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Batavia, NY---As the doors swing open for the start of the 72nd season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs on Monday (July 23), patrons, horsemen and horsewomen will see a multitude of changes made by the track to improve the racing product and enhance the wagering value. The 2018 racing session features 70 dates, including seven matinees that all start at 1:15 p.m. Monday and Wednesday evening post times are 5:00 p.m. with Friday and Saturday night races beginning at 6:00 p.m. There are four twilight Saturday programs during the season on Sept. 8, Oct. 6, Nov.17 and Dec 15 with a 4:45 p.m. post. Those racing at the Downs this year will be greeted by $600,000 worth of paddock improvements including a new barn that will house two additional races. It was constructed adjacent to the existing four-race paddock and across from the 16-stall wash barn and finished off with fresh blacktop. The new layout of the complex will allow for six races to be in the paddock at one time and provide uncluttered ease of bathing for horses that are done racing. Fans viewing the races on the monitors in the stands or via simulcast will enjoy an enhanced video product thanks to a brand new audio/visual studio that will broadcast everything in full digital video. The state-of-the-art control room will make the Batavia Downs signal and programming the best the track has ever offered and make the races easier and more enjoyable to watch. Another change that will be noticeable from both sides of the fence is the passing lane has been removed from the home stretch of the track. Batavia Downs has had a passing lane since 1989 and during that time the track has seen the bias towards inside posts go up dramatically. So in an attempt to create more early movement making outside posts more bettable and decrease the amount of winning favorites, this change was implemented. "This year we've made some changes that we feel will help the horsemen and bettors alike" said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "The new paddock will make the transition from race to race much easier for our participants and removing the passing lane should add some value for our gamblers. We look forward to getting underway and expect and exciting season of racing." The schedule looks to provide some of the best competition the track has seen and the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) will be the centerpiece of it. Eight divisions of state-breds will visit the Downs and there will be $800,000 (est.) up for grabs for the participating horses. Then on Friday (Sept. 21), all eight NYSS final consolation races will be held at the Downs with an additional $320,000 to be doled out. That same night the Downs two signature races will be held. The $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial trot and $15,000 Duke Dranichek Memorial pace will feature some of the best Open talent around including the richest pacer of all time. Trainer Ron Burke has marked his calendar and said the $7.5 million-dollar man/100-win wonder, Foiled Again is scheduled to compete in the Dranichek pace. Foiled Again has won three $50,000 Kane Memorials in Batavia along with two Saturday night Opens. He likes the track and he's coming back for a farewell appearance before his mandatory retirement at the end of the year. "September 9th is the 30th anniversary of Batavia Downs hosting the Breeders Crown and the card we have on tap for September 21 this year rivals that historic night for purses and competition. And to have Foiled Again here on top of it makes it a real draw for western New York" Haight said. The very next night (Saturday Sept.22) the very popular racing under saddle or "RUS" will return for the third year with horses and riders from New York RUS. They will attempt to break the track record that was set in 2016 when they made their first appearance at the track. The driving colony will be filled with familiar faces but with last year's dash title winner Larry Stalbaum not returning, a new champion will be crowned in December. Drew Monti, who is western New York's leading dash driver this year, will be in the mix along with Shawn Gray, Kevin Cummings, Ray Fisher Jr., Jim Morrill Jr., Billy Davis Jr. and John Cummings Jr. to name a few. On the conditioning side, last year's leading trainer Kim Asher will be back but with a reduced stable. That will open the door for the red hot James Clouser Jr. and three-time best Batavia conditioner JD Perrin to vie for top honors. Also competing at the Downs this meet will be 18-year-old Riley Asher-Stalbaum who began her training career earlier this year. She has made an instant impact among area trainers with a sparkling Universal Training Rating (UTR) of .428. Once again the fans will enjoy a plethora of promotions this year and as always, there will be something for everyone on tap. As has been the norm for many years, racing programs will be free on opening night and the first Saturday of the meet to welcome back our racing fans and each program contains a valuable free play coupon redeemable on the gaming floor. Sunday (July 29) and every Sunday in August is Dollar Days at the Downs. Fans can enjoy dollar drafts, sodas and hot dogs on the apron. On Saturday (Aug. 4) 10 lucky fans will win a stay at the beautiful new Batavia Downs Hotel which is connected to the race track and gaming floor. One lucky fan will win a $3,000 diamond pendant on Saturday (Aug. 11) during a jewelry night giveaway sponsored by TAG Jewelers. On Saturday (Aug.25) 10 lucky Patrons will win $100 gift certificates to the Spa at Artemis. Family Fun Days and the Wiener Dog races will return on Sunday (Aug. 26). The day includes free activities of all kinds for the kids. Then after the live racing is finished, the Wiener Dogs will hit the track for the main event. Genesee Feeds of Batavia is the official sponsor of this event. The traditional Driver's Bike Race will return for the 40th year on Labor Day (Sept. 3). Eight of the Down's favorite drivers will be pedaling bicycles from the top of the turn to the wire. Eight fans who select the winning driver will win the bikes used in the race. Labor Day also features the annual chicken barbecue. For information on racing or promotions log onto www.bataviadownsgaming.com . by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (July 12) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Joe Koury, co-owner of world champion Foiled Again; Yannick Gingras, driver of Foiled Again and Pace contender American History; Heather Wilder and Allison Conte, for Pacing for the Cure; and Eddie Dennis, regular Delaware trainer and driver. Koury, co-owner of Foiled Again, joins to talk about the champion scoring his 100th career victory on Saturday at Harrah's Philadelphia. Koury will discuss Foiled Again's illustrious career and what impact he has had on the sport of harness racing. Gingras, regular driver of Foiled Again, will discuss his thoughts after scoring with Foiled Again on Sunday afternoon. Gingras will also discuss his various stakes drives coming up on Saturday at The Meadowlands, including American History his Meadowlands Pace mount. The team of Heather Wilder and Allison Conte join to discuss Pacing for the Cure and the event they have going on at Scioto Downs this weekend. Registration for the event begins at 4:30 pm in the winners circle and the event will begin at 6:00 pm. Dennis, a regular driver and trainer on the Delaware circuit, joins the program this week to talk about his racing career and how he got involved with the sport of harness racing. Post Time with Mike and Mike will be live from Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment on Saturday night, a release with final details will be forthcoming. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 8, 2018-Foiled Again's milestone went mainstream. His 100th career win may have come Sunday afternoon (July 8th) at Harrah's Philly, but the accomplishment was duly noted Sunday night in New York City. WCBS-TV (Channel 2) sports anchor Steve Overmyer aired the late-stretch drive of Foiled Again's historic win during the 11 PM newscast. Overmyer had visited Yonkers Raceway earlier in 2018 to chronicle the sport's richest-ever performer's quest for Century City and subsequently became a 'Foiled fan,' dutifully checking the entries and results while keeping tabs. We appreciate Overrmyer's continued interest in the story. The segment can be viewed by clicking here. (you need to scroll down for it) by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

The sport's richest pacer, Foiled Again, will once again try to notch his 100th career win, this time at Harrah's Philadelphia in race number 13 on Sunday afternoon (July 8th). The 14-year-old gelding is in his final year of being able to race as he must retire come January 1, 2019. He drew post one against non-winners of $7,000 in their last 5 starts going for a purse of $11,000. Foiled Again became the richest pacer ever in the sport of harness racing in 2012 with his win in the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk. He had three straight million dollar seasons from 2011 - 2013. He was purchased for $62,500 by Joe Koury, Weaver Brucemi, and Burke Racing in 2008, and made his first start for his current connections in a non-winners of $22,500 in their last 6 starts at Harrah's Philadelphia, finishing 5th. Foiled Again is seeking to become the 18th horse to reach the modern day milestone of 100 wins. Foiled Again will be making his 315th start, and has earnings of $7,578,518. Post Time for the first race is 12:40 Eastern. by Michael Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Saturday, June 30th, the very best of the best harness racing trotters and pacers in North America will descend upon the Downs at MohegaSun Pocono in Northeast PA for Sun Stakes Saturday, when the stars shine SO bright.  All eyes will be on the filly Manchego, now 15 for 15, clocking the fastest in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot eliminations of 1:52.4, with the gelding Crystal Fashion missing by a nose.  She starts from post 6 and will once again be “against the boys”.  Also in the spotlight will be North America Cup winner Lather Up, entering the final of the Max Hempt Memorial off his powerful 1:49 win in the eliminations, looking like he still had plenty left in the tank for driver Montrell Teague. Lather Up, 7-for-7 this year for trainer Clyde Francis, starts from the not-easy post 7. Ben Franklin 2014 winner McWicked returns to this superstar field, which includes Heaven Rocks A and All Bets Off, who won his elimination after favorite Sintra (also in the final), crossed the wire first but was placed back for a violation of the pylons rule.  The James Lynch Memorial is equally full of star power, with Kissin’ In The Sand drawing the difficult 9 post, and Youaremycandygirl looking to get back to winning form.  The Downs is thrilled to welcome the incomparable Foiled Again on Saturday, racing in the third, a conditioned pace.  The 100th win in the illustrious career of the “Richest Standardbred of all time” is within his grasp!  Foiled Again won the Franklin here in 2013, setting the World Record in his elimination of 1:48, and returning for a thrilling final on a sloppy track in 1:49.2.  The day begins with a special Meet and Greet with Julius “Dr J” Erving in the Racing Lobby at 4:30pm  This is a wristband-only event, with wristbands being distributed at 1:00pm.  A Racing Rewards card is required, and only the distributed authorized photos will be signed. Also on Saturday, the first 300 fans will receive a souvenir cooler pack.  Coupon is required and in the live racing program, available starting at 11:00am.  Redemption is between 9:00PM and 10:00Pm in the lower Grandstand bar.  The promotion is one per fan, while supplies last, with their Racing Rewards card. Post Time is 7:00pm, with plenty of seating on the apron and patio,  as well as free self-parking and free admission. Patio and apron bars will be open with ice cold beverages, and there’ll be a food tent.  No off-property food or beverages are permitted.  Racing for the track in Northeast PA continues through November 17 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday.   

WILKES-BARRE PA - Divisional bragging rights, not to mention loads of cash, will be on the line this Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, as the northeastern Pennsylvania track hosts the $2,120,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Championship. The $300,000 James Lynch Pace Championship for sophomore harness racing fillies leads off the four consecutive finales in race 9; following in this order are the other three Championships, all worth $500,000: the Max C. Hempt Pace Championship for three-year-old male pacers; the Ben Franklin Pace Championship for free-for-allers; and the Earl Beal Trot, an open event for three-year-olds. There was sufficient interest to warrant scheduling $75,000 consolation events for the Hempt (race 2), Franklin (race 4), and Beal (race 7). In last week's eleven elimination races determining the Championship participants, the average win price was $3.80 and there were twelve horses sent off at even money or less. This week's Championships should prove to be much more competitive and more evenly-distributed on the tote board, with the elim winners all clashing, the luck of the draw a big factor, and some longshots last week who made powerful performances looking to be in the thick of things again this Saturday. Here is an overview of the four Championship races in order of presentation, with the post position, horse, trainer, and driver of the final underneath, and then a paragraph on those races which have a consolation. JAMES LYNCH PACE CHAMPIONSHIP (stake record 1:49.2, shared by American Jewel [2012], Fancy Desire [2014], and Pure Country [2016]) The horses who put in the most demanding performances last week had varying luck at the post draw: two of them drew the 1-2, while the other drew the outside post nine. Youaremycandygirl looked to be back to her 2017 divisional championship-winning form in the elim, winning in 1:51.3, although only by a neck over Ron Burke stablemate Double A Mint (who drew post seven). It seems like she should be able to utilize her speed from post two, with Yannick Gingras again scheduled for sulky duty. (Burke has a third filly here, Sansovina Hanover.) The other elimination went even faster, 1:51.1, and it was taken by Kissin In The Sand by a half length over Sidewalk Dancer. But in the Lynch Championship, "Kissin" was unlucky enough to draw post nine and will have a hard time getting a good trip for trainer Nancy Johansson, though hot-driving Scott Zeron will certainly try. The horse she beat by a half-length, Sidewalk Dancer, moves from post eight to post one for driver Brett Miller and trainer Chris Oakes, and she was outside a long way to get the lead only to be overhauled late; certainly a better trip seems likely for her. RACE 9 -- $300,000 JAMES LYNCH PACE CHAMPIONSHIP - 3YO FILLIES 1, Sidewalk Dancer, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller; 2, Youaremycandygirl, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 3, Serene Stride, Mark Harder, Corey Callahan; 4, Sansovina Hanover, Ron Burke, Louis Philippe Roy; 5, I'm Trigger Happy, Ross Croghan, David Miller; 6, Alexa's Power, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick; 7, Double A Mint, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 8, Hypnotic Tale, Linda Toscano, David Miller also listed; 9, Kissin In The Sand, Nancy Johansson, Scott Zeron. MAX C. HEMPT PACE CHAMPIONSHIP (stake record 1:47.3, McWicked, 2014) All pre-race conversation about the Hempt Championship will likely start with Lather Up, although the colt drew the not-easy post seven in the field of nine. Lather Up was probably the most impressive performer in the Sun Stakes Saturday eliminations, starting from post seven (!), making the lead, then powering off in the stretch with plenty appearing to still be in the tank, winning in 1:49 for driver Montrell Teague. Lather Up, 7-for-7 this year for trainer Clyde Francis, is beginning to draw comparisons to another recent superstar from this barn, Wiggle ... something or other. The other two elimination winners got more favorable starting spots and will be conceding nothing to the likely favorite. Hitman Hill has post two for trainer Chris Oakes and driver Brett Miller off a wire-to-wire win in 1:49.3; Dorsoduro Hanover, who had been the early leader in the "glamour division" before Lather Up's recent skein of outstanding form, is no slouch himself, winning in 1:49.4 last week to take his 2018 record to 4-for-5 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley. You could plead a decent case for many of the other Hempt entrants as well. RACE 10 -- $500,000 MAX C. HEMPT PACE CHAMPIONSHIP - 3YO MALES 1, Nutcracker Sweet, Jimmy Takter, David Miller; 2, Hitman Hill, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller; 3, Springsteen, Rene Allard, Simon Allard; 4, Dorsoduro Hanover, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 5, Stay Hungry, Tony Alagna, Doug McNair; 6, Shnitzledosomething, Dylan Davis, Yannick Gingras; 7, Lather Up, Clyde Francis, Montrell Teague; 8, Wes Delight, Mark Harder, Corey Callahan; 9, This Is The Plan, Chris Ryder, Tim Tetrick. Consolation: Probably the most highly-regarded consolation horse who didn't make his way to his final, Done Well, will have no easy time of it in this event, as he must surmount the outside post nine for trainer Brian Brown and driver Tim Tetrick. Courtly Choice can be tougher with the switch from post eight to post four. BEN FRANKLIN PACE CHAMPIONSHIP (stake record 1:47, shared by Sweet Lou (2014) and Always B Miki (2016) McWicked, who won the Hempt Pace Championship in 2014 in a time of 1:47.3 which still stands as the stakes record, comes to the Franklin Championship as the likely chalk after a series of powerhouse off-the-pace performances in 2018, including his elimination win last week in 1:48.3, fastest of the three elim races. Though Pocono is generally not a "closers" track, McWicked has drawn post two, from which he can work out good race placement for trainer Casie Coleman and driver Brian Sears. Heaven Rocks A, a champion in his native Down Under and an emerging force on the North American scene, draws post four for trainer Ross Croghan and driver David Miller off his 1:49.3 elim win, and may not yet have found his best stride Stateside. The other elimination offered more questions than answers: Sintra, the favorite, crossed the wire first in 1:48.4, but was placed back for a violation of the pylons rule in the stretch, thus elevating All Bets Off to first and the title of "longshot of the elims" (at a $9.00 mutuel. All Bets Off will start from post five for trainer Ron Burke (who qualified three for the Franklin finale) and driver Matt Kakaley, while Sintra must contend with post seven for trainer David Menary and driver Jody Jamieson. RACE 11 -- $500,000 BEN FRANKLIN PACE CHAMPIONSHIP - Free-For-Allers 1, Mac's Jackpot, Jeffrey Smith, Brett Miller; 2, McWicked, Casie Coleman, Brian Sears; 3, Donttellmeagain, Jim King Jr., Tim Tetrick; 4, Heaven Rocks A, Ross Croghan; 5, All Bets Off, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 6, Rockin Ron, Ron Burke, Louis Philippe Roy; 7, Sintra, David Menary, Jody Jamieson; 8, Filibuster Hanover, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 9, Western Fame, Jimmy Takter, Andrew McCarthy. Consolation: The horses in the Franklin Consolation have among them 205 lifetime wins and $9,825,733 in earnings, and an average mark of 1:48.1 - and this is the consolation! Mach It So may be well-regarded from the rail after setting a fast pace and finishing fourth in his elim; he won the Commodore Barry at Philly two starts ago. $500,000 EARL BEAL TROT CHAMPIONSHIP (stake record 1:50.2, Father Patrick, 2014) Stake recordholder Father Patrick was a pupil of trainer Jimmy Takter, and this year Takter rolled the dice and sent his undefeated champion filly Manchego in "against the boys." Manchego ran her lifetime win streak to 15 with an elimination win in 1:52.4, fastest of last week's three Beal events. But the gelding Crystal Fashion missed only a nose to the top filly, and both will have to have their "A" game as they square off in the Beal: Manchego from post six, with Yannick Gingras up, and Crystal Fashion from post four for trainer Jim Campbell (who has three Beal starters) and driver Tim Tetrick. Champions outside of Pennsylvania won the other two eliminations: Ohio invader Mission Accepted rolled to his eighth win in a row in 1:53.2 for driver Ryan Stahl and trainer Jeff Conger, and got a good draw in post three, while Six Pack, a 1:53.3 elim winner to remain perfect in four 2018 starts, was not fortunate at all for trainer Ã…ke Svanstedt, forced to begin from the outside post nine. RACE 12 -- $500,000 EARL BEAL TROT CHAMPIONSHIP -- 3YO Open 1, Lawmaker, Andrew Harris, Anthony MacDonald; 2, Patent Leather, Jim Campbell, Brian Sears; 3, Mission Accepted, Jeff Conger, Ryan Stahl; 4, Crystal Fashion, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick; 5, Fashionwoodchopper, Jim Campbell, David Miller; 6, Manchego, Jimmy Takter, Yannick Gingras; 7, Mississippi Storm, Tom Fanning, David Miller also listed; 8, Evaluate, Marcus Melander, Tim Tetrick also listed; 9, Six Pack, trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt. Consolation: A wide-open event; perhaps the best line was turned in by 2017 Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill, who had to endure an interference break while eight just past the half, yet rallied to be fourth, just photoed from a chance to race for the big money. FINISHING LINE - There is also a horse on the card who is a former Breeders Crown and Ben Franklin winner, both right on the local surface. He has higher earnings by far than any horse entered tonight, and more than most of the entire fields - a harness racing world record $7,577,638. His name is Foiled Again. He starts from post two in the third race. And if the 14-year-old wins, it will be the 100th victory in his storied career. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, June 9, 2016 -- Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred ever with more than $7.5 million in lifetime earnings, fell a head short in his quest for career win 100 Saturday at The Meadows when he couldn't get by a stubborn Bilbo Hanover and finished second. In their Non-Winners of $3,500 Conditioned Race, Bilbo Hanover pulled the pocket midway down the backside for Aaron Merriman while Foiled Again and Dave Palone took up the chase from fourth. Bilbo Hanover didn’t blink in the face of Foiled Again’s strong challenge and scored in 1:52.1 for trainer Randy Bendis, who owns the 8-year-old Yankee Cruiser-Bet Again Hanover gelding with Reed Broadway and Tom Pollack. Dafinaty (Chris Shaw) was third. Bilbo Hanover paid $5.00 to win. “I thought he would fight the other horse off,” Palone said. “Bilbo Hanover is no clown. He loves to race on the lead, and he’s tough to get by. But the old horse fought to the end. He went a good race. I can’t make any excuses for him.”Palone said he got the trip he wanted with Foiled Again, a three-time Pacer of The Year. It was the eighth consecutive time Foiled Again has been foiled in his bid for No. 100. Ron Burke, who trains the gallant 14-year-old Dragon Again-In A Safe Place gelding for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and JJK Stables, indicated he was pleased with Foiled Again’s effort “Every start he’s getting a little bit better,” Burke said. “We’re only a couple of starts from getting him to 1:51, which probably is the most he’ll pace any more. He probably fights allergies a little bit in the summer; as it gets cooler in the fall, he gets better. Anytime he tries his heart out like that, it’s no embarrassment.” Foiled Again faces mandatory retirement at the end of 2018. Burke said he plans to continue racing him through the end of the year and hopes to close out his career on his last day of eligibility, Dec. 31, when The Meadows hosts a twilight card. In Saturday’s feature, the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Stride Of Pride took advantage of fast fractions thrown down by Dapper Dude to clear him first over and prevail in 1:49.3. Lincolnjames was second by 1/2 length — giving Burke an exacta sweep — while Dapper Dude saved show. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. piloted the 5-year-old Manhardt-Apple B gelding, who lifted his career bankroll to $136,627, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and RTC Stables. Mike Wilder and Merriman each collected three wins on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features the Adios Betty, a $159,838 PA Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly pacers. First post is 1:05. PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, June 8, 2018 -- When Justify attempts to run into history Saturday by securing the Triple Crown, it will cap an exciting, festive Belmont Day at The Meadows that features tasty food from an outdoor barbecue, drawings and giveaways, live music -- and a chance to cheer on a harness racing legend. That legend is Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred ever with more than $7.5 million in lifetime earnings who's facing mandatory retirement at the end of this year when he turns 15. He'll be shooting for his 100th career victory. The Ron Burke trainee leaves from post 2 in race 11 with Dave Palone driving. That means the winningest driver all time will be driving the richest harness horse all time for the winningest trainer all time. It's a prefect storm that doesn't happen very often. The 15-race card also offers a pair of rich total-pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 11-15). Special post time is 11:25 AM. Two of the Belmont Day giveaways/drawings are Foiled Again themed. The first 100 fans to stop by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) information table in the Racebook will receive Foiled Again towels modeled after the "Terrible Towel." The MSOA also will conduct a raffle for a Foiled Again figurine produced by Breyer, a prominent name in the field. Just drop in a losing ticket from a race at The Meadows and you're entered to win. Other MSOA activities include paddock tours and jog cart/starting gate rides and a "Spin to Win" game with vouchers as prizes. For more information or to participate, visit the MSOA information table. With so much to do, fans may work up a healthy appetite. When they do, they can head for the apron and sample the Belmont Day fare from the BBQ Pit, which also will offer beverage specials. After the live card ends, the music kicks in. Ryan Cain and the Ables will perform live on the apron as part of The Meadows' "Rockin' on the Rail" concert series, which features a different band each Saturday through Sept. 1. All of that rolls right up to the track's simulcast of the $1.5 million Belmont, with an approximate post time of 6:37 PM. by Evan Pattack, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, June 7, 2018 -- He's the richest Standardbred ever with more than $7.5 million in career earnings, but in his final year of racing, 14-year-old Foiled Again would like to nail down one more accomplishment -- career win 100. He'll shoot for that elusive milestone Saturday at The Meadows when he leaves from post 2 with Dave Palone in race 11. First post for the special Belmont Day card is 11:25 AM. Foiled Again will compete in a conditioned race that generally draws horses that have been struggling for victories. Indeed, only one horse in the field has a win showing in its recent charted lines. Foiled Again has been, well, foiled again in each of his seven previous attempts for No. 100, but this Saturday's outcome could be different. "He drew in a good spot, he should have a good shot," says Ron Burke, who trains the gallant gelding, a son of Dragon Again-In A Safe Place, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and JJK Stables. "He's starting to get tight and should be ready to rock." Foiled Again last raced at Northfield Park on June 2, finishing third despite a brutal trip. Burke says he's maintaining the Old Boy's customary work schedule. "He gets trained the same as he's been trained since he was 4," Burke indicates. "He seems to thrive on work, and he's a very happy horse. If anything, he's better at it now because he knows what's expected of him." It was midway through Foiled Again's 4-year-old campaign that Mark Weaver of Weaver Bruscemi and Kevin Koury of JJK recommended his purchase to their groups. They bought him privately, Weaver recalls, for $60,000. "That was a decent amount, especially 10 years ago, and we had some decent expectations of him," Weaver says. "He was a young horse who could get around small tracks, and we thought he would fit our program. But if someone had predicted he would achieve everything he did, you would've called him crazy." Those accomplishments are the stuff of legend. He won the Dan Patch Pacer of the Year Award three consecutive times (2011-2013), was the first pacer to record three consecutive million-dollar seasons and, in 2013 at the age of 9, he became the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown (a mark eclipsed the following year by 11-year-old trotter Commander Crowe). With that unprecedented resume, career win 100 might seem just a round number. Weaver and Burke don't see it that way. "He's done so much for all of us," Weaver says. "He's literally changed our lives and allowed us to invest back in the game. No. 100 would allow us to appreciate him one more time. Listen -- you have the winningest driver in the history of the sport driving for the winningest trainer in the history of the sport on the richest horse in the history of the sport. If they were to win, that would be kind of big." Says Burke: "Every win of his is important to us; you appreciate it now because you know there won't be many more. When he won his last stake race (the 2016 Robert J. Kane Memorial at Batavia Downs), we were all crying because we thought, this could be it." Win or lose Saturday, Burke plans to race Foiled Again through the end of the year, when he faces mandatory retirement, with his final race Dec. 31 at The Meadows. "That will make a great New Year's Eve party -- for us and his fans," Burke says. "It will be really cool for the sport." The Belmont Day card features many fan festivities, including a pair tied to Foiled Again. The first 100 people at the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) table in the Racebook will receive Foiled Again towels, a la the "Terrible Towel," and one lucky raffle winner will take home a Foiled Again figurine produced by Breyer. Other activities include: Food and beverage specials at the BBQ Pit on the apron; Paddock tours and jog cart/starting gate rides courtesy MSOA; The MSOA's "Spin to Win" contest, with vouchers as prizes; A "Rockin' on the Rail" live concert featuring Ryan Cain and the Ables. The music begins at the conclusion of the live card. For more information, stop by the MSOA information table. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows          

FOILED AGAIN TO RACE ON UNDER CARD

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands Saturday night card features three series finals and the great Foiled Again's quest to reach 100 career wins. The $47,000 "Escort" final (race 6) pits eight 3-year-old colts & geldings with the very fast but green Thinkbig Dreambig the 9-5 choice on Dave Brower's morning line in just his second career start. Sent away as the 3-5 choice in his maiden voyage last week, Thinkbig Dreambig was ranging up toward the leader in mid-stretch but doing so somewhat erratically then suffered interference in an eventual 4th placed third finish. Trainer Jimmy Takter will take the lines tonight for owners Brixton Medical, Fielding, Anderberg and Falk. KJ's Justine has come to hand in the Rainbow Blue series for sophomore pacing fillies and is the favorite for the $42,500 final (race 7), having swept the two preliminary legs including a 1:52.1 lifetime record last week. She races out of the Linda Toscano barn for owner Ken Jacobs and Eric Abbatiello drives tonight from post 3. The $32,500 Hot Lead final (race 8) for older pacing horses and geldings could be a dogfight and Ballerat Boomerang comes into it off a crushing 5 ¾ length win over the field in leg two. Driver Vinnie Ginsburg put up a perfect steer last week, providing a cover trip and when tipped, the "Boomerang" took flight by the field. He'll begin from post position 8 tonight for Nick Surick who trains for Engel Stable of Illinois and JL Benson Stable. The ageless war-horse Foiled Again has certainly had a storybook career for trainer Ron Burke and partners Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stables. Now facing mandatory retirement after this season at age 14, he is the richest Standardbred in history with a career bankroll of $7,573,178. It has taken 309 starts to get there with his win total stuck on 99 since January, so after a few sub-par efforts Burke prescribed a freshening of four months leading up to tonight's return. He'll face a field of six rivals in the fifth race from post two with Jim Pantaleano becoming the 36th driver over his 309 start career. All of the guaranteed wagers are in place for the card and the last race Super Hi-5 Jackpot carry-over has eclipsed $236,000. You may download free program pages here. Post time is 7:15 pm. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

Hightstown, NJ --- After enjoying a little time off, harness racing’s richest horse of all time, 14-year-old pacer Foiled Again, is back in training and preparing to resume his quest for career win No.100. Foiled Again, whose most recent race was March 8 at Yonkers Raceway, is expected to qualify later this month. For his career, Foiled Again has won 99 of 309 races and earned $7.57 million. Only 14 pacers have reached 100 wins in the past 40 years and few in that group competed at the level of Foiled Again, who has 21 stakes wins worth at least $100,000 to his credit. Of the pacers in the 100-win club, only Hall of Famer Rambling Willie (128 victories) and Pilgrim’s Fiery (106) earned more than $1 million in their careers. Foiled Again is one of only two horses, along with Rambling Willie, to receive three consecutive Dan Patch Awards for best older male pacer. In 2011, at the age of 7, Foiled Again was Pacer of the Year. He is the only pacer older than the age of 4 ever to receive the honor. In 2013, at the age of 9, he won the Breeders Crown Open Pace to become the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown event. In addition to his victory in the Breeders Crown, Foiled Again’s career triumphs include the Canadian Pacing Derby, Ben Franklin Pace, TVG Free For All Series Championship, George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, Bobby Quillen Memorial, and Molson Pace. Foiled Again’s accomplishments and popularity were acknowledged beyond harness racing in 2015 when he was honored by Breyer with a model created in his likeness. “I think it’s because he overachieves,” trainer Ron Burke said about Foiled Again’s popularity. “There have been how many more horses that were more talented, but he ended up putting them away. He just kept going on. “He never was a super high-speed horse that beat them with talent, he beat them with heart and determination. I think that’s what resonates with people. With Twitter, any time the horse does anything, I get more interaction than any horse. It just never stops. It is a big deal.” Foiled Again is owned by Burke Racing, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and JJK Stables. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, February 22, 2018—Foiled Again wound up in a Yonkers Raceway fourth-place dead-heat Thursday night (Feb. 22nd), adding few dollars to the retirement account but holding a 100th harness racing career win in abeyance. Sent off as the 13-10 favorite from post position No. 3 in the $20,000, eighth-race pace, Foiled Again (George Brennan) found the easiest of pockets behind pole-sitting Kept Under Wraps A (Jordan Stratton). The brisk evening saw early intervals of:27.1 and :56.4 before BB’s Harley (Jim Marohn Jr.)—who made no attempt to secure an early-two-hole from post No. 2—moved from third.   BB’s Harley made steady advances toward the leader in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters, with Heez Orl Black N (Jason Bartlett) working from second-over.   It was Kept Under Wraps A about to wear up his welcome off the final turn while BB’s Harley ($44.20) went by and edged away, winning by a length-and-a-three-quarters in 1:54.1. As for Foiled Again, he did slip off the cones from behind a tiring leader, but needed more late punch. Heez Orl Black N chased home his tow for second, with Twin B Speedo (Brent Holland) third. Foiled Again and Theartofconfusion A (Greg Merton) divided the final two envelopes in that ‘heater’ for fourth, beaten two lengths. Foiled Again’s $1,300 payday increased the career bankroll to a sport’s-best $7,572,178. It was the 14-year-old gelding’s 308th career purse start and his fourth try at reaching the triple-figure victory milestone. Win, lose or (appropriately) draw, Foiled Again was going to be a television star. New York’s WCBS-TV (Channel 2), in the persons of sports anchor Steve Overmyer and cameraman Brad Yurcisin, chronicled his work night for a future feature. More information regarding that as it becomes available.      A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Friday evening’s (Feb. 23rd) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,677.73 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 6 through 10 (for these 10-race cards, ordinarily it’s races 7 through 11). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Thursday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, February 21, 2018—The Foiled Again saga continues Thursday night (Feb. 22nd), with the venue (Yonkers Raceway) and the quest (100 harness racing career wins) remaining the same. It’s the fourth crack at the milestone for harness racing’s richest-ever equine ($7,570,878) in his 308th career purse start. Foiled Again drew post position No. 3 in the $20,000, eighth-race pace. First post is 6:50 PM, with approximate post for the eighth at 9:30 PM George Brennan drives for co-owner (as Burke Racing) / trainer Ron Burke. The 14-year-old Dragon Again gelding won (with Brennan) his seasonal debut, moving him to the precipice of the plateau. He hit the board once (a third-place finish) in three subsequent starts.  Foiled Again has raced at the same (non-winners of $20,000 in last five starts) in every start this season. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, February 1, 2018 — Foiled Again’s second attempt at his 100th harness racing career win came up a nose and a head short Thursday night (Feb. 1st), cutting the mile and just missing in a Yonkers Raceway blanket photo. Leaving from post position No. 5 beneath a light drizzle in the $20,000, eighth-race pace, the sport’s richest-ever equine needed a fair amount of driver Yannick Gingras’ urging early. The 6-5 favorite did get over pole-sitting second choice Lord of Misrule (George Brennan), making the lead just before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. It was a rated 58-second intermission over a ‘good’ oval when Machtu N (Brent Holland) tried it first-up from fourth. That interloper found himself in a statistical dead-heat with Foiled Again in and out of a 1:26.1 three-quarters, with Foiled Again clinging to a short schnoz entering the lane. Gingras was all over Foiled Again in the lane, and it appeared that the horse who made his reputation fighting off all comers could do it again. The field closed ranks into a slow final quarter, with Foiled Again tiring just enough to afford Lord of Misrule a non-passing lane passing lane. That one barely edged a seam-splitting, 43-1 outsider Macintosh N (Jordan Stratton) by a desperate nose in 1:56.4. Foiled Again wound up third, beaten a head as the five payees were separated by three-quarters of a length. The entire octet was head-to-toe two lengths apart.   “I came here to win with him,” Gingras said. “I wanted to leave. I wasn’t going to race him from third–over.”   Thursday night’s $2,400 payday in Foiled Again’s 306th lifetime purse try increased the 14-year-old gelding’s retirement account to $7,570,878. The evening’s Pick 5 began with a carryover of $4,787.19 and attracted $20,614 of new coin…easily leapfrogging the $15,000 guarantee. After takeout, that left an approximate pool of $20,247. The winning combination of 1/3/1/6/1 returned $232 for every correct half-a-buck wager. Frank Drucker

Hightstown, NJ --- Foiled Again’s place in harness racing history is secured, but the 14-year-old pacer is still working at adding to his credentials. Already the richest horse in the sport’s history, Foiled Again is on the brink of joining the 100-win club. When he does, he will become the 16th pacer in the last 40 years to reach that milestone. Of the pacers in the group, few competed at the level of Foiled Again, who has 21 stakes wins worth at least $100,000 to his credit. Only Hall of Famer Rambling Willie, who won 111 races, and Pilgrim’s Fiery, who won 106, earned more than $1 million in their careers. In fact, Foiled Again alone has earned more money than the 15 pacers in the 100-win club combined, $7.56 million to $6.50 million. Foiled Again picked up win No. 99 on Jan. 13 at Yonkers Raceway and makes his first attempt for 100 on Saturday night’s (Jan. 20) first race at Yonkers. Post time is 6:50 p.m. (EST). Foiled Again and driver George Brennan will start from post seven in a seven-horse field and are 7-2 on the morning line. “I’m excited for him to achieve this,” trainer Ron Burke said. “It’s special. A hundred wins, when you figure it out, it’s a lot. I don’t care how many years you’ve raced, it’s a lot. And he’s done it in stakes races and conditioned races. I give the horse all the credit in the world. I don’t know if we’ll ever see another like him. At 14 he can still race in the top levels at Yonkers and be competitive.” Foiled Again is one of only two horses, along with Rambling Willie, to receive three consecutive Dan Patch Awards for best older male pacer. In 2011, at the age of 7, Foiled Again was Pacer of the Year. He is the only pacer older than the age of 4 ever to receive the honor. In 2013, at the age of 9, he won the Breeders Crown Open Pace to become the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown event. In addition to his victory in the Breeders Crown, Foiled Again’s career triumphs include the Canadian Pacing Derby, Ben Franklin Pace, TVG Free For All Series Championship, George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, Bobby Quillen Memorial, and Molson Pace. Foiled Again’s accomplishments and popularity were acknowledged beyond harness racing in 2015 when he was honored by Breyer with a model created in his likeness. “I think it’s because he overachieves,” Burke said about Foiled Again’s popularity. “There have been how many more horses that were more talented, but he ended up putting them away. He just kept going on. “He never was a super high-speed horse that beat them with talent, he beat them with heart and determination. I think that’s what resonates with people. With Twitter, any time the horse does anything, I get more interaction than any horse. It just never stops. It is a big deal.” Foiled Again has visited 25 different racetracks during his 304-race career. Burke doesn’t intend for the horse to become a homebody until he reaches mandatory retirement at the end of this year. “He’s an incredible horse,” said Burke, whose Burke Racing Stable owns Foiled Again with the Weaver Bruscemi partnership and JJK Stables. “I love him, the whole family loves him, and he really changed the trajectory of our barn. “I’m going to make it a point to try to get him to as many tracks as I can. I’m not worried about him making money or us making money, I just want people to see him and enjoy him. I want us to enjoy it until the end.” For Saturday’s first race program page, click here and for Foiled Again’s lifetime Yonkers’ race-by-race results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

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