04/26/2012 8:31AM

Yonkers: George Morton Levy series rematches Real Nice and Foiled Again


By the looks of the draw for Saturday’s $455,000 George Morton Levy series final at Yonkers Raceway, it looks like déjà vu all over again for Real Nice and Foiled Again.

Last year at this time Real Nice drew post five and his rival Foiled Again landed post six for the Levy Final. This year the two leading contenders landed posts seven (Real Nice) and eight (Foiled Again). Nevertheless the rich final sets up as another epic battle pitting the winner of last year’s contest, Real Nice, with Foiled Again, the champion from 2009-2010.

Driver Yannick Gingras (Foiled Again) wasn’t overwhelmed by the draw. “If we had drawn the rail I thought Foiled Again would have no trouble beating these,” he said.

Nevertheless Gingras is quite happy to be driving Foiled Again, the 2011 Pacer of the Year who seems well on his way to another major campaign.

“He’s come back very strong this year,” said Gingras, his regular pilot. “I don’t think he was at his peak last year in the Levy."

While Gingras wasn’t happy with last year’s third-place finish in the Levy final for Foiled Again, he clearly recognized that post position and trip are big factors on the half-mile track. That will certainly play in his mind on Saturday when these two square off in the evening’s tenth race.

Foiled Again captured the Levy final in 2009 with Gingras aboard but the driver did not return to the winner’s circle in 2010 when the horse repeated. “I had made the decision not to drive in the preliminary legs and Jason (Bartlett) drove him and deserved the mount in the final,” said Gingras. In that race Gingras did pick up a mount and managed to finish second with longshot Legal Litigator.

Despite landing the outside position Foiled Again figures to be the favorite off dynamic victories in legs two, three and four. He lost to Real Nice in first round action but that was just his first start of the season and he’s gotten better since.

“He’s an unbelievable horse. The more you rough him up the better he likes it,” said Gingras about the eight-year-old Foiled Again. “I’m really fortunate to drive a horse like this.”

What Foiled Again has going for him on Saturday night is entrymate Atochia starting from post three. The two are coupled in the wagering and it would seem logical they will work with each other if possible to create the best result.

Of course both have to be mindful of Real Nice, a winner of five straight preliminary legs and the defending champion. That horse has shown incredible quickness at the start of each leg and again could have the advantage before the field hits the opening bend.

Gingras believes this year’s final field exceeds last year’s in quality and overall talent, but at the same time believes his horse is much sharper now than he was a year ago. Better still is the fact that throughout the horse’s racing career he’s been a model of consistency. “He just gives it his all every time he goes to the track,” he said.

Foiled Again will certainly need to be on his “A” game on Saturday night. Racing fans have come to expect nothing less.

The Levy is carded as race 9 on the 12-race Yonkers program. Post time is estimated at 10 p.m.

PN Horse Driver DRF Harness Line
1 Atochia Ron Pierce 2-1
1A Foiled Again Yannick Gingras 2-1
2 Blatantly Good George Brennan 8-1
3 Art Z Brett Miller 4-1
4 Fitz’s Z Tam Brian Sears 5-1
5 Strand Hanover Luc Oullette 8-1
6 Nob Hill High Jordan Stratton 15-1
7 Real Nice Jason Bartlett 3-1