Posts Tagged ‘philippines’

THW: Humble Riches Can Be Proud

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  21 September 2011, Wednesday

Humble Riches Can Be Proud

Emerging superfilly Humble Riches has reason to be proud after acing the 4th leg of the Philippine Racing Commission Juvenile Stakes series held last Saturday at the San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Under the guidance of jockey Val Dilema, Humble Riches won the 1,500-meter event by many lengths, clocking 1:34.2 with quarters of 17.8/24/24.8/27.6.

Mika Mika Mika put up a good fight but had to settle for second place, followed by Spring Collection and Alpha Alleanza for the final two prize-money places.

Humble Riches won the second and third leg of the series, breaking the record for 1,200 meters during the latter with a speedy 1.11.6 and winning by six lengths over Alpha Alleanza.

Jockey Antonio Alcasid Jr. has a story to tell about Humble Riches. He says according to trainer Ruben Tupas, when they began training that filly early this year, she reared when being led into the trailer that was to take her from the ranch down to the racecourse.

She hit her head on the trailer ceiling and was knocked unconscious, a condition that often leads to death.

The trainer and grooms revived Humble Riches by splashing water on her. She came round, staggered to her feet, was trucked to the track, and from then on showed that freakish speed.

Her time has been consistently better than the boys’. In the counterpart Colts stakes held last Sunday, Golden Empire fought hard for the victory, winning by three lengths wire-to-wire but only posting splits of 18.4/24.4/25/27.8 for a total 1:35.6 for the same distance. That’s over a second-and-a-half slower than Humble Riches’ time – in horseracing, that’s an eon.

Patron was second, Stolen Time third, Yes Yes Yes fourth.

The mile Philracom Juvenile Championship is set for December 11 also at SLLP. Will the 2YO crown go to Humble Riches? This is one event no racegoer should miss.

This early, I’m betting my shirt (and entire wardrobe, including shoes and handbags) on this superfilly.

* * * * *

Speaking of December 11, it’s also the date of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s Presidential Gold Cup, the most important race on the calendar.

Meanwhile, the PCSO Draw and Races Department recently announced the declared runners for its October 16 Special Maiden Race at SLLP (in order of post position drawn):

Herminio Esguerra’s Purple Ribbon, to be ridden by jockey Fernando Raquel Jr.; Ruben Dimacuha’s Make My Day  (jockey Mark Alvarez); Raymund Puyat’s Flo Jo (Christopher Garganta); Honorato Neri’s Fort Alamo (Antonio Alcasid Jr.); Doroteo Pangilinan’s Madam Theresa (Virgilio Camañero Jr.); and Dominic Francisco’s Shegar (Jordan Cordova).

* * * * *

In world racing, horses are gearing up for the November 5 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, USA. Handlers of Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo want to see the two compete in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Uncle Mo was the 2010 2YO champion. He’ll be running in the $200,000 Kelso Stakes mile (G2).

Stay Thirsty won the Jim Dandy and Travers stakes races, and will be entered in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on October 1.   ***

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KL: Humble Riches, Mas Matulin Kesa Lalaki!

KARERA LANG!  By Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  for 20 September 2011, Tuesday

Humble Riches, Mas Matulin Kesa Lalaki!

Pinatunayan noong Sabado ng babaeng kabayong si Humble Riches na siya ang number one contender para sa korona ng outstanding juvenile itong taon.

Malayong nanalo ito, sakay ni jockey Val Dilema, sa 4th leg Philippine Racing Commission Juvenile Stakes series sa San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Umoras ng 1:34.2 si Humble Riches sa cuartos na 17.8-24-24.8-27.6. Sumegundo si Mika Mika Mika, tersero si Spring Collection, at cuarto si Alpha Alleanza.

Samantala, sa katumbas sa Colts stakes, mahigit sa isang segundo ang bagal ng mga lalaking kabayo – napakalaking bagay sa mundo ng karera.

Tyempong 1:35.6 lamang ang naitala sa Colts stakes noong Linggo, na ipinanalo ni Golden  Empire ng banderang tapos na tatlong kabayo ang layo sa sumegundong Patron. Sinundan ito sa tersero ni Stolen Time, at si Yes Yes Yes ang pumang-apat.

Parehong 1,500 meters ang distansiya ng dalawang juvenile stakes races na ito.

Sa karerang ibayong dagat naman, naghahanda na ang mga kalahok para sa Breeders’ Cup sa Nob. 5 sa Churchill Downs, Kentucky, USA.

Pinag-uusapan ngayon kung magkikita sa $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic ang mga naghahari ngayon sa pista nila – sina Uncle Mo at Stay Thirsty.

Si Uncle Mo ay ang 2-year-old champion noong 2010. Tatakbo siya sa nalalapit na $200,000 Kelso Stakes (G2) na milya ang distansiya.

Si Stay Thirsty ang nanalo ng Jim Dandy at Travers stakes races, at lalahok sa $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup sa Belmont (New York) sa Okt. 1.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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KL: Philracom Juvenile Stakes

Karera Lang! By Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera, for 17 September 2011, Saturday

Philracom Juvenile Stakes

Maganda ang karerang mapapanood this weekend ng bayang karerista sa pagtatanghal ng Philippine Racing Commission 4thleg Juvenile Fillies at Juvenile Colts stakes races sa San Lazaro Leisure Park ng Manila Jockey Club sa Carmona, Cavite.

Parehong distansiyang 1,500 meters ang karerang ito na para sa dalawang taong gulang na kabayo.

Sa Sabado ang Fillies Stakes. Dahil set weight ang handicapping, lahat ng walong kalahok ay  magdadala ng 52 kgs: Alpha Alleanza, Cat’s Diamond, Golden Boss, Humble Riches, It’s My Turn, Kogarah Lass, Mika Mika Mika, at Spring Collection.

Mahirap nang taobin si Humble Riches na maganda ang pinakita sa nakaraang stakes races. Siya ang nanalo ng second at third legs ng serye ng Philracom Juveniles, at nakabasag pa ng record noong third leg, kung saan ay umoras siya ng 1.11.6 sa 1,200 meters, at nanalo ng anim na kabayo pa ang layo sa sumegundong Alpha Alleanza.

Sa Linggo ang Colts Stakes, 54 kgs ang peso ng 12 kalahok (scratched si Hamaheat): Cinderella Kid, Golden Empire, Isa Pa Isa Pa, Lucky Quest, Patron, Pleasantly Perfect, Sky Serpent, Smarty Ryan, Steel Creation, Stolen Time, Who Else, at Yes Yes Yes.

Bigyan ng pansin dito si Pleasantly Perfect na nanalo ng Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden Race noong Agosto 21. Type rin sina Sky Serpent at Stolen Time, na nanalo at sumegundo noong 3rd leg ng Philracom Juvenile Colts Stakes.

Samantala, inihayag ng PCSO Draw and Races Department ang declared runners para sa PCSO Special Maiden Race ng Oktubre 16 sa SLLP (in order of post position):

Purple Ribbon ni Herminio Esguerra, sasakyan ni jockey Fernando Raquel Jr.; Make My Day ni Ruben Dimacuha (jockey Mark Alvarez); Flo Jo ni Raymund Puyat (Christopher Garganta); Fort Alamo ni Honorato Neri (Antonio Alcasid Jr.); Madam Theresa ni Doroteo Pangilinan (Virgilio Camañero Jr.); at Shegar ni Dominic Francisco (Jordan Cordova).

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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THW: New Philracom Board

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  7 September 2011, Wednesday

New Philracom Board 

President Benigno S. Aquino III recently appointed a new chairman and commissioners for the government agency supervising the sport of horseracing, the Philippine Racing Commission.

Named as new chairman last August 10 was Angel Lopez Castaño Jr., while this administration’s slate of commissioners comprises lawyer Victor Tantoco, veterinarian Reynaldo Fernando, engineer Jesus Cantos, jockey Lyndon Guce, and Franco Loyola.

Chairman Castaño, while he has been away from the industry for quite some time, was a former chairman of the board of stewards of Manila Jockey Club, when it was still owned by the Prieto family and other shareholders and still based at the San Lazaro Hippodrome in Tayuman, Manila.

He was on the panel that, in the ‘70s, decided to allow night racing, upon the advancement of track lighting technology and that created the disqualification rule and many other rules and regulations that guide the sport today.

As for the commissioners, Atty. Tantoco and Dr. Fernando are re-appointees from the previous term; Guce had served previously but resigned; while the other two are first-time commissioners. Engr. Cantos is a horseowner; Mr. Loyola is not from the racing industry.

A simple turnover ceremony was held last August 26 at the Philracom office in Makati. Immediate past chairman lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II administered the oath of office to the new Philracom board.

In his farewell speech, outgoing chairman Rojas asked the Philracom personnel to give Chairman Castaño the same, if not greater, support that they extended him during his own three-year tour of duty.

We thank Atty. Rojas for his dedication and service, steering the racing industry through crisis times caused by the global recession. Under his watch, racing in the Philippines remained profitable and vibrant even as racetracks in the US closed down, among them the historic Bay Meadows racecourse in San Mateo, California, that shut down in 2008.

We wish Chairman Castaño and his commissioners the best of luck as they carry on the work of supervising the sport of Thoroughbred horseracing and its allied industry, breeding.

* * * * *

Among those who extended their welcome wishes to the new Philracom board were the officers and members of the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners. The oldest horseowners’ group in the country, founded the same time as the Philracom, in 1974, MARHO counts as one of its 15 founding members Angel N. Castaño Sr., the late father of the current Philracom chairman.

* * * * *

In other news, Constatic proved to be the fleetest mare on the track after winning the Philracom Lakambini Stakes last August 28 at Santa Ana Park.

The Christopher Garganta-guided racemare won the 1,800-meter race running wire-to-wire, setting splits of 13.8-24.2-23.6-23.6-26.4 for a total time of 1:51.6.

Prime Rate came in second, followed by Cheese Mosa in third and Coal Harbor fourth.

Constatic was sired by Ecstatic (USA) out of Consa (PHI) and is owned by Ronaldo Tan.

* * * * *

Thanks to all who congratulated me for winning first prize in this year’s Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in the category Essay (English). The title of my piece is “The Turn for Home: Memories of Santa Ana Park”. It will be published this December by the University of the Philippines College of Arts and Letters in their literary journal, Likhaan.

Here’s an excerpt, about my days as the country’s first female apprentice rider:

“The day I stopped feeling gonzo was when Alamat’s colt shied at a piece of paper on the track and galloped at top speed. I had not learned to gallop yet and could not control my mount. Jockeys and grooms yelled for others to clear the track – “Kaskas! Runaway!” as I hung on to the reins, the wind whipping my shirt against my chest.

“The colt spied a gap in the rails that led to our stables. He swerved to go through it, threw me off-balance, and I spun in mid-air, landing flat on my back on the sand.

“I felt no fear. There was no pain. The sky was very blue and the clouds were very white. The sand was gritty under my fingers, and I thought, this is not Santa Ana sand, there are no beaches here, only the Pasig River. The sand was alien to the place, trucked there from some shoreline in northern Luzon. But it had been trodden by people and horses and that made it part of the town. There I was, lying in several inches of dirt, embedded in Santa Ana in a way few people ever experienced.”

The essay will also appear online on the Carlos Palanca Memorial Foundation website. ***

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KL: Philracom Chairman Castaño

KARERA LANG!  by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  30 August 2011, Tuesday

Philracom Chairman Castaño

Tulad ng aking inaaasahan, mainit na topic ngayon sa karera ang pag-appoint ng Malacañang kay dating racing steward na si Angel Lopez Castaño Jr.bilang bagong chairman ng Philippine Racing Commission.

Matagal nang nawala sa karera si Chairman Castaño; 20 taon na akong nasa karera ngunit di ko maalala kung inabutan ko pa siya.

Ang kanyang yumaong ama, si Angel N. Castaño, ay isa sa 15 founding members ng MARHO (Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners) noong 1974.

Ayon kay Chairman Castaño, inumpisahan niya ang kanyang career sa racing bilang racing judge ng Manila Jockey Club noong ito’y nasa San Lazaro Hippodrome sa Tayuman, Manila.

Siya’y naging pinuno ng judges, tapos steward, hanggang sa naabot niya ang pagiging chairman ng board of stewards ng MJC.

Noong kapanahunan raw ni Chairman Castaño noong dekada ‘70s na nagdesisyon na paghintulutan ang night racing, noong nagpalit ng teknolohiya at nakapagpakabit ng malakas at maliwanag na ilaw ang mga racing club sa pista.

Inayos rin nilang mga stewards ang photo patrol, ipinatupad ang disqualification rule for non-starters at iba pa, at gumawa ng marami pang hakbang para sa ikauunlad at ikaaayos ng race conduct.

Kaya matagal nang taga-karera si Chairman Castaño at nakapagbigay ng mahahalagang kontribusyon sa pamamalakad ng sport na ito sa loob ng kanyang naging mga tungkulin noong araw. Malawak ang kanyang experience sa racing, hindi siya baguhan rito, at ang maganda ay may historical perspective siya ng sport na ito.

May kaunting ‘catching up’ lang siyang kailangang gawin, ngunit para sa isang bihasa tulad niya, tiyak na hindi ito magiging hadlang sa kanyang matagumpay na pag-unawa ng sitwasyon ng karera ngayon.

Subalit, dahil matagal nga siyang wala sa karera, napapag-isip ang iba’t-ibang sektor – may-ari, hinete, sota, racing clubs, at iba pa – kung ano ang karakter at ugali ng bagong Philracom chairman at kung paano niya didiskartehan ang kanyang mga tungkulin.

Karera lang, walang personalan!  ***

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THW: 3rd Bagatsing Racefest at MJC Breaks Record

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 24 August 2011, Wednesday

3rd Bagatsing Racefest at MJC Breaks Record

Lovely lawmakers, a handsome actor, distinguished congressmen, foreign embassy officials, and racehorses – it could have been a scene from a prewar movie.

Instead, it was the happy reality last Friday, August 19, at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, during the 3rd Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing Memorial Cup.

The late mayor of Manila was a supporter of racing and breeding, as are his sons, Manila congressman Amado Bagatsing and former congressman lawyer Ramon “Dondon” Bagatsing Jr. Both have been horseowners and breeders since their twenties and are members of the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners.

The sons and other family members – among them Cong. Amado’s daughter Belinda and Atty. Dondon’s sons, Sampaloc councillor DJ and TV presenter Havy – conceived of a racing festival as a tribute to the late clan patriarch, whose idea of relaxation was to clap a cowboy hat on his head and hie off to his Batangas ranch for a few hours in the company of his thoroughbreds.

On the third racefest in his honor, a vibrant party ensued at the SLLP Turf Club Gold Box, hosted by the Bagatsing family and MJC chairman lawyer Alfonso R. Reyno Jr. Among the guests were former senator Nikki Coseteng; congresspersons Lucy Torres (Ormoc) and her husband, actor Richard Gomez (who is her chief-of-staff), Jeci Lapus (Tarlac), also a horseowner/breeder/trainer, and Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro); a couple of officials from the United States Embassy (they declined to be named) and their wives; the elder statesman of racing, Aristeo “Putch” Puyat; and many other horseowners, press people, and other guests.

There were nine races held that evening. Three were main races of the RDB Cup, reminiscent of the Gran Copa de Manila races revived by the late mayor at MJC, when the club was still based at the now-defunct San Lazaro Hippodrome in Tayuman. Six were sponsored trophy races backed by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, SMART Communications, horseowner Mr. Eddie Gonzalez, PAGCOR, Resorts World, and Cong. Albee Benitez.

Thanks to the skilful handicapping led by Philippine Racing Commission’s sports and games officer Rolando “Bitoy” Lansangan and MJC handicapper Nitoy Gonda, longshots dominated the day.

In the Herma Farms-ICTSI-Bing Tecson sponsored RDB Cup III, Kenneth Causon’s Cramps won under the reins of Val Dilema while trained by Francis Clor. Rain Shower came in second and Doña Nenita third (coupled entries ni Don Antonio Floirendo Sr.), while RMR Equine’s Tritanic checked in fourth. Splits and time for the 1,500-meter race were 17’-24-25-27’ = 1:34.

In the Philracom-backed RDB Cup II, Marvin Louie Villasenor’s Gastambide ruled, steered by Rodeo Fernandez and trained by Dave de la Cruz. Tarlac congressman Jeci Lapus’s Carriedo placed second, ER King’s Money Queen third, and Joseph Dyhengco’s Darleb fourth. For 1,900 meters the time was 19-24-26-25’-27 = 2:01’.

The highlight Philracom-RDB Cup I was won by Felizardo Sevilla Jr.’s  hot property Tensile Strength guided by jockey Jeffril Zarate. Trained by Manuel Vicente, the filly beat four other colts including Michael Dragon Javier’s Magna Carta that settled for second, followed by Atty. Sixto Esquivias IV’s Arvindugo and Santa Clara Stockfarm’s Lord of War. Emmanuel Santos’s Hari ng Yambo, erstwhile top contender in the 3YO wars this season, straggled in last. The time for the 1,900-meter race was 19-23-25’-25’-27 = 2:00.

According to MJC racing manager Jose Ramon Magboo, sales for the day reached P29.5 million, breaching the previous MJC Friday record of almost P28 million. Atty. Bagatsing ascribed the event’s success to the support of the industry, sponsors, and especially racing fans. “The love of Mayor Bagatsing for horseracing was reciprocated by the fans – it’s a love-love relationship,” he said.

He also referred to older racing fans’ nostalgia for the Gran Copa races held every Araw ng Maynila, that were always the most well-attended at the Hippodrome from the ‘70s to the ‘90s.

“For young people who don’t know what the Gran Copa was about,” Bagatsing said, “this [Bagatsing Cup] was a reliving of those colorful glory days of the sport of kings. From the intensity of the support shown the event these past three years, it’s obvious that people are yearning for the old Gran Copa.”   *** (Email:, Web:, Facebook: Gogirl Racing, Twitter: @gogirlracing)

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THW: Longshots Rule 3rd leg Triple Crown, PSA Cup

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  20 July 2011, Wednesday

Longshots Rule 3rd leg Triple Crown, PSA Cup

Racing is full of surprises, and last weekend saw a couple of upsets in the big races that drew more than the usual number of fans to the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

Last Sunday, two interesting races were held, both sponsored by the Philippine Racing Commission – the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown and the Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup.

The Triple Crown is the championship series for elite local-born 3YO – only the very best may join. The entries in the PSA Cup, in contrast, were drawn from the class-divisions and the race was a grab-bag of feisty veterans aged four to nine.

In the Triple Crown, all eyes were on the favorite Magna Carta, who triumphed in the second leg and placed second in the first. The colt owned by Michael Dragon Javier faced off against twelve other foes over 2,000 meters.

But when the dust cleared, it was far second choice Tensile Strength first at the wire. Ridden by star jockey Jeffril Zarate, the Manuel Vicente-trained filly bested the rest of the field, including ten colts, to win by three.

The Rock placed second, Cheese Mosa third, and Barkley fourth. Magna Carta did not feature among the placers.

The splits for the race were 24.4-23.4-25.4-25.8-27.6 for a total time of 2:06.6. Tensile Strength’s win was worth P1.8 million for her owner, former Philracom commissioner Felizardo “Jun” Sevilla Jr.

In the Philracom-Philippine Sportswriters Association Cup, second-to-that-last-favorite Ferrarione shocked the overflow crowd at Santa Ana Park by outlasting the frontrunner Barefoot Contessa, yet another longshot.

The 9YO veteran horse owned and trained by Tarlac congressman Jeci Lapus was the oldest entry among the ten-horse field. He came off a 209-day spell well-rested enough to come from behind and clobber his foes in the stretch.

Lapus Stable star jockey Red de Leon saw a gap by the rails and cleverly positioned Ferrarione inside, saving ground and overtaking eventual second-placer Barefoot Contessa before the wire.

Speedy McKie took third and heavy favourite Nine Dragon settled for fourth. Quarters for the 1,300-meter race were set at 7’-23-23-26’ for a total time of 1:19.8. S

Present at the awarding ceremony were PSA officers Teddyvic Melendres, sports editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer (president); Riera Mallari, sports editor of Manila Standard-Today (secretary); Joe Antonio, sports editor of People’s Journal (treasurer); and Aldrin Cardona, sports editor of Daily Tribune (Board member and past president).

With them representing the host club was racing manager and assistant vice-president Dan Valmonte, while I was there too as a member of PSA.

Last Saturday, the 2,000-meter Philracom Hopeful Stakes saw Prime Rate emerge victorious, followed by Thirdy Thirdy in second, Midnight Myth third, and Sir Ferdinand fourth.

 * * * * *

As I promised last week, here’s a little more on the planned Malvar-Tanauan, Batangas Metro Manila Turf Club racing facility of horseowner-businessman Norberto Quisumbing Jr., PhD. “Dr. NQ”, as he is fondly called, anticipates that in the next two years, the key facilities in the racing cluster shall be completed.

Around 250 workers will be employed in the first phase of construction in the third quarter of this year and increase to 500 in December 2011.  ***

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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: Triple Crown, sa Hunyo 11 Na!

KARERA LANG!   by Jenny Ortuoste for Bandera,  4 June 2011, Saturday

Triple Crown, sa Hunyo 11 Na!

Gaganapin sa San Lazaro Leisure Park ng Manila Jockey Club sa Carmona, Cavite, ang pangalawang yugto ng Philippine Racing Commission Triple Crown at Hopeful Stakes na mga serye.

Ang mga karerang ito ay parehong 1,750 meters ang distansiya at bukas sa mga 3YO local-born na kabayo.

Deklarado para sa Triple Crown ay sina Arvindugo, Barkley, Constatic, Hari ng Yambo, Lord of War, Magna Carta, Maker’s Mark, Tensile Strength, at The Rock.

Si Constatic ang kaisa-isang filly (babaeng kabayo) at magdadala ng 52 kgs, samantalang ang iba ay colts (lalaking kabayo) na papatawan ng timbang ng 54 kgs.

Si Hari ng Yambo ang nanalo ng first leg ng walang kahirap-hirap at sumegundo si Magna Carta. Sila uli ang nakikinitang magsasagupa sa 2nd leg. Si Constatic ang nanalo ng 1st leg ng Hopeful Stakes at may kalalagyan dito, pati na rin si Arvindugo.

Sa Hopeful Stakes, mapupuno ang aparato: Armoury, Cheeze Mosa, Coal Harbour, Dimasalang, Ooh La La’s Gold, Prime Rate, Wondrous Wind (fillies, magdadala ng 52 kgs.), Olajuwon, Dear John, Smart Guru, Thirdy Thirdy, Tucker’s Diamond, and Whistler (colts, magdadala ng 54 kgs.).

Na-scratch si Smart Guru noong 1st leg, kaya siya ang bantayan ngayon; isama si Cheeze Mosa.

Sa Hunyo 11 rin gaganapin ang 4th Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Special Maiden race ng taon sa distansiyang 1,300 meters. Ang nanalo sa trial race noong Mayo 24 ay ang Markees World ni Renato Virata.

Karera lang – walang personalan! ***

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