THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 29 September 2010, Wednesday
‘Ber’ Months and Big Races
Manila Jockey Club, owner-operator of San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite, has placed jockey Kelvin Abobo on a three-month suspension after all, said New Philippine Jockeys’ Association president Antonio Alcasid Jr.
The suspension prevents Abobo from riding in regular races at SLLP, but he may perform ensayo (morning workouts) and enter the track. The suspension does not extend to the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, nor is it a Philippine Racing Commission-sanctioned one, since the Philracom itself saw fit to lift the initial three-month suspension slapped upon Abobo last month by the MJC Board of Stewards for alleged “lack of interest” aboard horse Supreme Leader.
The jockeys have said many times that they do not object to the track’s imposition of bans because MJC (or PRC, for that matter) may restrict the use of facilities as they see fit, since it is their private property.
What the jockeys are asking for is a clear set of guidelines for the imposition of bans, which at present are used near arbitrarily as a punitive measure. The guidelines would greatly assuage the minds of the jockeys, and uphold fairness and due process in such matters.
On October 12, the 2,000-meter fifth leg of the Imported/Local Challenge series at SLLP pits 3YO and older horses in the Opal I stakes sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission. On October 17, Santa Ana Park will host the 1,800-meter Sampaguita Stakes for 3YO and older fillies and mares. The latter offers total prizes of P1.5 million, and is sure to attract the best runners from that category.
The racing community also looks forward to the 2010 Klub Don Juan de Manila racing festival at SLLP in October. Their sponsored races are eagerly awaited by racegoers, and kicks off the season of holiday racing marked by the MARHO Breeders’ Cup in November (this year on its milestone 15th staging), and December’s Philtobo racing festival and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup. ***