The eighth annual Bobby Quillen Memorial stakes for older pacers commenced Monday at Harrington Raceway with a pair of $20,000 elimination divisions.
Two-time Quillen champ Foiled Again was making his record sixth start in the Quillen, while 2013 champion, Clear Vision was making his fourth. Those two rivals battled for a memorable finish in the 2013 event that resulted in a narrow win by Clear Vision over his stablemate. After Monday's eliminations, they appeared to be headed for a potential repeat duel as Foiled Again cruised to an effortless 1:51.3 triumph in his division, while Clear Vision was a 1:49.3 victor. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke.
Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable, Clear Vision ($11.60, Brett Miller) made a menacing move approaching three-quarters to surge by leader Aracache Hanover to prevail by two lengths. Aracache Hanover, who cleared fifth place finisher and retreating race favorite Dancin Yankee at the half mile in a punishing 53.4 seconds, was passed by stable mate Bettors Edge late but held on for third. Heston Blue Chip finished fourth and was the last to qualify for next week's (September 15) $220,000 final.
"This horse stays so sharp,” said Miller. "It's great to be back here. Last year's race was a lot of fun and featured a great battle between two great horses.”
Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables' Foiled Again ($2.10, Yannick Gingras), the sport's richest horse of all-time, assumed command early from Easy Again and uncorked a 26.3 last quarter for a dominant win. Easy Again held second while Tarpon Hanover and Doctor Butch completed the top four and will also advance to the final.
"He did it real easy tonight,” said Gingras. "He never ceases to amaze me. Hopefully the draw goes our way next week.”
Earlier in the night KDM Stables' Versado ($2.60, Gingras) capped a guaranteed pick four pool that brought a healthy $1,106 payout.
Next Monday's program will boast a $7,500 guaranteed pick four pool. (Harrington)