THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 5 February 2014, Wednesday
PCSO’s First Race in 2014
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) kicks off its racing program for the year with a Special Maiden for 3YO at Santa Ana Park on Feb. 15.
The trial for the race was held Jan. 30 over 1,200 meters. Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Kanlaon, guided by Jesse Guce, crossed the wire ahead of ten others with a time of 1:16.6 (25-23’-28).
Aristeo Puyat’s Wild Talk followed a fraction of a second later, with Black Town, Real Lady, Tan Goal, Hermosa Street, Joeymeister, Fort Courage, Royal Reign, Abantero, and Batangas Dream checking in after them in that order.
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The PCSO issued an advisory to the racing industry that in 2015, only previous Sweepstakes runners would be eligible to compete in the PCSO’s major races – the Presidential Gold Cup, Silver Cup, Freedom Cup, National Grand Derby, and Anniversary Cup – that draw the top-ranked horses of the season.
This drew negative reactions from horseowners, who asked that the former open eligibity rule be maintained. Many elite horses are lightly raced and some might not be entered in the Sweepstakes races for strategic, health, or other reasons.
The new rule would render them ineligible to be entered in the major PCSO races that are usually part of their campaigns.
The PCSO is open to discussing the matter and is only awaiting formal letters from the concerned racing stakeholders to do so.
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The Congress Games and Amusements Committee held a hearing last Monday regarding the proposed bill creating the Philippine Thoroughbred Authority (PTA).
Authored by Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing, the bill seeks to more or less revamp the structure of the Philippine Racing Commission and has been filed in the previous two Congresses.
Speaking of racing laws, whatever happened to the racing taxes bill that was drawn up by Rep. Bagatsing and then-Palawan Rep. Baham Mitra around the same time?
That proposed law seeks to rationalize racing taxes. By reducing taxes, it is anticipated that higher sales will be produced, in turn leading to higher tax revenue for the government. This trend is borne out by the historical data.
It already passed the lower House two Congresses ago but didn’t make its way to the Senate. It seems to have languished in proposed bills purgatory after that because nothing more was heard of it.
Let’s hope these two proposed laws that benefit the racing community in particular and society in general finally make headway along the labyrinthian maze that is our lawmaking branch of government. ***