Brown reaches milestone but Foiled Again fades

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

February 2nd, 2018

In the span of 24 hours at a pair of tracks that have little in common, one trainer was able to record a milestone victory at Charles Town while an aged pacer failed in his second bid for another milestone.

On Wednesday evening at Charles Town, trainer Ronney Brown became the 50th conditioner in the history of thoroughbred racing to reach the 2,500-win milestone in his career when Basket Baby rallied from midpack with a sweeping move on the far turn and cruised home three lengths clear in 1:29.07 in a seven-furlong event for $5000 claiming fillies and mares.

A six-year-old During mare trained by Brown for owner Richard Harris, Basket Baby notched her second straight victory and her third win in her last four starts and vaulted the trainer to his 2,500th career victory. Perhaps it seems only fitting that Brown would reach his latest milestone with a mare that he trains considering that his two top trainees to this point, Original Gold and My Sister Pearl, are both talented mares that have stakes races named in their honor each year at Charles Town. Original Gold won the Cavada Breeders Classic in 2004 and 2005, while My Sister Pearl owns the one-mile and one-sixteenth track record.

Then one night later at Yonkers Raceway in New York, Foiled Again was foiled again in his second bid to record the 100th victory in his Hall of Fame career. A 14-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again is in the final year of his prolonged career and Thursday evening he was made the 6-5 favorite in a non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class in his second attempt to reach the 100-victory plateau.

Away well from post five, Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) continued a steady brush to make the top just past reaching the opener in 27.3 and led the field by the grandstands and past the half in 57.3 with Lord Of Misrule (George Brennan) tucked neatly in the pocket. Foiled Again met steady pressure from Machtu N down the backside and through the far turn and for an instant appeared to have rebuffed all challengers and on his way to his 100th career score.

But in the final 100 yards, father time appeared to catch up with the aged warrior and Lord Of Misrule slipped through along the inside - granted there is no longer a passing lane at Yonkers - and Macintosh N (Jordan Stratton) closed rapidly late to gain the place spot as Foiled Again settled for third in 1:56.4.

Foiled Again kicked off his final season of competition by capturing a non-winners of $20,000 last five starts conditioned event at Yonkers for his 99th lifetime score. But he has since finished sixth and third in two more starts at that level, but by finishing third he remains eligible to the same class in his next outing. Foiled Again sports an exceptional 99-65-44 slate and $7.56 million banked in 306 career outings and his 100th victory should come at the non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class sometime in the near future.

Of course, once Foiled Again has attained his latest milestone trainer Ron Burke and co-owners Weaver Bruscemi and Jjk Stables should send the 14-year-old gelding on a farewell tour to numerous tracks across the country, especially targeting those tracks where he has yet to compete. Foiled Again was once a regular in upper tier events such as the George Morton Levy Memorial Series at Yonkers Raceway, the Breeders Crowns, the TVG Final and the Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway. But while his days at that level have long passed him by, Foiled Again is still a household name among novice and serious harness racing fans alike and a farewell tour would be an appropriate sendoff for the durable gelding.