Champion mare could be set for shock return
Google Me, the fastest pony in local harness racing, could potentially come out of early retirement.
Tyler Lopes retired his five-year-old Indiana-bred mare after she broke multiple track records and became the first mare to win the prestigious Champion of Champions at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre last month.
However, he suggested yesterday that he could potentially change his decision should his mare still have a burning desire to compete.
“I don’t plan to bring her back but if she wants to race again then she goes back to racing,” said Lopes, who co-owns Google Me with his father Robert. “It all depends on how she copes (with retirement) because some horses don’t know how to deal with themselves when they’re not racing.
“It’s like an athlete retiring. It’s always difficult at first because it’s all you know and some of them don’t cope so well with it and get quite stressed and what not.
“Because of her heart and how much she loves to race she may not be happy not racing so we’ll wait and see and play it by ear.
“If the mare turns around and tells us she wants to race then she goes back to racing.”
Competing with driver Candyce Martins in the sulky, Google Me set the new overall track after achieving a lifetime best time of 1:01/1 during the qualifying heats of the Champion of Champions, which is also a new mare’s record and four-year-old’s record.
Lopes’s horse then capped a phenomenal weekend at the track by becoming the first mare to win the Champion of Champions title, having achieved the fastest average time of 2:05/3 over the two heats in the Final Dash.
Lopes said his horse’s historical feat was a “childhood dream come true”.
“She broke multiple records at once so it was a lot to take in and a bit of a childhood dream come true for me to be honest,” he said. “To be honest, it took a while to sink it.
“To do it in the manner that she did it was definitely a surprise but I always knew she could do it.
“It was just a matter of when she chose to show us that type of speed.
“In the back of my mind I was kind of hoping it would work out that way. It’s a fairytale ending and really couldn’t be better. It was literally perfect.”
Lopes said he saw potential in the horse when he purchased her as a yearling.
“I saw her running around with the other yearlings and she just caught my eye,” he recalled. “Looking at her I could tell this filly was going to grow into a serious racehorse.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better horse. Everything about her is amazing; her personality, she’s easy to work with and she knows and loves her job.”
Lopes thanked all those who played a role in his horse’s success.
“It takes a whole team to make it work and be successful and everyone that was involved with her this year deserve a huge congratulations,” he said. “I’m very grateful to all of them.
“The mare has definitely had a very good year and it would not have been possible without them.”