by Plainridge Park
Veteran driver Jim Hardy scored the 3,000th victory of his career Thursday afternoon (Oct. 20) when he guided Eye See Now to an upset victory at Plainridge Park Casino.
“It feels good to reach the milestone,” Hardy said following a brief celebration in the winners’ circle. “But it is even better to do it with my own horse.”
Hardy trains Eye See Now for Jim, David and Daniel Winske of nearby Marlborough, Mass.
“I sure do,” said Hardy when asked if he remembered his first driving win. “It was the pacer Presumably Swift at Foxboro back in 1986.”
And as with the accomplishment Thursday, the one three decades ago came with a locally owned horse. Presumably Swift was owned and trained by Paul Vacca, who joined Hardy in the festivities. Hardy’s victory aboard Eye See Now was part of a driving double on the card for the perennial leading driver at Plainridge.
Afterwards, he reflected on the changes at the Mass. track in the 18 months since the casino opened, and how much more scarce a ticket to the winners’ circle has become.
“The competition is so much tougher now, and there are some really nice horses racing here.” Hardy said. “Instead of one or two horses that can go in each field it is more like five or six.”
Live racing continues at Plainridge Park Casino every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday through Dec. 2. Daily post time is at 1:00 p.m.