THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 30 January 2013, Wednesday
“2-2-2” Racing Schedule is Official
The Philippine Racing Commission signed last January 25 a resolution giving two racing days each every week to the racetracks of Manila Jockey Club, Philippine Racing Club, and Metro Manila Turf Club.
To be exact, Resolution No. 05-13 states that “the three racing clubs will have two days’ race schedule each and such schedule shall be implemented beginning the third week of February 2013.”
I mentioned this in one of my previous columns as being one of the scheduling options being mulled over by the Commission in its efforts to apportion the number of racing days in as fair and equitable manner as possible given the unusual circumstances.
All sectors of the industry, as well as aficionados and racing partners such as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, are awaiting the revised racing calendar which allots the racedays to specific tracks.
For one thing, PCSO might have to redo its 2013 racing schedule with regards to dates and venues.
The horseowners’ tri-organization comprising MARHO, Philtobo, and Klub Don Juan de Manila have written Philracom asking to be furnished the racing calendar.
Once again they expressed their dismay over the lack of consultation with their sector.
“While we do not wish to disrupt the prerogative of the Philracom on the scheduling of races,” said the tri-org in its letter, “and with due respect to the franchise laws of the three racing clubs, we express our serious concern and reservations that once again, the racehorse owners were never consulted on this very important matter.
“The horseowners are major investors in this industry; without our horses, there can be no racing. Allowing each club to run two days each in a raceweek will affect the economics of our operations in terms of transport cost and possible further loss of income for the horseowners.”
Trailer operators say that they will charge transport fees of P5,000 per horse from PRC’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite to MetroTurf in Malvar, Batangas, and P3,000 per horse from MJC’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite to Malvar.
It would indeed make horseowners think twice to transport horses merely running in barrier trials or in races to move down groups (they have no chance of earning prize money in these situations).
For the jockeys, it will be “an inconvenience, but a minor one,” said New Philippine Jockeys Association president Antonio B. Alcasid Jr. “Everybody has to adjust.”
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The horseowners’ tri-org was gratified by Philracom’s swift and positive response to their letter on the 3YO-to-4YO handicapping issue.
The Commission assured the tri-org that as they requested, the 3YO-to-4YO handicapping guidelines Philracom issued would be held in abeyance and that the handicapping function would be transferred from Philracom to the racing clubs by February 5.
On the horseowners’ request that “money earned” be the basis for handicapping, the Commission replied that they have “already established the fundamentals for the club handicappers to adopt” in order to “carry out a fair and systematic racing culture” while maintaining the Philracom’s “oversight function” to “ensure and maintain the integrity of horseracing.”
A subsequent letter from the Commission to the tri-org asked the horseowners to provide a “consolidated recommendation on guidelines about the transition of 3YO to 4YO.”
The tri-org submitted yesterday their proposed guidelines, a class-division (CD) system based on prize earnings.
They will also be creating a simplified CD system for 2YO-to-3YO racing. As conceived by former Philracom chairman Andrew Sanchez, the scheme groups 2YO into CD groups; they will laterally move to the same CD group in the 3YO racing system the following year (for example, a 2YO in CD 4 exits to 3YO – CD 4).
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A public hearing was held in the Senate yesterday on the “Philippine Thoroughbred Racing Authority” bill authored by congressmen Amado Bagatsing, Jeci Lapus, and others.
The meeting was presided over by Senator Ralph Recto, chairman of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises.
The bill seeks to transform the nature of Philracom from the usual sort of government agency into a government-owned-and-controlled corporation.
Racing industry leaders attended the hearing. More on this later as it develops.
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Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos scored in the January 26 PCSO Special Maiden race for 3YO with the wire-to-wire win of his entry El Libertador at Santa Ana Park.
The Perfect Cut x Savanna Wind colt clocked 1:15.6 (26-23’-26) over 1,200 meters with Kelvin Abobo on board. The trainer is Jojo Angeles.
Royal Maverick, Top Story, and Kidney’s Magic were the placers, in that order.
In the January 29 trial for the PCSO Special Maiden race to be held next month in SLLP, Appointment hit the wire first doing 1:24.4 over 1,300 meters, followed by Sky Drifter, Queen Quaker, Azimuth, Magical Boy, and Sure Class.