Up until the early 2000s, there were 2 horse racing tracks located within the metropolis: the San Lazaro Hippodrome and the Santa Ana Park. While these places today have somewhat faded into obscurity in the midst of the modern commercial structures that replaced them, they have not been forgotten by generations of horse racing aficionados who grew up watching the races in these venues. Today on the Urban Roamer, we will be reminiscing about one of these places, the race track known as Santa Ana Park.
As Manila grew in the 19th century, the lands of Santa Mesa and the nearby areas have become home to prominent families of the era. One of them was the Tuasons, the forebears of the First Gentleman himself, Mike Arroyo. These properties eventually were donated or placed on rent as Manila was continuously expanding outwards and more people coming in to live in the city. At the same time, the sport of horse racing began to take hold of Manila’s sporting and recreational scene. From its humble beginnings in 1867, it became so popular that it began to outgrow its original venue at what is now known as R. Hidalgo Street. Coinciding…