08/15/2013 12:33PM

Saratoga Harness: Foiled Again heads Gerrity Memorial; will race at age 10

Ken Weingartner/USTA Photo
Foiled Again has earned over $5.1 million in his career.

The surest bet in harness racing is Foiled Again. Despite his advanced age and 186 lifetime races, the Ron Burke trained gelding is once again atop the money-winning leader board for older pacers and heads the richest race of the year at Saratoga Raceway on Saturday, the $275,000 Joe Gerrity, Jr. Memorial.

“Obviously he is a freak,” said Burke of the 9-year-old Foiled Again and his accomplishments.

Already the richest pacer of all time heading into this year, Foiled Again has amassed an additional $556,460 to increase his career bankroll to $5,182,444. The current-year total is impressive in itself but even more so when you consider the dominance of returning 4-year-olds, who have recorded five of the six fastest miles in the older pacing ranks.

[DRF HARNESS: Sign Up for the FREE DRF Harness Newsletter Today!]

Somehow overcoming father time, Foiled Again even set a lifetime mark of 1:48 in an elimination of the Ben Franklin at Pocono on June 22.

“I didn’t think he’d do that,” said Burke of the lifetime mark. “But physically he is the same as when he was six or seven. He is as sound as he has ever been.”

While Foiled Again’s overall statistics for the year are strong, many will question his recent form. He has not won a race since the Ben Franklin final on June 29 and finished tenth in the U.S. Pacing Championship final in his last start.

“We tried to come up with every possibility of getting into the race,” said Burke of the Pacing Championship where Foiled Again drew post 10. “Those horses (older division) just don’t slow down and the Meadowlands is just not his cup of tea.”

Where Foiled Again excels is on half-mile tracks and luckily for him Saratoga has that configuration. In eight years of racing he has found the winner’s circle at every half mile track he has competed. Yonkers, Freehold, Western Fair, Harington and Batavia have all been kind to him. Now he’ll step on the Saratoga surface for the first time.

“The Gerrity is a great opportunity,” said Burke. “It is on a track that will favor his style of racing. On smaller tracks he’ll go with everybody.”

One change Foiled Again may notice on Saturday is the man in the bike. With regular driver Yannick Gingras and backup Matt Kakaley both at Pocono Downs on Saturday night, Burke enlisted veteran Jim Morrill, Jr. for the assignment. Should he guide the son of Dragon Again to victory, it would be the first time since November 13, 2010 (Jason Bartlett) that Foiled Again has won a race without Gingras or Kakaley in the sulky.

The road to the winner’s circle may go through Foiled Again (post 4), but the speedy Bolt The Duer starting one spot to his outside is sure to have a major say in the outcome. Bolt The Duer is very fast off the gate and a millionaire in his own right. Although he won nine races as a 3-year-old, he has been the victim of traffic trouble that has limited him to only two wins in 2013.

Win or lose on Saturday, Foiled Again is far from calling it a career. While Burke will protect the “old guy” he is already looking forward to next year.

[DRF HARNESS: Get Free Harness PPs when you wager with DRF Bets]

“For sure we are going to keep going with him (next year),” said Burke, who currently trains around 220 horses. “We’ll never embarrass him. If he slows down we’ll stop with him, but he still enjoys himself out there.”

The Gerrity Memorial is race eight on a 13-race card at Saratoga that also features two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Post time is 7:05 pm.

$275,000 James Gerrity Memorial, Jr. Memorial - Race 8

1 / 2 Clear Vision B.Miller 3-1
1A / 4 Foiled Again J.Morrill,Jr. 3-1
2 / 1 Shoobees Place P.Lachance 10-1
3 / 3 Versado P.Berry 4-1
4 / 5 Bolt The Duer M.Macdonald 5-2
5 / 6 Domethatagain M.Miller 9-2
6 / 7 Sapphire City S.Gray 6-1
7 / 8 Great Vintage L.Stalbaum 8-1