Foiled Again seeks 100th win this weekend

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

January 16th, 2018

While many sports enthusiasts will be paying close attention to the National Football League Conference Championship games on Sunday which will determine the participants in Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis, standardbred racing fans will be watching Yonkers Raceway as Foiled Again goes in quest of his 100th lifetime victory in the opening race on the card.

One week ago, Foiled Again (George Brennan) kicked off his 14-year-old campaign - the last one in which he is eligible to compete - by capturing a non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class as the even-money favorite from post position three. The Dragon Again gelding trained by Ron Burke quarter moved to command, got a breather to the half then shook off serious pressure from All Down The Line (Eric Goodell) down the backside and through the far turn and dug in for a neck score in 1:55.2.

After posting a 7-3-2 slate and earnings just shy of $90,000 from 30 starts last season, Foiled Again arrived two wins shy of the 100-victory plateau in his Hall of Fame career. Already the sport's richest pacer with over $7.56 million from 304 starts, Foiled Again opened his final campaign with a victory in the non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class. Despite winning at that level last week, a prior victory at Pocono Downs dropped off his slate so he is still eligible for the same class this week.

Although Foiled Again prevailed in the non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class last week and gets right back in at that level in Saturday's opener, the Burke trainee will have to overcome post seven this weekend which seems considerably tougher over the New York half-mile oval. Granted, Foiled Again owns numerous victories over the strip against much, much tougher, including tallies in a pair of George Morton Levy Series finals and victories in a dozen legs of that series, he may need another start to get victory No. 100.

Curiously, Foiled Again could drop right back in at the non-winners of $20,000 last five starts level for his next start as long as he does not finish first or second this weekend. He has earned $18,200 in his last five starts and only a fifth-place finish in a conditioned event at Harrah's Philadelphia, one that carried a $15,000 purse, drops off after this week. So, Foiled Again could earn $2400 for third-place and still fit the non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class next weekend when a more favorable draw at that level could enable him to dictate the tempo and rebuff all challengers en route to a milestone victory.

Of course, whether or not Foiled Again attains his 100th victory this weekend or next or at any point this winter, harness racing fans deserve the right to see the 'grand old man' of standardbred racing conclude his career with a nation-wide tour. There are still several tracks where Foiled Again has never competed, including Rosecroft Raceway and Ocean Downs in Maryland, and those tracks could fit him into an Open at some point this spring, summer or fall. Burke has sent All Bets Off to Rosecroft for the first two editions of the $100,000 Potomac Pace, so Foiled Again could find ample room on the trailer the next time Burke sends one to the Maryland five-eighths oval for the Potomac.

Foiled Again has made numerous starts at Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway and was a fixture in the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial over the Delaware half-mile oval for much of this decade, but the aged warrior has never made a start at Ocean Downs and that Maryland half-mile oval should be included in his farewell tour. Harness racing at Ocean Downs has taken a back seat to the slots since the machines arrived, but an appearance at the oval by Foiled Again would prove rewarding to the thousands of loyal fans who venture to that track each summer.