Yonkers Raceway hosted a formful fourth of five preliminary rounds in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series on Saturday night. A trio of $50,000 events comprised the Free-For-All foray, which was guaranteed a different look as series (3-for-3) leader Dr J Hanover ‘stole’ a week off.
First Division: It was nary more than a qualifier for money for people’s puny pari-mutuel preference Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.30). From post position No. 2, he worked around pole-sitting Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum), then waltzed though a flat :28 opening quarter-mile and :57.2 intermission.
Long Live Rock (Dan Dube) tried it first-up from third, but even that didn’t sufficiently up the tempo (1:25.3 three-quarters). Bit Of A Legend N opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn, winning by 1-1/4 lengths in a season’s-best 1:53.2. Chumlee A saved second, with Killer Martini (Jason Bartlett) third.
For 2016 series champ Bit Of A Legend N, a 9-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Vonknoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his second win in four seasonal/series starts (career earnings more than $1.97 million). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $4.10, with the triple returning $18.60.
Second Division: Pole-sitting favorite Somewhere In L A (Bartlett, $4.40) retook from 96-1 rank outsider Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) right at a :26.4 opening quarter-mile, then held that one at bay (:56.3, 1:25, 1:53). Christen Me N (Stratton) was a ground-saving third. Second and third choices Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) and Missile J (Tim Tetrick) were non-factors from first- and second-over, respectively.
For Somewhere In L A, a 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D’Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and The Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was his fourth win in six seasonal starts (2-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $216, the triple returned $2,105 and the superfecta (Rodeo Rock) paid $4,585.
Third Division: Odds-on Mach It So (David Miller, $3.80) rebounded from a failed retake a week ago. From the pole, he played early leapfrog with defending Levy champ Keystone Velocity (Dube) before finishing his appointed rounds (:27, :56.4, 1:24.3, season’s-best 1:53.1). Mach It So held off the pocket pursuer by a length, with Bettor Memories (Tetrick) third.
Mach It So, a 9-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., is 2-for-4 this season/series. The exacta paid $13.60, with the triple returning $35.
Saturday night’s $40,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a down-the-road fave Melady’s Monet (Bartlett, $3) in 1:55.3 for a 50th career victory. (Yonkers)