Under most circumstances, Kim Foley would be rooting for her father, trainer Pete Foley, to win the Meadowlands Pace with Bolt The Duer.
But when the 10 horses go behind the gate for Saturday’s $600,000 event for 3-year-old pacers at the Meadowlands Racetrack, it will not be one of those instances.
That’s because Kim Foley is the caretaker of Heston Blue Chip, another of the top contenders for Pace glory.
“She’s going to say it diplomatically, but she really wants to beat her father,” said a laughing Linda Toscano, the trainer of Heston Blue Chip. “And I support that decision.”
Kim Foley laughed at Toscano’s proclamation, but agreed.
“Sorry, dad,” she said, smiling.
Not that Pete Foley would expect it to be any other way. After he watched Bolt The Duer finish fourth to Heston Blue Chip in their Meadowlands Pace elimination race last Saturday, beaten by one length after being blocked by traffic in the stretch, he gave his daughter a friendly jibe.
“I told her it was lucky we couldn’t squeeze through there or she would’ve been second,” Pete Foley said, laughing. “That’s racing.
“It should be fun,” he added about the final. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Bolt The Duer, owned by All Star Racing, has won eight of 13 career races and earned $387,401. He has won two of five starts this season and was second in both the Art Rooney Pace and Max Hempt Memorial. The horse is named after Carter Duer, the proprietor of Peninsula Farms, which produced the colt.
“We’re just realizing how good my horse is,” Pete Foley said. “I think he’s as good as any horse in the country. We just need a little racing luck and I think he’s as good as anything out there.”
Bolt The Duer, who was last year’s Kentucky Sire Stakes champion, can be a handful away from the races, but is a professional on the track.
“He’s a hell of a hard horse to handle,” Foley said. “I stopped going to the gym because I walk him every day and he gives me a workout just walking him. It’s like walking a lion.
“But on the track he’s a perfect horse. He can leave and still finish full of pace. There’s not too many that can do that. That’s a big advantage.”
Heston Blue Chip has won 16 of 18 career races, earning $548,043, and is 5-for-5 this year for owner Ken Jacobs.
Kim Foley, who has worked for Toscano for three years, gave the colt the nickname “Moses” last year in reference to actor Charlton Heston.
“Every Easter my family would get together and watch ‘The Ten Commandments’ and I always say ‘Let my people go.’ Moses just stuck,” she said. “I have a friend with a new dog named Ramses, so it all works together.”
Getting the chance to participate in the Meadowlands Pace is a thrill. Seeing it become a family affair makes it even more so, even if the family is divided over which horse to support.
“Not even in a million years did I think we would be in a race together like this, going for the Meadowlands Pace title,” Kim Foley said. “It’s just unreal. I’m so excited.”
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