06/03/2016 9:20AM

Meadows: Foiled Again, Check Six to race on Saturday

USTA Photo
Ron Burke and Foiled Again.

Foiled Again, harness racing’s richest horse, has accomplished many things in his distinguished career. The amazing 12-year-old has banked more than $7.3 million, won Pacer of the Year honors (2011) and been named Best Older Male Pacer in three consecutive seasons (2011-2013).

The one thing he hasn’t done, at least in the last couple years: race at The Meadows, the home track of his trainer, Ron Burke, and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables. Foiled Again will check off that item Saturday when he competes in an $18,000 Preferred Handicap, leaving from post 6 with Yannick Gingras. The Preferred goes as race 1, post time 1 PM.

Saturday’s exciting card also features two stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers: the Bye Bye Byrd, a $162,110 Pennsylvania Sires Stake, and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event. The stakes encompass the final seven races on the 14-race program.

With his heavy travel schedule, Foiled Again has raced fewer than a handful of times at The Meadows, most recently about three years ago.

“It was on Adios Day, and he was parked every step,” Burke recalls. “He got beat at the wire and finished second.”

He’s still taking on top competition and performing creditably at an age when most horses are long retired. Yet this year, Foiled Again is winless in eight starts. Burke thought the Preferred might be an opportunity for Foiled Again to regroup.

“It’s harder for him to get going now,” Burke said. “When you give him a break, it’s harder for him to find everything. We wanted to give him a chance against horses that are different than those he usually races against.”

But Saturday’s Preferred features some tough customers, including Unlocked from the Norm Parker stable, who’s already won more than $76,000 this year; Dapper Dude, a recent acquisition by Renee Bercury who captured his first start for his new connections, and Brian Brown’s Lost For Words, deprived of the 2015 Little Brown Jug title by the dramatic, improbable stretch drive of Wiggle it Jiggleit.

“The race came up tougher than I’d hoped. It looks like it will take 1:49 to win,” Burke said. “But in the last couple weeks, he’s looked more like himself. Saturday will be a little reminder of the horse he can be.”

He said Foiled Again would be pointed to the June 19 Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs if he performs well Saturday and has a full stakes schedule thereafter.

“I think this year, he’ll have to race more just to get in shape,” Burke said. “He’ll probably race 25 times, maybe even a start or two more than that. He trained at The Meadows on Wednesday and couldn’t have been better.”

In the Bye Bye Byrd, Burke will send out six horses — three in each division. He considers Check Six, winner of all four of his starts and $328,443 this year, his best shot.

“All six are very competitive, but he looks like our premier colt,” Burke said. “If we’re to win any big races this year, it will have to be with him.”

Check Six leaves from post 6 with Gingras in race 8.

-edited release (Evan Pattak--Meadows)