THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 14 October 2009, Wednesday
PCSO Diamond Races
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, this year celebrating “75 years of spreading charity”, winds up its 2009 anniversary activities with a salvo of special racing events for the last quarter of the calendar.
Set for October 31, Saturday, at the Philippine Racing Club’s New Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, is the PCSO 75th Anniversary Racing Festival. According to PCSO Committee on Races chairman lawyer Jose Malang, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, as the Diamond anniversary happens only once. The next major one won’t be until the centennial twenty-five years from now. That is why we made sure to stage this unique event.”
The event will be conducted, Malang added, “in cooperation with the horseracing industry, a valued partner of PCSO for decades. In particular, the Philippine Racing Commission and Philippine Racing Club have assured us of their assistance.”
Philracom chairman lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said that “The Commission is proud to be part of this event, in the spirit of mutual support that has always tied the PCSO and the racing industry.”
On the side of PRC, executive vice-president and chief operating officer lawyer Ramon P. Ereñeta Jr. promised the full support of the racing club “to assist PCSO in staging a memorable event as part of their Diamond anniversary observance.”
The highlight race is the PCSO 75th Anniversary Race, which, said Malang, “will feature some of the best thoroughbreds in the country and showcase the improvement of horseracing and breeding over the years.”
According to PCSO Committee on Races vice-chairman Rey Empremiado, the prize money for the race is one million pesos for first to fourth places, with the winner to receive P600,000. “This race and the nine others organized by PCSO,” he said, “shall serve as a major incentive and a fitting recognition of the partnership between PCSO, the racing industry, and the racing public that complemented our common advocacy of raising funds for charity.”
The nine other PCSO races have hefty purses of P300,000 each (first to fourth places), and are named after PCSO games – the EZ2 Lotto, 6/45 Megalotto, 3/4/6 Digit, 6/42 Lotto, 6/49 Superlotto, Online Keno, Small-Town Lottery, 5+1 Power Lotto, and Traditional Sweepstakes.
The three remaining races on the October 31 card will be sponsored by Philracom.
Meanwhile, in other racing news – a memorandum of agreement was signed recently by the Philracom and the Philippine Race Horse Trainers Association for the establishment of a race horse trainers’ academy. This is similar to the jockeys’ academy, formerly run by Philracom and to be operated by the New Philippine Jockeys’ Association. The curriculum for the trainers’ school was based in part on that of the NPJA’s proposed development program for jockeys, with the addition of seminars on stable management and administrative skills for trainers.
Finally, for registered owners wishing to enter their horses in the November 24-29 Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners Jade Anniversary Championships, the declaration date is October 29 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Handicapping Department. The six major races and their distances and prizes are: Sprint, 900 meters, P500,000; Juvenile Fillies, Juvenile Colts, 1500m, P1 million each; Filly Mile, Colt Mile, 1600m, P1 million each; and the Classic, 2000m, P1.2 million. Only local-bred horses nominated to the MARHO program are eligible to enter. ***