No end in sight to Philracom, owners row
THERE’S no end in sight to the rift between the Philippine Racing Commission and the country’s three big racehorse owners’ group that has resulted in a racing holiday since last week.
Officials of both sides are waging a word war over who reneged on a gentleman’s agreement, supposedly reached last Friday, that would end the impasse gripping the industry.
In a call to the Inquirer yesterday, Metropolitan Racehorse Owners Association (Marho) president Eric Tagle lashed out at Philracom for putting up a seven-race program last Sunday, contrary to a gentleman’s agreement with Philracom chair Angel Castaño Jr.
Under the deal, Tagle said Marho and the heads of the Philippine Thoroughbred Breeders Organizations (Philtobo) and Klub Don Juan de Manila, agreed to give Castaño the graceful exit that he requested to settle the horse owners’ gripes against the Philracom.
Tagle said the meeting would have ended the racing holiday as early as Monday this week. But the horse owners, who call themselves the “Tri-Org,” learned that a member of Castaño’s board had organized racing programs, contrary to an agreement.
“We were willing to give him the graceful exit that he wanted,” Tagle said. “He even gave us the date of his resignation, which was supposed to be on [June] 14th. But what did they do? They started organizing racing programs made up of depleted horses (entries).”
Reached by the Inquirer, Castaño accused Tagle’s group of also reneging on a promise.
“One question: Did he (Tagle) come up with the ceasefire on negative publicity, which he promised?” Castaño asked. “We don’t want to have a holiday because there are a lot of people depending on the races for their livelihood.”
Tagle had earlier released a statement saying that his group was looking into possible corruption charges against Castaño and his six commissioners for making donations to various organizations using the unclaimed dividends held by the country’s three race tracks.
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