Gentle Strength headlines 21st Marho Championships

IT’S that time of the year again for the first and oldest racing festival, the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners Championships, to be held Sunday (Nov. 20) at Santa Ana Park.

The MARHO Cup racefest was established in 1995 as a modest celebration of racing but through the years became a major event and an annual tradition, as more sponsors came on board. The event seeks to incentivize race participants to reach for excellence in the sport, providing hefty prizes as rewards.

This year’s event is the 21st edition and is sponsored as always by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Racing Commission, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and the Philippine Racing Club Inc., host of the event.

Also providing support are Nathaniel Velasco’s Transprint Corporation, Tony Tan’s Uratex Foam and Shelltex Bed, and Detdet Fernando’s Siomai House.

Multi-awarded racemare Gentle Strength of lawyer Benhur Abalos topbills the 2,000-meter MARHO —San Miguel Corporation Classic, which also features Hot and Spicy, Kanlaon, and Lakan. 

The MARHO Cup—Santa Ana Park 3YO Colt Mile showcases the talents of Pinagtipunan, Son Also Rise, Tapped It, and Underwood.

Lady Pio, Leave It To Me, Real Flames, Since When, and This Time will battle it out in the MARHO Cup—PCSO 3YO Filly Mile. 

The MARHO Cup—Philracom 2YO Juvenile Colts and Fillies (1,300 meters) will see action from Aerotap, Batang La Paz, Changes, and Stravinsky.

The Juvenile races have been merged and the Sprint will not be held this year.


Will there be a rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather?

Pacquiao may have hinted as much in an Instagram photo he posted the other day that shows images of himself and Mayweather screen-printed on the lining of his blazer. That, or another project is in the works. 

So is Manny cooking up another boxing event, so soon after his Nov. 5 defeat of Jessie Vargas to win the World Boxing Organization welterweight title?

Mayweather was in the audience to watch Pacquiao in his comeback fight, and said he went there to accompany his daughter. But he congratulated Manny after the latter climbed the ropes to smile at Mayweather in his ringside seat. Pacquiao said, “Thank you,” and grinned.

Pacquiao, however, refused to be drawn by speculative questions and said that he would be willing to fight anyone who came forward. One of the names touted as a possible challenger was Terence Crawford, but Pacquiao would have to move down to 140 to fight him.

So something is in the works, but we’ll have to wait and find out what it is.

Meanwhile, would it be too much to ask Pacquiao to do more work as a senator? That’s a full-time job in itself!


My latest book, Fictionary, a collection of sixteen new and award-winning stories, was released last Nov. 3 by University of Sto. Tomas Publishing House.

The book contains works that have won the Nick Joaquin Literary Award in consecutive years - “How I Spent My US Vacation” (2013), “Wolves I Have Known” (2014), and “Marry Me” (2015). “The Cups” placed in a contest. Several of the stories are set in a horseracing milieu. Half of the stories in this book have been published; the others are new for this collection.

My first book was Fire and Ice, a novel, published by Solar Books in 1993.

Fictionary will be available in bookstores six to eight weeks from now, or around late December. Meanwhile, it can be purchased directly from UST Publishing House: please call 406-1611 local 8424 and look for Paul, Val, or Carlo, or leave a message at the House’s Facebook page.


Dr. Ortuoste is a California-based writer. Facebook: Gogirl Racing and Jenny Ortuoste, Twitter: @gogirlracing and @jennyortuoste, and Instagram: @jensdecember.

Topics: Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners Championships , Santa Ana Park , Gentle Strength , MARHO Cup
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