Posts Tagged ‘gran copa de manila’

THW: Mayor Ramon Bagatsing Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 3 August 2011, Wednesday

Mayor Ramon Bagatsing Cup

There are horseracing events that are staged as a matter of course, are there are those that grab the fancy and become an annual tradition, kept up in the face of economic challenges purely for the love of the sport. One such is the Bagatsing Cup, to be run in its third edition on August 19 at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park.

The event was first staged in 2009 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite, organized by the Bagatsing family of Manila city politics in honor of the clan patriarch, the late Manila mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing.

The racing festival was conceived as an hommage to their father by present fifth district Manila congressman Amado Bagatsing and former congressman lawyer Ramon D. Bagatsing Jr. Both, like their father, are also horseowners and have been since their 20s, encouraged by their father who enjoyed spending weekends watching the races at the old San Lazaro Hippodrome in Tayuman or puttering around his thoroughbred farm, watching mares and foals at play.

Atty. Bagatsing says of those times that his father would, after work at City Hall, “…put on his cowboy hat. That was a signal that he was off to the farm in Batangas for some peace and quiet with the horses.”

In part, the event was also conceived as a modest revival of the Gran Copa de Manila races of the MJC. Initiated in 1896, it had its glory days in the 1970s to ‘90s, held in conjunction with the Araw ng Maynila celebrations with big-name sponsors such as San Miguel Beer backing the prize money and freebies for racing patrons. In addition to trophy races, two major races were held as the culminating events – the Division I and the Division II.

When MJC moved to Carmona, Cavite, in 2003, the event was held only once more there before being halted because, management said, the racing club was no longer in Manila.  Fans mourned the passing of a tradition.

But with the institution of the Bagatsing Memorial Racing Festival in 2009, the Division I and II races were revived, without, however, the huge prize money. Still, the sentiment was there and it was warmly welcomed by fans, making the first event one of the most successful on the calendar that year.

This year, on August 19, the late mayor’s birthday, in addition to the Division I (for 3YO) and Division II (for imported and local horses) races, there will be seven other trophy races on the day.

Also instituted as a tradition was the giving of cash prizes to the grooms of the winning horses, a gesture that is not commonly done as grooms already receive a percentage of the gross prize money. The extra cash of P3,000 along with a sack of rice were welcome incentives, prompting some grooms to dub this the “Grooms’ Racing Festival”, which pleases the Bagatsing brothers.

“We started the event to honor not only our father, but also the people who work behind the scenes of the sport yet play a huge part in it,” said Atty. Bagatsing.

Added Congressman Bagatsing, “Grooms are overlooked and unrecognized. My late father always had a special place in his heart for the marginalized. In this way, we honor his memory by giving recognition and prizes that are long overdue.”

The Bagatsing family thanks the Philippine Racing Commission, the major sponsor of the event, for the support given since the racefest’s inception. We’ll bring you more details as they firm up.   ***

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KL: Agosto 21 PCSO Special Maiden Race

KARERA LANG!  by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  30 July 2011, Saturday

Agosto 21 PCSO Maiden Race

Inanunsiyo na kamakailan ng Draw and Races Department ng Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office ang official lineup ng mga kasali sa Agosto 21 Special Maiden Race ng PCSO.

Ang karera ay bukas sa mga 2YO (Open) at gaganapin sa San Lazaro Leisure Park ng Manila Jockey Club sa distansiyang 1,300 meters.

Ang trial race para dito ay nakatakda para sa Agosto 2, parehong pista at distansiya. Heto ang mga deklaradong kalahok:

Colts (magdadala ng 54 kg): Who Else ni Eduardo Gonzalez (sasakyan ni jockey Esmael  Nahilat); Kamikazi ni Ramoncito Arceo (jockey Pipoy Silva), Hamaheat ni Fe Eliscupides (Rodeo Fernandez), Alta’s Choice ni Robert Joseph Moran (Val Dilema), Pleasantly Perfect ni Divina Dy (Jonathan Hernandez), Dancing Dolphin ni Tarlac congressman Jeci Lapus (Red de Leon), at Carmelo ni Danilo Estacio (Michael Yap).

Filly (magdadala ng 52 kg): Louie Alexa ni Paolo Mendoza (Patty Dilema).

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            Sa SLLP rin gaganapin ang 3rd Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing Memorial Cup, sa Agosto 19, Biernes, na siyang araw ng kapanganakan ng yumaong alkalde.

Ayon sa kanyang anak na horseowner rin, dating kongresista ng Maynila Atty Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., inaasikaso na ng pamilya ang mga pakarera sa araw na ito, kasama sina MJC racing manager Jose Ramon Magboo at corporate communications officer Nathan Mazo, at Philippine Racing Commission sports and games officer (handicapper) Rolando Lansangan.

Magkakaroon ng siyam na karera sa araw na iyon. Dalawa rito ang parang Gran Copa de Manila – tinaguriang Division I (para sa 3YO) at Division II (imported-local open). Ang pitong karera pa ay special trophy races.

Abangan ang dalawang karerang ito sa susunod na buwan!

            Karera lang – walang personalan!   ***

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THW: A Sense of Racing History

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  29 June 2011, Wednesday

A Sense of Racing History       

Filipinos in general don’t have a sense of history.

True or false?

In my experience, I’ve found this to be true, more often than not. Sadly for those who do appreciate the past, the horseracing milieu does not keep memorabilia, ephemera, pictures, clippings, and other tokens of the past. There isn’t even an archive of early races. I envy US racing, which has footage of races from as far back as the 1930s, and even older than that, perhaps. We can watch Seabiscuit and Man O’War run over and over. We can still view Secretariat race each succeeding quarter of the 1973 Kentucky Derby faster than the one before it, and be wrapped up in the display of power, speed, and sheer joy in running.

Yet we do not even have footage of our own champion horses like Triple Crown sweepsters Fair and Square, Time Master, Sun Dancer – and I’m just talking the’80s.

Thankfully, the present management of the racing clubs – Philippine Racing Club and Manila Jockey Club – have kept copies since the change of management and ownership in the ‘90s and the advent of the digital age. CDs and DVDs take up less space and are easier to manage than other forms of video storage.

However, the loss of our precious racing heritage is still deplorable. Apart from the lack of archives, there aren’t any books on racing. The gap needs to be filled. But because the racing community is so small, there aren’t a lot of people who can write about the topic with authority and creativity, who can make such a vibrant and dynamic subculture such as this one come alive for readers.

But one can always hope that this situation will change in the future.

*****

 What’s got me in a nostalgic mood? Last June 24, that’s what. Araw ng Maynila. The traditional date for the running of what used to be one of the most significant races on the calendar – the Gran Copa de Manila, once staged at MJC’s San Lazaro Hippodrome in Tayuman.

The Hippodrome was a lovely Art Deco grandstand, designed by National Artist architect Juan Nakpil, that had become unkempt and shabby through the decades and was torn down to make way for an SM Mall and other modern high-rise buildings. The development has beat back inner-city decay somewhat and contributed positively to the area economy, but yet again it shows how little Filipinos value history, and the beauty of historical artifacts and structures.

When MJC moved to a much larger site in Carmona, Cavite, in 2003, the Gran Copa was held only until in 2006. (Supercolt Real Spicy won that year.) Too bad. That’s another bit of history that’s lost in the past.   ***

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KL: Kasaysayan ng Gran Copa de Manila

KARERA LANG!   by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  28 June 2011, Tuesday

Kasaysayan ng Gran Copa de Manila

Nabanggit ko sa kolum na ito noong nakaraang Sabado ang Gran Copa de Manila, taunang karera na idinadaos sa dating San Lazaro Hippodrome nasa Tayuman tuwing Araw ng Manila (Hunyo 24).

May mga mambabasang humingi ng karagdagang impormasyon tungkol sa tanyag na karerang iyon. Itong mga sumusunod na talata ay hango sa isang kolum na isinulat ko noong 2008 para sa yumaong diyaryong Tumbok:

“Upang ipagdiwang ang  pagtigil ng rebolusyon laban sa Kastila, pagkaraan ng pirmahan ng kasunduan sa Biak na Bato noong 1897, nag-piyesta ang lungsod ng Maynila ng isang buong buwan – Enero 1898 – tampok ang karera ng bangka, paputok, dula, at iba pang libangan.

“Ang Manila Jockey Club naman ay nakaisip na magpakarera at binansagan nila itong Gran Copa de Manila, na itinakda nila ng Mayo 1 ng taong iyon. Nagpagawa sila sa Hong Kong ng napagandang kopa o tropeo na gawa sa pilak, 22 inches ang laki, na may dekorasyon na ulo ng kabayo at iba pang palamuti.

“Ngunit sa araw mismo ng karera pumutok ang Spanish-American War. Nagsara ang MJC at pinadala nila ang tropeo sa vault ng Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.

Isinauli ng bangko ang tropeo sa MJC noong 1937. Noong panahon naman ng Ikalawang Digmaan, 1941, itinago ng isang opisyal ng MJC, si Dr. Salustiano Herrera, ang kopa at ibinalik ito sa MJC noong peacetime na.

“Hindi naigawad ang orihinal na Gran Copa, at nawala ito ng tuluyan sa isang sunog noong 1971 sa dating San Lazaro Hippodrome ng MJC sa Tayuman, Manila. (Ang naka-display ngayon sa SLLP ay replika nalang.)

“Noong panahon ni Manila Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing, mga early 1970s, ibinalik niya ang tradisyon ng Gran Copa de Manila at mula noon ay itinanghal ito taun-taon sa Hippodrome sa loob ng higit tatlong dekada.

“Ito ay sinuportahan ng San Miguel Corporation at tinawag ang karera na “San Miguel Beer- Gran Copa de Manila”. Ayon sa Australyanong racecaller na si Peter Morrison, na narito noong mga panahong iyon, ang Gran Copa raw ay ang pinakasikat na event ng MJC na nagbabasag ng mga sales at attendance records.

“Noong mid-1990s, ibinenta ng pamilya Prieto ang MJC sa pamilya Reyno at iba pang mga stockholders. Nilipat ang MJC sa bagong pista sa Carmona – ang San Lazaro Leisure Park – noon 1 April 2003.

“Itinuloy pa rin doon ang Gran Copa,  at ang huling pagtatanghal nito ay noong 26 June 2006. Ang winner ay si Real Spicy, segundo si Ever Mine Now, at tercero si La Tienne. Dahil wala na ring corporate sponsor noon, medyo mababa nga ang premyo, at natuluyan nang nawala ito nang sumunod na dalawang taon.

“Sana maibalik ang tradisyon na ito. Sayang, dahil napakalawig ng kasaysayan ng karerang ito para maputol lang.”

Karera lang – walang personalan! *** 

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KL: PCSO Special Maiden Race

KARERA LANG!   by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  25 June 2011, Saturday

PCSO Special Maiden Race

Hindi na matutuloy ang Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Race na nakatakda ng Hulyo 17 sa Santa Ana Park.

Kaunti lamang ang mga kabayo ang unang nagpalista para sa karera, kaya nagpa-substitute group ang mga handicappers ng Philippine Racing Club at ang PCSO upang maka-engganyo ng iba pang sasali.

Ngunit noong kamakailan, nag-anunsiyo ang PCSO Draw and Races department na dahil sa kakaunti lamang ang nagpa-deklara, kakanselahin na ang karera at ililipat nalang ito ng araw, sa Disyembre 4 sa Santa Ana Park pa rin.

Sayang naman na hindi nabuo ang karerang ito. Isipin nalang natin na ang paglipat ng schedule ng karera ay makakapag-bigay ng pagkakataon sa ibang kabayo na maaring maihanda ng kanilang trainer sa mga darating na buwan.

* * * *  *

Patuloy pa rin ang pagbuhos ng matinding ulan sa Maynila kahapon, Hunyo 24, ang ika-440 Araw ng Maynila. Naalala ko tuloy ang napakasayang mga karerang idinadaos sa San Lazaro Hippodrome sa Tayuman dati kapag Araw ng Maynila, at ang pinaka-tampok dito ay ang Gran Copa de Manila.

Ito ay unang itinakda ng Manila Jockey Club noong 1896. Umorder pa galing Hong Kong ng napakagarang tropeo, malaki, mabigat, at gawa sa pilak, ngunit sa kasamaang-palad hindi natuloy ang karera dahil sumiklab na ang Spanish-American War noong panahong iyon.

Itinabi ng MJC ang tropeo, ngunit nawasak din ito noong 1970s sa isang sunog. Noong mayor ng Maynila ang yumaong Ramon Bagatsing Sr., minabuti niyang buhayin ang karerang ito at ang Gran Copa ang naging highlight race kada taon sa San Lazaro.

Sayang nalang na hindi pinagpatuloy ng MJC ang tradisyong ito noong inilipat nila ang karerahan sa Carmona.

Para sa mga kareristang old-timer, ang Gran Copa ay isang magandang alaala nalang ng nakaraang ‘glory days’ ng karera.   ***

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