If Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred ever, is to cap his extraordinary career with a win in his final race, he’ll have to do it from post 8. That’s where he’s drawn in New Year’s Eve’s $13,000 pace at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, styled as “Foiled Again’s Last Call” that will bring down the curtain on the career of the gallant gelding who’s amassed more than $7.6 million earnings but faces mandatory retirement Jan. 1 when he turns 15.
For this historic event, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) have planned a memorable program. During a special winners’ circle retirement ceremony, Foiled Again’s shoes will be pulled for the final time. Fans will enjoy a video featuring Foiled Again’s career highlights, and the horse’s key connections — caretaker Tessie Irey; trainer Ron Burke; driver Yannick Gingras; owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables —will share their favorite Foiled Again memories.
In addition, fans will receive Foiled Again-themed shot glasses, Terrible Towels, posters, coffee mugs and hats (while supplies last), and the MSOA will raffle off two Foiled Again Breyers. Fans will be given party hats and noisemakers and invited to celebrate the new year in the casino.
On the racing side, the program includes the championship legs of six Holiday Claiming Series while the track’s Horses of the Year will receive their awards as part of the “Night of Champions.
First post is 5:30 PM. The card and retirement ceremonies will be available via Meadows Live!
Many may have expected The Meadows to write a cakewalk that would allow Foiled Again to waltz to a fan-pleasing win, but the “Last Call” came up tough. Foiled Again’s seven rivals have a collective 33 wins this year and 191 lifetime.
“It’s basically a semi-open pace,” Burke says. “I’ll train him pretty tight, but he’ll have to be pretty aggressive to win from there. He’s a great horse who tends to rise to the occasion, so we’ll ask him to do it one more time.”
His home base of The Meadows is the last stop in Foiled Again’s wildly successful “Farewell Tour,” which has seen him win 11 races at tracks across the continent and raise his career victory total to 109. Perhaps more importantly, the tour created special events for tracks and gave fans one more chance to see and admire the old boy.
“I thought it would be a fun thing and good for the game,” Burke says. “But I never thought it would turn out as well as it did. It exceeded every expectation I had by far.”
He indicated Foiled Again would be turned out after the race but still would play a valuable role in retirement.
“We’ll give him horses to hang out with in the field so he can teach nervous horses to relax. That will be really useful.”
In addition, Foiled Again will be available to serve, through public appearances, as a roving ambassador for harness racing.
“That’s why we didn’t give up control of him,” Burke says. “He’s open to doing things, and he definitely enjoys it.”