Day At The Track

TVG, Fall Final Four and Foiled Again at Big M

12:39 AM 23 Nov 2018 NZDT
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11-20-18 Foiled Again poster.jpg

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Saturday night, the place to be for an end of the year stakes-season sendoff spectacular card of harness racing is at the showcase of the sport, the Meadowlands.

Speaking of sendoffs, Big M enthusiasts will also get to say goodbye to an all-time great as Foiled Again appears on the track one last time at the mile oval before meeting and greeting his faithful fans.

Horse of the Year front-runner McWicked (TVG open pace) and the still-in-the-hunt Shartin N (TVG female pace) are the marquee names in two of six stakes events on the 13-race program, which gets underway at 7:15 p.m.

Defending Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover takes on Breeders Crown champion Emoticon Hanover in the TVG female trot while 3-year-olds Tactical Landing and Six Pack duke it out for divisional honors as they face off with older foes Marion Marauder and Cruzado Dela Noche in the TVG open trot.

They'll also be 2-year-olds in action in the Three Diamonds for filly pacers (featuring Breeders Crown winner Warrawee Ubeaut), the Goldsmith Maid for filly trotters, the Governor's Cup for pacing colts and geldings (with BC champ Captain Crunch) and the Valley Victory for colt and gelding trotters.

Harness insiders talk Foiled Again

With the Meadowlands celebrating the five-year anniversary of the opening of its new grandstand, the great pacer Foiled Again, he of 106 career wins and $7.6 million in earnings, will be on the scene. Having won the much-hyped 2013 TVG open pace, he might be wondering why he isn't in Saturday night's TVG, but he will be racing on the card, leaving from post seven in the "Auld Land Syne", which is the third race on the program.

After he cools down, racing fans are encouraged to come back to the Big M's 'Backyard' and meet Foiled, and to take pictures with a horse that history is sure to recognize as one of the greatest of all-time. There is also a commemorative Foiled Again poster giveaway, available at the Players Club Desk beginning at 6 p.m.

The Meadowlands caught up with some harness racing experts, and this what they had to say about Foiled Again:

Yannick Gingras, driver, Foiled Again: Foiled Again's and my careers took off at the same time and I can't help but think he was a huge part in taking me to the next level as a catch driver. His longevity, toughness, will to win and forgiveness of a tough trip is what made him so special. He was not the fastest horse I've ever driven but he will for sure be the toughest, gamest horse I will ever drive.

The TVG meant so much that year with Captain(treacherous) being in it and all the hype around him plus Pet Rock, Sweet Lou and others. He was the old guy against a bunch of much-younger horses trying to take his spot. But in his true self, Foiled Again refused to lose and took it to all of them. (He held off Golden Receiver by a neck in 1:49.2.)

His BC win that year to me is my favorite and is the perfect race to describe Foiled as he was sooooo game that night and he fought horses coming from everywhere, but the TVG is a very close second and it's a race I'll never forget (like many other of his races).

I will be forever thankful for him and what he has done for my family but also to the sport in general. He was a breath of fresh air and the 'people's horse' in a sport that need many more feel-good stories like Foiled Again's.

A true champion I will miss but never forget.

Bob "Hollywood" Heyden, Meadowlands TV personality, handicapper and historian: I remember the 2013 TVG Pace well, the (new grandstand) had just opened. Foiled Again, whose 47 starts at the Meadowlands are the most he has at any one track, dug in as was his style, and held off a grandiose field. (Keep in mind that Sweet Lou came back in 2014 to dominate this event by a city block and then retired.)

An amazingly durable horse was Foiled Again at the top level, which is unheard of. I recall this horse made $57,000 at 2 and 3 COMBINED! He had three straight $1 million seasons - when he 7, 8 and 9-years-old - and is $1,120 in front of McWicked going into this weekend as the richest 7-year-old in the history of the game as a pacer.

I loved this horse, knowing how he gave his all each and every time and it didn't seem to matter where he was or who he was in with. The modern-day Rambling Willie, he ignored the calendar and has earned $7.6 million. For the last 75 months, he has been the richest pacer in harness history. The numbers could fill up a couple more pages.

What a way to kick off the TVG than with Foiled Again in 2013!

John Campbell, President and CEO, The Hambletonian Society: I was in the 2013 TVG (driving Modern Legend, who finished fifth), and Foiled Again was a very difficult horse to race against because he was so tough. That was a great race. There was a lot of build up with Captaintreacherous going in.

It was one of many great races Foiled went. I think what's astounding is how he raced at that top level and won major free-for-all stakes for I don't know how many years. He's going to be in the conversation with almost everybody when we talk about our all-time greats because of his longevity and the level that he raced at.

Moira Fanning, Director of Publicity and COO, The Hambletonian Society: To me, Foiled Again epitomizes harness racing. He wasn't a flashy 2- or 3-year-old but he kept going out on the track and grinding out wins and money. He rose to the highest echelon in racing and stayed there far longer than expected. He wouldn't stand out in a crowd and was just another bay Standardbred - until he hit the racetrack, where his workmanlike attitude meant he raced about every two weeks, year after year, and suddenly was inching past all hoses for money earned - $4 million, $5 million, $6 million - finally coming to rest at the legal age of retirement, 14, with $7.6 million banked.

He was always kind of standoffish, too, didn't seek attention and didn't even like being turned out with other horses - Foiled Again is no herd animal, but he ended up being the leader of the pack. His personality seems changed a bit as well, to where he relishes the pictures, is cool with all the hoopla and puts his head down to be petted by the fans who drive from near and far to see him.

Now that's a true-blue collar hero!

Jeff Gural, Chairman and CEO, The Meadowlands: He was obviously a great horse and I am glad he chose this Saturday to make an appearance. He won so many races it is hard to remember any specific one!

Debbie Little, harness racing writer/handicapper, New York Post: To be at the top of his game for as many years as he was, racing against the best in the business, is just extraordinary. He was great to watch when he won as the favorite but much more fun when he won as a long shot like in the 2012 Canadian Pacing Derby beating Betterthancheddar by a neck at 14-1.

I remember the Niatross tour in 1996 and it was such a great thing for the fans and I think it's amazing that the connections of Foiled Again were willing to take this on. People need heroes in this sport that don't disappear after competing for just a year or two. Thank you to Foiled Again for always giving us his best and for doing it for as long as he has.

He will be missed.

By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

 

 

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