VIEUX FORT, ST. LUCIA–The Royal St. Lucia Turf Club opened its doors Friday the 13th of December 2019 to a crowd of over 5,000 from around the world on a picture-perfect day.

The highlight of the opening day card was the $150,000 Pitons Cup, which was won by the 4-year-old filly Casting Crowns (Warrior’s Reward), carrying the colors of Taylor Made Farm. Frank Taylor was smiling ear to ear as he led the filly into the winner’s circle and when asked if he would be back next year, he said, “I may just stay! I love it here. The weather is wonderful and the people are great.”

After leaving the winner’s circle for the post-race media conference, Taylor said, “The experience was mind-blowing. It was a lot of fun. Great hospitality from everyone from the day we arrived. The facilities are very well done. It is very hard to produce something like this first time without any flaws and I didn’t see any major flaws. We are blessed to draw the right horse and win the race.”

The atmosphere was electric from the moment the gates opened with patrons filling the entire racetrack from the party green to the Apron Marquee. The VIP area was filled with many familiar faces from American racing, such as Kenny Troutt and Elliott Walden of WinStar, Taylor, Dan Schafer, Brandon and Ali Rice of RiceHorse Stables and Tom Ventura and Tod Wojciechowski of OBS. Members of the Caribbean racing fraternity, such as Barbados Turf Club CEO Rosette Pierce, were also out in full force to support St. Lucia.

A team of top stewards from Trinidad, led by the RSLTC’s Chief Integrity Officer David Loregnard, oversaw the day’s events with all four races going off without a hitch. The trainers came from across the Caribbean and as far as China, as did the jockeys.
The day’s races were kicked off with the Helen of the West Indies S. for 3-year-old maidens. Each owner who bought a slot for Friday’s main event, the Pitons Cup, was gifted a horse for the opening race with hopes they would continue to race the horse in St. Lucia. The event was won by Reef Cup, a son of Twirling Candy, who was representing Fasig-Tipton and Meg Levy’s Blue water Sales.

Next up was the Keeneland National Day Sprint, which was a mix of 3-year-old maidens and more accomplished older horses. It was a maiden that won it impressively in Turvey Act (Orb).

The third race of the day was named after the late Winston Trim, a local horseman whose lifelong dream was to bring horse racing to St. Lucia and it finally became a reality Friday. Coincidentally, the race was won by a native St. Lucian and longtime friend of Trim’s Daniel Belizarie with Senor Guitar (Star Guitar).

“It means more to me to win this race than any other race that happened today because Winston Trim was a good friend of mine,” Belizarie said. “He came to me many, many years ago wanting assistance to open some doors. Winning that trophy for Winston on this memorial occasion meant everything to me.”

By Christie DeBernardis

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Managing Director of Belle Vue Properties Ltd, Heather Floissac, breaks from the family tradition, being the legal profession, to become a real estate entrepreneur. Heather Floissac, with an MBA from UWI, brings a dynamic personality, ten years of real estate sales experience and a comprehensive knowledge of St. Lucia together to the benefit of each client. She has served as the President of the Realtors' Association (St. Lucia) Inc. since its formation in 2009, and was recently re-elected for a second two-year term.
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