A THIRD racetrack, built to improve on international standards, will host its first week of full-time horse racing next month in Batangas.
The Metro Turf, a gem of a facility located on the boundary of Malvar town and Tanauan City, goes full blast with a complete program in February, showcasing world-class facilities intended to attract more local and foreign horse racing enthusiasts.
With majestic Mt. Makiling serving as backdrop, Metro Turf boasts of all the modern trimmings from lights to a well-manicured track to posh grandstands for the viewing pleasure of horse racing buffs.
The Metro Manila Turf Club Inc. is the third racetrack in the country after the San Lazaro Leisure Club in Carmona and the Santa Ana track in Naic, both in Cavite.
It was constructed on a 45-hectare lot by renowned Singaporean racetrack builder K.K. Kumar, who stayed in the country to ensure that Metro Turf will be the best racetrack this part of the globe.
“This new racing facility can be compared to the best in the world today,” Kumar said. “This is also one of the best that I created so far and I am very thankful to the owner for his all-out support throughout the entire construction of the racetrack.”
Dr. Norberto Quisumbing, a familiar horse racing fixture who races and breeds champions, owns Metro Turf. He has tapped the services of veteran racing manager Rudy Prado to make sure that his facility is run by the best, most experienced mind in the industry.
“The local horsemen would surely be happy with the facility as it conforms to international standards,” said Kumar, who will return to the country next month to supervise the preparation for the start of racing there.
Prado was with the Manila Jockey Club for ages, starting when the old racetrack was still in Tayuman, Manila, and later when it moved to Carmona.
“One major feature of the racetrack is the slanted banking in every corner with no sharp curve at all, so we can protect the horses,” Prado said. “We have more than 200 horses now in training every morning here while many more are arriving to acclimatize in preparation for the start of racing.”
Said Quisumbing: “Our rich history in horse racing and our great racing facilities today are the main reasons why we are nearing the level of some great racing countries here in Asia.
“It’s about time we aspired to catch up with our Asian neighbors such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.”
Quisumbing added that his single biggest mission in constructing the new racetrack is “to adopt the best racing policies, practices and systems in order to earn the goodwill, confidence and trust of the local and foreign racing community and the public.”
Forty-six lighting posts—39 around the oval and seven attached to the grandstand—that are equipped with the latest General Electric technology are scattered around the track for excellent illumination during night races.
United Tote, the world’s leading gaming totalizator, together with wide-screen LED televisions for the viewing pleasure of the racing fans, are installed in the grandstand.
Metro Turf can be accessed through the main entrance at the President J.P. Laurel Highway in Malvar.
From Manila, after exiting the South Luzon Expressway, enter the 5-km new highway leading to the Star Tollway. From there, one can exit through Bulihan Toll and turn left to Montecer Street before turning left again to J.P. Laurel Highway. Musong R. Castillo