Veteran pacer Paradise Willie (Artsplace) set a lifetime mark on Thursday night in a low level condition race at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Why is this noteworthy? Paradise Willie is a thirteen year old pacer who was making his 357th lifetime start on Thursday. Trained throughout his career by Simone Noud, Paradise Willie has been a fixture at Spa for better than a decade. Competing in a $4,280 conditional pace with Billy Dobson in the sulky on Thursday, Paradise Willie moved out to the early lead and broke away from his rivals while sprinting through a third quarter of 27.4. The “senior citizen” pacer scored by almost eight lengths in 1:53.2, the fastest time of his long career. Paradise Willie’s previous mark of 1:53.3 was set at Vernon Downs on their 7/8 mile track ten years ago as a three year old. Paradise Willie, who now has career earnings of over $275,000, has raced almost all of his lifetime starts at Saratoga and is now the fastest 13 year old pacer to ever race at the track after his dominant Thursday score.
Live racing continues on Friday at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino