Shady Maple continues to exceed expectations
Shady Maple continued her impressive rise to form during the last round of harness racing at the National Equestrian Centre.
The fast-improving mare advanced to the Junior Free for All after getting a second leg out of the 1:04.3 – 1:06 time bar with driver Catrina Stephens at the helm.
The Burrows Family owned pony ran a 1:04.1 on the way to victory in the first heat she competed in.
“We look forward to seeing what Shady Maple will do now that she is in Junior Free for All,” owner David Burrows told The Royal Gazette.
“She has exceeded all expectations and is showing her true potential. We should have a great last three race days.”
Stephens added: “When it comes to Shady Maple, I can’t help but smile.
“That mare shows me every week that she has the potential to go faster, and I can’t wait to see what she does this week.”
It proved to be a memorable day at the racetrack for the Burrows Family as the team’s other mare, Reign of Terror, won both heats she competed in in the same time bar with driver Stephens again in the bike.
“Reign of Terror is running very consistently and smooth,” Burrows said.
Stephens added: “Reign of Terror is so smooth to drive and she never let’s me down.”
Stephens also enjoyed success with her mare, Gold Legacy, which shares the same stable with Burrows’s mares.
The pair won their second heat of the night with a time of 1:06 to get a leg out of the 1:06.1 – 1:08 time bar.
“It’s my first season owning and racing Gold Legacy,” Stephens said. “So we’re figuring each other out, and I think we are getting along really well.”
Burrows is encouraged by the steady strides the trio of mares have made this season.
“We are really impressed with how well the three ponies are running,” he said.
“They enjoy racing and they are giving us their all. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Stephens added: “The ponies always exceed any expectations I’ve had for them.
“They are all trying their best, and I couldn’t ask for more.”
Meanwhile, also getting a leg out of his division was Graceland Stables’ gelding, Itsallaboutme, with driver J'auza James after posting a 1:03.1 competing in the Junior Free for All.
The only other pony achieving multiple heat wins was Samantha Hayward’s stallion, Red Grand, with driver Macray Bulford competing in the 1:08.1 – 1:11.3 time bar.
Rival geldings War Machine (Mello Family) and Simsfield Hardtimes (Simsfield Stables) posted the fastest time of 1:01.4 competing in the Free for All, featuring the island’s fastest harness ponies, with drivers Philip Correia and Kirista Rabain.
The time was three fifths of a second shy of equalling Google Me’s overall track and mare’s record, which stands at 1:01.1.
It was also two fifths shy of the season’s fastest time of 1:01.2, achieved by stallion Special Gold last month. Special Gold’s time is a new stallion’s record and lifetime best.
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