The Philippine Racing Commission is hoping for the best and that includes the betting public getting the green light to watch the races in person.
“I hope that soon they will allow us,” said Philracom Chairman Reli de Leon during Tuesday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
De Leon said while the IATF has allowed 10 percent of the sitting capacity for indoor restaurants and other establishments, racetracks are still waiting for clearance.
“If our racetracks can accommodate 5,000 racing fans then 10 percent of that is equivalent to 500,” he said.
Races are held from Thursday to Sunday and are evenly divided among the Manila Jockey Club, Inc. in Carmona, Cavite; Philippine Racing Club, Inc. in Naic, Cavite; and Metro Manila Turf Club, Inc. in Malvar, Batangas.
De Leon also told the forum presented by San Miguel Corp. (SMC), Milo, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) that Philracom still has 12 stakes races lineup until December, including the third leg of the Triple Crown on Oct. 3.
The Presidential Gold Cup on Dec. 12 will be the biggest of them all with a total of P10 million in prize money at stake, and the winner getting a record P6 million.
“That will be the biggest prize ever in the history of Philippine horse racing,” added De Leon, who reported that despite a break of three and a half months this year due to the pandemic, Philracom has posted huge numbers.
From January to September this year, Philracom has posted sales of P1.4 billion, and De Leon said with no further interruption they can reach as high as P2 billion to P2.3 billion.
“Basta tuloy-tuloy lang. But so far, very successful. Compared to last year, we are proud to say that our sales are bigger this year. In taxes alone this year, we have paid P400 million,” he said in the same session powered by Smart and Upstream Media as official webcast partner.
“The IATF has been very cooperative, and that is why we are able to sustain this. Horse racing is on its feet,” said De Leon of the giant industry that provides direct and indirect jobs to as many as 12,000.
“Madami magugutom kapag natigil ang karera,” he added.