THE PHILIPPINE Racing Commission unleashes its first big salvo for the year, the 2018 Philracom Commissioner’s Cup at the Saddle & Clubs Leisure Park in Naic, Cavite today (Sunday).

 Held in honor of former Philracom Commissioner and Executive Director Francisco Paulino V. Cayco, the Commissioner’s Cup will be raced in the distance of 1,700 meters.

The Philracom is honoring Cayco with the stakes race for his “distinguished service during his incumbency as Commissioner and Executive Director of the commission from 1994 to 1998.”

Out to open the year with a bang and leading the seven-horse field is Sepfourteen, last year’s Triple Crown winner owned by SC Stockfarm.

Standing in the way of Sepfourteen are Bite My Dust of owner Nicomedes Cruz, Electric Truth of Leonardo Javier Jr., coupled entry Eugene Onegin and Lakan of owner Banjamin C. Abalos Jr., Messi of Narciso Morales, Salt and Pepper of Herminio Esguerra.

 A total of P1.5 million is offered in the stakes race, with P900,000 going to the winner and P337,500 awarded to the runner-up. Third and fourth get P187,500 and P75,000, respectively. A purse of P70,000 is also set for the breeder of the winning horse.

Meanwhile, Philracom sales amounting to P7.3 billion in 2017 has netted the government P1.2 billion in taxes, an increase of P88 million or 7.56 percent from the previous year.

The commission said this is due to its innovations and membership in the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), whose mission is to promote good regulation and best practices on international matters pertaining to the sport, such as the rating-based handicapping system.

“The Philracom is very proud of this accomplishment as the commission not only arrested the dwindling horse-racing sales for the past three years, it also bettered last year’s revenues,” said Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez.

The actual figure for 2017 stood at P7,378,571,897 in sales, an increase of P159,830,562 from 2016’s P7,218,741,335. Taxed by 17 percent, the total revenue for the national coffers will amount to P1,254,357,222.49 for a 7.56% increase of P88,208,096.55 compared to 2016’s P1,166,149,125.94.

 “The boost in revenues is a product of the increase in our prizes and the implementation of a new rating-based handicapping system as a result of our recent membership with IFHA,” added Sanchez. “Aficionados are now more confident to place their bets because they know the races are not only very competitive, they are conducted fair and square.”

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