THW: Happy Anniversary, Philracom!

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 21 March 2012, Wednesday

Happy Anniversary, Philracom!

It’s been 38 years yesterday since the establishment of the government regulatory body over the sport of horseracing – the Philippine Racing Commission.

Its first chairman way back in 1974 was Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. (presently chairman and CEO of San Miguel Corporation). Himself a horseman, he saw the need to improve bloodstock in the Philippines not only for racing but for other equine sports, with a view to creating new kinds of jobs and agricultural development.

Over the decades, the sport has grown as has the community surrounding it. While the sport itself has been around in various guises from amateur to pro since the mid-1800s, if not earlier, only in recent decades since the founding of the Philracom has the local Thoroughbred industry grown by giant leaps, rather than baby steps.

Today racing and breeding are a multi-billion industry, responsible for jobs and infrastructure and animal development. It’s hard to think what sort of sporting scene we’ve had if we didn’t have racing; there’s so much rich history around Philippine racing, so many stories and legends that entire libraries of books could be written about it.

Congratulations and happy anniversary to the current Philracom board – chairman Angel L. Castaño Jr., and commissioners engineer Jesus “Jess” Cantos (also executive director), lawyers Victor Tantoco and Franco Loyola, veterinarian Reynaldo Fernando, and former star jockey Lyndon Noel Guce – and to all the officials and employees of Philracom.

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In less than two weeks, we’ll be watching the Philracom-sponsored races for April, all happening at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite:

Apr. 1: Diamond I Stakes, 3rd leg Import/Local Challenge series, 1,750 meters; Apr. 14, Diamond II Stakes for 3YO local fillies, 1,600 meters; Apr. 15, Diamond III Stakes for 3YO local colts, 1,600 meters.

Watch for the release of the lineup, especially the last two races which serve as “Road to the Triple Crown”, or tuneup races for 3YO horses that may be entered in the highly competitive Triple Crown series, the first leg of which is set for May 20 at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

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Meanwhile, the nomination of entries to the next Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office races was held yesterday at the PCSO Draw & Races department. I’ll let you know the lineup next week.   ***

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