Trio grab share of season’s fastest time during Boxing Day harness racing
Owners Colin Mello, Aaron Sims and Tyler Lopes shared bragging rights after all was said and done on the racetrack, following some intense harness racing at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre on Boxing Day.
The trio’s ponies War Machine, Simsfield Hardtimes and Google Me, all posted the season’s fastest time of 1:03 competing in the Free for All division.
Mello Family’s War Machine was the first to eclipse the season’s previous fastest time of 1:03.2, posted by Simsfield Hardtimes on December 4, racing on the rail in the day’s opening heat with Lopes in the bike.
However, the Indiana-bred gelding’s reign at the top all alone was short-lived as Sims’s gelding Simsfield Hardtimes and Lopes’s mare Google Me, equalled the time later in the day.
“1:03 was a popular time with War Machine plus also Simsfield Hardtimes and Google Me also clocking that time,” Mello told The Royal Gazette.
“It was a good day of racing with drivers and ponies all giving the spectators some exciting races to watch,” Mello said.
“Pleased with how War Machine is going. Hopefully there’s more to come from him as the season progresses.”
Simsfield Hardtimes, with driver Dylan DeSilva, and Google Me, with owner Lopes in the bike, equalled the season’s fastest time competing against each other in a two-horse race in the fourth of six heats in the Free for All division.
“Dylan pushed Hardtimes and he didn’t go as good as we thought he would,” Sims said. “I think it was a lot to do with the weather and the rest of it.
“But after I heard the times, he did do good. He went 1:03 as well so the three fastest Free for All ponies all put down the fastest times. We are all equal which made me feel a bit better.”
Lopes added: “I think that Google Me and Hardtimes’s race was definitely the race of the day. That was super exciting to have two horses coming to the wire in a 1:03 flat photo finish pretty much to be in the same time. That’s pretty impressive so that was definitely for me the most exciting race of the day.”
Lopes said Mello’s horse is improving with each race day.
“Every week he just feels better and better,” he said. “Colin does a great job keeping him ready. He really keeps him sharp and honestly I think we can only get better from here.
“If the conditions are right I think we are going to have probably the most competitive Free for All we’ve had in a while.
“It’s going to be interesting. Three horses with the same time and I think it’s just going to get better from here.”
Nisuje Landy, Candyce Martins, Demian Tucker, Catrina Stephens and Lopes were among the drivers achieving multiple heats wins on Boxing Day.
Meanwhile, harness racing resumes on New Year’s Day at the Vesey Street racetrack.
“Hopefully the weather cooperates for another good day of racing on New Year’s Day,” Mello, the Driving Horse and Pony Club president, said. “Looking forward to seeing a good slate of Powder Puff races as well.”
Unlike in previous years, the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day racing programmes will not feature the traditional stakes races.
The DHPC opted for a standard race day format due to Covid-19 restrictions, which delayed the start of the season.