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War machine returns in style

War Machine produced a jaw-dropping display to return from injury with a bang during the harness racing at Vesey Street last weekend.

Mello Stables six-year-old gelding posted the fastest time of 1:02/1 to win the final heat by a nose over Google Me, the overall track record holder, that posted the same time.

The Indiana-bred racing pony was making its first appearance at the track after a lengthy absence through injury and produced a display that exceeded expectations.

“He was off with a slight injury and gave him extra time off to be sure he was good to go,” Colin Mello, the Mello Stable owner, said. “I wasn't expecting that first time out in six weeks. He is a phenomenal horse; big heart and loves his job.”

At the helm of War Machine was Mello's daughter, Kayla Caldwell, who was equally as surprised with the horse's stunning display.

“I definitely did not expect that from him,” she said. “He had been off for six weeks and so I was going to go out there and just see what he had in him. I knew as soon as he turned to the gate, though, that he wanted to go.

“The first lap felt like I was flying and then I felt him coming back a bit. But as soon as Google Me came up beside him he shot back up, and I knew that he was going to do whatever it took to win the race.

“He's a great horse and very different from any other horse that I've driven. It's taken a while to get used to, but we are getting better every week.”

War Machine previously held the overall track record of 1:01/2, which he set in December of 2018.

However, his record was short-lived as Robert and Tyler Lopes' mare, Google Me, achieved a 1:01/1 competing in the season-ending Champion of Champions two months later.

The time of 1:01/2 that War Machine achieved two years ago remains his lifetime best and the gelding's track record.

When asked whether he thinks his pony can regain the overall track record, Mello said: “I honestly don't know, that's a very fast time to beat. Everything has to be perfect in order for that to happen, but I guess you never know.

Simsfield Hardtimes posted the second fastest time of 1:02/2 last weekend, with Gold N Glory and Special Gold earning a share of the third fastest time of 1:03 flat respectively.

Kayla Caldwell and War Machine produced the fastest time of 1:02/1 at Vesey Street last weekend (Photograph by Colin Mello)

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Published February 13, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated February 12, 2020 at 8:55 pm)

War machine returns in style

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