It's getting down to the nitty and the gritty in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the fourth of five preliminary rounds Saturday night. Five, $50,000 divisions went postward.
Pole-sitting River Shark (Dan Dube) took care of business in the opener as the odds-on choice. He placed PsiluvuheartbreaKer (Jason Bartlett) into the pocket and went on to the swiftest local mile (1:52.2) of the season...for about 40 minutes. The stalker was clearly second, beaten a length-and-three-quarters, with a first-up Western Ace (Corey Callahan) along for third.
For River Shark, a 4-year-old Four Starzzz Shark gelding trained by Mark Ford for co-owners Aaron Waxman, El Lobo LLC and VIP Internet Stable, he returned $3.30 for his fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.40, with the triple returning $22.60.
Saturday night's second event presented defending series champ Foiled Again (Bartlett) as the 2-5 favorite. After Go Go Solano (Brett Miller) paid a stiff (:26.1) price to get around King Cat Anvil N (Jordan Stratton), Foiled Again moved from third.
Despite a 55-second intermission and 1:22.4 three-quarters, Go Go Solano wasn't ready to go go quite yet. Foiled Again had his hooves full disposing of that one, while Jeremy's Successor (Tyler Buter) sized it up from second-up.
No sooner did Foiled Again grab the lead than Jeremy's Successor moved at him. "Jeremy" edged away by a length in 1:52.1--now the fastest seasonal local mile--with Go Go Solano holding third.
For Jeremy's Successor. a 6-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Andrea Ann Hill and trained by Dean Eckley, he returned $12.60 (third choice) for his third win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $30.60, with the triple retuning $69.
The evening's third Levy division found short-priced Mr. Wiggles (Callahan) finishing what he started in 1:53. The 1-2 shot worked his way around Four Trumps A (Larry Stalbaum), then dealt with a first-over McCedes (Bartlett). He defeated Four Trumps A by a length-and-a-half, with Real Nice (Stephane Bouchard) third.
For Mr. Wiggles, a millionaire 4-year-old son of Badlands Hanover co-owned by (trainer) George Teague and Elmer Fannin, he returned $3 for his first win in four '10 tries. The exacta paid $22.20, with the triple retrning $86.50.
Saturday night's fourth series event saw Dube double his pleasure for the evening and Pangiorno double his for the series. The pair fought off a stuborn first-over longshot in Western Blood (Stratton) to prevail by a half-length in 1:53.3. Badlands Nitro settled for third, with no excuse from the pocket.
For Pangiorno, a 4-year-old The Panderosa gelding co-owned by (trainer) Peter Kleinhans and AJKS Racing, he returned $3.40 for his third win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $43.40, with the triple returning $128.50.
Saturday night's final series grouping was a sharp, down-the-road effort by 10-1 Legal Litigator (Miller), who picked by "Jeremy's" gauntlet with a 1:52.1 effort of his own. Stepping around pole-sitting, 3-4 choice Atochia (Bartleet0, Legal Litigator led through intervals of :27.2, :57`and 1:24.1, while dealing with thie bid of Souuthwind Lynx (Callahan).
Legal Litigator put that one away, then held Atochia off a by a half-length in a season's-best effort. "Lynx" was a best-of-the-rest third.
For Legal Litigator, a 5-year-old Camluck gelding owned by Bob Hamather and trained by Casie Coleman, he returned $23.40 (fifth choice) for his thrid win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $42.80, with the triple returning $135.
Bartlett won six races on the 12-race card (he drove in all of them), but was shut out in all five Levy divisions. (Yonkers)