Levy champ taking on WIJI in Gerrity
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"Wiggle It Jiggleit is going to be hard to beat," said Peter Tritton, who trains Bit Of A Legend for owner Harry von Knoblauch. "I thought he could beat the others with the right trip, but Wiggle It Jiggleit is going to be tough. I've got a good draw, so that might even it up a bit.
"I just wish Wiggle It Jiggleit wasn't in it, but it is what it is," he added, laughing. "So we'll give it a shot."
Bit Of A Legend and Wiggle It Jiggleit have met twice this year. The first encounter came in a preliminary round of the Levy Series at Yonkers and resulted in the horses finishing in a dead heat for win. The second meeting was in the Dorothy Mullin Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia on May 29. Wiggle It Jiggleit won in 1:47.3, the fastest mile in the 11-year history of the racetrack, while Bit Of A Legend went off stride from post eight and finished last.
"I changed his shoes for up there (at Philadelphia) and that didn't work out," Tritton said.
Bit Of A Legend has raced only once since the Mullin, finishing sixth from post eight in the Open Handicap at Yonkers last Saturday. Bit Of A Legend paced his final quarter-mile :27, the fastest time in the field, and finished 2-1/2 lengths behind winner Doctor Butch.
Tritton had hoped to get Bit Of A Legend a start prior to last weekend, but the horse was slowed by a soreness issue.
"He went good the other night," Tritton said. "He may be one run short, but he won't be far away. I didn't completely give him off (since the Mullin). I just sort of took it easy for a while because he's not staked to anything this year."
Prior to arriving in the U.S., Bit Of A Legend won 20 of 63 races and earned $659,686 while competing Down Under. Among his exploits, he was the first male pacer to win Australian Breeders Crown finals at ages 2 and 3. For his career, the son of Bettor's Delight-Soky's Legend has won 29 of 77 starts and earned $1.13 million.
One of Tritton's goals during the remainder of the season is to determine how to stake Bit Of A Legend in 2017. He plans to race the horse at the Meadowlands to gauge his ability on a one-mile oval. So far, Bit Of A Legend has posted all nine of his victories at Yonkers, which is a half-mile track, and not competed on a track larger than five-eighths.
"I don't think that's a concern with him," Tritton said. "It's just that he's so handy around the little tracks, where some of them aren't as handy as he is. He still might be able to go with them on the bigger tracks as well. We'll find that out before the end of the year, but he's a very good horse."--By Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications