06/10/2015 11:17AM

Northfield: Foiled Again returns for Battle of Lake Erie

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Derick Giwner
Foiled Again won his qualifier at the Meadowlands in 1:51.

Not since his 3-year-old season of racing has Foiled Again been without a victory in June. On Friday at Northfield Park, the now 11-year-old looks to break into the win column and vault his career earnings over $7 million with a Battle of Lake Erie score.

Not counting his first year of racing where he didn’t step on the track until October (yes, he won), Foiled Again has never gone past the first week of May in any year without winning a race. In the majority of those years he already had multiple wins by the time May flowers began to bloom. The all time leader in earnings made his debut in the Levy series at Yonkers Raceway as usual and lacked his usual speed and guts, picking up a second, third and fifth in three starts.

An entrapped epiglottis was hampering the son of Dragon Again, causing him to cut off his air. Eventually the decision was made to have minor surgery to repair the issue.

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“He still enjoyed racing (despite the epiglottis issue), but I think he was confused, as we were,” said trainer Ron Burke. “He was on the left line and initially we thought it was lameness, but in some ways he was just scared. A lot of horses will panic when something goes wrong and that causes them to run to the outside.”

After five weeks on the shelf, Foiled Again qualified at the Meadowlands on May 30 and showed some spark with a 26-second final quarter to blow by the leader in a 1:51 mile. He followed that up with another 1:51 qualifying win, this time winning by over 14 lengths while setting the fractions.

“I was thrilled with the first qualifier,” said Burke. “The second one, the track wasn’t great and there was a headwind. I think we might look back and realize that most of the horses were better than we thought that day.”

While Foiled Again would seem to have a strong chance of picking up his first Battle of Lake Erie since 2011 with Matt Kakaley steering from post five, it is another classy veteran without a win in 2015 that could be ready for a top effort.

“Foiled Again is as good as any in there, but Clear Vision is starting to round into form. I think he does have a better shot. He has the rail and can control the race,” said Burke of the career $2.3 million-earning Clear Vision.

Chris Page will steer Clear Vision, who won the 2014 edition of the Battle in a track record time for older geldings of 1:49 3/5, just two-fifths off the all-time mark of 1:49 1/5.

The morning line choice in the Friday feature is actually State Treasurer from post seven with David Miller in town to drive. Fresh off a win in the $150,000 Molson at Western Fair, the Dr. Ian Moore trainee looks for his third consecutive victory.

Luck Be Withyou and Big Boy Dreams are two other logical contenders in the eight-horse field of aged pacers. The former had won two straight before racing steadily timed in 1:48 3/5 in a division of the Graduate series at the Meadowlands last week. Big Boy Dreams looks for the hat trick for trainer Rene Allard after scoring at Pocono and Yonkers in recent weeks.

One guarantee in the $175,000 Battle of Lake Erie is there will be plenty of action during the race.

“They race every inch of the mile there. They don’t care if you are 1/9, they’ll park you out” said Burke. “It is tough on the horses, but great entertainment.”

The Battle of Lake Erie, the final leg of a $10,000 guaranteed pick four wager, is race 11 on a 15-race card that includes five Ohio Sire Stakes races. Post time is 6:00 p.m.

POST HORSE DRIVER MORNING LINE
1 CLEAR VISION C.PAGE 8-1
2 CAMMIKEY B.ZENDT 12-1
3 LUCK BE WITHYOU R.WRENN,JR. 7-2
4 DUC DORLEANS D.DUBE 15-1
5 FOILED AGAIN M.KAKALEY 4-1
6 BIG BOY DREAMS A.MERRIMAN 9-2
7 STATE TREASURER D.MILLER 5-2
8 NIGHT PRO G.GRISMORE 20-1