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Saint Lucian jockey wins Valentine’s race in Barbados

By Terry Finisterre

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Rico Daniel (inset photo) winning the Saint Valentine Handicap race on Arrowhead.

(SNO) — Rico Daniel is a long way from the Kaka Bef, but he is blazing a trail for Saint Lucian equestrians.

There may be no Independence horse racing in Vieux Fort this year, but if and when the sport of kings does take serious root in fair Helen, a local champion could be astride one of the winning thoroughbreds.

Eric “Rico” Daniel is originally from Vieux Fort, but last year (2018) he received certification as an apprentice jockey in Barbados. He has been able to pull off several victories at the Garrison Savannah, building his name and reputation as he continues to gain experience. But one of his biggest scalps came last weekend.

Daniel, riding Arrowhead, won the BDS$16,000 Saint Valentine handicap by a length and half on Saturday. Arrowhead, a stubborn seven-year-old bay, won in a time of 1 minute, 52 seconds on the firm track for the 1800-metre event, fighting off his stablemate ButterFly to win the weekend’s feature race.

Brigadier Wood from the Hopefield barn, who was 3 to 2 in the betting, was only able to set a moderate pace under jockey Anderson Trotman but was tackled by Carbon Copy and Arrowhead who took over the race by the four-furlong marker.

The Edward Walcott-trained Arrowhead, who had placed third to Brigadier Wood in his last start, showed he was the main danger this time around as he battled off Butterfly.

Brigadier Wood was not disgraced, having given the winner nine pounds and settling third this time around. Janaks Gold finished fourth and Carbon Copy fifth in the five-horse field.

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