds and quarter horses at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, and Santa Anita Park.

Once known as “RB Guce” on the local programa, in the US he’s called “Ramon”, and his tagline there is: “The Guce is Loose!”, with his surnamed pronounced as one word, like the fowl, rather than with two syllables like it is here.

On the Los Alamitos website, he says his Philippine experience prepared him well:

“In the Philippines, the shortest racing distance is 4-1/2 furlongs and those races are carded maybe 10 times the entire year. Instead, most races are between 7-1/2 furlongs and one mile, so I think that’s benefited me from an endurance standpoint when riding in the 4-1/2 furlong races at Los Alamitos.” (A furlong is roughly translated as 200 meters.)

Monching, leading rider for 2014 in Los Alamitos, is a scion of the Guce racing dynasty. He is the son of the late jockey and trainer Pablito Guce, brother of riders Lyndon Noel (now a Philracom commissioner) and Canada-based Angelito, cousin of legendary jockey Jesus “El Maestro” C. Guce, and the uncle of the young band of Guce brothers – journeymen John Paul, John Alvin, and John Anthony and trainees Peter John and John Jr.

About the same time Monching marked his 1,000th US win, veteran rider and sometime actor Gary Steven (who played jockey George Woolf in the film Seabiscuit) posted his 5,000th win at Santa Anita Park.

Jockeys and other racing folk who mark such milestones abroad are feted. Sadly, we don’t commemorate occasions such as this. Statistics aren’t well kept and we have no similar rituals.

* * * * *

Update on the Philracom Colts race: The Philippine Racing Commission will hold a second meeting today with the Manila Jockey Club Board of Stewards (BoS) to look into the latter’s decision in the Philracom 3YO Colts stakes race.

The five members of the MJC BoS as of February are Rafael de las Cagigas (as chairman), Jesus Villanueva, Francisco Fernando, Rene Sare, and Daniel Valmonte.

On Feb. 22 at San Lazaro Leisure Park, the MJC BoS disqualified the first placer Money Talks in favor of Juachenzo’s Run, saying the former had swerved-in into the latter’s path at the jump-out, this “interference” marring his chances for victory, a decision hit by many racing fans.

Philracom will also be looking today into the case of jockey Dar E. Deocampo, who was suspended for one year likewise by the MJC BoS but by the prior slate of stewards on Jan. 16 for “deliberately losing the race” on Candy Crush.

            * * * * *

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office will hold a trial race on Mar. 6 for its 3YO Open at Santa Ana Park, with the actual race on Mar. 21.

To run over a mile are Gentle Strength, Sigma’s Treasure, Winning Move, Air Supply, Erik the Viking, Incredible Hook, Prince Jed, Legionnaire, Dominatore, Stargazer, and Make Him Known. * * * Facebook: Gogirl Racing, Twitter: @gogirlracing, Blog:



Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos’s filly Gentle Strength, with jockey JB Hernandez; Joel Songsong’s colt Sigma’s Treasure (CV Garganta), Joy Raymundo’s filly Winning Move, JRS Farm’s colt Air Supply (CS Pare Jr.), John Avelino’s colt Erik the Viking (JV Ponce),

Stony Road Horse Farm’s colt Incredible Hook (MA Alvarez), Paolo Mendoza’s colt Prince Jed (PR Dilema), Arturo Pua’s colt Legionnaire (JA Guce), Pierre Niles’s colt Dominatore (JT Zarate), Joseph Dyhengco’s filly Stargazer (JB Cordova), and Roberto Francisco’s colt Make Him Known (JPA Guce).

This being a set handicap race, fillies are to carry 53 kgs. and colts 54.5 kgs.

* * * * *

Congratulations to Emmanuel Santos, owner of Kid Molave, chosen the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) horse of the year last Feb. 16 on PSA Night.

Named as PSA’s jockey of the year was Jonathan Hernandez, who last year booted many stakes winners such as Hagdang Bato.

* * *

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THW: Stewards fined over Money Talks incident

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 18 March 2015, Wednesday

Stewards fined over Money Talks incident

The Philippine Racing Commission released last week its decision on the Money Talks incident of Feb. 22 at San Lazaro Leisure Park.

After its motu propio review of the case where the stewards of the Manila Jockey

Club disqualified the first placer and favorite Money Talks, the Commission’s Review Committee found that “there were serious lapses/flaws in the decision” made by the stewards.

Stewards Rafael de las Cagigas, Daniel M. Valmonte, Francisco G. Fernando, Vicente J. Villanueva, and Rene C. Sare were found “guilty of gross negligence amounting to ignorance of the rules and dereliction of duty.”

They were all fined five thousand pesos each and given a stern warning that “similar offences shall be dealt with more severely in the future.”

Philracom also admonished the stewards “to be more vigilant and circumspect in the performance of their duties.”

The MJC stewards disqualified Money Talks and relegated it to second place behind Juachenzo’s Run, saying that “when the [starting] gate opened, Money Talks swerved-in sharply to the path of Juachenzo’s Run, causing the rider of the latter to be checked and lost [sic] ground.”

The Commission, looking into “the perceived amount of ground lost by the impeded horse as a result of the incident,” found that since the interference occurred when the gate opened, “Juanchenzo’s Run could not have lost ground yet. As a matter of fact, after the incident, Juachenzo’s Run even led Money Talks in some lengths of the race.”

The stewards were also scolded for failing to report the “more serious interference caused by Dixie Storm also at the gate,” and the “interference between Spicy Time and Jazz Wild but the incident was conspicuously absent from the Board of Stewards’ report.”

Finally, the Commission noted that there was “no record in the report on how the stewards voted on the incident, in violation of PR [Philippine racing rules and regulations] 5-F.”

According to Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez, “The Commission is serious about implementing the racing rules for the protection of the racing public and to preserve the integrity of the sport.”

* * * * *

Philracom also released last week its Resolution No. 7-15 that provides “immediate relief measures to the racing and breeding industry in the form of incentives” in response to the clamor of horseowners and breeders who lament the increasing unprofitability of engaging in the sport.

Starting last Monday, Mar. 16, Philracom will provide an added prize of five thousand pesos for horseowners only in all class-division races.

* * * * *

Congratulations to Manila Horsepower for their excellent handicapping of the races last Sunday at San Lazaro Leisure Park, on the occasion of their pakarera (racing festival).

The interesting lineups of their races caused a double-carryover in the Winner-Take-All event.

* * * * *

The Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners will be holding its General Membership Meeting and Election of Officers on March 28, Saturday, at Metro Turf. All MARHO members are requested to attend.

The meeting will be followed by the MARHO Founders Cup racing festival, featuring 12 races with added prizes sponsored by Metro Turf and MARHO. More details on this next week.

* * *

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THW: Sanctions in Money Talks incident

 THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 11 March 2015, Wednesday

Sanctions in Money Talks incident

Stewards who made a controversial decision in a Feb. 22 race at the San Lazaro Leisure Park are likely to face heavy fines or other stiff sanctions to be imposed by the Philippine Racing Commission.

Philracom Board members will be meeting today in caucus to decide on the exact nature of the penalties to be borne by the Manila Jockey Club (MJC) Board of Stewards (BoS) for their decision to relegate Money Talks, the horse that reached the wire first, to second place behind Juachenzo’s Run.

The decision was assailed by many racing fans and industry insiders who believe the MJC BoS interpretation of the race was in error.

The Commission’s resolution on the matter, containing their findings on the incident, is expected to be released soon, if not later today.

Another resolution that will be passed today is one that gives an additional prize of P5,000 to the winning horseowners of all class-division races.

According to Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez, “This is an immediate solution to the concern of horseowners whose prizes have shrunk due to challenging conditions in the sport, rendering them barely able to maintain their racing operations that create jobs, raise taxes for the government, and provide other economic benefits.

“We are also exploring pro-active, medium-term measures to increase sales and grow prizes for the benefit of all industry stakeholders.”

            * * * * *

Gentle Strength, a filly owned by Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos, won the Mar. 6 trial for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office 3YO Open at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

Jockey Jonathan Hernandez guided Gentle Strength in a relaxed 1:47.6 (27-25’-26’-28’) for the mile to reach the finish line five lengths ahead of Incredible Hook  (1:48.4).

Behind them arrived, in order: Erik the Viking, Stargazer, Prince Jed, Air Supply, Sigma’s Treasure, Make Him Known, Dominatore, Legionnaire, and Winning Move last.

The actual race will be held Mar. 21 at Santa Ana Park.

The full lineup of declared entries, with the names of owners and riders and other information, was carried in my previous column (please check out the Sports archives at, though withdrawals and scratches might still be made.

* * * * *

Congratulations to Emmanuel Santos, owner of Kid Molave, chosen the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) horse of the year last Feb. 16 on PSA Night.

Named PSA’s jockey of the year was Jonathan Hernandez, who last year booted many stakes winners such as Hagdang Bato.

* * * 

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THW: PCSO, Philracom racing calendars released

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 7 January 2015, Wednesday

PCSO, Philracom racing calendars released

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office starts its racing program for the year with a 3YO Open Maiden race on Jan. 31 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, said lawyer Jose T. Malang, chairman of the PCSO Committee on Races.

PCSO’s 2015 racing calendar features 14 races: four 3YO and five 2YO open maiden races, the Freedom Cup, the Silver Cup, the National Grand Derby, the Anniversary Race, and the Presidential Gold Cup.

At least one race is scheduled each month, with two each in September and October.

PCSO’s first major race this year is the Freedom Cup on Feb. 8 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park. Also to be held there are the National Grand Derby on Aug. 16 and the Anniversary Race on Oct. 18.

The Silver Cup is on June 21 at Metro Manila Turf Club, while for the third year in a row the Presidential Gold Cup will be held at SLLP.

PCSO supports horseracing in line with its charter, RA 1169.

The Philippine Racing Commission also released its calendar of stakes races for the year. It fires its first salvo with the 3YO Local Fillies stakes on Jan. 17 at Santa Ana Park.

For fans of the Triple Crown series, the first leg is on May 17 at SLLP, the second on June 14 at Santa Ana Park, and the third on July 12 at Metro Turf.

Exciting times are on hand for the sport this year, with more developments in the offing. Stay tuned. * * * 

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THW: A happy horsey story

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 28 January 2015, Wednesday

A happy horsey story

One of the joys of my being a racing writer is getting to know Thoroughbred and racing aficionados from around the world.

Some time ago last year, I received a note via my Facebook page Gogirl Racing from Jennifer in the United States.

She said, “Hi, I’m looking for a TB mare that was sold in the November Keeneland sale in 2013. Her name is Subprime and she is out of my mare Pleasant Boom. I foaled her and she is like family. I just want to keep tabs on her. Any ideas how to find her? She was bought by Skipton farm and sent to Philippines in the fall. She foaled a Dialed In filly this year.”

It took me some time to find out the answer to her question, but recently I was able to update her. “Good news! I found Subprime! She is on the farm of one of the best breeders in the country, Mayor Benhur Abalos. His farm consultant asked me to reassure you that Subprime ‘is in very good hands. There are no problems with her, she’s healthy, and she’s one of the mares we’re hoping will produce good foals.’ Her Dialed In foal is doing well too.”

Jennifer was pleased to hear that. “Awesome! So happy. I wish them the best. Thank you for finding that out. So now maybe I can follow her foals and cheer them on. Thank you again. It means a lot to me.”

It means a lot to me too, to be able to help a fellow horse person who like me regards horses as “family”, and to be of service not only to the local racing community but to the international Thoroughbred community as well.

In racing, as in all other human activities, communication is a vital component for getting things get done.

* * * * *

Ten 3YO will vie for top honors and a P600,000 purse on Saturday (Jan. 31) in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

The entries are: EEG Development Corp.’s colt Juachenzo’s Run to be ridden by Mark Alvarez, Manila Rep. Amado S. Bagatsing’s filly Spicy Daijobo wth CM Pilapil, Honorato Neri’s filly Court of Honor with John Alvin Guce, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur C. Abalos’s filly Sweetness with Kelvin Abobo,

Joseph Dyhengco’s colt Dixie Indy with Rodeo Fernandez, Herminio S. Esguerra’s colt McCartney with Fernando Raquel Jr., Raymund Puyat’s colt Club Champion with Jonathan Hernandez, Alchy Enterprises’ colt Diamond’s Best with Val Dilema, Gilda Bradd’s filly Boyayot’s Pride with Christopher Garganta, and Emmanuel King Jr.’s colt Money Talks with RO Niu Jr.

This is a set-weight race, with colts to carry 54.5 kgs. and fillies 53 kgs. There are also prizes from second to third place and a breeder’s purse.

This race is the PCSO Racing Committee’s first for the year. There will be PCSO-sponsored races staged at least once a month.

* * * * *

Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Malaya showed off her spectacular form last Sunday (Jan. 25) by winning the Philracom Commissioner’s Cup at Metro Turf racecourse.

Malaya, steered by jockey Jonathan B. Hernandez, won by many lengths over stablemate El Libertador. Stand In Awe came in third and Cleave Ridge fourth.

The time for the 1,800-meter race was 1:52.6 (14-23.8-23.8-24-27). * * * Facebook: Gogirl Racing, Twitter: @gogirlracing, Blog:




* * * * *

Errata in my column last week, with regard to the update on jockey LT Cuadra Jr.: The Jockeys Fund is only 2.5 percent of horse prizes. It is the Trainers Fund that is 3 percent. Also, it was Noni Neri, president of Manila Horsepower, who donated to Cuadra, and not horseowner Honorato “Nori” Neri. My apologies for the errors.



Please visit and Like my FB page Gogirl Racing to connect with the racing community. The comments on my Wall are often gold – the information and tips solid, the insights accurate and interesting. My thanks to the active and involved aficionados who graciously share their knowledge with me and others!

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THW: Malaya in Freedom Cup; Gintong Lahi Awards

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 11 February 2015, Wednesday

Malaya in Freedom Cup; Gintong Lahi Awards

The aptly-named 4YO filly Malaya claimed the crown in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Freedom Cup last Sunday (Feb. 8) at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

The filly, whose name means “free,” was sent off as the outstanding favorite. Under the guidance of jockey Jonathan B. Hernandez, she won by four lengths wire-to-wire ahead of second placer Cleave Ridge.

Macho Machine arrived third, followed by Stand In Awe and Five Star last.

Malaya was in such superb form that Hernandez rode her under double-wrapped reins to the finish line without much urging, clocking easy splits of 26’-24’-24-26 for a total 1:41 for the mile.

Malaya (Sky Mesa x Dream Bride) is owned by Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur C. Abalos and trained by Ruben S. Tupas.

* * * * *

PCSO’s first race for the year had a surprise outcome.

The 3YO Open race was held last Jan. 31 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

Featuring nine runners, the 1,400-meter event was won by Money Talks, second-to-the-last of the longshots, coming in a good length over Diamond’s Best.

Court Of Honor was third and McCartney, the favorite, fourth.

Money Talks (Randwick x In Command) was guided by young and promising jockey Reynaldo O. Niu Jr. A 3YO colt, it is owned by Emmanuel R. King Jr. and trained by Clarito C. Alvarez.

The time for the race was 1:28.8 (12.6-25-25-26.2).

PCSO’s next race is another 3YO Open on Mar. 21 at Santa Ana Park.

* * * * *

The Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization will be staging the 17th Gintong Lahi Awards on Feb. 15 at the Metro Manila Turf Club’s Metro Turf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas.

In the Equine category, the nominees are: 2YO Colt: Cat Express, Jebel Ali, Sky Hook, Thunder Maxx; 2YO Filly: Driven, Hook Shot, Princess Ella, Valley Ridge; 3YO Col: Kid Molave, King Bull, Low Profile, Tan Goal; 3YO Filly: Bahay Toro, Definitely Great, Love Na Love, Lucky Leonor, Malaya;


Older Horse: Hot and Spicy, Hagdang Bato, Pugad Lawin; Sprinter: Pugad Lawin, Nemesis; Import: Classy and Swift, Crucis, Jade Avenue, La Furia Roja, Silver Sword; Horse of the Year: Hagdang Bato, Hook Shot, Kid Molave, Malaya, Pugad Lawin, Sky Hook.

In the Human category: Jockey: Christopher Garganta, John Alvin Guce, Jesse B. Guce, Jonathan Hernandez, Kelvin Abobo; Trainer: Anthony Francisco, Donato Sordan, Renato Hipolito, Ruben Tupas, Teresito Santos; Owner of the Year: Antonio V. Tan Jr., Benhur C. Abalos, Emmanuel A. Santos, Joseph C. Dyhengco, SC Stockfarm, Inc.

In the Breeding category: Breeder: Abalos, Santos, Dyhengco, SC Stockfarm, Herminio Esguerra; Broodmare: Fire Down Under, My Gal’s Gold; Stallion: Bwana Bull, Cat Brulay, Hook and Ladder, Quaker Ridge.

PCSO Vice-Chairman and General Manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II will be receiving a plaque of appreciation at the event, in recognition of the agency’s support of horseracing.

Also invited are the newly-installed members of the Philippine Racing Commission: Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez and commissioners: lawyers Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., Victor V. Tantoco, Wilfredo JA de Ungria, and Jose Santillan Jr., former Philtobo president Bienvenido C. Niles Jr., and Lyndon B. Guce.

* * *

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THW: Philracom’s new slate

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 4 February 2015, Wednesday

Philracom’s new slate

Malacañan Palace recently handed down the list of new members of the Philippine Racing Commission, who will be continuing the agency’s mandate of supervising and regulating the sport of horseracing.

Former horseowner and licensed racehorse trainer Andrew A. Sanchez has been appointed chairman. This will be his second time such term, having served also as chairman from June 2001 to July 2002.

Re-appointed as members are lawyer Victor V. Tantoco, representing the trainers’ sector, and former jockey Lyndon Noel B. Guce, representing jockeys.

Newly appointed are Bienvenido C. Niles Jr. as member, and lawyers Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr. representing horseowners and Wilfred Jefferson A. de Ungria and Jose P. Gutierrez Santillan Jr. as a members.

The notice from the Palace was dated January 23 of this year and sets a four-year term for the commissioners. The new Commission’s first meeting at the Philracom office will be on Feb. 9.

During Sanchez’s first stint as chairman, he instituted key policy changes that revitalized the industry, resulting in an impressive 18.25 percent growth in industry sales from January to June 2002. Direct taxes to the national government for that same period experienced 18.72 percent growth compared to the same period the previous year.

Sanchez also spearheaded key stakeholder programs such as career enhancement seminars conducted by foreign racing and equine experts for racing stewards, farriers, starting gate helpers, and stable hands.

He also held an industry-wide symposium on the equine disease surra then plaguing the racehorse population, linked with government entities Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes office for the sponsorship of racing events, and oversaw the publication of the revised “Blue Book” or handbook of racing rules and regulations, the “Bible” of the industry.

An informal poll I took recently of racing insiders remember Sanchez as being “very fair,” rendering “balanced decisions” that took into account the welfare of all stakeholders.

My warm congratulations to the newly-appointed Commissioners of Philracom.

We also acknowledge the efforts of outgoing commissioners Angel L. Castaño Jr. (chairman), Jesus B. Cantos, and Eduardo B. Jose, along with the late veterinarian Reynaldo Fernando and Franco Loyola.

They had the difficult job, from 2010 to 2014, of wrangling the industry as it entered the three-race-track era and the concomitant scheduling challenges. They also upheld high standards in office administration and maintained the Philracom’s stakes and regular race sponsorship program, among other accomplishments.

* * * * *

The PCSO Racing Committee invites sports fans to watch its Freedom Cup on Feb. 8 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

The declared runners for the mile race are Leonardo Naval’s 4YO filly Cleave Ridge, to be ridden by Pat Dilema carrying 54 kgs.; Herminio S. Esguerra’s 4YO colt Macho Machine(Fernando Raquel Jr., 55), Antonio V. Tan’s 5YO mare Five Star (AB Serios, 55); Mariano Tirona’s 5YO horse Stand In Awe (Jesse Guce, 55.5); and Benhur C. Abalos’s coupled entries 6YO horse Hagdang Bato (Jonathan Hernandez, 56) and 4YO filly Malaya (Kelvin Abobo, 54).

Unless Hagdang Bato is scratched, I’m putting all my worldly goods on him; otherwise, Malaya and Stand In Awe get my vote.

* * *

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THW: MARHO stages successful Founders Cup

 THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 1 April 2015, Wednesday

MARHO stages successful Founders Cup

The Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners (MARHO) Founders Cup (MFC) racing festival last March 28 was a day marked by longshot and big dividends,

The 12-race fiesta de karera was held at the Metro Turf racecourse and is the first time MARHO has held an event at the track owned and operated by businessman Norberto B. Quisumbing Jr.’s Metro Manila Turf Club, Inc. (MMTCI).

Also held that day was a MARHO general membership meeting and election of officers.

Congratulations to the new slate of directors headed by Javier, Leyte Mayor Leonardo M. Javier Jr. as chairman.

With him on the Board are businessman Antonio G. de Ubago Jr. (president), lawyer Sixto S. Esquivias IV (corporate secretary), businessman Antonio V. Tan Jr. (treasurer), Quezon City Councilor Victor V. Ferrer Jr. (auditor), and businessman Nathaniel G. Velasco (vice-president for racing).

Also on the Board as directors are Manila Rep. Amado S. Bagatsing, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur C. Abalos, former Tarlac representative Jeci A. Lapus, Kalookan City Vice-Mayor Macario E. Asistio III, and businessmen Eric R. Tagle, Emmanuel A. Santos, Vicente P. Go Bon, Arleen D. Chua, and James Albert Dichaves.

MMTCI through the generosity of Dr. Quisumbing gave added prizes of P25,000 to the winners of 10 MFC races.

He also put up a P50,000 added prize for the winner of the MARHO Founders Cup held in honor of the association’s 15 original founders who established what is now the sport’s oldest horseowners’ group in 1974.

Dr. Quisumbing was himself one of the original members of MARHO.

The MFC was won by longshot Cat’s Silver (Ultimate Goal x Cat’s Gold), owned by Mayor Abalos, trained by CC Angeles, and steered by Jonathan Hernandez.

MARHO provided an added prize of P50,000 for the MARHO-Dr. Norberto B. Quisumbing Jr. Cup won by Mabsoy (Art Moderne x Springstreetballet), owned by Reli de Leon, trained by DV Bungar, and ridden by Jeffrey Bacaycay.

Each winning groom that day also received a P1,000 added cash prize.

Cote d’Azur started the trend of longshots that by the end of the day yielded good dividends in the exotic betting.

MARHO directors and members also gave to the winners of each of the 12 MFC races  free stud service certificates to stallions Bwana Bull, Ultimate Goal, Warrior Song, Trust n Luck, Self Feeder, Fort Dignity, Ibarra, Minsk, Zap, Smart Farda, Shining Fame, and Reenact.

Also held that same day was the Philippine Racing Commission’s 3YO Fillies Stakes, won by Running Rich Racing’s Miss Brulay (Cat Brulay x Near Miss), trained by Renato Hipolito and guided by jockey Kelvin Abobo.

On hand to award the trophies to the winners were Philracom commissioners lawyers Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., Wilfredo de Ungria, and Victor Tantoco.

All races at Metro Turf last Saturday were run over 1,400 meters.

* * *

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THW: MARHO Founders Cup racefest at Malvar

 THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 25 March 2015, Wednesday

MARHO Founders Cup racefest at Malvar

The Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners (MARHO) is holding its General Membership Meeting and Election of Officers at the Metro Manila Turf Club, Inc.’s (MMTCI) Metro Turf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas on March 28.

This is the first event that MARHO will hold at Metroturf.

MARHO, the racing industry’s oldest and largest horseowners’ organization, was founded in 1974 by businessman and former ambasssador Eduardo M. Cojuango Jr. and 14 other horsemen.

The event will be marked by the staging of the MARHO Founders Cup racing festival featuring twelve 1,400-meter races out of 13 for the day.

The festival’s highlight races are the MARHO Founders Cup, in honor of the organization’s founders, and the MARHO-Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr. Cup.

Each of these two races will have an added prize of P50,000 to the winning owner, sponsored by MARHO.

The other 10 races are MARHO Founders Special Races with added prizes of P25,000 each, all sponsored by Metroturf.

There will also be trophies for the winners of the races as well as free stallion certificates for the first- and second-placers of the 12 MARHO Founders Cup races.

Stallion certificates will also be raffled off to MARHO members attending the general membership meeting.

Shares to the services of the following sires will be given away: MARHO Chairman Mayor Leonardo “Sandy” Javier Jr.’s Self Feeder, Art Moderne, Shooting Star, Warrior Song, Elysium Fields, Principality, and Zapp; MARHO Director Antonio V. Tan’s Shining Fame and four of his Reenact shares;

MARHO President Emeritus Mayor Benhur C. Abalos’s Ultimate Goal, Bwana Bull, and Ibarra; Klub Don Juan de Manila (KDJM) President Jeci A. Lapus’s Smart Farda; KDJM Director Lamberto “Jun” Almeda Jr.’s Minsk; and stallions of MARHO Director Nathaniel “Nel” G. Velasco, among others.

“This will be a memorable event,” said MARHO Acting President Antonio “Tony” G. de Ubago Jr. “We extend our warm thanks to MMTCI Chairman Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr. for the wholehearted support and hospitality he has given MARHO and its members.”

De Ubago also thanked the horseowners from the three organizations (including Philtobo) who donated stallion shares and contributed in other ways to make the event happen.

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The Philippine Racing Commission will be holding two 1,400-meter stakes races this weekend for local runners also at Malvar.

On Saturday, March 28, the 3YO Local Fillies Stakes race has five declared runners: Miss Brulay, Princess Ella, Real Talk, Song of Songs, and Superv, all to carry 52 kgs.

On Sunday, Mar. 29, the 3YO Local Colts stakes has six entries: Cat’s Dream, Diamond’s Best, Dikoridik Koridak, Right as Rain, Spicy Time, and Son of Thunder.

I’m going with Princess Ella in the Fillies and Cat’s Dream and Son of Thunder in the Colts.

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As expected, Mandaluyong City Mayor lawyer Benhur C. Abalos’s Gentle Strength triumphed in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race last March 21 at Santa Ana Park.

Ridden by jockey Jonathan Hernandez, Gentle Strength earned P600,000 for first, followed by Stony Road Horse Farm’s Incredible Hook in second and Pierre Niles’s Dominatore in third.

Mariano Tirona won the breeder’s purse of P50,000. Gentle Strength is by Ultimate Goal (USA) out of Shadow of the Moon (USA).

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