Lopes off to a flying start
Tyler Lopes made a blistering start to the new harness racing season at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre at the weekend.
In a performance he rates among his best, the driver racked up a remarkable five heat victories competing with three different ponies, including two with Google Me, one of three two-year-olds making their debut during the season-opener at Vesey Street.
Lopes won two heats in the 1:10/1 & slower division as his new Indiana-bred filly, Google Me, hit the ground running and also steered IC's Overextended to two wins in the faster 1:05-1:06 division.
For added measure, the driver won a heat in the Free for All at the helm of Cherokee's Ironman, last season's top horse, en route to posting the night's fastest time of 1:05/2 in heat 12 with Arnold Manders's highly decorated gelding.
“Overall it was a fantastic night,” Lopes said. “Definitely one of the best I've ever had.All of the ponies that I drove felt great. I was happy with the way Google Me performed. It was her first night down there in that kind of atmosphere and she coped with it better than I expected.”
Lopes was among four drivers achieving multiple victories during the well-attended meet, which featured 24 ponies competing in 16 heats.
Also making multiple trips to the winner's circle were Dylan DeSilva, junior driver Christian Truran and Aaron Maderias.
“The night's races truly exceeded the executive committee's expectations,” said Charles Whited Jr, the Driving Horse and Pony Club executive.
“If this was a gauge of what to expect as the season progresses, then we are in for one of the most exciting seasons of harness pony racing in years.”
The next race day is on Saturday at 6pm.