Foiled Again Concludes Racing Career

Published: December 31, 2018 09:53 pm EST

Foiled Again made his final go around a racetrack on Monday, Dec. 31 when competing at trainer Ron Burke’s working grounds of The Meadows. Though in suffering defeat, driver David McNeight III powered Knocking Around to a 1:53.4 victory in the $13,000 Foiled Again Farewell Feature to collect his 1,000th driving win.

Yannick Gingras shot Foiled Again for the lead from post eight and cleared control from Shooters Dream circling the first turn. Foiled Again clicked the first quarter in :28 while Knocking Around, positioned fifth, edged first over heading to the clubhouse turn.

Past the half in :57.4, Foiled Again endured pressure from Knocking Around through the backside. Knocking Around crept closer to the lead and stuck a neck in front heading to a 1:25 third quarter. Gingras urged Foiled Again to keep pace on the inside but he began to lose ground approaching the top of the stretch.

Knocking Around led into the lane as Shooters Dream tipped off the rail and gave late pursuit to the wire, finishing three-quarter lengths shy of the winner. Beach House closed for third ahead of Royaltyhasarrived fourth.

The eight-year-old Western Terror gelding won his 35th race from 221 starts and surpassed $430,000 in earnings. David McNeight Jr. conditions the $17.80 winner for owner Courtney McNeight.

Foiled Again finished fifth.

Following the race Foiled Again returned to the winner’s circle with connections in tow and patrons lined along the rail. After a career consisting of 331 starts, 109 victories, 70 seconds and 46 thirds and over $7.6 million earned, Foiled Again retired.

Foiled Again’s retirement caps an award-winning season for Burke as he was named the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA)’s Trainer of the Year for the third time while also surpassing 1,000 training victories on the season for the third year and the $21-million mark in earnings for the sixth year.

“This is what makes it worthwhile. It’s these guys and my daughters,” Mickey Burke Sr., operator of the Burke training stable before Ron took over in 2008, said choking up. “Let Ronnie talk.”

“This is a great night for me,” Ron Burke said. “It was a plan two years ago that we were going to race this horse and thank God to him he backed up my mouth and kept going for me. It’s been fun—everywhere he’s been he’s been well received. I thought it would be well received, I never thought it would be this well received.”

Ron Burke choked up. “Our second trainer was hurt very badly last night at Giants Stadium and had to have spinal surgery today. Murph’s not with us and he’s a very important part of the crew for all of us. I do feel bad he’s not here but other than that it’s a great night.”

In his final year of racing Foiled Again toured 18 different tracks ranging from Greenville, OH to Woodstock, VA to Windsor, ME on a farewell tour for fans across the country to see the richest standardbred of all time race. The press built from the tour, along with Foiled Again’s racing achievements, earned him the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award from USHWA.

Through his career Foiled Again accrued numerous stakes victories and career-end acknowledgements. Along with several George Morton Levy titles, winning a Canadian Pacing Derby and a Breeders Crown, Foiled Again won Aged Pacer of the Year on three occasions—the only horse to do so since Rambling Willie. His victory at Pocono Downs in 2013 also made him the oldest horse to ever win a Breeders Crown.

“The gate opened up,” regular driver Yannick Gingras said and paused. “We were going as fast as we could go the minute the gate opened. They took shots at him and it was a $500,000 race. The whole race he had not gotten one step of a breather and down the stretch he had a fresh horse coming at him but refused to lose. To me, that’s my favourite race ever. Not just from him, but of every race.”

“He fought the best, some of the best horses period,” Mickey Burke Jr. said of his Breeders Crown, “and beat them on a bad track in a fast mile at night. That’s not done in our sport."

Mike Tanner from the United States Trotting Association presented the connections of Foiled Again a collage with some of the iron horse’s most memorable starts. His blacksmith then took Foiled Again’s shoes, signaling the end of a racing career.

“We’re just going to take the front ones off in case I want to stack them back on and go again,” Ron Burke said.



Tack them back on, Foiled Again looks like he could go undefeated at age 16.

He will be greatly missed. I can't wait to see some of the ambassador roles he participates in.

The Foiled Again Pace
Was to be his last Race.
The Champion with the most Heart.
If only he could have one more start.
That's what all us fans wished
Never Forgotten, and forever missed.

Thanks to the ownership group for all the farewell activities and promotions this year.

All the best to you, dear Foiled Again, on your retirement. Thank you for the wonderful memories.

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