Hitting Spree wins Philracom Challenge
ITTING Spree dominated two other opponents to win the 6th leg of the Philippine Racing Commission Import-Local Challenge race held at Metro Turf racecourse last July 16.
The import from the US ran the 1,800-meter race wire to wire, Aussie import Bentley running off the pace at his flank and local-bred Messi many lengths back in the rear.
Messi rallied strongly at the far turn and grabbed second at the home turn by passing beside the rail, where he abruptly swerved out when rider JA Guce aboard hit him on the left flank.
The duo almost bumped into Hitting Spree. Though this did not affect the latter’s chances, the stewards told Guce to “be careful with his ride.”
Total time was 1:50.2 (13’-22’-23’-24-27); 2nd Messi, 3rd Bentley.
In the 1,200-meter 3YO and older Colts maiden race that same day, Summer Romance reigned over seven other participants, clocking 1:12 (23’-22’-26) for 1,200 meters.
Summer Romance ran off the pace from frontrunner Moondance, rallying at the far turn to win by three. 2nd Moondance, 3rd Stay Ready, 4th Special Rule.
Fifth-placer Leron Leron Sinta was found by the club veterinarian to be limping on its off-fore. The horse was suspended for one month. Stranger Danger, who ran all the way at the back of the pack, came in 75 meters behind the third placer and was meted one month’s rest.
* * *
Philracom has scheduled quite a few major races for the last weekend of this month. On July 30, the much-anticipated Triple Crown trifecta consisting of the 3rd legs of the Philracom Triple Crown, the Hopeful Stakes, and the 3YO Local-bred S. will be held at Santa Ana Park.
This led racing fan Raymund Vincent Reyes to ask, on my Facebook page (Gogirl Racing), why the races will be held there instead of at Metro Turf, because the second leg was already held at Santa Ana Park (the first leg was held at San Lazaro Leisure Park).
As of maybe a year or two ago, races are no longer scheduled at the venues in strict rotation, as was the practice before.
Philracom has adopted a “highest bidder” format wherein the racing clubs are invited to bid to host the races, by offering added prizes or other incentives and features that will make the race and the raceday more attractive for participants and exciting for viewers.
* * *
All Philracom-backed races dangle hefty purses that are incentives for participants to not only excel in the sport, but also to continue in it.
Sustaining the industry is in fulfillment of Philracom’s mandate to promote and uplift the sport. In fact, if anyone is wondering why a government agency is supporting a sport that has a gambling component, here’s the answer: it’s the law.
Presidential Decree No. 420 (1974) states that “it is the declared policy to promote and direct the accelerated development and continued growth of horseracing not only in pursuance of the sports development program but also in order to insure the full exploitation of the sport as a source of revenue and employment.”
The Philippine Thoroughbred industry remits around P1 billion in direct taxes to the government each year, not counting what is paid in indirect taxes, fees, and other forms of funds.
The industry also accounts for thousands of jobs in the racetracks, ranches, and various offices.
* * *
Facebook: Gogirl Racing and Jenny Ortuoste, Twitter: @gogirlracing and @jennyortuoste, and Instagram: @jensdecember and @artuoste