THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 4 November 2009, Wednesday
PCSO Diamond Races, Part 1
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office unleashed last Sunday the first salvo of its extravagant Diamond Anniversary racing festivals commemorating the 75th year of the government agency’s existence.
Held at the Philippine Racing Club’s New Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, four PCSO races and three Philippine Racing Commission-backed races contributed to the excitement of the day’s 13-race card.
The PCSO events each dangled a total prize of P300,000 for first to fourth placers, which attracted many entries. They were also charity races, with the proceeds going to designated beneficiaries.
The PCSO Online Keno Race was a short 1,300-meter sprint featuring 12 runners. A closely-fought battle resulted in a two-length win for third favorite Speedy McKie. The 3YO filly sired by Royal Premiere (USA) out of Happy Heart (USA), clocked a total time of 1:21.4. Owned by Kenneth Causon, it is conditioned by young trainer Eric Clor and was ridden by the talented John Alvin Guce. The race beneficiary was the Ateneo Law School’s Aquila Legis Alumni Foundation, represented at the awarding ceremony by Atty. Farley Ampil. The funds will be used for the organization’s various charitable projects and services such as pro bono legal aid for the disadvantaged.
Mooney Money shone in the mile PCSO 6/42 Lotto Race. Sent off as the favorite, the 3YO filly by Armand Sanchez’s Mojave Moon (USA) out of Monochrome (USA) battered seven opponents to win by half a length with a time of 1:42.6, under the training of Emilio Basco and the reinsmanship of John Anthony Guce. The University of the Philippines Alpha Beta Chancery was the charity recipient, a group that also offers free legal aid as well as scholarships and conducts medical missions.
Manny Santos’s 5YO Australian import Tata Ra (Fusaichi Pegasus – Stampede) dominated in the PCSO 3/4/6 Digit Race, staging a spectacular stretch rally under the guidance of Jomel Lazaro to win by a length, clocking 1:44.5 for the mile and showing off its good training by Pat Logarta. The race proceeds were awarded to the Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines, which used the funds to benefit the family of sports columnist Cecilia Maniba.
In the 1,300-meter PCSO 5+1 Power Lotto Race, Nardy Naval’s lightly-regarded Reading Machine came from behind to win by a head, posting 1:21.7 while ridden by Daniel Camañero. Local -bred Reading Machine (Tempestuous Wind – Dr. Alexandra),a 3YO colt, is conditioned by Ruben Tupas, one of the industry’s most successful trainers. The beneficiary this time was the New Philippine Jockeys’ Association, which will use the proceeds to starts operations of the Philippine Jockeys’ Academy next year.
At the venue for all the awarding ceremonies were PCSO’s Committee on Races chairman lawyer Jose Malang and vice-chairman Rey Empremiado, with Committee members Henry Beech and Dr. Romeo Buencamino.
PCSO has a long history of partnering with the racing industry. Before new technology brought in computerized gaming products like the Lotto and online games, the agency’s main fundraising product was the Sweepstakes. Tickets bearing numbers were sold to patrons, and the draws were held in conjunction with the races, the winning numbers being the numbers of winning horses of selected races.
Said Malang, “The second salvo of the PCSO Diamond Races will be on November 28, also here at New Santa Ana Park. In store for the enjoyment of racing fans are the PCSO 75th Anniversary Cup, which is a million-peso race, and five more PCSO special races.”
The event will be staged during the week of the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners’ Jade Anniversary Breeders’ Cup event, set for November 24-29. ***