THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 29 July 2009, Wednesday
It’s what horseracing fans and insiders have been buzzing about recently – the spate of million-peso carryover amounts in the Winner-Take-All events of both the Manila Jockey Club and Philippine Racing Club.
The WTA is a betting event where one picks the winners of seven consecutive races. When race handicapping is particularly brilliant and the resulting fields well-matched in ability, the difficulty of winning the event increases. Carryovers result when no winner is declared. After paying off consolation prizes for six out of seven, the remaining amount from the wagering pool is ”carried over” to the next succeeding day that a WTA event is held, or, to another day soon after if requested by the racing club to further drum up interest and sales.
Upsets scored last Friday at PRC’s New Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, resulted in an P815,000 carryover to Saturday’s first WTA set. No one scored that one either, leading to a double carryover of P3.1 million to Sunday’s first WTA. Sales for that event shot up to P8.62 million, not including the carryover amount. This is way higher than the average P2.5 to 3 million pesos in gross sales.
Victories by longshots Par Excellence, Prying Eyes, and King’s Dominion led to a staggering P4.3 million payoff for each of two winning WTA tickets that Sunday.
Two weeks ago, unexpected winners on Triple Crown Sunday at MJC’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite, were responsible for a P4.2 million carryover to tonight’s WTA set which starts at Race 3, at 7pm. Sales for that event are conservatively estimated to hit P11 million pesos. Add to that the carryover amount and you’re looking at a wager pool of over P15 million pesos. And should more upset wins result, then racing aficionados can expect hefty dividends tonight.
Since Monday, racing fans have been poring over the programs and doing their own handicapping, choosing potential winners. Many sporting fans enjoy wagering on horseracing since there is the element of control, unlike casino games which are mostly up to chance. Analyses are made of the racehorses’ past performances and running styles (sprinter or stayer), their best times over the assigned distances, the riding style of the jockeys, and so on.
Armed with their own carefully culled data and information obtained through other channels, punters then make their choices and hope for Luck to be on their side.
On a somber note, the industry bids farewell to one of its own, horseman Albert Trinidad. One of the founding members and past presidents of the Klub Don Juan de Manila, a horseowners’ organization, he passed away early Sunday morning.
Trinidad was the son of legendary racecaller and broadcaster Tony Trinidad, and owned horses Betchabygollywow, Fascination, and Cross of Fire, among others. ***