The Ron Burke-trained Foiled Again, now age 9, begins his campaign on Saturday night when the George Morton Levy Pacing Series gets underway at Yonkers Raceway. A two-time winner of the series, in 2009 and 2010, he competes in the sixth of six first-round Levy divisions and starts from post No. 1 with regular driver Yannick Gingras. He is the 4-5 favorite on the morning line in the seven-horse field.
|Foiled Again has banked $4.62 million in his career.|
Last year, Foiled Again won seven of 24 races, finished on the board a total of 20 times, and earned $1.20 million. He became the oldest pacer to have a million-dollar season, breaking his own record, and became the richest pacer in North American history when he won the Canadian Pacing Derby in September at Mohawk Racetrack.
Foiled Again -- owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables -- has banked $4.62 million in career purses thanks to 65 wins and 128 on-the-board finishes in 169 starts.
“There’s not much you can say about him that hasn’t been said,” Burke said. “He’s sound and he still enjoys it on the track. I think those are the keys. He’s excited when he gets on the track and he’s fresh. You watch him when he jogs and he’s ducking and diving and still acts young.
“It’s like they say: Young in mind, young at heart.”
Foiled Again will need to be fast, too, as he attempts to join Rambling Willie as the only horses to win the Dan Patch Award in the older male pacer division for three consecutive years. The division was deep already with the likes of Aracache Hanover, Betterthancheddar, Bettor Sweet, Golden Receiver and We Will See.
Add to that group a bunch of talented 4-year-olds, such as A Rocknroll Dance, Bolt The Duer, Dynamic Youth, Heston Blue Chip, Hurrikane Kingcole, Mel Mara, Michael’s Power, Pet Rock, Thinking Out Loud, Warrawee Needy and Burke’s Sweet Lou, and the group gets even more interesting.
|USTA/Ken Weingartner photos|
|Foiled Again (with caretaker Alex Peralta) will be making his 2013 debut on Friday in the opening leg of the Levy Series at Yonkers.|
“They’re outstanding,” Burke said about the division’s newcomers. “I thought last year’s group of 3-year-olds was the best in at least a decade, if not more. I don’t think they got the recognition they deserved. It was a great group and they’re all coming back.
“This division could be the best it’s ever been.”
Burke is not unhappy to see the increased competition, either.
“I want to make as much money as the next guy, but I love big races and when people get excited about the sport and show interest,” he said.
In addition to Foiled Again in the Levy, Burke sends out defending series champ Atochia, Stonehouse Adam, Annieswesterncard, Clear Vision and Something For Doc. All but Stonehouse Adam is the morning line favorite in his Levy division.
Burke also has nine horses in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for older female pacers, which begins Friday night at Yonkers. Among those is defending champion Rocklamation, Bettor B Lucky, Rock N Soul, Darena Hanover and Ginger And Fred.
“If you can’t get excited about racing these kinds of horses,” Burke said, “you can’t get excited.”