Yonkers Raceway offers first full weekend of live racing in 2018

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Ted Black

January 12th, 2018

While many sports enthusiasts will be focused on the National Football League Divisional Playoff round this weekend as eight teams vie for the coveted spots in the conference championship games next Sunday, Yonkers Raceway will offer its first full weekend of live racing on Friday and Saturday evenings and then on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday's overnight card is not among the track's best as many horses are likely waiting until the spring to make their seasonal debuts, but the fourth race on the program features Foiled Again, the grand old man of harness racing. Now 14 and in his final season of racing, Foiled Again is on the cusp of eclipsing several serious milestones this year. The sport's all-time richest pacer with nearly $7.56 million banked, the Dragon Again gelding trained by Ron Burke is only two wins shy of the 100-victory plateau in his Hall of Fame career.

Granted, Foiled Again may no longer be competitive in Grade I events such as the Breeders Crown, the Bobby Quillen Memorial and other events where he was normally on the board, but the ageless wonder is two wins away from attaining the 100th victory of his career. He arrives in Saturday's non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class with a stellar 98-65-43 slate and a lifetime mark of 1:48 flat at Pocono Downs taken five years ago. Last year he won seven of 30 starts and earned nearly $90,000 and took a mark of 1:51.4 at Pocono Downs, highlighting how he has lost a step over time.

Foiled Again won the next-to-last start over his previous campaign by taking a conditioned event at Saratoga in 1:53 and one month earlier he captured another conditioned event at Pocono Downs in 1:51.4. Coincidentally, that victory will drop off his sheet, per se, after this weekend. The non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class may be a little tough now for the aged warrior who once was among the horses to beat in the lucrative George Morton Levy Memorial Series over the same oval, but he could fit the non-winners of $10,000 last five starts class next week.

Right at the middle of the card another Burke trainee will likely be the favorite in the $40,000 Open. Take It Back Terry (George Brennan), another aged veteran accustomed to competing in the George Morton Levy series in his prime, ended his previous campaign with three straight victories. The nine-year-old Western Terror gelding will make the 175th start of his career on Saturday night and looms the favorite against Gokudo Hanover, Western Hill, Killer Martini, Thisjetsabookin and Shane Adam