Two-of-a-kind ponies continue steady ascent
Inwood's Realist and ThisBabyRocks have a lot in common.
The two harness racing ponies share the same father, are the same age, both Bermuda bred and compete in the same division.
Given the similarities between the two, it was perhaps only fitting that they both gained promotion on the same race day at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre at the weekend.
Inwood Stables's three-year old gelding Inwood's Realist and Tanglewood Stable's three-year-old filly ThisBabyRocks both moved out of the 1:05/2 — 1:06/2 time bar to continue their steady ascent in the sport.
“He [Inwood Realist] seems to keep rising to the occasion and we've been pleasantly surprised with him,” said Nick DeCosta, the Inwood Stables co-owner and former Driving Horse and Pony Club president.
“I really didn't expect him to be this good. He didn't have as good a year last year but something clicked and he has really come into himself.
“I guess with maturity this is where he's at now and I definitely didn't expect for him to be doing what he's doing today.”
Inwood's Realist is the son of DeCosta's retired stallion GV Colonel Spence and mare Reel Brand and half-brother of ThisBabyRocks, who shares the same father.
“She's [ThisBabyRocks] doing good and we are really happy with her,” said Colin Mello, who trains Joe Vieira's filly.
“I figured she had some speed which she's starting to show.
“She's a three-year-old so we took our time with her last year and this year she's a little bit bigger and we're happy with how she is going.”
ThisBabyRocks's mother is Vieira's retired mare Cherokee Kibbitz. Also on the move was Andy Stoneham's two-year-old colt WiggleItJiggleIt who advanced from the 1:11/4 and slower division.
Tuck Away Farm's Gold n Glory recorded the night's fastest time, competing in the Free for All. Charles Whited's gelding went around in 1:02/4 to come to within four fifths of a second of tying his own three-year-old record, the gelding's record and the season's fastest time (1:02), which he achieved the previous race day.
The overall track record stands at 1:01/4 and is held by Mello's retired stud Big Red Machine, who achieved the feat in 2012.
“Cherokee's Ironman went in 1:02 flat last year but Gold n Glory is a three-year-old going in 1:02 flat, which is pretty amazing,” Mello said.
“Records are made to be broken and I think the overall track record could be broken this season.
“We did some work to the track last year and I guess it's probably settled over the summer and is lightning fast right now.
“The conditions the other night when [Gold n Glory] ran the 1:02 flat were perfect. Everybody went fast that night right from the first race.”