Special Gold comes close to delivering lifetime and season’s best performance
Special Gold lived up to his name during the last round of harness racing at the National Equestrian Centre on Saturday night.
The Raynor family’s six-year-old stallion claimed bragging rights after posting the fastest time of 1:02.2 competing on the rail in the Free for All division, with driver Candyce Martins in the bike.
The time was a fifth of a second shy of his lifetime best and season’s fastest time to date (1:02.1), which was set by Simsfield Stables’s gelding, Simsfield Hardtimes, and driver Kirista Rabain on New Year’s Day.
“That was my first time actually driving him and I was impressed with his performance for a pony I’ve never touched before,” Martins told The Royal Gazette.
“I was definitely impressed and he ran nice and smooth the whole race.”
It was also a night to remember for Rabain, who posted the second (1:02.4) and third (1:03.1) fastest times with Simsfield Hardtimes.
“Hardtimes has been running some consistent fast times for us lately,” Rabain said. “Very pleased with him and his efforts.
“Very exciting to have another horse dropping times like him. It keeps races interesting and I’m sure many are excited to see what could happen next. I think that could be for any horse in Free for All right now.”
Rabain also enjoyed success with Antwan Edwards’s stallion, Special Tux, which got both legs out of the 1:08.1 – 1:11.3 time bar on the same racecard.
“Special Tux has been fun,” she added.
“I think he’s got more speed in there; just have to figure him out a little more and I think he could be moving out of another time bar soon.”
Also moving up a time bar was Arnold Manders’s gelding, A Touch of Red, and Creekview Stables’s mare, Kate’s Lil Lady, respectively.
A Touch of Red advanced after getting a second leg out of the 1:06.1 – 1:08 division in its first heat of the night with 16-year-old driver Nisuje Landy at the helm. Kate’s Lil Lady also moved up a division after getting both legs out of the 1:11 and slower time bar on the same night.
Getting a leg out of the 1:04.3 – 1:06 time bar were rival geldings Itsallaboutme and Rockeyed Optimist, with drivers J'auza James and Maurice Raynor in the bike.
Catrina Sharman, Macray Bulford, Catrina Stephens, Demian Tucker, James, Rabain, Manders and Martins were among the drivers securing multiple heat wins across various divisions.