During most of the 300 years of Spanish rule, the Philippines was isolated from the rest of the world. Except for the galleons that plied the Manila-Acapulco trade routes and the junks of Chinese traders who brought goods for the galleons, the colonial government discouraged foreign vessels from sailing the archipelago's waters. This restrictive policy was consistent with European mercantilism of the 15th century. Motivated by the search for new trade routes to Oriental markets, Europeans eventually colonized the rest of the world. Every Old World empire jealously guarded its turf. However, when the Suez Canal opened in 1869, facilitating contact between East and West, Filipinos were both socially and intellectually ready to accept new ideas and new people.
The Manila Jockey Club was formed at about this time. It couldn't have chosen a more propitious social climate to introduce a new sport that would become a lively aspect of Philippine life.
The Manila Jockey Club, the first racing club in Southeast Asia, was formed in the summer of 1867 by a group of sportsmen led by Jose de la Gandara y Navarro, then Spanish General of the Philippines.
All 100 socios fondadores, as the founders of the Manila Jockey Club were called in the language of the times, were predominantly descendants of affluent Filipino, Spanish and English families of Manila in the 19th century. The club was organized purely for recreation; there was no betting. Members held what would now be called "fun runs," racing their mounts on a straight course from San Sebastian Church to Quiapo Church, a distance of about a quarter of a mile. The races were held only once a year, in April or May, and participants vied for tokens -- gold and silver medals, watches and other ornaments.
Some members bred horses, favoring the Philippine pony; this, though small, possessed great pedigree, having sprung from a formidable line of Sulu, Indian and Chinese horses and mustangs from Mexico.
From the time the Club was organized, its roster of officials read like a social register. Among the former Club presidents were John McLeod, Mauro Prieto, Manuel Torres, Francisco Beech, Rafael Roces, Charles Barnes, Rafael Valdes, and Manuel Valdes, all leading lights in government and business.
Among the most illustrious honorary vice presidents were Theodore Roosevelt and Brigadier General Henry Allen.
A founding member, Edward Bousted, indirectly figures in a romantic historical footnote. His daughter Nellie was the object of a duel fought in Paris between Filipino patriots Jose Rizal and Antonio Luna
By 1880 Quiapo had become an emporium, the fiefdom of business tycoons who set up their homes and trading offices in the district. To give way to commerce, the Club moved its races to rural Santa Mesa. The new site, rented from the Tuason family, was a rice field abutting the Pasig River at the end of what is now known as Hippodromo Street. Here was built an oval track with a bamboo and nipa grandstand.
Beginning in 1881 racing meets were held twice a year, in February or early March, for three successive days. At first only members of the Club -- the gentlemen riders -- could compete in the "carreras officiales." Later, however, professional jockeys were allowed to ride in two of the average eight races of the day. Silver trophies and medals imported from Hong Kong were offered as prizes.
The signing of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in late 1897 ended hostilities between Spaniards and Filipino revolutionaries. To celebrate the truce, Manila mounted a month-long fiesta in January 1898. The Manila Jockey Club's contribution to the festivities was the "Gran Copa de Manila," the highlight of the 1898 racing season. An ornate silver cup was ordered from Hong Kong to commemorate the event, scheduled May 1st. The Club was in the midst of last-minute preparations when the guns of commodore Dewey's flotilla thundered over Manila Bay at daybreak of the appointed date. Dewey's decisive victory began the Spanish-American was that was to bring an end to Spanish rule in the Philippines. The Manila Jockey Club was closed down temporarily.
In 1899, a few months after the occupation of Manila by American forces, races were resumed at the Santa Mesa Hippodrome. The following year, the Club moved to its present site in San Lazaro in Sta. Cruz, then an equally fashionable district of Manila. The Club, now headed by Don Juan Jose Tuason, leased 16 hectares from the Sisters of the Monasterio de Sta. Clara. Twelve years later, in 1912, it exercised its option to buy the property, and a new grandstand and a six-furlong turf track were built. The Manila Jockey Club finally acquired a permanent home.
Social life under the American civil government was more democratic; horse racing, once exclusive to the rich, became open to anyone interested. Betting was introduced in 1903, extending the sport's mass appeal.
Since the Club did not pay any cash dividends to its members, earnings went to improvement of the track's facilities. More noteworthy, a substantial part of the Club's income was given to charity and civic causes, a tradition carried on to this day.
In the thirties two other racing clubs were organized. The first was in Cebu, a short-lived enterprise. The second, the Philippine Racing Club in Sta. Ana, Manila, founded by a group of Filipinos and Americans, remains a worthy competitor of the Manila Jockey Club to this day.
In 1941 the Pacific War broke out and a year later, Manila fell in the hands of the Japanese military forces. For the second time in its history, the Club had to close down. In 1943 Japanese troops occupied the Club and used its buildings as barracks. After Manila was liberated, the Americans took over and used it as a garrison and later as a hospital.
The premises were in a sorry state when members regained possession of the track in March 1946. Reconstruction work began immediately; and within two months the hippodrome was back in business.
Name of Racing Authority: Manila Jockey Club, Inc
Postal Address: 2000 Felix Huertas St, Sta. Cruz, Manila, Philippines
Tel: (632)711-1251 Fax: (632)712-1599
Chairman: Pedro O. Tan
Board of Directors:
Alfonso R. Reyno, Jr. Alfonso Victorio G. Reyno III Mariza Santos-Tan Martin R. Cepeda Juanita Uy Tan
Rogelio B Espiritu Patrick G. Reyno Henry Cualoping Christopher G. Reyno Ferdinand A. Domingo (Corp. Sec)
President & Chief Executive Officer: Alfonso R Reyno, Jr
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer: Roberto R Reverente
Vice President for Operations/Deputy COO: Juan De Leon
Vice President for Finance: Celso A Modina
Vice President for Corporate Planning: Patrick G. Reyno
Vice President for Administration/Legal Affairs: Juan Baun
Vice President for Corporate Affairs: Henri Kahn
Contact for Overseas Liaison/Information: Alfonso R. Reyno, Jr.
|Racing Season||From January To December|
|Number of Racecourses||1|
|Number of Fixtures||Flat 129 days|
|Number of Races||Flat 1368|
|Number of Runners||Flat 11,230|
|Number of Horses in Training||1576 (2251 registered)|
|Number of Trainers||174|
|Number of Jockeys||144 (Professional) 22 (Apprentice)|
|Number of Owners||477|
|1.Gran Copa de Manila||Domestic||24 Jun||0.9M||San Lazaro Hippodrome|
|2.1867 Founders' Cup||Domestic||May||0.6M||San Lazaro Hippodrome/ Sta. Ana Park|
|3.1st leg - Triple Crown||Domestic||June||1.667M||San Lazaro Hippodrome/ Sta. Ana Park|
|4.2nd leg - Triple Crown||Domestic||July||1.667M||San Lazaro Hippodrome/ Sta. Ana Park|
|5.3rd leg - Triple Crown||Domestic||July||1.667M||San Lazaro Hippodrome/ Sta. Ana Park|
|6.Philtobo's Mitra Cup Races||Domestic||October||2M||San Lazaro Hippodrome|
|7.TAB PHILS/Philracom Open Champ.||Domestic||September||1.525M||San Lazaro Hippodrome|
Total Prizemoney (Local Currency - Peso)
246,639,721 - Provided by Racing Authorities
---- - Provided by Owners in Entry Fees
12,804,000 - Provided by Sponsors Contributions
Average Prizemoney Per Race (Total) P189,651
Average Prizemoney Per Race (Flat) P189,651
Exchange Rate to US$: Peso 50.00 / US$1.00
|Bookmakers||No||Off Course||No (limited)|
Total Betting Turnover / Year P2,839,038,723
On Course P460,523,150
Off Course P2,378,515,573
Principal Bet Types Daily Double, Forecast, Winner-Take-All, Pick-6, Quartet, Trifecta, Superfecta, Pentafecta, Win, Place, Triple-Trifecta
Betting Deductions Govt Tax (%) 18.2%
Retained by Authority (%) 8.5%
Other Deductions 8.5% (Prize Money)
Total number of stud farms 1 (government) 349 (Private)
Total number of stallions 72
Total number of mares 1250
Total number of thoroughbred
births / year 520