War Machine sets the pace in season finale
War Machine flirted with multiple track records during the final round of the 2021-22 harness racing season at the National Equestrian Centre at the weekend.
Competing in the Free for All division, Colin Mello’s pony posted a 1:01.3 with driver Philip Correia to come within a fifth of a second of equalling the gelding record they share with Simsfield Hardtimes and the season’s fastest time.
The time was also only two-fifths of a second shy of the overall track record of 1:01.1 held by Tyler Lopes’s retired mare, Google Me.
Mello could not be reached for comment.
Aaron Sims’s harness pony, Simsfield Hardtimes, posted the second fastest time of 1:02 flat with driver Kirista Rabain.
War Machine and Correia also had the third fastest time of 1:02.1.
Maurice Raynor’s pony, Rockeyed Optimist, Martins Family’s Double Time, War Machine and Simsfield Hardtimes all achieved victories in the four heats contested in the Free for All division, which features the island’s fastest ponies.
IC’s Overextended and Gold-N- Glory were the winners of both heats in the Junior Free for All with owner/drivers Rabain and Candyce Martins.
Inwood’s Realist and Special Tux were the only multiple heats winners with drivers Tahzil Flood and Darico Clarke.
Rabain, Martins, Flood and Clarke were among the drivers recording multiple heat victories.
The 2021-22 season did not go without its share of challenges for the Driving Horse and Pony Club of Bermuda brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic, which delayed the start of the campaign last Fall and brought racing to a grinding halt in January.
Race officials also opted not to stage the traditional festive holiday stakes races and season-ending Champion of Champions events.
Two records were broken in the Free for All division during the season.
Lee and Sergio Raynor’s pony, Special Gold, broke Big Red Machine’s 12-year-old stallion’s track record with the fastest time of the season of 1:01.2 with Rabain in the bike.
Martins’s pony, Double Time, also eclipsed their own Bermuda-bred mare’s record with a time of 1:02.1.
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