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Foiled Again Is Back; Burke Dominates Levy Opener

Published: March 23, 2014 12:12 am ET

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That Foiled Again came out swinging in the opening round of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series shouldn’t have come as a surprise...though some of the wagering public needed convincing.

The now 10-year-old began his season and a quest for a third Levy title, throwing down the gauntlet with a wire-to-wire win in the last of five $50,000 divisions.

In play early from post position No. 6 as the 13-10 second choice (along with entrymate Hillbilly Hanover), Foiled Again's career win No. 77 couldn’t have been less stressful. A Westchester waltz through fractions of :27.4, :57.1, 1:24.4 and 1:52.1 had him two and three-quarter lengths to the good at the wire.

Meanwhile, Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson), the bully of Woodbine who hit town with nine consecutive wins (five-for-five this season), was sent off as the 2-5 favourite. After a post three start, he moved from fourth and gained on Foiled Again, but lost any chance when he could not cleanly negotiate the last turn. Apprentice Hanover did recover to catch Hillbilly Hanover (George Brennan) in a dead-heat for second.

Start No. 199 for the Dragon Again gelding increased his lifetime loot to $6,055,968 (U.S). Ron Burke trains and co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. He returned $4.70, with the exacta paying $6.70 and the triple returning $14.40.

“I was somewhat surprised Jody [Jamieson] did not leave, but honestly, I don’t think it would have changed the outcome,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “Foiled Again qualified back great, and I came here to win tonight.

“[Foiled Again] has lost the opening round of the series the last couple of years and that forced him to race in all legs to make the final. Our goal is race well enough the first few weeks of the [five] preliminaries, so he can steal a week off at some point before the [April 26] final."

The night’s fastest Levy event -- and fastest local mile of the season -- was turned by Easy Again (Brennan, $3.10), who popped pocket (from post No. 5) before the three-quarters, then strolled home by three and three-quarter lengths in 1:51.3 (early fractions of :26.3, :55.4 and 1:23.2). Malak Uswaad N (Brian Sears) grabbed second, with P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) third.

For Easy Again, a five-year-old Dragon Again ridgling co-owned by trainer Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 and Panhellenic Stables, the win was his third in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18, with the triple returning $112.

“At the five-eighths, I could see Ron [Pierce’s] horse [Eddie Sweat] was done, so I moved,” Brennan said. “He finished very well.”

The evening’s other trio of Levy events were won by:

  • Mach It So, g, 4 (by Mach Three); owner Bamond Racing/trainer P J Fraley/driver Tim Tetrick; 1:52.1/$19;

  • Bettors Edge, g, 5 (by Bettors Delight); co-owners trainer Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stb/driver Brennan; 1:52.4/$2.60 (POE);

  • Itrustyou, g, 6 (by Third Straight); co-owners trainer Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, RTC Stbs/driver Gingras; 1:52.4/$5.50 (POE).

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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