Indiana is known for the success of its Pacers on the basketball court, but the richest pacer ever on a racetrack will be in action at Indiana Downs on Saturday night.
Foiled Again, a eight-year-old with earnings of more than $4.5 million, is the favourite in the $200,000 Indiana Pacing Derby, one of the features on a 14-race program that offers purses of more than $1 million.
In addition to the equine stars, Indiana Downs welcomes Tim Tetrick, the richest harness driver in North America this season. His horses have earned more than $16.7 million. Tetrick, a native of Illinois, has won 581 races. In some races, Tim will be competing against his brother Trace, one of the top drivers at In Indiana Downs in recent years. Their father, Tom Tetrick, has been a successful trainer at Indiana tracks in recent years.
Foiled Again faces a half-dozen rivals in the Indiana Pacing Derby and will start from Post 2 for regular driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. He became the richest pacer in harness racing history earlier this year, and trainer Burke thinks that the durable gelding could easily add another million dollars to his bankroll before his career is over.
Foiled Again is in his seventh season at the races and for his first six campaigns he earned more money than the previous season. Last year he earned more than $1.4 million and he’s already banked more than $1.1 million this year. Foiled Again is looking to add the $100,000 winner’s share of the Indiana Pacing Derby to his bankroll and he still has rich races left on his 2012 schedule.
Clearly, trainer Burke loves Foiled Again, but says that he’s just “an everyman’s horse, a totally unremarkable horse” in many respects. He gives the horse credit for his longevity and success.
Burke says, “Foiled Again hasn’t added weight as some horses do with age. He hasn’t bulked up like Won The West (another top pacer that Burke trained) did. Some of these older horses begin to look like quarter-horses, but that hasn’t happened to Foiled Again. That extra weight is hard on a horse.”
Foiled Again is part of a trio of pacers that Burke will start in the Indiana Pacing Derby, the other two being Foreclosure N and Annieswesterncard.
The richest race of the evening will be the $260,500 Oliver Trotting Classic for three-year-olds. Uncle Peter, the favourite in the $1.5-million Hambletonian in August, is part of a four-horse entry.
Uncle Peter did not fare well in the Hambletonian, but he’s shown sensational speed in three qualifying wins for Takter in recent weeks.
The locally-trained Prayer Session should provide plenty of competition for Uncle Peter and the others in the 10-horse field. He’s trained by Indiana’s Bobby Brower and he sports seven wins, six seconds, and two thirds in 15 starts this season. His earnings stand at $319,570 and he will have the driving services of Hall of Famer Dave Magee. Prayer Session is coming off a win last week at Indiana Downs for Magee.
Three-year-old pacers will do battle in the $250,000 Monument Circle, and some of the biggest stars in this glamour division meet again. A Rocknroll Dance and Sweet Lou have each earned more than $1 million this season and they have consistently ranked at the top of their class. Both are also part of an entry. A Rocknroll Dance is coupled in the wagering with entrymate Dynamic Youth while trainer Ron Burke will start Breakin The Law and Sweet Lou.
A Rocknroll Dance will start from Post 4 while Sweet Lou will have the tougher assignment from Post 8 in the 10-horse field.
Both the Oliver Trotting Classic and the Monument Circle have $50,000 consolations carded on Saturday night for the horses who did not qualify for the richer finals.
Real Touch is coming off two consecutive wins at Indiana Downs and that’s enough to make her the early choice in the $67,400 Circle City Pace for sophomore pacing fillies. She’s trained and driven by Ray Paver and has 10 wins in 19 starts this season. Eleven fillies will face the starter in the Circle City Pace with two strong contenders, Sectionline Yankee and American Girl, starting in the second tier behind the starting gate.
Three-year-old trotting fillies compete in two divisions of the Circle City Trot. In both divisions, the morning line favourite is No. 7. Canadian Justice and driver Peter Wrenn are favoured in the first division, which will head postward as the evening’s third race, while Aunt Mel and Marcus Miller get the favourite’s role in Race 5.
The fast-paced action on Saturday night at Indiana Downs continues until late in the evening, as Race 12 is an Invitational Pace featuring such fast Indiana Downs regulars as Park Lane Deputy, Paco Labrook, Freddyscooter, and Full Of Sand.
Post time for the first race on Saturday night is 6:55 p.m.