11/19/2015 4:11PM

Meadowlands: Foiled Again ready for TVG Pace final

Derick Giwner
Ron Burke reports that Foiled Again trained well for Saturday's TVG Final.

Last year at this time trainer Ron Burke was sending out an arsenal in the TVG Final at The Meadowlands. His Sweet Lou defeated Foiled Again in the final at The Meadowlands in a race dominated by his large stable. This year’s $400,000 TVG Final on Saturday night is reduced in numbers to six with Burke only allowed two spots on the dance floor.

“They said it would be better for the sport if they put in these restrictions,” said Burke. “I lost JK Endofanera because of it. I don’t understand how going from one big trainer to another big trainer is good for the sport.

“If I was allowed to nominate more horses there could have been eight or ten horses in the final,” Burke said.

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But there are only six on Saturday night and Foiled Again is among the group. The 11-year-old, who has defied time and logic, continues to race at the top level. For Burke, the timing of the race and quality of rivals seems to have worked out perfectly.

“I was able to give them a week off,” Burke said of Foiled Again and Bettors Edge. “They’ve had a tough schedule with a lot of shipping and they needed the rest. I trained them back both today (Wednesday) and they were very sharp.”

Foiled Again drew post three and Bettors Edge landed post five in the field.

“The biggest difference with Foiled Again this year is that it’s hard for him to overcome an outside post,” said Burke. “If he’s inside he can battle.”

For most aged pacers earning nearly $400,000 in a season is great news but that number is much less than Foiled Again has routinely been earning through his storied career.

“I think not racing well in the Levy series hurt him,” said Burke of Foiled Again, who will race for the last time in 2015 on Saturday and winter in North Carolina before commencing training in January for his 2016 campaign.

The TVG pits the sport’s two leading trainers head-to-head, with Jimmy Takter also sending out two horses including the former Burke trainee JK Endofanera. The 4-year-old by Art Major captured the Allerage final at The Red Mile on October and then finished second to Always B Miki in the Breeders Crown. Brett Miller drives JK Endofanera from post two.

Takter will also send out Somewhere In LA from post four with Corey Callahan in the bike.

Mach It So may be on the outside of the field from post six, but don’t consider him an outsider for driver Tim Tetrick. The 5-year-old blasted home in 25 3/5 in last week’s final TVG leg at The Meadowlands, scoring in 1:50 1/5 in a field that included many of the same rivals he’ll face on Saturday.

There were no rules limiting entries in the Governor’s Cup and that’s a race in which 40 percent of the finalists hail from the Burke brigade. The trainer has three horses that drew well and one that didn’t.

“I was really hoping that Check Six would draw well,” said Burke. “He was my best horse training down and we had a setback with him. I thought he was coming into this race well.”

Check Six, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, landed the 10-hole with young Joe Bongiorno picking up the assignment.

Big Top Hanover looks to be Burke’s best chance in this race on paper having won two straight races after a solid second in the Breeders Crown final at Woodbine. Big Top Hanover drew post four with Yannick Gingras in the bike.

Burke also sends out Pretty Boy Hill (post 1) and JK Will Power (post 6) in the $413,000 contest, carded as race eight of 14 on the program.

Burke should get his night off in a big way with Mission Brief closing out her 3-year-old campaign in the $144,000 Continentalvictory for sophomore fillies, race two on the card. The daughter of Muscle Hill was able to scare off rivals with just three others dropping in the box to face her including Breeders Crown winner Wild Honey.

First post for the Meadowlands stakes-filled Saturday program is 7:00 p.m.

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