Having surpassed the $5 million mark in career earnings thanks to his win in Saturday’s $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Foiled Again has only two horses ahead of him on the all-time money list: trotters Varenne and Moni Maker.
Does the 9-year-old pacer have another half-million in him to get past those two?
“I think he’s got a lot more than that in him,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “He gives me chills, I can tell you that. What a horse.”
Foiled Again, trained by co-owner Ron Burke, won the Franklin by a nose over Pet Rock in 1:49.2 over a sloppy track at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, notching career victory No. 70 in the process. This year he has won five of 12 starts, including last week’s Franklin elim in a world-record 1:48 mile.
In the Franklin final, Foiled Again raced on the outside much of the mile. He followed the cover of Razzle Dazzle onto the backstretch, but was left first over when Razzle Dazzle took the lead from early pacesetter Modern Legend. Foiled Again was third as the field headed into the stretch, but was able to chase down Razzle Dazzle and hold off Pet Rock.
Pet Rock ended up finishing second and Razzle Dazzle was third.
“I don’t mind first over,” Gingras said. “That’s his trip; he likes that actually. No offense, but Razzle Dazzle, I’ll take my shot. He’s a great horse on his own, but Foiled Again is special. They were pacing pretty good in the second turn and (Razzle Dazzle) got a little bit of a jump, but I figured I’d catch up to him.”
Foiled Again is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and JJK Stables. He has won $5.17 million in his career, making him the richest pacer in the world. Only trotters Varenne ($5.63 million) and Moni Maker ($5.58 million) earned more money. Both are retired.
Last season, Foiled Again earned $1.20 million, becoming at the age of 8 the oldest pacer to have a million-dollar year. He also was named the sport’s best older male pacer for the second consecutive year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
In 2011, at the age of 7, Foiled Again was voted Pacer of the Year. He was the first pacer older than age 4 to ever receive the honor.
For his career, Foiled Again has won 70 of 181 races and finished among the top three a total of 138 times.
“I just want him to get the recognition he deserves,” Gingras said. “A lot of people think he’s a small-track horse, or this and that, and maybe they’re right a little bit, but at the end of the day he’s not the fastest horse but he outlasts every one of them. He’s been through about three different groups of horses, guys that retired or went to stud, and he’s still around and banging and kicking (butt) against some 4-year-olds.”
Gingras has driven Foiled Again in 111 of his 135 starts since joining the stable of trainers Mickey and Ron Burke in July 2008.
“He’s just unbelievable,” Gingras said. “I think every year over the last five years at some point he’s been written off. I wrote him off myself; I picked off of him three weeks ago (to drive Sweet Lou in the Roll With Joe). He’s a very special horse.
“We climbed up at the same time. My career on the Grand Circuit got going four or five years ago, the same as his. He seems like he’s getting better with age and maybe I’m getting better with age. Maybe we’re matched good together.”
Ken Weingartner for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs