THW: Off-track betting soon in Makati

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 20 June 2012, Wednesday

Off-track betting soon in Makati

Mayor Junjun Binay has given the go-signal for off-track betting stations to open in Makati City.

Manila Jockey Club will be the first to deploy there in August, according to Philippine Racing Commission executive director Jesus Cantos.

Permits for OTBs to operate are given by local government units. So even if horseracing is a legitimate activity under the law, it is left to the discretion of city mayors whether or not to allow OTBs on their turf.

For decades, the only OTB allowed to operate in Makati was the one inside Santa Ana Park along AP Reyes Avenue, built way back in 1937 on the fringes of Makati and Manila.

While the racing operations of Santa Ana Park were moved to their new facility in Naic, Cavite, a few years back, their OTB at the old site was still allowed to operate.

After representations made to Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and through the intercession of Makati first district councilor Ferdie Eusebio, himself an avid racing aficionado, the permission was given for other OTBs to open in that city.

This is a fantastic development. Not only will it extend racing’s reach to untapped markets, it will also open up direct and indirect livelihood and business opportunities for OTB operators, restaurants, their suppliers of food, drink, and what-not, in a multiplier effect that is sure to have a positive impact on the city’s economic activities.

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Philracom plans to overhaul its Juvenile Stakes Series after a dearth of entries forced the cancellation of the first leg, which was supposed to have been held at San Lazaro Leisure Park last weekend.

Commissioner Cantos said that because of local breeding rules, foals are born most often during the first few months of the year; and June being when the first leg of the juvenile series is usually held, some of the young horses are rushed in their training and sometimes may be run when they are not fully ready to bear the intense physical demands of racing.

“Philracom will correct this next season,” said Commissioner Cantos. He said that they will study strategies such as moving the first leg of the series a month or two later, perhaps to July or August, and reducing the race distance.

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            In the June 9 Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race, Batangas Fighter showed his mettle by winning wire-to-wire over a band of other talented 3YO.

In the 1,200-meter race held at Santa Ana Park, the entry owned by Divina Dy showed class by grabbing the lead right out of the gate.

Blank Check paced behind in second, Power Factor in third, with the others were strung out behind them like cars behind a train.

Batangas Fighter won by four lengths over Power Factor, posting a total time of 1:14’ with splits of 24’-23’-26’.

Statuesque placed third, Esprit de Corps fourth, then Blank Check and Classy Jeune (who also came in last during the trial race). ***

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