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metro manila turf club

THW: 3rd leg Triple Crown, Third Racetrack

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  13 July 2011, Wednesday

3rd leg Triple Crown, Third Racetrack

We’re heading down the stretch and close to the wire for the elite championship series for local-born 3YO, the Triple Crown.

Sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission, the series tests the strength, speed, and stamina of the worthiest crop of young chargers for this season.

Declared to run at Santa Ana Park on Sunday are a full gate of entries – fillies (to carry 52 kgs each): Cheese Mosa, Constatic; colts (54 kgs): Arvindugo, Barkley, Finest Material, Hari ng Yambo, High Voltage, Just for Keeps, Lord of War, Magna Carta, Maker’s Mark, Smart Guru, Tensile Strength, The Rock.

Hari ng Yambo won the first leg as a longshot, hitting the wire six lengths ahead of Magna Carta, who was sent off as the favorite that time.  It was a humbling loss for the much-touted son of Woodman (USA) out of Pledge the Fifth (USA). He struck back, however, in the second leg, winning by half-a-length over Lord of War. Hari ng Yambo finished last in the nine-horse field.

This time around, I’m seeing another good performance by Magna Carta. Despite the short win in the second leg, the energetic colt owned by Michael Dragon Javier is in fine form and should do well against the rest of the field, although it will be hard going, given the high quality of the competition.

Coupled entries Arvindugo and Cheese Mosa will also go on my ruta (bet combination). As racing punters will tell you, ‘bet one, take one’ is always an advantage. Cheese Mosa won the second leg of the Hopeful Stakes, also for elite 3YO, beating eleven others and winning by four lengths ahead of Prime Rate (who is entered in the third leg of the Hopeful Stakes on Saturday).

Not only that, Cheese Mosa notched a time for that race that was a few fractions of a second better than the time posted by Magna Carta in the second leg of the Triple Crown!

Meanwhile, her coupled entry Arvindugo placed fourth in the Triple Crown’s second leg.

Speaking of the third leg of the Philracom Hopeful Stakes, there are 12 participants: fillies (52 kgs): Coal Harbor, Dimasalang, Gandang Pinay, Prime Rate; colts (54 kgs): Midnight Myth, My Keys, Sir Ferdinand, Thirdy Thirdy, Tony Pee, Top Connection, Tucker’s Diamond, Wonder Lev.

I’m looking at Prime Rate here (he came in second in the last leg), Dimasalang, and stayer Wonder Lev.

Philracom is also sponsoring the Philippine Sportwriters Association Cup, to be held Sunday along with the Triple Crown third leg.

* * * * *

Horseowners and businessmen Norberto Quisumbing Jr. and lawyer J. Alexander R. Carandang recently announced that construction of another racetrack will start soon in Batangas, once all necessary permits have been obtained. Their Metro Manila Turf Club complex will be located inside the Dolores Industrial Park Complex which straddles Malvar and Tanauan cities.

The facility will occupy 24 hectares and shall comprise a “state-of-the-art grandstand and clubhouse, food stalls and restaurants, jockeys’ and grooms’ quarters, offices, saddling paddocks, horse stables clusters, and veterinary clinics.

Dr. Quisumbing was quoted in the article as saying that the project shall provide “an estimated 1,500 direct jobs” in the area – and that’s good news. More on this project in my next column. ***

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KL: 3rd Racetrack, Malapit Na!

by Jenny on August 16, 2011

KARERA LANG!  by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera, 9 July 2011, Saturday

3rd Racetrack, Malapit Na!

Nagpalabas kamakailan ng anunsiyo ang Metro Manila Turf Club Inc. (MMTCI) na nasa unang yugto na ng development ang kanilang racing complex at clubhouse sa loob ng Dolores Industrial Park eco-tourism at leisure area sa Batangas. Ang complex na ito ay sakop ng mga bayan ng Malvar at Tanauan.

Ang Dolores Industrial Park Corporation ay pinangungunahan ng kanilang chairman, horseowner Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr. Aniya sa anunsiyo, naniniwala siya at ang kanyang mga kasamang negosyante na ang probinsiya ng Batangas, lalo na ang dalawang naturang bayan, ay may growth at investment opportunities sa tourism at leisure sector na maari pang palaguhin at palakihin.

Ayon naman kay MMTCI executive vice president J. Alexander R. Carandang (na isa ring horseowner), ang complex ay magkakaroon ng magandang grandstand at clubhouse, mga kainan, quarters ng mga hinete at sota, mga opisina, saddling paddocks, cuadra ng mga kabayo, klinik ng mga beterinaryo – in short, lahat ng mga kailangan sa isang state-of-the-art racing facility.

Sa loob ng Metro Turf ay magtatayo rin ng sports complex na may soccer field, baseball field, at 400-meter track-and-field oval para sa mga sports events na gaganapin sa Batangas at karatig lugar.

Ayon kay Atty. Carandang, kinukumpleto nila ang mga permits na kailangan upang masimulan na ang construction sa bandang 3rd quarter ng taong ito.

Ang maganda sa proyektong ito ay magkakaroon ng karagdagang economic opportunities at trabaho para sa mga taga-Batangas, na isa nang “horsey” community dahil naroon sa bandang Lipa ang karamihan ng thoroughbred breeding ranches sa bansa.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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THW: Third Race Track?

by Jenny on September 9, 2010

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 8 September 2010, Wednesday

Third Race Track?

Headline got your attention? Of course it would. For ages since anyone can remember, there have been only two – the Manila Jockey Club (founded 1867) and the Philippine Racing Club (1937). Yet in this age of declining sales due to substitute products (other forms of entertainment), an investor is poised to set up another facility as a venue for the ‘sport of kings’.

Over breakfast last week with horseowner and businessman Norberto Quisumbing, he discussed his vision for Metro Manila Turf Club. The 25-hectare property sits on the towns of Malvar and Tanuan in Batangas, sharing the cool climate of nearby Lipa, where 80% of the country’s Thoroughbred breeding ranches are located. Building a racing facility in this area, said Dr. Quisumbing, is only logical, given the close proximity of the farms where the horses are bred and spelled.

The track surface will be of sea sand, which is plentiful in this archipelago and still has, to many minds, excellent features such as superior drainage and good cushioning, as long as it is of the right grade. It is also cost-effective. A comfortable grandstand will be built that will have restaurants and VIP boxes – think Santa Anita Park in California. Stables will be constructed close by.

Apart from the racetrack, other contemplated amenities are villas and other residential spaces, a landscaped park for rest and relaxation, and a horseback riding trail. Groundbreaking for the project is slated for the end of this year, with completion by late 2011 or early 2012.

With the existing two tracks already in stiff competition for sales, the addition of a third racecourse will up the ante on the business and marketing end. At present, neither MJC nor PRC have anything by way of a consistent, branded marketing effort that makes intensive and effective use of traditional advertising channels and professional ad agencies. Much reliance is still placed on the existing niche market, word-of-mouth, and cable television racing channels run by homegrown talents, not experienced pros from the networks.

In terms of computer-mediated communication, the racing community might as well be in the Dark Ages. Use of digital media such as the Internet are not optimized; the official websites are slow and cranky, with minimal content that is not often updated. The fan websites provide more interesting and dynamic user-generated content. Mobile phones? Social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which have proven powerful for disseminating information? Forget it.

One constraint the industry has that it perhaps does not realize is the inadequacy of competent and imaginative writers to produce quality material. Racing needs not only competent, but excellent writers.

The sport of kings is alive and thriving in the Philippines; what a pity not more than a handful of people know about it. But hope springs eternal; perhaps someday the tracks will recognize the importance of communication and use trending channels in addition to others that have been proven effective for business purposes.

However, it must be mentioned that the industry also operates under heavy burdens, among them taxation. Philippine racing is among the highest taxed in the world while track take is low, leaving little left over for the tracks after operations to improve their facilities with.

A pending bill in Congress, authored by Tarlac representative Jeci Lapus and left over from last year, which was written by Palawan congressman Abraham Mitra and supported by Manila lawmaker Amado Bagatsing, seeks to reduce some racing taxes in a move to boost the sport’s sagging revenues by making it more attractive to bettors.

Maybe this year that law will finally be passed and bring some relief to an industry filled with passionate supporters like Dr. Quisumbing and stalwart institutions like PRC and MJC. ***

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