Batavia, NY --- It's been four years since Foiled Again, harness racing's richest pacer of all-time, appeared on the Batavia Downs half-mile oval but he'll be back on Saturday night (Oct. 5) when he headlines the stellar seven-horse field in the 11th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace, scheduled as the seventh race on the 13-race program. First post is 6:30 p.m.
"For a small track like ours to get a horse like Foiled Again to race here again is a great accomplishment and a credit to our racing office," said Batavia Downs General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight. "With our new gaming floor opening today and the Kane Memorial tomorrow, I think Mr. (Robert J.) Kane (former Chairman of the Board of Western Regional Off-Track Betting, the owner of Batavia Downs) would be thrilled. It was his vision as chairman that got us to where we are today."
The 9-year-old Foiled Again has 'foiled' many opponents over the years. The statistics don't lie as he has won 71 of 191 career starts, finished second or third in 74 other races and has $5,360,093 in earnings. He also set a lifetime mark of 1:48 in a victory over Pocono Downs' five-eighths-mile track earlier this year. So anyone with thoughts that Foiled Again might slow down with age can toss that theory out the window.
He's won six times in 22 appearances this season and has earned $734,109 while facing the best pacers in harness racing. Only out of the money in five appearances this year, Foiled Again comes in after finishing third on Aug. 31 in the $618,450 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk, but won by 2-3/4 lengths in a $20,000 elimination for the Quillen at Harrington. He then lost by a head to Clear Vision in the $223,500 Quillen final at Harrington Raceway on Sept. 16.
The Kane Memorial is Foiled Again's final tune-up for the Breeders Crown eliminations at Pocono Downs next week.
A previous owner of Batavia Downs' all-time track record, Foiled Again will shoot to erase the mark of 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in the 2011 Kane Memorial. With good weather conditions expected and six track records already broken this season at Batavia Downs, that standard could easily be in danger.
Foiled Again isn't going to go unchallenged however. The 4-year-old Heston Blue Chip will be in the field and scores from the two post with Chris Page in the sulky. Trained by Linda Toscano, Heston Blue Chip won 14 of 18 starts last season and made $1,030,008. He's fresh off a solid third place finish behind Clear Vision and Foiled Again in the $223,500 final of the Quillen. Heston Blue Chip has a lifetime mark of 1:48 at Dover Downs, set in 2012. Last year Heston Blue Chip was named top 3-year-old colt pacer.
Also, one can't look past Steelhead Hanover with driver Tom Jackson, who starts from the six post. Steelhead Hanover still holds the Buffalo Raceway all-time pacing record time of 1:52.3, set last season. A winner of six races this year in 21 starts, Steelhead Hanover has $106,835 in the bank and $431,408 lifetime. The 4-year-old has a 1:49.1 time to his credit at Pocono Downs this season.
The remainder of the field includes Sportsman (John Cummings, Jr.), Sheer Brilliance (Sean Bier), Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) and Great Vintage (Larry Stalbaum).
The $10,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot will go off as the fifth race where Hoosier Park invader Mr Web Page gets the 5-2 early morning nod with John Cummings in the sulky.
The up and coming Western New York trotting superstar BZ Glide could be heard from late. The 4-year-old altered son of Yankee Glide has rattled off back-to-back Open wins for owner/driver Mike Caprio.
The Schroeder Memorial is named after the longtime Western New York horseman known for developing young trotters.
It's also the retirement of Michael Scores, one of the most popular horses ever to race in Western New York. The 12-year-old pacer, a winner of more than $668,000 in his career, will hit the track one more time as he leads the post parade for the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace, a race he won in 2006 in 1:52.1.
The $3,000 guaranteed Pick-4 returns on Saturday night and every Saturday in October with the first leg beginning in the third race. Free program pages for the Pick-4 are available at the USTA website. Also, those on track purchasing $10 worth of Pick-4 tickets at one time from a teller will receive $10 in free play on the brand new gaming floor.
There will be a free Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace t-shirt giveaway and to top off the evening, it's 'Dollar Night' with $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, sodas and draft beer. The new gaming floor will be open as well so there's plenty of activities on tap Saturday night at Batavia Downs.
For more information on all the events, promotions, race results and replays, go to bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.
by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs