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More Late-Season Magic For Foiled Again?

Published: September 12, 2012 8:12 pm ET

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Cue singer Andy Williams. When the calendar turns to September, it’s the most wonderful time of the year for Foiled Again.

The richest pacer in North American harness racing history, with $4.38 million in career purses, Foiled Again is two-for-two in September as he gets ready for next Monday’s $216,500 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway. Looking at the final four months of each year, beginning in 2008, the gelding has 25 wins and 13 second-place finishes in 41 starts. He has been off the board once.

Foiled Again entered this September off fifth-place finishes in the William Haughton Memorial and U.S. Pacing Championship in August and was seeking his first win since the Molson Pace in May.

But on September 1, Foiled Again won the $787,000 Canadian Pacing Derby by a neck over Betterthancheddar, a victory that moved him ahead of Gallo Blue Chip to No. 1 on the all-time earnings list for pacers, and last weekend Foiled Again won the $50,000 Open by a nose over Bettor Sweet at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

For the season, he has won six of 18 starts (hitting the board a total of 15 times) and earned $959,545.

“Every year, this is when he turns his year around,” said trainer Ron Burke, who owns Foiled Again with Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables. “I don’t know why, he kind of has a little bit of a swoon every summer and then he gets going again. You’re hoping this would be when he could turn it around again, but to say we thought we were going to win [the Canadian Pacing Derby] would be a stretch.”

Foiled Again is the sport’s defending Pacer of the Year on both sides of the border as well as the Quillen’s two-time defending champion. The eight-year-old is on the verge of another million-dollar season, which would break his own record for oldest pacer to reach that level in a year.

For his career, the son of Dragon Again-In A Safe Place has won 64 of 163 starts and finished no worse than third a total of 123 times. Only one other pacer in history, the Hall of Famer Rambling Willie, has earned in excess of $2 million and won more races than Foiled Again. Rambling Willie won 128 times.

Eliminations were unnecessary for the Quillen, which attracted a field of five horses. Joining Foiled Again are Betterthancheddar, We Will See, Feel Like A Fool and Flipper J.

Burke believes Foiled Again’s Canadian Pacing Derby win has turned the race for divisional honours into a contested affair that could hinge on the Quillen, Allerage Farm Pace, Breeders Crown, Indiana Pacing Derby and American-National Stakes.

Foiled Again is the division’s leading money-winner, followed by Haughton champ Golden Receiver ($744,300) and Ben Franklin Pace winner Betterthancheddar ($692,500).

“It is back to being wide open,” Burke said. “Right now I think there are three horses (Foiled Again, Betterthancheddar and Golden Receiver) and none of them can definitely state they should be Aged Horse of the Year, but all of them have something on their resume that says they could.”

Here is the Quillen field in post position order, with listed drivers and trainers:

1. Betterthancheddar, George Brennan, Casie Coleman
2. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke
3. Feel Like A Fool, Montrell Teague, George Teague Jr.
4. We Will See, Ron Pierce, Sam DePinto
5. Flipper J, David Miller, Kevin McDermott


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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