Bill Finley

Bill Finley has been covering both thoroughbred and standardbred racing for more than 25 years. He is a racing columnist for ESPN.com and can also be heard on the Down the Stretch show on Saturdays on Sirius XM radio.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014


“Cam” Is Super As Foiled Again Fades to Third in Levy Final


Even the great ones have off nights. Despite getting a perfect trip, Foiled Again came up empty in the stretch last night at Yonkers in the $567,000 Levy final, which set the stage for a mini-upset by the P.J. Fraley-trained P H Supercam.

The former claimer benefitted from a perfect drive by Jason Bartlett, snuck through in the passing lane in the stretch and prevailed by a neck over Apprentice Hanover. Foiled Again led until mid-stretch but faded late to finish third, losing by three-quarters of a length.

P H Supercam is a consistent and game horse but he had already lost twice during the series to Foiled Again. That seemed to make his assignment a tough one last night and it became all that much tougher as Foiled Again and Yannick Gingras were able to get a dream trip.

Long shot Sapphire City left from the one post but Gingras was aggressive and had his 10-year-old superstar on the lead by the time the field rounded the first turn. They got to the first quarter in 27.2 and the half in 56.2, the type of pace that made it look like Foiled Again would be impossible to run down.

Better yet for the Ron Burke-trainee, stablemate Bettor's Edge and driver George Brennan were doing their part to get the sport's richest pacer to the winner's circle.

Brennan pulled with Bettor's Edge and then put on the brakes. Anyone who wanted to go after Foiled Again was going to have to go around his dawdling stablemate.

"I thought it was over at the half, that Foiled Again had it won, with that half in 56.2," Fraley said. "He even walked the third quarter, in 1:24.4, and George was on the outside. I didn’t think we would be able to make up a lot of ground."

Bartlett drove a smart race. Rather than trying to make a wide move, he stayed along the pylons and waited to make one dash down the passing lane. The strategy worked perfectly.

"The half was in 56 and I knew that was kind of soft for Foiled Again. but I knew my horse had not been used yet and I knew that he can sprint with a anybody for an eighth of a mile," Bartlett said. "I thought I just needed some daylight and I could be right there with them."

That P H Supercam won was not a huge surprise. That Foiled Again came up short after such an easy trip was.

"I have no idea what went wrong," Gingras said. "No idea at all. He didn't disappoint me. It's just that something went wrong. It's not like he sulked and decided not to race tonight. He's a horse that shows up every single time. Obviously, they'll figure out tomorrow or Monday what went wrong with him. You can't be disappointed. He tried his best and got beat less than a length for the whole thing."

The Levy final has now tripped up Foiled Again four straight years. He won it in 2009 and 2010 and since has been third, second, second and third.

“It’s a horse race that’s why we came here to race,” Bartlett said. “I guess everybody just thought they were going to give Foiled Again the money but we had to race and he’s an animal. They all get beat at some point.”

Written by Bill Finley of Harness Racing Update

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