All Bets Off, third in North America in earnings this year with $221,950 in the bank, heads the probable list of all-star pacers for the May 21st renewal of Northfield Park's Battle of Lake Erie. The one mile dash also includes Foiled Again, harness racing's all-time money-winner, and Freaky Feet Pete, a horse who wins a staggering 89.6 percent of his starts.
All Bets Off, a 5-year-old son of Bettor's Delight, has competed at the highest level for four years, winning 20 of 58 career starts and $1.7 million in purses. A winner of two of eight starts this year, he's off a runner-up finish (beaten a length) in the Apr. 23 $609,000 George Morton Levy Final at Yonkers. No stranger to Northfield, All Bets Off won the inaugural Milstein Memorial in 2014.
Harness Racing's longest shining star, Foiled Again, who at age 12, will be seeking to defend his Battle championship as well as seeking his fourth overall victory in the race's 32 editions. His $7,369,138 bankroll, gleaned from 86 victories in 252 starts is the highest in the history of harness racing, both on the pace and trot. Foiled Again's other Battle triumphs came in 2009 and 2011. This will be his eighth start in the tradition laden race.
Freaky Feet Pete is ultra-consistent. The 4-year-old son of Rockin Image has won 26 of 29 career starts with two seconds, including last year's Breeder's Crown at Woodbine Raceway. He has banked $1,136,724.
Local favorite Ameichi, from the barn of Brian Loney, is pointing for the Battle. He has won two of his last three starts at Northfield Park in the $13,500 weekly feature. The ultra-sharp six-year-old just paced his 1:51 2/5 lifetime mark on April 18 around the Flying Turns.
Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the best veteran pacers the sport has to offer. Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Riyadh, Gallo Blue Chip, and Maltese Artist.
Official entries for the Battle will be drawn May 17. The card, which will follow Northfield's simulcast of the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course, will also include a trio of $20,000 late closer finals along with three $20,000 opens events.
Complete list of horses nominated to the 2016 Battle of Lake Erie:
All Bets Off
Freaky Feet Pete
Let's Drink On It
Luck Be With You
Remember Me VK
Roland N Rock
Santa Fe Beachboy
Sunfire Blue Chip
Wiggle It Jiggleit