Full race week opens Metro Turf

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The Metro Turf, the country’s third and Asia’s newest horseracing facility, officially opens with a full program next week capped by the “Araw Ng Mandaluyong” celebration and two Philracom-backed stakes races on Sunday.

Races start on Feb. 19 and will run until Feb. 24 at the state-of-the-art track located at the boundary of Malvar and Tanauan in Batangas, before the Philracom implements a new policy that would allow for even distribution of races among the three tracks.

Special Cup races commemorating Mandaluyong’s founding and two stakes races honoring the late, great former Manila Jockey Club president Leopoldo Prieto will be the highlight of Sunday’s program.

A total of P1 million has been put up for grabs by the Philracom in the Prieto Stakes, one each for 3-year-old fillies and colts.

Benhur Abalos, the Mandaluyong mayor who owns recent Triple Crown champion Hagdang Bato, is spearheading the “Araw ng Mandaluyong” celebrations.

“I would like to invite all the major players of the industry and all the racing aficionados to visit our place and join us in celebrating the launch of our new racetrack,” said Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr., MetroTurf chair and president.

Racing fans who can’t make the hourlong trip from Manila can see the races live through Cignal TV, even as the club got the help of the Manila Jockey Club in implementing its betting apparatus. Both clubs will share off-track-betting stations.

With the emergence of a third racetrack, the Philracom will start giving each facility two racing days per week, which could assure better sales and bigger purses.

“We have here in Metro Turf our own top-quality equipment—from betting to broadcasting,” Quisumbing said.  Musong R. Castillo

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