11/08/2012 1:06PM

Harness racing: Foiled Again concludes another $1 million season in American National

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Mike Lizzi
Foiled Again is only $378,532 away from $5 million in career earnings.

There are certain things you can count on. The mailman always delivers, the sun always rises, and Foiled Again will post a million-dollar season against the best older pacers in North America.

Foiled Again, who eclipsed Gallo Blue Chip in 2012 to become the richest pacer of all time, will make his final start of the year in a division of the American National at Balmoral Park on Saturday. The 8-year-old can increase his $4,621,468 career total by $91,000 with a win.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Foiled Again’s career has been his amazing ability to keep his form despite his age. The son of Dragon Again-In a Safe Place set an all-time record for earnings at 7 with $1,405,747 and has already stamped himself as the most accomplished 8-year-old with $1,202,913 in his bank account to date.

With the earnings record a meager $513,787 for a 9-year-old, Foiled Again would seem to be a lock to capture another record should the ownership team of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stable LLC decide to give it a go in 2013.

“We are 1000 percent racing next year,” said trainer Ron Burke. “We will turn him out in Kentucky and get him ready for the Levy (at Yonkers Raceway in March).

“He seems to improve with age,” continued Burke. “He’s just a total freak and a very good horse.”

The honor of richest pacer is wonderful, but perhaps “richest ever” has a slightly better sound. Trotting marvel Varenne holds the earnings record at $5,919,961. With a win on Saturday, Foiled Again would only need a repeat of his 2012 on-track performance to capture the title and eclipse the $6 million mark.

“First we need to catch Moni Maker at $5,000,000, and then we can worry about the rest,” said Burke. “I’ve said all along that we wanted the all time pacing record. We got that. You never know what will happen. Look at Won The West,” said Burke of his stable star who looked certain to reach the earnings plateau before Foiled Again but had to retire just short of $4 million.

While Foiled Again does not sport the unbelievable win rate that many people expect from their stars, he does have an uncanny ability to squeeze the lemon dry on a consistent basis. In 168 career starts he has finished “in the money” an astonishing 128 times (76 percent). And over his last four seasons, he is 88 for 101 (87 percent).

All of this from a horse that was just a $20,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg in 2005 and made a paltry $59,540 through his first two years of racing.

The road to the winner’s circle on Saturday will once again have some obstacles for the Burke trainee. The first of which will be his far outside starting spot in the field of nine. And the competition is far from easy.

The speedy Golden Receiver, who recently finished a game second in the Breeders Crown just a half-length ahead of Foiled Again, is entered from post 8. Millionaire Aracache Hanover looks to get back on the winning track for trainer Gregg McNair from post 7. Foiled Again will even have to tackle his stablemate, Foreclosure N, a recent Burke barn addition, who has posted some decent lines of late.

The American National for older pacers is slated as race 9 on a stakes-filled 13-race card, which also highlights 2-year-old pacers, 3-year-olds of both gaits and sexes, and Chapter Seven’s final career start in the older trotting division.