Horse Racing

Legendary Pacer, Foiled Again Wins His 100th Race

Here's a look at some of Foiled Again's 100 wins Credits: ustrotting
On June 9, 2018 Bilbo Hanover foils Foiled Again's quest for victory 100 by a head at The Meadows. Credits: Chris Gooden
NJ state Senator Jennifer Beck meets Foiled Again, harness racing’s all time top earner, with winnings of more than $7.5 million and still counting. Credits: Photo by Diana Meggitt
Firework TV personality, Heather Vitale introduces Folied Again and his Breyer model during an appearance at The Meadows Racetrack on July 4, 2015. Credits: Courtesy Breyer Animal Creations

WILKES BARRE, Pa. — He’s the richest Standardbred ever with more than $7.5 million in career earnings and reached another milestone — career win 100.

At Harrah's Philadelphia on July 8, Driver Yannick Gingras used the rail to maximum effect with the 14-year-old, encouraging enough speed out of the winner of $7,584,028 to force tucks to a :27.2 quarter. Foiled Again was unpressured to the :56.4 half, then faced a challenge from pocket-sitter Perseverant, who had moved to the two-path before the 1:25.3.

Through the stretch Foiled Again showed the desire of a colt, throwing in a :27.3 last quarter to keep Perseverant safe by 1-1/2 lengths at the end of the 1:53 mile.

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Before heading to the winner's circle with the Ron Burke-trained Foiled Again, driver Gingras showed as much class as his ride, giving him a short spin down in the stretch and back in front of his public, who applauded the gallant warrior's latest milestone.

Then it was back to Victory Lane for the 100th time for the altered son of Dragon Again, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and the JJK Stables LLC.

This will be Foiled Again’s final year of racing since Standardbreds must retired at the end of their 14th year.

Foiled Again’s 100th win has been much anticipated since career win #99 came in January at Yonkers. In his next five starts, the best he could do was third. On June 9, Foiled Again fell just a head short at The Meadows when he couldn't get by a stubborn Bilbo Hanover and finished second. On June 23, it was another second place finish at the Meadows, this time to Crankin’ It Up by two lengths.The next try was at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono but it resulted in a fourth place finish.

Then finally on July 8, the elusive victory came.

“He gets trained the same as he’s been trained since he was 4,” Burke said previously. “He seems to thrive on work, and he’s a very happy horse. If anything, he’s better at it now because he knows what’s expected of him.”

Foiled again was born on May 8, 2004 in Englishtown, N.J. He was bred by Barbara Matthews of Allentown, N.J. 

The bay won his very first start at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey in October of his 2-year-old year.

It was midway through Foiled Again’s 4-year-old campaign that Mark Weaver of Weaver Bruscemi and Kevin Koury of JJK recommended his purchase to their groups. They bought him privately, Weaver recalls, for $60,000.

“That was a decent amount, especially 10 years ago, and we had some decent expectations of him,” Weaver says. “He was a young horse who could get around small tracks, and we thought he would fit our program. But if someone had predicted he would achieve everything he did, you would’ve called him crazy.”

Those accomplishments are the stuff of legend. He won the Dan Patch Pacer of the Year Award three consecutive times (2011-2013), was the first pacer to record three consecutive million-dollar seasons and, in 2013 at the age of 9, he became the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown (a mark eclipsed the following year by 11-year-old trotter Commander Crowe). With that unprecedented resume, career win 100 might seem just a round number. Weaver and Burke don’t see it that way.

“He’s done so much for all of us,” Weaver said. “He’s literally changed our lives and allowed us to invest back in the game.”

“Every win of his is important to us; you appreciate it now because you know there won’t be many more. When he won his last stake race (the 2016 Robert J. Kane Memorial at Batavia Downs), we were all crying because we thought, this could be it,” said Burke.

Foiled Again now sports a record of 315 starts, 100 wins, 67 seconds and 45 thirds with his fasted mile being 1:48 on a five eights mile track when he was 9 years old. He has raced at numerous different tracks in North America. 

In 2015 he was immortalized by Breyer Animal Creations with his own model horse.

Burke has said he plans to race the horse through the end of the year regardless of when win 100 came. His final start could be at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania on Dec. 31.

“That will make a great New Year’s Eve party — for us and his fans,” Burke said. “It will be really cool for the sport.”

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