It started as a dream
Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr.’s fascination for horse racing was brought about by his father’s involvement in the industry by way of owning champion gallopers. Their horses have won just about every trophy and top money races at the time.
It didn’t come as a surprise to all that Dr. Quisumbing, NQ to most, eventually would have his own stable of top caliber thoroughbred which continued the winning ways of his father’s horses.
It was during this time that deep inside NQ there was this yearning for a racetrack which could be at par with some of the world’s best to bolster Philippine horseracing and bring it to greater heights.
At an age where most men would have just settled to a quieter life, NQ decided that retirement will have to wait.
The dream becomes a reality
Tapping internationally-renowned Singaporean racetrack consultant and builder K.K. Kumar, the dream was finally taking shape at the heart of Calabarzon, situated at the boundary of Malvar and Tanauan in Batangas with a grand view of the majestic Mt. Makiling.
And so on February 19, 2013 Asia’s newest racetrack, the Metro Manila Turf Club, opened its doors and showed the public the realization of that dream.
Built on a 49-hectare area, MetroTurf features a 1,525-meter long track has four chutes for various racing distances that conform to international standards, and a newly-constructed clubhouse and grandstand that could accommodate 3,000 racing enthusiasts.
The track lighting’s designer Li Lim was recently recognized with a Merit Award in the 2013 GE Edison Awards Asia (a preliminary to the 2013 Global GE Edison Award Competition) as having the best lighting design in the region.
A total of 46 lighting posts, 39 around the oval and seven attached to the grandstand, running on the latest GE technology are strategically placed around the racetrack for outstanding illumination during night races.
With horseracing equipment such as the two starting gates (one with the capacity of 14 horses while the other can accommodate 8 runners) which can be attached together as one comes from Australia, while the betting machines are from United Tote of the United States
“This new racing facility can be compared to the best in the world today. 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. Local horsemen will surely be happy with it as it conforms to international standards,” said Kumar, who stayed most of the time in the country last year to personally supervise the construction.
“Our rich history in horseracing 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 that we should aspire in catching up with our horserace-loving Asian neighbors such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore,” said Quisumbing, a horse breeder and true-blue horse lover.
Dr. Quisumbing sees the emergence of the country as one of the major racing centers in this part of the world in the future. “Our rich history in horseracing 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 that we should aspire in catching up with our Asian racing neighbors such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.”
A private viewing stand solely for the use of invited guests and dignitaries is located right beside the Official’s Booth while the grandstand is open to the public. It features 24 cubicles for horse owners, trainers and guests.
The grandstand is equipped with the latest-technology betting machines that are being serviced by United Tote, the leading gaming totalizator in the world today. The grandstand also features a multitude of wide-screen LED televisions for the viewing pleasure of racing fans.
“One major feature of the racetrack is the banking in every corner with no sharp curve at all so we can protect the horses. We have approximately 600 horses housed at MetroTurf with still many planning to move in,” said Metro Turf Senior Vice-President Rudy Prado, who served as Racing Manager at the Manila Jockey Club for a long time.
Those who work there, like the jockeys, trainers and support staff, also have their own quarters. Every morning, at least two hundred horses train in the peace and quiet of this rustic setting. The atmosphere becomes electric on race days. And all the races are broadcast live on cable television and also seen at over 300 off-track betting stations.
The racing facilities are just the first phase. The plan is to build a complex complete with hotel and other entertainment facilities making it a venue for all major occasions
Also lined up are MetroTurf’s innovations on the way racing shall be conducted in the country which will be in consonance with the tremendous advancements in mobile technology.
We extend to you our invitation to come and visit us at MetroTurf, your best bet in Philippine horseracing.