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Burke On The Quest For 100

Published: January 18, 2018 3:49 pm ET

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Foiled Again’s place in harness racing history is secured, but the 14-year-old pacer is still working at adding to his credentials.

Already the richest horse in the sport’s history, Foiled Again is on the brink of joining the 100-win club. When he does, he will become the 16th pacer in the last 40 years to reach that milestone.

Of the pacers in the group, few competed at the level of Foiled Again, who has 21 stakes wins worth at least $100,000 to his credit. Only Hall of Famer Rambling Willie, who won 111 races, and Pilgrims Fiery, who won 106, earned more than $1 million in their careers. In fact, Foiled Again alone has earned more money than the 15 pacers in the 100-win club combined, $7.56 million to $6.50 million.

Foiled Again picked up win No. 99 on January 13 at Yonkers Raceway and will make his first attempt for 100 during Saturday night’s first race at Yonkers. Post time is 6:50 p.m. (EST). Foiled Again and driver George Brennan will start from Post 7 in a seven-horse field and are 7-2 on the morning line.

“I’m excited for him to achieve this,” trainer Ron Burke said. “It’s special. A hundred wins, when you figure it out, it’s a lot. I don’t care how many years you’ve raced, it’s a lot. And he’s done it in stakes races and conditioned races. I give the horse all the credit in the world. I don’t know if we’ll ever see another like him. At 14 he can still race in the top levels at Yonkers and be competitive.”

Foiled Again, pictured in his younger years (Image courtesy Trot Magazine / Matt Waples)

Foiled Again is one of only two horses, along with Rambling Willie, to receive three consecutive Dan Patch Awards for best older male pacer. In 2011, at the age of seven, Foiled Again was Pacer of the Year. He is the only pacer older than the age of four to ever receive the honour.

In 2013, at the age of nine, he won the Breeders Crown Open Pace to become the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown event. In addition to his victory in the Breeders Crown, Foiled Again’s career triumphs include the Canadian Pacing Derby, Ben Franklin Pace, TVG Free For All Series Championship, George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, Bobby Quillen Memorial, and Molson Pace.

Foiled Again’s accomplishments and popularity were acknowledged beyond harness racing in 2015 when he was honoured by Breyer with a model created in his likeness.

Ron Burke (L) and Yannick Gingras (R), pictured with Foiled Again models

“I think it’s because he overachieves,” Burke said about Foiled Again’s popularity. “There have been how many more horses that were more talented, but he ended up putting them away. He just kept going on.

“He never was a super high-speed horse that beat them with talent, he beat them with heart and determination. I think that’s what resonates with people. With Twitter, any time the horse does anything, I get more interaction than any horse. It just never stops. It is a big deal.”

Foiled Again has visited 25 different racetracks during his 304-race career. Burke doesn’t intend for the horse to become a homebody until he reaches mandatory retirement at the end of this year.

“He’s an incredible horse,” said Burke, whose Burke Racing Stable owns Foiled Again with the Weaver Bruscemi partnership and JJK Stables. “I love him, the whole family loves him, and he really changed the trajectory of our barn.

“I’m going to make it a point to try to get him to as many tracks as I can. I’m not worried about him making money or us making money, I just want people to see him and enjoy him. I want us to enjoy it until the end.”


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