By Kent Layne
Undefeated in four starts in Barbados, the Andrew Nunes-trained Queen of Pitons will be aiming to keep her record intact at the Garrison Savannah on Saturday. She will have her first crack at the top-rated animals when she faces a small but very interesting seven-horse field in the Elias Haloute Memorial Handicap going the 1800-meter trip.
The Elias Haloute Memorial Handicap carries a purse of $25 000 and is race seven on the eight-race card slated for 4:25 p.m.
The late Elias Haloute who died on August 16 this year was a top race horse owner who had been racing horses for over 40 years throughout the Caribbean. He carries the record as the only horse owner in the English-speaking Caribbean to win the Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados Derby. He did it with Terremoto in Trinidad and Jamaica in 1998, the only horse to have won the Derby in both those countries, and then winning the Barbados Derby with Apostle in 2007.
Queen of Pitons won her last race in St Lucia last year February before rattling off wins in her first four races since coming over to Barbados to stay undefeated.
The American-bred five-year-old mare by Gio Ponti owned by Stephan Narinesingh, and part-owned by Elias Haloute, won her last start on July 16 this year, getting up just in the nick of time to defeat Terrain and Stolen in a heartpumping finish going 1800 meters.
Queen of Pitons who had lost her first start on the first official day of racing in St Lucia on December 13, 2019, seems to prefer the longer trip as she won going 1800 meters in three of her four Barbados wins. Jarrelle Beckles will pilot Queen of Pitons once again. She will depart from gate 4 and will carry 118 pounds.
Horse number 6 Speed Franco made his debut in Barbados on September 18 in the September To Remember Handicap finishing a head back in third place behind Terrain and Celestial Storm.
Speed Franco who is a grade 3 winner from the USA is out of the Melrose stables which owned useful horses such as Floating Mohammed, Dancing Tara and Flagship in the past. He is trained by Robert Peirce. Rasheed Hughes will ride Speed Franco once again and will carry 127 Pounds.
Locally bred eight-year-old mare Stolen has not won for a while but could be in the shakeup in this feature race come Saturday.
Trained by Jean Marc Cozier, Stolen finished runner-up to Gandalf in the Breeders Sprint last race day and could give a good account of herself. Stolen will carry 124 pounds.
The Richard Deane-trained Good Vibration will enjoy the longer trip.
Good Vibration will be ridden by Lester Edwards. Island Cotton rounds off the field.
My selection: Queen of Pitons, Speed Franco, Stolen, Good Vibration. Post time for the first race is 1 p.m.