Day At The Track

"She's exceeded all our expectations"

08:32 AM 30 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Golden Paradise and driver Trace Tetrick,Harness racing
Golden Paradise and driver Trace Tetrick
Conrad photo

What a difference a year makes.

Last January, the female harness racing pacer Golden Paradise was competing in the Claim to Fame Series at Miami Valley Raceway. This January, she is already a two-time winner of the fillies-and-mares open at the same track, where on Friday she will try to capture her third in a row.

And, in between, she won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship for pacing mares.

So, it's safe to say trainer/co-owner Tyler George is very grateful Golden Paradise was not claimed a year ago.

"No kidding," George said with a laugh. "I would have been kicking myself, that's for sure."

Golden Paradise, a 6-year-old daughter of Allthatgltrsisgold out of Paradise Island who began her career on the Indiana fairs circuit, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Friday's $22,500 fillies-and-mares open handicap. She will start from the outside, post No. 7, with driver Trace Tetrick.

For her career, Golden Paradise has won 30 of 86 races and $259,302. Her current ownership group, made up of George, Sam Schillaci, and Wrenn Jr. Racing, came together in November 2018. After working with the mare to resolve tying-up issues and changing her routine, she began to click on a more consistent basis. Since the beginning of 2019, she has won 12 of 28 starts and $157,675.

"She hasn't really changed physically much," George said. "She calmed down a little bit, just kind of matured. She's become a professional. We've had some nice mares that are faster than her, but she just never has a bad day. She just always puts in a good effort every time.

"I really appreciate that about her. She's very consistent. And she's very easy to drive. Trace said the other day he could drive her with no handholds right now. That's hard to find. Plus, she's very versatile. She'll race just as well off a trip as if you put her in play."

Golden Paradise's current form shows three wins and two seconds, both by a head, in her past five races. George, who was among the horse's trainers prior to owning the mare with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Schillaci, said her breeding also might be a factor in her development.

"She's out of an Abercrombie (sired) mare, you don't see that very often in the program anymore, and those horses, years ago, just got really good when they got older," George said.

After the mare began to show improvement last year, her connections supplemented her to the Indiana Sire Stakes. She will compete in the sire stakes again this season.

"She fits pretty good with those horses, I think," George said. "Beyond that, it would probably be hard for her. We'll just keep her around here and have a little fun with her. We'll race at Miami Valley and Hoosier a little bit, maybe Scioto. She's already exceeded all our expectations."

Regardless of where Golden Paradise does compete, it is safe to say where she will not race anytime soon.

"No more claimers," George said, laughing.

Racing begins at 6:05 p.m. (EST) Friday at Miami Valley Raceway. For complete entries, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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