Older horses battled bravely in Quillen
Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) arrived as the defending champion of the Quillen while seeking his fourth score in the event and he had also drawn the coveted rail. But the sport's all-time richest pacer with over $7 million banked, would actually yield the favorite's role to Canadian invader Shamballa (Rick Zeron) who had drawn post two.
Bandolito (Daryl Bier) had won the local prep for the Quillen by taking the Open in 1:50.4 and was made the 7-1 third choice from post four, while Mach It So (Tim Tetrick) was the 8-1 fourth choice despite having captured the $430,000 William R. Haughton final at the Meadowlands this summer and enjoying ample success in the George Morton Levy Memorial Series at Yonkers Raceway in the spring.
When the gate opened in the latest edition of the Bobby Quillen Memorial, Foiled Again, Bandolito and Doctor Butch (David Miller), all left very quickly entering the first turn and Shamballa, Mach It So and the others are settled in well off the torrid early action.
Having drawn the rail, Foiled Again clearly had no intentions of yielding the early advantage and he parked Bandolito down the backside and by the opener in 26.2, leaving Doctor Butch parked out second over. Shamballa secured the coveted pocket trip, while the others all bided their time before launching bids.
Foiled Again continued to keep Bandolito at bay past the grandstands the first time and by the midway mark in 54.2, with Shamballa tightly nestled in the pocket and Doctor Butch still parked out second over. Mach It So angled off the pylons to race third over, followed by Dancin Yankee, while Great Vintage stayed inside along the pylons.
Foiled Again continued to show the way down the backside and shook loose from Bandolito, who had given way after being rebuffed early and forced to race parked out. Doctor Butch angled three-wide midway down the backside to loom just outside of Foiled Again as he rolled by three-quarters in 1:23.2 and Mach It So made the identical move to loom a serious threat.
At the top of the lane, Foiled Again had shaken loose from Doctor Butch and Shamballa, who enjoyed the pocket journey throughout, but Mach It So loomed the danger while fanning widest of all for the stretch drive. Foiled Again was brave, but the early fractions and pressure eventually took its toll on the 'old man' and Mach It So wore down the wealthy one late for a neck score in 1:51.1.
A five-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by Jeff Bamond, Jr. for the Bamond Racing, LLC, Mach It So notched his fourth win from 17 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $455,000 in the process. The Quillen was his 23rd win from 59 career outings, sending his lifetime earnings to nearly $1.1 million. His next major target is the Breeders Crown for aged pacers next month.
While he settled for second in his title defense, Foiled Again certainly delivered another gritty, commendable effort in his Hall of Fame career for trainer Ron Burke. The 11-year-old Dragon Again gelding, sporting only one win from 15 starts this year in a light campaign, now owns an 84-58-36 slate and lifetime bankroll of $7.157 million. Like Mach It So, Foiled Again is also gearing up for the Breeders Crown next month.