By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, LOUISVILLE, KY, Mon. Nov. 4, 2018: A Caribbean national created history on Saturday Nov. 3, 2018, as his horse ran in the elite Breeders’ Cup Classic of 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Trinidad and Tobago national, Uriah St. Lewis’ horse, Discreet Lover, ran in the $6,000,000 race as the underdog. Ridden by Mexican-born jockey, Manuel Franco, the horse finished 8th.
But despite not winning, Discreet Lover, proved it has come a long from its 45-1 shot in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. The horse not only won that race, which came with the biggest purse in St. Lewis’s career, but it also gave the Caribbean national a chance at a life-changing score on Saturday in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The Derby may draw more eyes, but the Breeders’ Cup Classic has long been one of the richest races in thoroughbred competition, if not the premier event of the sport — the fourth and final leg of the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing after the American Triple Crown circuit.
Definitely a major deal for a guy who has managed to make a living with racehorses by watching every dollar and for a horse purchased for just $10,000.
St. Lewis migrated to the United States in 1973 at age 15. He went on to attend East New York Vocational and Technical High School in Brooklyn. His love for horses began at the Aqueduct, where he began betting after-school.
After school, St. Lewis, according to the New York Times, took a job repairing on-track betting terminals for AmTote but kept on betting much to his wife Amanda’s annoyance.
So she suggested that he learn and switch to horse training because of his love of the sport.
St. Lewis said he connected with a trainer in Oklahoma named Robert Hayes and then headed there. He served as an assistant to Hayes for a year, learning not only the quirks and talents of racehorses, but also how to manage a stable on a budget.
In 1988, St. Lewis took out a training license. But it has never been easy. From 2007 to 2012, St. Lewis won only seven races — a total that can be exceeded by some trainers in a single week.
But all that changed in May 2015 when Discreet Lover came along. Now forty-five starts, seven victories and nearly $1.4 million in purse money later, St. Lewis, 60, is finally seeing the fruits of his hard labor of love.