Highs And Lows For Burke Barn At Western Fair May 22
Foiled Again gave trainer Ronnie Burke a victory in the second $25,000 Molson Pace elimination on Friday night at Western Fair Raceway, but classy Maltese Artist suffered an injury in the first elimination.
Maltese Artist (Jody Jamieson) was on the engine in the first $25,000 elimination, having cut a 28-second opening quarter, a 57-second half, and a 1:24.2 three-quarters when disaster struck the $2.3 million earner.
As the field entered the far turn for the final time, Maltese Artist broke stride after he took a bad step, and appeared to suffer a serious leg injury. Amazingly, the horse managed to stay on his feet, which was the only reason there was not a serious accident in addition to his unfortunate injury.
Lucky Man (Brad Forward), who was first-over on Maltese Artist when the break occurred, bounced off Maltese Artist, but kept going all the way to the wire to win by two and a half lengths in 1:54.2. Lyons Geoff (Trevor Henry) was second; Silent Swing (Chris Christoforou) was third, and Stormaway (Dan Megens) was fourth.
Maltese Artist was transported by ambulance off-track after sustaining the injury to his leg. When more information other than that is available, it will be posted.
"You never want to see that happen," winning trainer Casie Coleman said. "That's not the way we wanted to advance to the final."
"He (Maltese Artist) stuck his toes in pretty good. I thought I was going to get to kiss the Canadian soil," Brad Forward, who had just returned from the World Driving Championship in Norway this afternoon, added. "Just to have a live one it in means something. To be able to win it would be something else."
Coleman trains Lucky Man, a four-year old gelded son of Camluck, for owner Tom Hill. This was the third win of the year for Lucky Man and his eighth career victory. He has now banked just over $111,000 in 2009 and over $374,000 lifetime.
Jamieson and Burke would find better fortune in the second elimination as Levy Series winner Foiled Again went right down the highway.
Foiled Again made the front from post four right before the 27.1 opening quarter, and then parked out favourite Shadow Play (Dave Miller) through middle-half fractions of 55.1 and 1:24 flat.
Shadow Play was all done on the far turn after the tough trip, which let Clowns Smile (Mark MacDonald) angle out from the pocket to have a shot at Foiled Again in the stretch. Foiled Again would have none of it though, as he paced home in 28.2 seconds to win by one length in 1:52.2.
Clowns Smile gave trainer Casie Coleman a pair in the final with his second place finish while defending Molson Pace champion Eagle Luck (Doug McNair) was third. Ramegade Bruiser was fourth for Chris Christoforou and Shadow Play did not advance to the final.
Eagle Luck's third place finish was enough to propel him over the $1 million mark in career earnings. The 17-time winner is trained by Gregg McNair for Ohio-based owner Frank Dettore.
"He's (Foiled Again) had quite a year coming in. When I made front, I thought I'd just march on. If Shadow Play was right, he would've come to me, but I wasn't impressed by him tonight. My horse had a right to be on the front end tonight too.
"Maltese Artist hurt his leg in the far turn. Any other horse would've just gone down, but he stayed on his feet, which gave the guys some room to get around me instead of causing an accident."
Burke trains Foiled Again, a five-year old gelded son of Dragon Again, for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., and JJK Stables, LLC. Foiled Again has now won seven of his eight starts this year and 27 times in his career. The winner's share of the $25,000 purse sent his earnings for the campaign to $313,750 and his life's bankroll past the $710,000 plateau.
This is how the field will line up for the $280,000 final next Friday night at the London, Ontario, oval: