THW: Philtobo Championships, Historic Tie-Up

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 30 November 2011, Wednesday

Philtobo Championships, Historic Tie-Up

            Coming on the heels of the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners (MARHO) Cup Swift Sixteen championships is another major racing festival at Santa Ana Park, starting today until Sunday, December 4.

The Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization’s annual event will provide added prizes for class-division races from Thursday this week till Saturday, culminating with its 12th Grand Championship Day on Sunday, with four power-packed major races open to Philtobo-nominated local-bred and island-born runners.

The big money one, with P3 million in total prizes, is the Philtobo Juvenile Grand Championship for 2YO which will feature a dozen entries to battle over a mile – Rita Bustamante’s Bechot, to be ridden by jockey Jordan Cordova; Nathaniel Velasco’s Cinderella Kid with Fernando Raquel Jr.;

Joseph Dyhengco’s Dajorca with Rodeo Fernandez; Honorato Neri’s Fort Alamo with Antonio Alcasid Jr.; Kenneth Causon’s Humble Riches with Val Dilema and Isa Pa Isa Pa with Kelvin Abobo;

Mayor Sandy Javier’s Ikel with John Paul Guce and Spring Collection with Jesse Guce;  Herminio Esguerra’s Purple Ribbon with Patricio Dilema; Panfilo Castro’s Smarty Ryan with Dominador Borbe Jr.;  Pierre Niles’s Steel Creation with Jonathan Hernandez; and Francis Lim’s Yes Yes Yes.

The P3 million for this race provides P1.8 million for first; 2nd, P675,000; 3rd, P375,000; 4th, P150,000.

The 2,000-meter Grand Championship Classic will showcase Tarlac congressman Jeci Lapus’s Carriedo with Hernandez on top; Bienvenido Niles Jr.’s Compelled to Lead with Jesse Guce; Emmanuel King Jr.’s Money Queen with Borbe; and Emmanuel Santos’s Oh Wacky with John Paul Guce. The winner will receive P300,000; 2nd, 112,500; 3rd, 62,500; and 4th, 25,000, for a total of P500,000 in prizes.

Entered in the mile-long 3YO Fillies Race are Esguerra’s Dimasalang, with Raquel as jockey; Felizardo Sevilla Jr.’s Prime Rate, with Mark Alvarez; Pierre Niles’s Royalty Material, with Jesse Guce; and Javier’s Yellow Stein, with John Paul Guce.

In the 3YO Colts race, also to be run over a mile, are Dyhengco’s Charming Santi with Fernandez; Esguerra’s Maker’s Mark with Patricio Dilema; Wilbert Tan’s Sulong Pinoy with John Paul Guce; and Sevilla’s Tensile Strength with Regan Mamucod.

Both the 3YO Fillies and 3YO Colts Races have prize money of P400,000 each, with P240,000 for the winner, P90,000 for 2nd, P50,000 for 3rd, and P20,000 for 4th.

These four championships are backed by sponsors Philippine Racing Commission, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Santa Ana Park.

Nine special trophy races will fill the rest of the card on Sunday. Three of those are the Juvenile Colts STR, Juvenile Fillies STR, and Juvenile Sprint STR, each with guaranteed and added prizes.

The other sponsors of the Philtobo event are ACGS veterinary supply, PGA Cars, Manila Insurance, Ridgemont Trading, Pryde’s Easifeed, and Jade Bros. Brokerage.

* * *

Last November 24 was a historic day for Philippine horseracing and gaming, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between PAGCOR, Manila Jockey Club, and Philippine Racing Club.

The agreement explores the feasibility of putting at least one horseracing betting terminal in each of 20 PAGCOR casinos and franchisees nationwide. The proposal was innovated by Congress Games & Amusements committee chairman, Manila congressman Amado S. Bagatsing.

Among those present at the signing ceremony at the Hyatt Hotel-Manila were personalities from the gaming and horseracing worlds – PAGCOR president Jorge V. Sarmiento, MJC chairman & CEO Atty. Alfonso R. Reyno Jr., MJC EVP & COO Atty. King Reyno, PRC EVP & COO Atty. Ramon P. Ereneta Jr., MARHO corporate secretary Atty. Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., Philracom chairman Angel L. Castano Jr. and director Engr. Jesus Cantos, and Metro Manila Turf Club president Atty. Jose Alexander R. Carandang, with others from MJC and PAGCOR and representatives from the trainers’, jockeys’, and other horseowners’ associations.

According to Congressman Bagatsing, additional gross racing sales from the tie-up are expected to exceed P1.5 billion yearly. Prizes for participants and dividends for horseracing bettors, as well as direct taxes to the government, will be correspondingly larger.

MJC chairman Atty. Reyno predicts that the tie-up, which he helped facilitate, will boost the racing industry and contribute to its sustainability by providing more channels for wagering other than the traditional off-track betting stations of the racing clubs.  On the gaming side, it provides an additional interesting activity for PAGCOR’s regular casino patrons.  ***

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