Foiled Again poses for photos during a meet and greet in the Windsor Fair Memorial Park on Monday. Staff photo by Joe Phelan

BY GARY HAWKINS

Correspondent

WINDSOR — There’s nothing physically imposing about Foiled Again. The 14-year-old brown gelding looked much like every other horse in the paddock at Windsor Fair on Monday as it awaited the 12th race.

There’s something special when the horse steps on the track, though, where he’s won more than 7.5 million dollars in his storied career, a harness racing record. His appearance at Windsor was part of Foiled Again’s farewell tour which will end Dec. 31 at the Meadowlands.

Pitted against five other 14-year-olds in the Josette Bartlett Memorial Race, Foiled Again and driver Mitchell Cushing trailed for three quarters of a mile before kicking into gear down the home stretch to win in 1 minute, 55.4 seconds.

Foiled Again wins the 12th race, the Josette Bartlet Memorial, on Monday at Windsor Fairgrounds. Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Starting out of the six hole, Foiled Again got pushed to the outside behind two horses, forcing Cushing to change his strategy.

“I just took plan B and sat in third and waited as long as I could.” Cushing said. “After that I just asked the horse to go, didn’t rough him and let him do his job the way he likes to. And I trusted him and he took me there and got the job done.”

Cushing, 20, is a third generation driver who won the Young Guns title Monday at Windsor. He caught the eye of trainer and part owner Ron Burke and some of Foiled Again’s owner when he drove a couple of their horses at the Meadowlands.

“I’m never going to drive a nice horse like that again,” Cushing said. “Not of that caliber, in the sense of money earnings and lifetime wins. Hopefully someday I can drive horses like him on a regular basis.”

Cushing has been in the bike behind dozens of horses in his brief career and has a good sense of what’s in front of him.

“When I’d ask him he’d move a little bit,” he said of Foiled Again. “You could feel the way he paced on he was telling me ‘I’ll get there, don’t worry. I’ll do my job and you do yours.'”

Assistant trainer Shannon Murphy has been with Foiled Again since it was a three-year-old and knew it was special.

“Physically you wouldn’t think he’d make $7.6 million, but he just has so much heart.” Murphy said. “He’s not the fastest guy out there, never was. But his heart just got him to the winner’s circle 102 times now.”

While most harness horses peter out by the time they’re eight or nine, Foiled Again was just hitting his stride. He set his lifetime mark of 1:48 for the mile as a nine-year-old.

“He did things as an eight and nine year old that you never heard of,” Murphy said. “He won the Breeders Crown as a nine-year-old and he beat four and five year olds. He averages $24,000 every time he steps on the race track in his life. That’s pretty amazing.”

People pose with Foiled Again after winning the 12th race, the Josette Bartlet Memorial, on Monday at Windsor Fairgrounds. Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Foiled Again will race next in New Jersey, then Ohio, then back to New Jersey. He has no special ties to Maine or Windsor, but as Murphy explained “the owners and Ronnie just want to show him off. It’s not for the money anymore, it’s just to let people see him and it’s been amazing the amount of people that come out to see him.

After Monday’s race fans were invited into the winner’s circle for photo Foiled Again and many took advantage of the opportunity.

The horse has a few principal owners and is stabled in western Pennsylvania.

“He’ll be retired on New Year’s Eve,” Murphy said. “I’m not sure if he’s going to the Kentucky Horse Club for the Hall of Champions or live his days at Burke’s Farm. He’s going to have the life of a king after he’s done racing.”

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