Dylan DeSilva fuels the need for speed
Dylan DeSilva achieved an impressive double during weekend harness racing at Vesey Street.
The 26-year-old driver held a share of the fastest time of 1:02/4 recorded during last Friday night’s racing at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre. He also won both heats contested in the fastest division competing with Simsfield Stables’s gelding, Simsfield Hardtimes.
“I saw that the track had been producing fast times,” DeSilva said. “I said to Aaron [stable owner Aaron Sims] ‘he’s feeling good, let’s see what he’s going to do’.
“I asked a little bit of him and we ended up tying the fastest time of the night.
“I was hoping for a little bit more, but the season is still early.”
DeSilva capped a fruitful night of racing by steering Simsfield Hardtimes to victory in the final heat of the night to complete the sweep in the 1:03 & faster time bar for the second successive week respectively.
“It’s definitely a good feeling and makes all the work throughout the week training worth it,” added DeSilva, who has already racked up five heat victories after two rounds of the 2020-21 campaign. “It’s definitely a good feeling when you see your hard work paying off.”
Female driver Candyce Martins initially held bragging rights having posted the fastest time of 1:02/4 first competing in the Junior Free for All with her mare, Double Time, during the first half of the race schedule before DeSilva came along and equalled it after the intermission.
“I am very impressed in her time this weekend,” Martins said. “That was only my second race day with her so far and I look forward to the rest of the season.”
Robert and Tyler Lopes’s retired mare Google Me holds the overall track record and mare’s record, which stands at 1:01/1.
Female driver Andrea Westerfield won the remaining heat in the Junior Free for All competing with Andy Stoneham’s stallion, Custard the Dragon.
Also achieving a clean sweep in their respective time bar was Catrina Stephens, the night’s top driver with six heat victories, competing in three separate divisions with as many ponies owned by Burrows Family Stables.
The 27-year-old female driver swept both heats in the 1:05/1 to 1:06/3 time bar with mare Shady Maple and replicated the feat in the 1:11/4 & Slower and 1:04/1 to 1:05 time bars with gelding Whatyatalkinbout and mare Reign of Terror respectively.
“I wasn’t expecting to win all six races,” Stephens said. “I just wanted to go and let the ponies do what they enjoy doing without any pressure.
“For them to be able to race so well on our second race day makes me very happy, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings.”
Harness racing continues at Vesey Street on Saturday, starting from 6pm.