Day At The Track
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Google Me, the fastest pony in local harness racing, could potentially come out of early retirement. Tyler Lopes retired his five-year-old Indiana-bred mare after she broke multiple track records and became the first mare to win the prestigious Champion of Champions at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre last month. However, he suggested yesterday that he could potentially change his decision should his mare still have a burning desire to compete. “I don’t plan to bring her back but if she wants to race again then she goes back to racing,” said Lopes, who co-owns Google Me with his father Robert. “It all depends on how she copes (with retirement) because some horses don’t know how to deal with themselves when they’re not racing. “It’s like an athlete retiring. It’s always difficult at first because it’s all you know and some of them don’t cope so well with it and get quite stressed and what not. “Because of her heart and how much she loves to race she may not be happy not racing so we’ll wait and see and play it by ear. “If the mare turns around and tells us she wants to race then she goes back to racing.” Competing with driver Candyce Martins in the sulky, Google Me set the new overall track after achieving a lifetime best time of 1:01/1 during the qualifying heats of the Champion of Champions, which is also a new mare’s record and four-year-old’s record. Lopes’s horse then capped a phenomenal weekend at the track by becoming the first mare to win the Champion of Champions title, having achieved the fastest average time of 2:05/3 over the two heats in the Final Dash. Lopes said his horse’s historical feat was a “childhood dream come true”. “She broke multiple records at once so it was a lot to take in and a bit of a childhood dream come true for me to be honest,” he said. “To be honest, it took a while to sink it. “To do it in the manner that she did it was definitely a surprise but I always knew she could do it. “It was just a matter of when she chose to show us that type of speed. “In the back of my mind I was kind of hoping it would work out that way. It’s a fairytale ending and really couldn’t be better. It was literally perfect.” Lopes said he saw potential in the horse when he purchased her as a yearling. “I saw her running around with the other yearlings and she just caught my eye,” he recalled. “Looking at her I could tell this filly was going to grow into a serious racehorse. “I couldn’t have asked for a better horse. Everything about her is amazing; her personality, she’s easy to work with and she knows and loves her job.” Lopes thanked all those who played a role in his horse’s success. “It takes a whole team to make it work and be successful and everyone that was involved with her this year deserve a huge congratulations,” he said. “I’m very grateful to all of them. “The mare has definitely had a very good year and it would not have been possible without them.” By Colin Thompson Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette

A 70-year-old woman died after she was hit by her own car as she prepared to go to a harness racing event to watch her grandson compete. Mary Brady died in an accident that involved her car near the National Equestrian Centre in Devonshire just before her 18-year-old grandson, Kiwon Waldron, raced in the traditional Boxing Day event. Mr Waldron rushed to the scene of the tragedy on Vesey Street and the organisers were on the verge of cancelling the event when they were told the news. But grief-stricken Mr Waldron insisted the races went ahead and that he would compete as scheduled. Charles Whited Jr, president of the Driving Horse and Pony Club, said Mr Waldron told him: “I want to race. Ineed to do it.” Mr Whited added: “We decided to support him and went ahead.” The incident, which left Mrs Brady trapped under her car, happened about 12.30pm. She was rushed to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital but was later pronounced dead by doctors. Police have launched an investigation into the accident. Mr Whited told The Royal Gazette: “We were certainly prepared to call the event off. “But it provided Kiwon the opportunity to be in his element and gave him time to think about everything.” He said that Mrs Brady and her daughter Liz Waldron, along with Mr Waldron’s brother, Kentwan, were strong supporters of harness racing. Mr Whited said: “Mrs Brady has been coming to the races for ever, rain or shine — to hear that it was her, everybody was in disbelief, just devastated. “It’s a huge shock. She was part of the family. We are all walking around with very heavy hearts. “Their family plays a huge part in harness racing in Bermuda, and everybody is just having to deal with it.” The Boxing Day races, which said were “Bermuda’s Kentucky Derby”, has weathered tragedy before. David Mello, a competitor, died of a heart attack in 1996 just after a race. Mr Whited said: “As a result of that, Boxing Day is always tough. To have Mrs Brady pass away on that day certainly compounds that. It is a very close-knit family.” He added that “everybody came running saying to keep an eye on Kiwon, there’s been a very serious accident”. “I ran to see exactly what had happened and the rest is history. It’s a tragedy, based on the information I received, I kind of knew that the outcome was not going to be good.” Mr Whited said: “When something happens within our organisation, it affects all of us. I called the committee together and it was very emotional for us all.” He said that he had spoken to the Waldron family yesterday. Mr Whited added: “It’s starting to sink in and the boys are just coming to grips with it. “Unfortunately, that’s just part of life — we never plan on it. But under these circumstances, it was such a shock. But we have to stick together and be strong for family when they need you. That what we do.” Mr Whited said that a memorial for Mrs Brady would be held. He added: “We will definitely be doing something in memory of Mary Brady. We will take time to recognise her support and her family’s support over all these years.” By Jonathan Bell Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette

Random Stables’ gelding War Machine blazed his way into the record books during the harness racing at Vesey Street, Bermuda at the weekend. The four-year-old Indiana-bred racing pony ran a blistering 1:01/2 racing on the rail in the Free for All to shave two fifths of a second off the previous track record of 1:01/4 set by Colin Mello’s stud Big Red Machine in 2012. War Machine’s time is also a new gelding’s record. “It’s nice to have bragging rights for now, but I’m very well aware it can go just as quickly as you got it, too,” Daniel Greenslade, the Random Stables owner, said. “That’s the name of the game and records are meant to be broken. “I’m glad we have it at the moment and hopefully we’ll hang on to it for a little bit.” War Machine broke the records with teenage driver Kiwon Waldron in the sulky. “We were hoping for it [the track record],” Waldron said. “We prepared during the week and the day of and luckily we did it. He just felt right and everything was right and it’s fulfilling because all the hard work I put in has actually paid off. It’s really the pony; he does all the work while I sit there and guide him.” Greenslade was impressed by Waldron’s self belief and convincing manner in which he raised the bar. “One of the more impressive things was that Kiwon said he thought he could do it and he did it,” Greenslade said. “A lot of ponies have knocked on the door but haven’t quite got there and he did it quite convincingly. “I haven’t been going to the races much, but I went down there yesterday [Sunday] because I thought he could do it and I was glad I was there. “Kiwon has put a lot of work into the pony and it’s paid off.” Coincidentally, Waldron competed in the same sulky that Mello borrowed from Greenslade when he set a new overall track record six years ago with Big Red Machine. War Machine comes from good stock as his mother, IC’s Amber Rock, and father, GV Sir Tux, have achieved world track records. “His mother and father are obviously fast but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the babies are going to be fast,” Greenslade said. “But with this particular one it worked out. “We knew he was fast as a two-year-old but you just never know how fast they’re going to go.” Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette Bermuda is a British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean known for its pink-sand beaches such as Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay. Its massive Royal Naval Dockyard complex combines modern attractions like the interactive Dolphin Quest with maritime history at the National Museum of Bermuda. The island has a distinctive blend of British and American culture, which can be found in the capital, Hamilton

A tug-of-war between Gold N Glory and half-brother Special Gold over the two-year-old’s record continued during the latest round of harness racing at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre last weekend. Gelding Gold N Glory, owned by Charles Whited Jr, regained the record from Special Gold after producing the day’s fastest time of 1:02/3 at the Vesey Street racetrack. Both ponies have held the two-year-old’s record twice this season, achieving the feat on each occasion with teenage driver Kiwon Waldron, who also equalled the mark on New Year’s Day with Lee and Sergio Raynor’s stud Special Gold. “My experience this season has been awesome,” Waldron said. “To tie the record and then go on to break it multiple times with two different two-year-olds is something I never expected and never seen happen before. “Gold N Glory felt good warming up and it showed in the race.” Gold N Glory’s time was three fifths of a second shy of the overall gelding’s record of 1:02 flat held by Cherokee’s Ironman. “Going in a time of 1:02/3 for a two-year-old is almost unheard of,” Waldron added. “This is definitely a special horse and Charles Whited is doing a great job with training. “The two-year-olds I raced are half-brothers. I guess there’s something about the gold.” The season’s fastest time stands at 1:02 and was achieved by Arnold Manders’s Indiana-bred gelding Cherokee’s Ironman last month. The overall track record stands at 1:01/4 and is held by Colin Mello’s retired stud Big Red Machine, who achieved the feat in 2012. Waldron and fellow teenager Casey Truran were the top drivers on the day with three heat victories each on different ponies. Moving out of the 1:07/2-1:10/4 division were the trio of Major Medical, A Touch of Red and Spirit of Brona. Colin Thompson Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette  

In Harness racing action at the Bermuda National Equestrian Center on Vesey Street this weekend, three records were broken. Fastest time on the day racing went to Cherokee’s Ironman with Darico Clarke in the bike winning the 1:04/2 & Faster A Division Time Bar Class clocking 1:02&2. Three records also fell, Kiwon Waldron in the bike of Gold-N-Glory broke the 2 Year Olds Record clocking 1:03&3 while competing in the 1:04&3 – 1:06 Time Bar Class. Pocket de Gold took the Mare Record clocking 1:02&4 with Christian Truran in the bike during the 1:04&2 & Faster B Division Time Bar Class. And the final record to fall was the Bermuda Bred Record, which was broken by Reel Patrol with Andrea Westerfield in the bike clocking 1:03&3 during the 1:04&2 & Faster B Division Time Bar Class. The full Harness Pony Racing results follow below [PDF here] Reprinted with permission of Bernews

Siblings Christian and Casey Truran make winning look easy. The harness racing drivers have racked up an astonishing 31 victories between them just five weeks into the Bermuda season and, on present form, are showing no signs of slowing down. Christian, 17, cites teamwork, dedication and commitment as the reason for the pair’s blistering start to the campaign. “Our circle of friends, coaches and trainers work together and help each other out,” Christian said. “If one of us was off the island attending a function or has a school commitment then someone else will step in and continue the training of the ponies so that their training schedule doesn’t get interrupted.” It has also helped having seasoned drivers such as Nick DeCosta and Colin Mello in their corner. “We are very fortunate to have Nick DeCosta from Inwood Stables and Colin Mello from Tanglewood Stables training and coaching us,” Casey, 15, said. “Michael DeCosta is always there encouraging us, guiding us and sharing his knowledge with us to make us better drivers.” The Truran siblings, who both attend Saltus Grammar School, are among a group of promising drivers making steady strides in the sport. “When it comes to our fellow junior drivers, Kayla Caldwell, Lucas Bridges, Candyce Martins and Christian Roque, we all work together and help each other out on the track when racing and when we are training,” Casey said. “We all do this sport together, which we both really enjoy.” Christian races out of Tanglewood Stables while his brother competes for both See Horse Stables and Inwood Stables. “Even though Casey and I are racing from different stables this year, each of our support groups come together and we all work together really well,” Christian said. Casey added: “When we aren’t in the same race, we encourage and support each other and when we are in the same race we are competitors.” Casey has achieved 18 victories this season, ten alone with See Horse Stables’ racing pony Inwood’s Generation, while the bulk of Christian’s 13 triumphs have come with Itsallaboutme. The brothers’ goals for the season are to achieve personal best times for each of the three ponies they race. There is added incentive for Christian who also hopes to, at least, grab a share of the mare track record (1min 3.2sec) held by Whited Family’s IC’s Overextended. “The Driving Horse and Pony Club committee has dedicated many hours to improving the condition of the track and they have organised several social events, which have created a fun and competitive atmosphere,” Christian said. “There are many good drivers and ponies racing this season, and hopefully we will continue to do well.” by Colin Thompson Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette

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