Saturday, April 26, 2014

Can Foiled Again Be Beaten?

He's in great form, may be the best pacer of all time, drew well and is racing over what might be his favorite racetrack. Can they write out the Levy check to Foiled Again right now?

Coupled with Bettor's Edge, Foiled Again is the 3-5 morning line favorite for tonight's $567,000 Levy final at Yonkers, and it certainly looks like it is his race to lose But six horses and five trainers will take
a crack at him and simply hope for the best.

Two, Josh Green and P.J Fraley, say the only way Foiled Again can be beaten is if someone puts some pressure on him

With Yannick Gingras in the bike, Foiled Again will leave from the three post, That means he will either get the lead immediately or assume it shortly after the start. "I can't see him getting his way and then losing," said Green, who will send out Dancin Yankee. "He has to take a little bit of pressure."

Foiled Again won four in a row in the preliminary legs of the series before finishing sixth last week. But that race isn't cause for concern as he drew the seven post, didn't need any points to get into the finals and driver Yannick Gingras drove a conservative race. That won't happen again with $567,000 up for grabs tonight.

"Someone is going to have to soften him up," said trainer P.J. Fraley, who will send out the entry of P H Supercam and Mach It So. "I don't see him getting an easy lead. I think someone will take a run at him. Ronnie Pierce (with Dancin Yankee) is going to put that horse in play. Foiled Again is not going to be able to lope around the track."

The Fraley entry of P H Supercam and Mach It So is 5-1 in the line, as is Dancin Yankee. Mach It So appears to be the better of the two Fraley horses but will have to overcome the eight post.

"In this series, it's all about the draw," Fraley said. "It would be nice to win it and I'd be lying if I said I didn’t want to win this badly. I don't see it as just beating Foiled Again. I just see it as a horse race. Good ones get beat. That's why we line up eight behind the gate. Hopefully, this will be our week. My two are strong, at the peak of their game."

As for Foiled again, driver Yannick Gingras isn't feeling any pressure.

"It's fun," Gingras said. "He's become one of the fans' favorites and a lot of people are watching him. People appreciate him more now.

"Every race, he breaks his own record by adding to his earnings and hopefully he can keep doing it and make it a record that will be very hard to break. We just want him to keep adding (wins) to his resume. As a driver, this is the kind of horse you want to drive. There's no pressure. I'm excited to race him."

Written by Bill Finley of Harness Racing Update

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Not This Time For Foiled Again

By Joe Scarpa

As good as he is, even Foiled Again can't overcome a tough trip and the seven post at Yonkers.

That was the story last night at Old Hilltop as the fifth and final round of Levy preliminary races concluded with the first bump in the road this year for the great 10-year-old pacer. In the 11th race on the card Foiled Again's winning streak ended at six as he finished sixth, beating just one horse.

With the way the race developed Foiled Again never had a chance. Driver Yannick Gingras was aggressive off the gate but couldn't find a spot as his stablemate Easy Again grabbed the lead for George Brennan.

Foiled Again was last down the backstretch as Easy Again got away with soft fractions of 28.1 and 57.3. Easy Again stayed on top throughout for the win, saving those who made the Ron Burke entry 1-20. Foiled Again never got involved.

"He's got great gate speed and can get himself where he belongs," Brennan said. "Tonight that was the case. I got away with a cheap quarter, stepped it up a little bit in the second quarter and then he was just lights out."

The other Levy winners on the night were P H Supercam (4th race) and Dancin Yankee (5th race).

With his off-the-board finish Foiled Again will take 325 points into the final, which makes him tied for first place with The P.J. Fraley-trained Mach It So. Another Burke horse, Bettor's Edge, is next at 300 points.

As things now stand, Foiled Again and Bettor's Edge will be the only two horses to represent the Burke stable in the $567,000 final due to a rule that limits a trainer to two horses in that race. But in Easy Again,

Clear Vision and Itrustyou, Burke has three other horses who landed in the top eight in the standings and are eligible for the rich final.

Any one of those three would be prime targets for a sale to someone looking for a Levy final starter, but Burke told HRU earlier in the week that he wants to keep all his Levy horses.

Should he stick to his guns that will open up starting slots for three horses who otherwise would not have had enough points to make the final.

Written by Bill Finley of Harness Racing Update

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Andy Miller Likely Will Be Out for SIx Months

Injured in a spill Tuesday night at Yonkers driver Andy Miller underwent successful surgery Wednesday at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital to repair broken vertebrae in his back. He continues to have feeling in all his extremities, but Miller still faces a long recovery.

Speaking yesterday to Harness Racing Update, Miller's wife, Julie, said the estimate is that her husband will be out of action for about six months.

"How long will he be out? That's the $1 million question," Julie Miller said. "The doctors are hesitant to say, but they did say that it usually takes a good three months for the bones to heal and another three months for the ligaments to heal. So we're looking at six months, but time will tell.

"The doctors are really optimistic. They said it really helps that he was healthy and fit before he came in here. He is a good candidate for a full recovery. It's just going to take time."

Miller was driving a horse named Marmara Denizi for his brother, trainer Erv Miller. The spill began when In The Clear, driven by George Brennan appeared to step on the wheel of another horse and fell.

Racing near the back of the pack, Miller fell as part of a chain reaction. Brennan was not hurt.

Miller was originally taken to Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, New York before being transferred to Columbia Presbyterian in Manhattan. The surgery involved placing rods and screws in his back to stabilize the injured area.

"They expect he'll be walking around by (Friday) and if things continue to go well he should be out of the hospital on Monday or Tuesday," Julie Miller said.

The accident came at a particularly inopportune time for Miller as stakes season is right around the corner and it appears he's going to miss virtually all of the big money races.

"He's disappointed, especially with the 2-year-old races coming up," Miller said. "But we could be talking about something far worse. He could have been paralyzed. He's got mobility and he's strong and, in my opinion, he's a pretty tough guy. So he's going to come out of this OK.

It could have been a lot worse. I've got to thank Mr. (Jeff) Gural and Jason Settlemoir who were very helpful. They referred us to the very best doctors and made sure we got to see them.

Andy has also been really happy with the outpouring of thoughts and prayers we've received from people in the horse racing community and is very appreciative of that."

Written by Bill Finley of Harness Racing Update

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