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Is $5 Million Untouchable?

Published: June 29, 2013 12:43 pm ET

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"The only way would be if a true 'super-horse' stayed and raced until he was six or seven. Maybe if Somebeachsomewhere raced until he was six or seven, someone like him could have done it. It's going to be hard for a horse to dominate."

Five years ago today, Foiled Again made his last start for trainer Hermann Heitmann and owner Pat Lacey. Foiled Again finished fifth in a conditioned event in Harrah's Chester (now Philadelphia). He had made just over $100,000. Five years later, under the care and demanding training regimen of Ron Burke, Foiled Again is on the cusp of making harness racing earnings history.

A win or a second-place finish in Saturday night's Ben Franklin Final at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs would make Foiled Again the first pacer to surpass $5 million in career purse money and the first standardbred to make $5 million on one continent. He's the morning line choice from Post 4 in Saturday's $500,000 Franklin final. Last week, the nine-year-old pacing gelding set a world record for aged pacers by winning his Franklin elim in 1:48.

"Every time I think that nothing more that could amaze me, he comes back with something like the last two weeks where you're just left shaking your head wondering when will it end?" said Burke.

While a few years ago it would have appeared that Foiled Again's stablemate Won The West would be the horse to dethrone Gallo Blue Chip for pacing earnings, Won The West didn't get there. In comparing the two horses, Burke notes that the difference in stature might be what made the difference between the two former stablemates in terms of longevity and consistency.

"He's an efficient horse," Burke told Trot Radio's Norm Borg. "Won The West, everytime we saw him we thought 'that's what a standardbred is supposed to look like.' [Foiled Again] has always looked like his stepchild next to him. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he's not real big. Everything's compact, everything fits in one small area. I think that keeps him a little bit sounder than most horses."

When asked where the $5 million earnings threshold would place Foiled Again in terms of the best aged pacers of all time, Burke concluded that the different generations of horses and harness racing make that a tough call.

"I have to think, now, he starts to be considered the top one of his generation," said Burke. "Longevity, speed, championships...he's done everything you could ask of a horse."

To hear the full interview with Burke and Borg, click the play button below.


Trot Radio - Episode 298 - Ron Burke
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg



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