Peerless Correia steals the show
Philip Correia stole the thunder at Vesey Street at the weekend.
The 26-year-old harness driver stood head and shoulders above his peers after winning a staggering five heats and clocking the night’s fastest time of 1.03/1 with stallion Cherokee Superman in the Free for All.
However, the accolades don’t stop there as Correia also established lifetime fastest times on three different horses and moved up from two time bars during what can only be described as a remarkable night of racing at the Devonshire racetrack.
He achieved career fastest times with Cherokee Superman, gelding Nite Dreamer and stallion Imagine That.
Correia also guided Nite Dreamer and Imagine That out of the 1.06/2 1.07/2 and 1.14/1 1.16/1 time bars respectively.
Summing up the weekend that was, Correia said: “It was a long but good night.
“Imagine That is showing some promise for next season. He started out a little bit late but he really has the heart to follow through.
“Night Dreamer went through a bit of a rough time in the middle of the season. Some of these horses don’t cope with Bermuda’s humidity as good as others. He was sick for a good portion but is coming on as well.”
Correia saved the best for last as he chalked up the night’s fastest time with Cherokee Superman who got the better of big brother Big Red Machine, the current track record holder.
One of the harness driver’s goals for the season was to better his lifetime fastest with Cherokee Superman and he achieved just that.
“It definitely feels nice to do it because we have had a few ups and downs with him this year,” Correia said. “He fought a bad cold midway through the year which kind of knocked him off his ‘A’ game a little bit.
“I feel he’s bouncing back now. He seems to be getting stronger and stronger but unfortunately we only have one more week of racing.”
That there was racing at Vesey Street last Friday night at all owed much to Correia, who courageously volunteered to be hoisted by a lift to replace burned out light bulbs.
“They had a floodlight out at the track and they had to find a guinea pig to go up in the machine (lift),” he smiled. “I don’t how many feet it is to the top of the pole, but I was the guinea pig strapped to a machine and lifted up to change light bulbs so we could have races.
“It was windy and high up there, but somebody was watching out for me.”
Meanwhile, Brandon Lopes (LA Erma Time), Arthur Hurst (Just Call Me Willie) and Thomas Whited (Black and Mild and American Treat) were among last weekend’s remaining multiple heat winners.
The 2012 harness season concludes this weekend with the Champion of Champions Races.